At the Austin Area Birthing Center, they not only offer classes to prep for baby (including prenatal yoga), but they also offer classes for AFTER the baby to all of their clients. I’ve been enjoying their Baby Love and Postnatal Yoga classes, which meet once a week.
One, the classes give me and Bear Shark reasons to get out of the house and do something together that doesn’t cost extra money (unlike visits to Target, where somehow $50+ disappears every time).
Two, he gets to socialize with other babies, and I get to meet other moms with littles. Way more stimulating to him than our ceiling fan, which he stares at no matter where in the room we are.
Three, we talk a lot about what’s going on with our babies and what’s happening with our bodies. Collectively, we share tips and experiences, and inevitably, someone has a trick that you haven’t tried before. All the discussion also helps jog memories for me. So many aspects of parenting I had already forgotten.
And four, it’s never too early to expose babies to the calming and yet invigorating aspects of yoga.
There always seems to be a moment in class when every baby is agitated. It might start with one or two kiddos fussing, and then somehow it spreads and escalates. My theory is that the babies know we’re complaining about them, and they are protesting, as if to say, “Mom, stop telling everyone that I haven’t pooped in 5 days!”
BUT, there also seems to be quite a few collective quiet moments. We’ve done walking meditation with our babies, and that soothes them. Deep, slow breathing with them in savasana is a winner too. And boy, babies LOVE stretches, like happy baby pose that helped them get gas out.
I remember going to a mom/baby yoga class once where we let the kids play with toys or roam around the room. Sometimes, they’ll demand attention from mom, and in those cases, we continue our practice and allow them to “deal” with their emotions. The idea is to show them that we’re doing something for ourselves (in this case, yoga) and that we ask them to respect our time and attention. We don’t allow every distraction to take us away from our practice.
I see a lot of that in these classes I’m attending at the Birthing Center, and it’s just amazing how these little beings respond. Modeling the behavior somehow calms them, rather than our panicking to shut down any yelp or cry.
I have just a few more weeks left of maternity leave (boo hoo hoo!!!), so I’m trying to squeeze in as many classes as I can and share those moments with Bear Shark. If he follows in his brother’s footsteps, he should be a pretty enthusiastic little yogi as well.