Doing yoga with your baby isn’t only about bonding, although this stands as one of the most precious parts of the practice. Yoga encourages you to look beyond your assumed physical and emotional boundaries. As you go deeper into your physical self you may fall across what you assume are your limitations only to realise they may simply be thoughts and not fact.
The practice of yoga for mothers can bring about a new sense of flexibility and I’m not just meaning stretchy hamstrings. You create flexibility as you practice by moving into a higher state of consciousness. This is when new ideas are given a chance to blossom and you become open to ways of adapting new habits you would want for your children and yourself.
Practicing yoga with your baby can give you a sense of security yet space at the same time. Space away from everyday demands, space to breathe, space to relax and enjoy your baby. Security in knowing there is a time and place that allows for this. Through yoga you become more sensitive to the language of your own body and your level of self care is enhanced. The health of your baby is highly reliant on your own state of health and well being. Time given for relaxation in yoga is deeply nourishing not only for you but for your baby also.
The post partum body is an ocean of change and the practice of yoga can be deeply healing as well as providing a life raft for stormy days. There are of course the more obvious benefits of improved strength, which can be a blessing as your baby gets heavier. We are careful not to overstretch in mother and baby yoga as new mums already have lots of relaxin hormone in their body. This is the case for up to two years after giving birth and means your muscles and soft tissue are more flexible than normal. So you must be careful not to over do it, something to be aware of especially if you are practicing in a normal hatha yoga class.
Mother and Baby yoga is your opportunity to get on your mat with your new bundle of joy and share in a practice that can create a nourishing platform for family life.
Nadine O’Mara is a pre/post natal yoga teacher and She Births educator.
Birthlight Mother & Baby Yoga classes with Nadine are Tuesdays & Thursday’s 11:30-12:30 at Yoga and Health Collective www.yogaandhealthcollective.com.au.
More information about Nadine can be found at www.consciouslifeyoga.com.au