Yesterday, Cathy posted a comment and question that deserved its own post;
“Now that I have my baby, can you suggest any Mommy&Me DVDs? It’s the only way I’d be able to get some yoga into my day! Thanks in advance!”
Although I do not have any experience with DVDs or classes on the subject, I do have some personal experience. After taking a two week break from labor, I gently began my yoga practice. Mostly, I would try to practice yoga when the baby was asleep, but with two children, there was always one around. I allowed the children to find ways to play while I practiced. During downward facing dog, they would crawl under my inverted body. During bridge pose, they would sit on my belly and enjoy the lift up. Sometimes this was very challenging and required me to let go of my previous notions of yoga as a quiet and peaceful time; however, I still felt the benefits afterwards in my body and mind. In addition, as my children grow, they love to imitate my asanas, and I encourage their practice. My three-year old son lying next to me in corpse pose is very sweet. There are times when they try to play that are not appropriate, such as when I am doing a difficult pose and fear I may fall on them or I need all my concentration to stay balanced. They have learned there are times they can play with me when I am doing yoga, and there are times when they need to give me space. It does get easier as your children grow.
I did a little research for Cathy, and some communities offer classes for mommies and their children, usually up to age five. One class I read about consists of 2/3 of the poses include children with their mommies/daddies. In addition, the children are allowed to explore the childproof room and socialize with one another. According to Dr. Feldman of Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, “When you do yoga with children, what you are doing is introducing them to the language of the body, the structure of a class and to space in general and how the child fits in that space. It’s giving them a sense of pleasure and doing it through accomplishments of the body.” There are even mother and baby yoga retreats!
I found the following titles on Amazon that may help, although I do not have personal experience with any of them:
Yoga Mom, Buddha Baby
Baby Om: Yoga for Mothers and Babies
Yoga Mommies: Mommy and Baby Yoga DVD
The New Method: Baby and Mom: Postnatal Yoga DVD