I made a list while I was pregnant. I planned all the cool yummy mummy activities baby and I would get up to this year. You know, drop-ins, “Movies for Mommies”, and of course, mommy and baby yoga. Yoga?! What was I thinking? I hate yoga. Pregnancy and childbirth did nothing for my interest in chairs, trees or warriors…until now.
Okay I don’t hate yoga. I sometimes like it. I want to love it. The cute pants, the trendy bags, what’s not to love, right? Way to trivialize an ancient discipline, I know. I’ve given it a fair shot more than once. Hatha breathing was slow and boorrr-ing. Uber yogis were annoying and cliche. Overpriced studios took themselves too seriously.
Tang’s class was the only one I loved. He led an awesome community vinyasa class at Yoga Space. Finally, I got it – the lengthening postures, the flow of energy, the cleansing sweat! Then Tang left. Sigh.
With all my running and weight training back then, yoga was great therapy for my overused muscles. Now it’s all the breastfeeding and baby-carrying that’s got me craving a good stretch. My chest and shoulders have never been so tight.
I considered the Yoga Space postnatal class from my yummy mummy list. Another sigh. Would it be worth the hassle of toting baby on public transit only to spend the entire class on edge anticipating her disruptive cry? Not the experience I was looking for. Instead, my mommy buddy and I gave GoodLife’s lunchtime (sans baby) yoga class a try. It’s yoga at the gym, how serious can it be?
As we moved from chair pose into pulses, the instructor warned “this is gonna be an athletic class”. GoodLife yoga, athletic? Gimme a break. By the tenth set of leg lifts, I was eating my words. Seriously, we spent at least ten minutes working our inner and outer thighs. It was great! The class was a perfect balance of standard poses, strength-testing exercises and relaxation time. I got the stretch, the workout and the release I was looking for. Downward dog never felt so good!
This class didn’t elicit that amazing purifying effect I’d gotten before, but I definitely did unwind. The ‘yogaesque’ music in the background was just enough. I didn’t miss the smell of incense or the sound of chimes at all. Most of all I enjoyed this class for the physical challenge and lack of pretencion. Like, Nike capris were acceptable in place of Lululemon, LOL.
I look forward to a regular Thursday date with my mommy buddy and my new favourite yoga instructor. Mental note: really need a pedicure! And who knows, baby and I may still make it to postnatal yoga this summer. I’d love to get a side-by-side shot of us in child’s pose, LOL. How cute would that be?
When you do yoga with baby, do you reap the same benefits or is it a different experience?
GOOD TO KNOW: Breastfeeding often leads to tight chest muscles and rounding forward of the shoulders. Consider adding flexibility training to your program to stretch these tight areas.