Why I teach postnatal yoga without babies…
Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not in any way against Mom and Baby yoga. I completely support and encourage any activity that brings moms together in community, and if any of my mamas ask for it, I’m happy to direct them to a class. This post is simply about my thoughts and ideas on Spiral Path Postnatal Yoga.
I firmly believe that after you have a baby, someone needs to take your baby for an hour so you can go to yoga- ALONE. Because even though you’re a mom, you are still a woman, and your body just did this amazing and miraculous thing….YOU MADE A PERSON! Regardless of how easy or difficult you felt your pregnancy was (as I type this I can hear my sister saying, “Whose pregnancy was easy?”), the fact of the matter is, you are working with a brand new body. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start with that. I felt the need for a class which offers support and variations for however and whenever you show up ready to reclaim your practice. This might in be 6 or 8 weeks or it may be in 2 or 3 years.
When I was in my early 20’s, I taught a postnatal class with babies. Even then my version of it was to teach a class for moms that they could bring their babies to, but the class was still simply about the moms. The babies mostly slept in their carriers or if someone needed to step out with one, nobody minded. If a baby was fussy, I would just hold the baby while I walked around teaching. More than a decade later, now in my mid-30’s with both of my businesses completely centered around caring for moms pre- and postpartum, I see even more of a need to focus on the mom. I feel like postpartum care is where as a society we are really dropping the ball. Women get all of this care and attention while pregnant, and then are sent home with a new baby and may not always have enough support in place. Teaching my postnatal class without babies is my way of giving women permission to do something just for them. An hour to yourself can go a long way, especially when you're adapting to a new baby; and as my mom always says, "Someone needs to mother the mother." One of my mamas recently told me that her husband noticed a positive shift when she took time to come back to class. My sister claims that we make her a better mom by giving her support and breaks. Having a baby is an incredible and all encompassing transformation and the transition to motherhood doesn’t end with birth. In a society where we expect moms to hop right back into life, work, relationships, and exercise routines, I want to send the message that hey- it might take a little while and you know what? It SHOULD. You should have space to adapt, to process, to regroup, to find out what being a mother really means for you.
Our postnatal class gives moms that space, to simply be the women that they are, to re-acquaint themselves with their bodies, minds, and hearts, to have time to connect with other women, to be shown modifications and variations of postures, to be able to express their feelings without judgment, and to be supported physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Oh and also, I love being able to see my mamas between pregnancies!