Mommy and me yoga is an amazing way to connect with your baby and start your fitness journey as a new mother.
These classes are a super beneficial activity for both you and your baby to improve your health. You can also practice yoga with kids of all ages, from newborns to toddlers and young children.
While some yoga studios will allow you to bring your baby to a class at only six weeks old, most prefer that babies are able to hold their own head up for their own safety. We recommend starting when they are able to hold their own head up, particularly if you are going to practice at home. This usually happens at around three months old.
Mom and me yoga classes are safe for you and your baby if they are old enough and your pregnancy, birth, and postnatal recovery have gone smoothly. But, make sure to get your doctor's approval for both you and your baby before you begin mommy and me yoga classes together.
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What Are The Benefits Of Mommy And Me Yoga?
Most of us have heard of the benefits of yoga even if we haven't experienced it ourselves. Here's all the reasons why mommy baby yoga classes could be perfect for you.
Connect With Your Baby
Practicing playful activities like yoga together is a great way to build a stronger bond with your baby as mothers hold them close during movements or teach their yoga babies new movements.
Build Your Baby's Fine Motor And Sensory Skills
Yoga is a great foundation for your baby to gain self-awareness and start learning to move voluntarily. This will be useful when trying to teach your child to dance and play sports when they get older.
It's Great For Your Body
Yoga is great for your improving your strength, flexibility, and balance which is super important after nine months of carrying and then delivering your child. Yoga can even help to relieve back pain, which is a common issue many new mothers have. Mommy and me yoga poses and stretches focus on strengthening the areas of your body most affected by pregnancy and childbirth. These are the abdominal, pelvic floor, and back muscles. Yoga is even known to help relieve constipation and any painful gas stuck in your or your baby's belly. Certain positions are also said to help with digestion.
Yoga is like a form of art and is known for its positive effects on the brain. Focusing on your breathing and stretching your body can help you unwind after a long day, destress, and hopefully sleep better. Being a parent means you have a big responsibility to look after your child, but it's important to make sure you are looking after your own body too. Doing yoga with babies is a great way to do both of these things. You can also try meditating before beginning your baby and me yoga session to get you in the flow.
Meet Other Moms
Baby and me yoga classes are a great way for you and your little one to socialize with other parents and babies. These classes are a great way for new moms to get to know each other and share their stories and struggles. Some mothers find it hard to make a lot of time to socialize and look after their baby at the same time but with the wide range of yoga classes available, there should be a yoga class to suit the needs of every parent out there.
How To Do It At Home
If baby and me classes aren't offered in your area, you're on a budget or you can't find the time to schedule in a class, you can still enjoy mommy and me yoga from home. There are plenty of free videos and resources available online for you to browse through until you find the right mommy and me yoga video for you and your little one to enjoy. If your child is a bit older you can even buy them their own yoga mat to do the poses beside you in matching mommy and me yoga clothes.
Postnatal yoga doesn't have to just be limited to mom and the new baby. The whole family could benefit from these sessions. So, if you have a partner or any other children, get them involved in a full family yoga session for some family bonding time. Playing calming music while you do yoga with your child can help you feel more comfortable practicing each movement. Be gentle with your stretches as your body still produces ligament loosening hormones post-birth.
Here are three poses you can try out to see if mommy and me yoga is right for you and your baby. (Consult your doctor first before trying any of these movements).
1. Downward-Facing Dog
Downward-facing dog is one of the easiest poses to do with your baby. First, gently lie your baby down with their back on the floor. With your baby beneath you, rest on your hands and knees then push your knees off the floor and straighten your legs as much as you can. Keep making eye contact with your baby as you do this move. You can even give your baby little kisses if you're flexible enough!
2. Boat Pose
Sit on the floor with your baby's bottom against your belly. Straighten your legs out in front of you and slowly lean back to a 45-degree angle before lifting your legs up off the ground (you can bend your knees). Make sure to wrap your arms around your baby as you lean back. You may not be able to reach the full 45 degrees, just do what feels safe for you and your baby. This pose is great for both baby and mom to bond and it strengthens mom's abdominal muscles.
3. Tree Pose
Many mothers find that they could use some help improving their sense of balance as during pregnancy and after giving birth, their center of gravity is continually changing. This movement is great for improving your balance. It's a good idea to start this exercise standing next to a wall until you feel confident in your balance. Begin with your baby in your arms and your feet together. Lift one leg and rest the sole of your foot either just above the knee or below the knee. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds or however long feels comfortable for you. Repeat on the other side.
What To Expect In A Class
Yoga is one of the best activities for parents to bond with their children and get back into an exercise routine. So, here's everything you need to know about attending a baby and me class or attempting yoga for toddlers, babies and children
A baby and me yoga class is a safe space for mothers to relax with their little ones. Here, you can share any concerns you may be having, find a place to relax, and receive support from the other moms. There are lots of studios around, so it shouldn't be too hard to find the right studio for you.
Some mommy and baby classes are run online, so if you can't leave your house or don't feel comfortable doing so, there is still an option for you. If you're lucky, you might find a studio that offers a free mommy and me class as a trial so you can test the waters.
Postpartum yoga classes usually run for between 30 minutes to one hour, so you can choose a class that suits your schedule and your fitness level. Classes often begin with a brief meditation and you will support your baby during the yoga class while you do your poses. The focus of baby yoga is more on bonding than the workout, so don't worry if you have to skip any exercises.
Don't be afraid to step away from the class if your baby needs to be fed or needs an emergency diaper change, or if any of the moves take you too far out of your comfort zone. There's also no need to feel embarrassed if your baby cries or if you need to change a diaper. If you feel uncomfortable about you or your baby doing a certain move, you can ask your instructor for guidance or just skip the move altogether. Your baby's safety should always be your first priority.
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