Yoga with young children
I am often asked how we can return to our yoga practice whilst looking after small children. If you don't have the ability to attend classes on your own, it can feel like you have lost an important part of your self care routine, just when you need it the most! Yoga not only helps the healing process post birth, strengthening our core muscles, maintaining our posture and easing aches and pains, but it can offer us so much more. These slow controlled movements, linked to deep and peaceful breathing help us to access the emotional resilience, patience, self acceptance and respect for others that ease the constant transitioning into new stages of parenthood.
Whilst we offer many classes to help with this, from Mother and Baby to Postnatal classes, having a home practice to fill the rest of your days can feel invaluable. But how do you do this with a little person around. I have good news- It's not as hard as you think!
The key is to let go. Let go, Let go, Let go. Let go of what you expect yoga to be. Let go of what you expect yoga to look like. Let go of what your yoga has been in the past. If you want to find yoga in your new life, then it needs to fit your new life. It's like the feeling of wanting to get back to 'your old self' Well, I hate to break it to you, but that old self is gone. There is only the new self, and whilst you don't have to say goodbye or leave behind everything you had in the past, you probably do need to at least let go of the idea of moving back in time- Yoga can do amazing things for our lives, but time travel just ain't one of them!!!
Find your new yoga. Maybe it comes in the form of running yourself through a relaxation as you feed your baby. Maybe you do tree pose as you wait for the kettle to boil. Maybe you breathe and circle your ankles when you lie next to your baby. Maybe you do warrior pose as you're pushing your little one in the swing. Maybe you walk with your baby against your chest at 3am just constantly reminding yourself to relax your body, relax your breath (and repeat for an hour or so). Maybe you find the time (5/10/45 mins) to roll out your mat and practice. Maybe.
But above all, and really I CANNOT stress this enough, practise your yoga by being compassionate to yourself and your baby. In everything. All the time. And when you don't manage it, be compassionate about that too. Breath deeply, let go, and open your heart. I'm going to say that again.
Breath deeply, let go, and open your heart.
I'd love to hear how you get on, or what works for you, so please do feel free to email us and let us know. We love to hear your stories.
And whilst I don't suggest that you need to be doing the splits, you might find this video inspiring
Bryony Vickers, Birthlight Baby Yoga Tutor
Birthlight Toddler Yoga teacher training course
27-28 June, Cambridge, UK More information and booking
29-30 October, Belfast, UK More information and booking