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​Images by Miki Yamawaki Photography

  • Chika Yamawaki

From surviving to thriving. How I turned my life around as a new mum.





I was struggling to get sleep for the first 5-6 months. If I could get 3 straight hours of sleep, and broken hours of 6 hours in total, that would have been a great day, but my reality back then was often waking up every couple of hours and getting 5 hours of broken sleep in total. I found sleepless nights extremely challenging as I have always been a bit of sensitive sleeper. Often, I had trouble going back to sleep after waking up to feed my baby. Having to wake up every few hours throughout the night, (and night after night!) completely messed up my body clock and I was starting to get mumsomnia – waking up in the middle of the night even though my baby was still asleep. My whole body resented the nighttime, it literally felt like going to a battlefield. I wasn’t able to function properly during the day. I couldn’t think straight, and I felt like I was jet-lagged every day. Seriously, I was a walking zombie!


My baby was thriving, but it was so clear I wasn’t. I was getting moody and impatient. I was starting to turn into a person I didn’t want to be. I had to do something to get myself out of there, so I took a weekend away in the Blue Mountains when my daughter was 5 months old so that I could just be with myself for a little. This was one the most healing thing I have ever done. All the meals were prepared for me, I had no housework to do. I had no crying baby who needed my attention. I could give my full attention to myself for the first time since she was born. As you might expect, I came home feeling nurtured and nourished. My batteries were recharged, and I was ready to wear a mumma hat again, but as the day went on, I soon started to feel deprived again - of sleep and time, time for myself.


I realised that it wasn’t about having a weekend away or even getting a massage once a week. It was more about the little things that I did DAILY to nurture and nourish myself. Like 5 minutes of gentle stretching on my mat. Practising conscious relaxation while my baby napped. Asking my hubby for time alone to go for a nature walk or have a bath. What we do everyday matters a lot more than what we do every once in a while. Attention is the best gift you can give to anyone, including yourself. Giving all my attention to my baby 24/7 without a break was draining and exhausting. We all need a break to fill our own cup so we will have more to give! This was when I realised the importance of daily self-care. There are a lot of different ways to take a good care of yourself, but for me, yoga & mindfulness have been the crucial pieces of the puzzle. Without these tools, I have no idea how I would have coped these early crazily chaotic months of being a mum. I stayed sane thanks to yoga & mindfulness.

I found taking 10 minutes every day more effective than taking 1 hour each week because tension, let it be physical, mental or emotional, keeps accumulating in our body every single day. Little knots we create in our body from breastfeeding, driving, carrying our baby or getting a pram in and out of the car, need constant releasing. Yoga & mindfulness are wonderful tools for self-healing. Every time I come to my mat, I’m able to let go of stress, and feel calmer and happier. I feel like I can be a better mum for my daughter, and I’d love you to experience the same.


Don’t wait until the weekend when you can go and get a massage while your partner takes care of your baby. Yoga is a great way to release muscular tension in your body and the great thing is that you don’t even need a full hour! I’ve created short and sweet videos inside my online yoga mini course for you so you can enjoy stretching out with me from the comfort of your own home whenever you like, whenever your baby naps. I know when you have a newborn baby, you might be struggling to find 5 minutes to have shower. This is why I’ve kept all videos short and sweet, anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes. Getting to a yoga class once a week is great, but I know as a busy mum, it may not be always possible. Baby gets sick or ends up napping longer and trying to get somewhere on time is a real challenge many mums face. So, it’s ok if you end up missing a yoga class but I don’t want you to miss out on your practice all together. I’d love to make yoga & mindfulness more accessible to you and help you incorporate these tools in your day, especially on days when you struggle to leave your house or feel stuck at home. I invite you to check out the full details of my program and sign up before the door closes at 5pm on Wednesday 13th November. Here’s the link to find out more.


The Self-care Toolbox for Mindful Mums

Online mini yoga course for busy mums


The enrolment is closing at 5pm on Wednesday 13 November 2019


https://www.wayoga.com.au/self-care-toolbox-for-mindful-mums



About Chika

Chika is a Sydney Northern Beaches resident, mum to a toddler and Yoga Australia registered teacher. She has been a student of yoga for over 10 years, teaching for the last 5 and is passionate about empowering other mums to make self-care their priority so they can become a happier and healthier version of themselves. She shares simple yoga & mindfulness tools that you can easily incorporate in your daily self-care ritual. She specialises in pre & postnatal yoga, mums & bubs / toddlers yoga, kids yoga, family yoga, yin yoga & mindfulness meditation.