i have been meaning for MONTHS to blog about this. funny how time seems to slip away from me now that i'm the mother of a very-mobile child.
when bob and rae were out here last march, to meet gracie for the first time, we were all out shopping one day when i saw a flyer at a baby store, advertising "mama en baby yoga." how cool, i thought! i should remember to call that lady up and find out more details.
which i did. and after getting all the information about time, place, cost, and what to bring, gracie and i became regulars in georgette's friday-morning baby yoga class.
we started attending in april, when gracie was only 2 1/2 months old. there were two other babies there, tygo and robin, and both of them are about 3 months older than gracie is. tygo is very active and is always rolling around (eventually, as the classes went on for several months, he began to crawl and walk). robin is more passive, but is extremely happy and curious -- she loves to watch us all goof off, and she likes to be involved, but doesn't necessarily need to be the ringleader (unlike tygo and gracie). robin, interestingly enough, never learned to crawl but instead would scoot around on her butt to get from place to place. too cute!
anyway, it was just the three of us mamas, and the three babies, and georgette who was our teacher. we'd all meet at this little gym close to my house -- it was a gym only for women, like a curves sort of, but it wasn't curves, and they were only open at really random times. huh. but we'd all meet on friday mornings, and as we gathered outside of the beautiful aerobics room, all the ladies coming out of pilates would swoon over our little ones. this usually took an exorbitant amount of time, and class usually began late as a result. but i never minded -- i love getting compliments about my daughter!
what would usually happen at the beginning of class is that we'd set up tygo, robin, and gracie on a mat or a blanket in the center of the room, with some toys to keep them occupied. and then the three moms and georgette would set up our mats in a circle, and do some good breathing exercises. which sounds easy enough, but when you've carried a person inside your body for 9 or 10 months, you actually FORGET how to breathe correctly! i was shocked that i had to relearn this, especially because in my massage practice i am constantly teaching and reminding people how to use their breath properly!
once the babies would get squirmy or bored, we'd move on to exercises that involved them more directly. this usually meant stretching so that our faces were close to their bodies, doing downward facing dog or cat/cow to play a sort of peek-a-boo with them, or somehow placing our babies on our bodies (legs, torso, maybe our arms), and doing sit-ups or lunges or something.
often, especially at the beginning when our babies were all still so small and this routine of weekly yoga classes was still so new to them, we would dance to african music to keep them happy. we'd put our babies in our various baby carriers, tie bells to our ankles, and dance around for the rest of class. i would work up quite a sweat doing this! jumping up and down for half an hour with 10 or 15 pounds strapped to your chest is a real workout! (gracie would of course fall right to sleep whenever we did this. slacker!) it was such a good workout, in fact, that i would try to do the same activity once or twice more in the week at home -- i'd squat in time to the music, or step up and down on the first two stairs in the hallway, or march in place. here's a video to give you a better idea:
i LOVED my yoga class. even if we didn't even do that much yoga it was still really nice to get out of the house, move my body, and talk with grown ups. sometimes, if tygo and robin couldn't come, it would just be me, gracie, and georgette -- and sometimes, that would be the only english-speaking conversation i would have outside my house all week. so it was really nice.
our last class was way back in october, and i totally miss it. but i know now that gracie, robin, and tygo are all so mobile, there'd be no way we could have a yoga class anymore -- we'd be too busy chasing them around and keeping them from eating the candles or throwing the singing bowl.
but we still continue to get together, the three of us mamas and our babies. we had a playdate at tygo's house not too long ago, tygo and robin came over for our intocht party in november, and on friday gracie will have her FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY and of course her little yoga buddies are invited. so we still see each other (not as often as we all would like, but that's always the case when you are the parent of small children i guess).
i really hope that when mary grace gets a bit bigger, we can find a children's yoga class to attend together. i think it's a great way to bond, to help her appreciate and rejoice in her body, and to build positive habits. i miss our yoga mornings together, but it has inspired me to look for something like this when we move to texas this summer!