Over five years ago I found myself loving Baby and Me Yoga! My son and I would travel from Novi to Royal Oak every Tuesday morning no matter what. It became a priority because it made me feel so good.
It was an opportunity to spend time socializing with other moms going through this rite of passage at the same time as me. We encouraged and learned from one another. After our yoga practice we would go out to eat in downtown Royal Oak, too! A good ten moms with babies and strollers sure take over any restaurant!
Of course the physical challenges of the practice were definitely helpful and needed in order to heal from pregnancy and childbirth. There was enough permission in class to either take it easy or explore poses further depending on where everyone was at in their healing process.
The emotional support from the teacher and the other moms was priceless. As a new mom I experienced a wave of emotions throughout any given day, so it was comforting to share and hear other women’s stories, as well. I wasn’t alone. Through their wisdom and understanding I was able to develop a deeper trust in myself to care not only for my baby, but also for my own needs.
Lastly, one of the greatest things I learned was cultivating a connection with my son other than holding him or feeding him. We played with eye gazing and non-touching communication.
Teaching my son that I can take care of myself, with him right beside me, was a profound concept I discovered in class… then at home.
Today, I have the privilege to share this ancient practice, along with the latest research when healing from childbirth in the Baby and Me Yoga classes. All mothers - no matter how she delivered, or if the birth was through a surrogate or adoption - will benefit from this yoga class.
No prior yoga experience is needed, and for those who’ve had a regular practice will enjoy this new attention to self and baby.
Did my story light a spark in you to try Baby and Me Yoga, or is there still something holding you back?
I hear from so many moms concerned about:
- What if my baby needs to be fed?
- What if my baby needs to be changed?
- What if my baby won't stop crying?
- What if my baby sleeps the whole time?
Do what you need to do to keep baby (and you) happy... breast or bottle feed baby, change the diaper, walk around the room, take a deep breath/pause, or hum/sing/talk to soothe baby.
Once you take care of his or her immediate need, then you have the option to re-join the instruction, or sit for a bit with baby to reassure them that you are staying together. Babies do not have to participate in order for you to benefit. Let the wives tale live on: “don’t wake a sleeping baby” if you know baby needs rest, or if it’s naptime.
One of the greatest gifts I get from teaching is that babies learn my voice within weeks! It doesn’t take them long to find peace and contentment, because they know what to expect when they get into the studio and when they hear my voice. However, some take a few classes to warm-up to the new surroundings and voices… and that’s totally okay. Be consistent and your baby will follow your lead.
You are doing yoga by simply being in the space with other practicing mothers and being present with your baby. There are no expectations. Often times during the class you will find yourself laughing and having fun! Yoga is fun, it can be relaxing and it will definitely help nurture yourself and the relationship with your baby.
Plus, it's a comfortable way to begin breastfeeding in public... surrounded by other supportive women.
Lastly, here’s a brief synopsis of the major benefits of Baby and Me Yoga class:
Prevents and relieves physical discomfort by mobilizing and improving posture.
- Strengthens the back.
- Improves core stability.
- Releases tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Aids in postpartum repair by strengthening the abdominal muscles (uddiyana bandha) and pelvic floor muscles (mula bandha.)
- Increases circulation of energy flow (i.e. blood flow, prana, etc.)
- Contributes to toning the body and healthy weight-loss after pregnancy and childbirth.
- Increases endurance and stamina
- Practice the postures and breathing techniques at home!
Emotional and Spiritual Benefits
- Promotes relaxation; decreases stress and anxiety.
- Reduces mental fatigue by recharging the mind.
- Receive support and connection with other new moms in the Royal Oak area.
- Develop trust in self to care for baby, and one's own needs.
- Connect with baby in new ways
- Eye gazing
- Infant massage
Elise Bowerman, RYT 500 and Prenatal Yoga Specialist is rejoining the Namasté community of teachers this month! After taking this past school year off to care for her two children, Elise is excited to be back at Namasté; her second home. Since 2009 Elise has been supporting women in their childbearing years through Prenatal Yoga and Baby & Me Yoga classes. Her classes are infused with a deep appreciation for holistic wellness, conscious parenting and detailed attention to the physical challenges which provide support and encouragement for all. Keep up with the latest from Elise on her website.