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How Mom & Baby Yoga Changed My Life

mom with her new baby doing yoga in minneapolis

As I prepare for my upcoming Bring Your Own Baby, (sometimes referred to as mom and baby yoga), teacher training program I’ve reflected on the significant influence this class format has had on my life.

 

Prior to having children of my own, I provided postpartum support to a birth doula client by offering to take her baby to a class at Blooma, so she could have some time to nap, take a bath, etc.  I was thrilled she took me up on it (it’s hard to ask for help!) I have vivid memories of wearing her sweet 4-month old baby on the walk to Blooma and taking part in the class.

I was excited for my first BYOB class and proud of my client for taking time for herself.  The Blooma space was supportive of parents, caregivers, grandparents, and the whole village it takes to support new parents and babies. 

It was a sweet moment to allow the babies to “be”.  A mom in the room shared that she felt comfort in knowing her “crying baby was welcome at Blooma.”  There were no expectations for class besides tending to the caregiver and the baby’s needs.  If the baby was content, there might be 15 luxurious minutes of yoga available.  Other times, the universe served up full deep breaths as the parent nestled into a reclined position for a breast/chestfeeding session.  

Immediately after class, I signed up for the next BYOB teacher training at Blooma. 

Five years later, I gave birth to my first child and couldn’t wait to take my baby to Blooma.  The first few BYOB classes I attended with my daughter Louise consisted mostly of me sitting and feeding her. Over time, as she connected with the cadence of class, I was able to participate more and more myself. 

I Always Knew No Matter What Came Up For Me (Or Her), I Was Welcome In A Judgment-Free Space.

I joked when the teacher offered an exercise ball to bounce on that I would rather deflate that thing than sit on it (lol, IYKYK).  My daughter LOVED that exercise ball.  I tried feeding, swaying, shushing, swaddling, side lying, burping, walking, strolling – none of it satisfactory, but within seconds of sliding that ball under my bottom, she went from irate to a peaceful yoga baby.  I knew crying was a part of the “newborn package,” but so often my nervous system needed a reprieve and having access to an exercise ball in public made it all the more easier to feel comfortable getting out of the house. 

Over the next five years I became a BYOB yoga instructor and led trainings on the format.  I have been witness to so many newborn experiences and I absolutely adore all of it.  I’ve witnessed a mama catching her own baby’s spit up (accidentally of course) in her mouth, hundreds of blow outs that warranted outfit changes, overwhelmed parents not quite ready to head back to the workplace and wishing they had just a couple more weeks with their little one (can we do better America?).  This is the most dynamic and magical class I have ever taught in my 12 years of being an instructor.

Last winter I found myself in an uncertain life transition.  I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and then I didn’t.  I started a new job and wasn’t sure of my place.  Teaching BYOB every Thursday at 12:30pm was my constant.   I’ve shared widely that the parents and babies who attended my class when I was in the depths of depression that winter truly kept me going.  The angelic ways babies communicate, the bond between them and their parents/caregivers, the sweetness of seeing a little one grab their feet or blow raspberry bubbles. The babies reminded me I am doing the best I can. To keep putting one foot in front of the other.  We can show up messy (no shower, wet hair, spit-up t-shirt!) and it’s more than ok.   It felt healing to be trudging alongside other parents even though our life experiences weren’t exactly the same.  

If you can relate to a call to expand your yoga teaching practice, be a part of the new baby and postpartum experience, I’d love to talk to you more about this training.  Maybe you are a nanny, parent or caretaker interested in learning more about baby development and supporting people during the perinatal time period.  You’ll learn how to teach a BYOB class, as well as a deep dive into physiological changes during pregnancy, postpartum anatomy and healing, and breathwork practices.   Find more about the training here.

New to Blooma as a first time mom or parent? 

Did you find out about Blooma after you had your baby?  You’re in the right place! Blooma is a safe, supported place for first outings with your baby, like BYOB yoga, Motherhood Series & Free New Moms Group.

And, we’ve got the resources you and your baby need – including lactation support, sleep support, infant massage, postpartum doula care and well-deserved massage.  As you journey through postpartum, bring your baby to babywearing barre, and get time for yourself in yoga and pilates.

-Amy Kelley, Director of Childbirth Education at Blooma

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