Postnatal and Baby Yoga
The postnatal period is a very special time for mothers and babies.
This programme of classes is specially designed to provide a warmly supportive environment in which to enjoy getting to know your baby, sharing beneficial practices to aid postnatal recovery and learning to relax in each others’ presence over the postnatal year and beyond.
For small group classes in at Sitaram, the age range of the babies is from birth to nine months, but in the lager groups at the Lido the age range is divided into younger (birth to six months) and older babies (six months plus).
As the babies grow into toddlers, another set of classes is available, with challenges and yogic fun for all.
Every class is characterised by a positive ‘give and take’ that alternates yoga for mums, with yoga for babies, with yoga for two.
Dads are welcome too, and there are ‘Family yoga sessions’ by arrangement at the weekends.
Classes offer a lively mix of practices for the babies – passive stretching and rhythmic movement accompanied by singing and action songs – and postnatal recovery for mums – improving posture, re-energising and recovering strength and vitality.
There are also lots of integrated yoga practices for mums and babies to do together. The classes are friendly and relaxed so that babies can be fed, changed, dandled, soothed, and sleep whenever they need.
The sessions usually end with a period of deep relaxation and a well-earned cup of tea and a chat.
The postnatal period is one of great change and adjustment.
During this time a woman is vulnerable to stress and strain on many different levels, so postnatal yoga is gentle and therapeutic.
The emphasis is upon nurturing and support: at a physical level the practices are designed to promote ease and comfort: stabilising the pelvis, toning the abdominal region, and supporting the lower back.
There are also practices to lift the spirits and re-energise, alternating with periods of recuperative rest.
At this stage the mums are feeling a little more energised than in the immediate postnatal period, so their practices involve deeper stretching and more vigourous, revitalising yoga postures and breathing. The babies enjoy some of the same rhymes and rhythmic movements as the littler babies, but also are challenged with other practices to assist in the developnent of crawling prowess.
Yoga for two practices develop a shared sense of fun, whilst improving balance and co-ordination. Mum’s relaxation times are integrated with a special play time for curious babes, and we use humming, singing and chanting to help everyone enjoy a quiet time at the end of the class.
These classes are a relaxing weekly outing for full-time mums with a busy schedule, and are also a helpful baby oriented event in the weekly pattern of mums who have returned to work part-time.
mobile babies and toddlers
By the time babies turn into toddlers, mums need plenty of energy to keep up with their offspring.
In these very informal classes, we work to optimise strength and energy with yoga sequences such as the sun salutation, and use deep relaxation practicies to revitalise flagging parents.
For the toddlers we do more singing rhymes, walking balances, stretches and swings.The integrated practices involve rocking, rolling and bouncing, to the delight of both mother and baby.
We always have a quiet restful time at the end and some chanting to ease everyone into quietness.
transition to children’s yoga
As toddlers become confident walkers, and then make the transition to becoming little children, their ability to follow a story and engage attentively with group activities increases.
It is at this point (somewhere between two and half and three) that they may enjoy the challenges of the family yoga sessions.
Because attendance at these sessions is in family groups, with the adults encouraged to join in, the youngest children have the security of the presence of their parent or carer, but the excitement of participating with older children, including siblings.
This makes for a friendly and informal class, where yoga students of all ages can learn from, and take inspiration from each other.