Tag Archives: motherhood

Inflexible Yoga Teacher

IMG_0596Photo: Nikki Veliz (juggling an ipad, a 20 month old girl & a potty)

I would love to be posting a photo of me doing some spectacularly flexible yoga pose at Machu Picchu but I was too busy juggling a 20 month old girl that was in clambering mode, her potty and realising waaaaaaay too late that I had missed my own toilet opportunity (and yes I considered using the potty!). Plus, I can’t touch my toes so you won’t see me in bendy poses. And yes, I’m a yoga teacher!

I wanted to remind you today that yoga isn’t being about being flexible. It really isn’t. Just as practicing meditation isn’t about sitting lotus style for hours. Don’t let the ‘images’ of yoga and meditation be a reason to avoid a yoga or meditation class. I love what Cyndi Lee says about yoga: “Yoga is not about touching your toes. It’s about unlocking your ideas about what you want, where you think you can go, and how you will achieve when you get there.” Nice.

If you are new to meditation but don’t know where to start, lie down (yes, LIE DOWN yay!) and listen to this free 10 minute guided meditation (no lotus-style anything!).



Sleep Deprived Moms

If you are looking for a community of sleep deprived moms head over and like this Facebook group: Sleep Deprived Moms.

If you are a sleep deprived mom (or know one!) looking for support and ideas to have more energy, sleep better and feel good, I’d love to see you in our recently formed group.


How To Relax When You’re Sleep Deprived

meditation.jpgThis is where you would’ve found me if you’d have knocked on my door 10 minutes ago. Lying down, eye pillow & blanket on, surrounded by mess. This is how I have learned to relax as I slowly creep out of my chronically sleep deprived state. Usually I would tidy everything up, put on some suitable clothing, create a ‘meditation space’, have a cup of tea, settle in, meditate, journal. You get the picture – lovely and all but time consuming and tiring!

I have learned the hard and scary way (see previous post here) that I need to just stop and drop 🙂 I don’t use baby/toddler nap time to do the dishes, laundry, houseclean or cook anymore. Uh uh. No thanks. It’s not worth it.

As soon as my toddler was in her bed this is where I laid down. There’s nothing better than getting to lie down and meditate, especially if you’re sleep deprived. Here’s a sample of what I was listening to! 

Chronic Sleep Deprivation & Exercise


After being told I had chronic sleep deprivation by a neurologist who thought I’d had a stroke, I thought I’d “just” have to get more sleep. I say “just” but for anyone that has breastfed, that in itself is quite a challenge! But no, it requires a big change in everything, including exercise.

I have had to shift my thinking about this because I had gone from a bit of a fitness nut pre-pregnancy, then to a bit of a wobbly mess with all the relaxin in my body during pregnancy when I attempted to even go walking for 1/2hr, to putting the needs of my bub WAY ABOVE mine, resulting in virtually not much exercise at all to be honest. Well, the occasional pilates and yoga but it was like starting from scratch as I now had to learn about post-pregnancy body and what that now meant to me (hello back spasms, weak core, no cardio fitness). I’m so fortunate to have an amazing pilates teacher that has helped me with all of this since my bub was 3months old.

But with chronic sleep deprivation my hormones were way out of whack. And still are. It’s going to take time. As in months and months of time, and ‘me time’ to do some exercise to help get those hormones back to normal. Giving myself some time to exercise has meant I needed to get my head around the ‘how to’. So it sounds like a great plan to get up before my toddler and do some exercise right? Isn’t that what ‘they’ suggest? That doesn’t happen very often as I’m sleep deprived right? So I need sleep!

So now I practice my pilates and yoga at home when my toddler is awake. At first I thought this was selfish. Taking ‘our’ time together from her (mama guilt eh?). But now I finally see that this gives me more energy for myself AND for her, and I am setting a good example! She no longer thinks that it’s just daddy that runs, swims and rides. Mum exercises too! And she gets in on the action while I’m on my yoga mat or when I’m using the chi-ball. I’m still surprised how much she enjoys this time and knows that the chi-ball is mama’s – too cute.

And I’m slowly getting back into the brisk walking thing (fancy new shoes always make it more enticing!) to help regulate my hormones too. This takes a little more negotiation. My toddler can either get in her fancy ‘bub’ pram from when she was a baby and come with me or stay home with dad while I walk around the suburb for 1/2hr. Her choice. BUT she now knows that she has to stay in the pram as mama needs to exercise. Just liked she understands that mama has to go to her pilates classes at Claudia’s house. So far so good!

IF for some reason I can’t fit some exercise in then I do a relaxation practice called ‘yoga nidra’ as it has been proven to help balance and strengthen the endocrine system (and therefore my hormones). I have made a free relaxation for you to try if you are in a similar situation (sleep deprived/hormone whacked/tired). It’s a tough place to be in and it does require getting serious about making changes. Please ‘like’ this post if you are in a similar situation (sleep deprived/hormone whacked/tired) and leave a ‘comment’ about what you’re doing to get out of your sleep deprived life!

When you want to scream!

Oh how I wanted to scream back at my 2yo having an epic meltdown in our bedroom this morning. Cause of epic meltdown? She couldn’t decide what to wear. It took over half an hour to get dressed for her music class (I say class but really it’s lots of running around, pretending to be trains, a jam session and sneaking into each others bags to find food).

I picked her off our wooden floorboards half naked and held her. Even though I wanted to scream, I let out 3 loud long OMs instead (stuff the neighbours!). She went quiet and hugged me back. Wow. I’ve tried the screaming back – who hasn’t in that crazy moment? – and it DOES NOT FEEL GOOD. And it definitely doesn’t result in a ‘huggie’ from my daughter. I’m so thankful I found yoga even though for a LONG time I did not do ‘that omming thing’. I thought it was too woo-woo. I also thought meditation was too woo-woo for me! But it is the flow on effects of taking up yoga and I love it. If you have 10 minutes, try this non-woowoo guided meditation I have made. It’s free AND you get to lie down. If you don’t have 10 minutes but need a lift or a release of some kind? Try the loud OMs – the louder and longer the better in the crazy moments 😉

To The Girl Who Wants To Lose More Weight…

I overheard your chat with your mum while my toddler and I munched on walnuts and cashews after our swim class. You seemed so down. I now know you weigh 52kg but you want to lose more weight. And yet you are stunning! Tall, thin, with beautiful dark features. Your mum sat there in her gym clothes, you in yours, and she wobbled her arms as if to encourage you ‘Well at least you don’t have arms like mine’. I know she was doing her best in that moment to lift your spirits. But I could see it wasn’t working. Something is clearly not working if you can’t see how beautiful you are. No amount of physical beauty and weight loss is going to compete with the kind of nasty stuff that is going through your head over and over again. Oh how I wanted to give you a big hug and show you how beautiful you are inside and out. We all have our ‘nasty stuff’. The mean things we say to ourselves repeatedly. The only thing that seems to make any difference for me is meditation. It creates ‘space’. A distance between your thoughts and ‘you’, so you begin to understand that you are not your thoughts…this was one epic step and learning curve for me! So if you are looking for a way to deal with those negative, mean and downright brutal thoughts, I offer you the gift of this easy, free guided meditation as a starting point. https://nikkiveliz.leadpages.co/energyhit/ To the girl who wants to lose more weight, how I wish I could have dropped this little meditation in your gym bag to find when you got home as a way to ease your pain.