Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mommy & Me Yoga---what is that?

Hi there!
When I tell people I teach Mommy & Me Yoga, I am usually met with a wide eye stare and a confused grin. Some comments like "what do you even do", "how is that beneficial", or my personal favorite..."they are just babies, why do THEY need yoga".

....le sigh....

First, let me start off by saying that yoga is for EVERY BODY. Yes everybody, but also every----body. Big, small, thin, plump, old, young, flexible, tight, missing legs, extra get the idea. Many people know that asana is a big part of yoga, but pranayama (breath) and meditation are really where yoga starts to transform peoples lives. They are the core of yoga. How does that tie in?
When you just have a baby, things change. You are altered almost forever, not in a bad way, but in the way that change NEEDS to occur. First, your hormones are completely out of whack. The placenta, which was housing your baby inside your uterus for 40+ weeks is now released from the body (btw, fun fact-placenta encapsulation can help level out those hormones amongst other things) causing a big drop in your hormone levels. Second, breastfeeding itself can not only be challenging to get down, but it puts a lot of new tension on the body, particularly between the shoulder blades and on the lower back. Third, lack of sleep will cause you to feel run down, exhausted, stressed, and inadequate as a new mom, because the mind does funny things when we are low on sleep. Now, this isn't a post to scare you, it's just a taste of some of the things that new moms go through! Mommy & Me Yoga can help with all of these things and we haven't even touched on why it is good for baby!

Leia, mesmerized by the camera

Each yoga teacher will instruct differently, so if you have the option, feel a few classes out. If you find one that sticks immediately, SWEET! If not keep looking! Here is just a small rundown of what I like to do in my Mommy and Me classes (which you can find info for here).

Suzanne, and her sweet babe August.

Benefits For Baby
In my  class, I like to do a lot of movements that target and encourage the growth of gross motor skills. We move the legs and arms quite a bit (as long as baby is willing, they are in charge after all), we encourage vocabulary growth and language skills by singing songs, and they see you moving your body, and deepening your breath which can release happy and relaxing hormones in the body. Here is a great list of things that baby benefits from during a yoga class (click here).

Nicole, and her babe Willow, taking a feeding break during class :)
We do a mixture of standing postures, letting baby rest and also having them join. In the class, you are always following your babes lead. If they like what is happening, we keep going! If they don't, we change it up! We also do tummy time activities and finally end with a svasana, either lying on your back, or side with the option to breast/bottle feed.
My goals for class are for moms to have fun, babies to get lots of one on one attention, and lots of bonding for both. It's important for mothers to get their postpartum bodies moving again, and some can be resistant because their body is different then it used to be. My hope is that they see they can move their body and feel great afterwards. A happy mother that takes time to devote to herself also benefits baby. Here is another great article about the benefits of yoga for mother and baby:

Have you been interested in trying a yoga class with your baby? Check in your area! If you are local, you can find mommy and babe classes that I teach at Spa Lamar in Scottsdale and NEW at Modern Milk in Scottsdale as well! Ha Yoga in Tempe (where I teach Prenatal on Wednesday nights) offers mommy and me classes 3 times a week (and there is NO age limit for the babies).

Namaste, until next time!

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