Happy Baby Pose: Mummy & Me Yoga
Yummy-mummy, Louisa Parker-Bowles, was elated to find that there was something other than walks in the park that she could enjoy with her babe
As someone who stayed very fit during pregnancy, I was desperate to get back to the gym as soon as possible after my little treasure (finally) arrived (10 days late). I had images of a maternity leave filled with leisurely trips to the gym (with time for a steam after, obviously) and long lazy lunches in the sunshine. The reality of life as a new mummy hit me in the face as harshly and unexpectedly as the hail when we left the hospital to bring our darling daughter home (Easter Sunday, but Spring had certainly not sprung).
Through the fog of sleep deprivation even the most everyday tasks can seem challenging. Getting the buggy up and out the door with both baby and mummy fully dressed and neither of us crying was an achievement. Waitrose became a terrifying assault course of obstacles and many of my favourite haunts are now out of bounds thanks to prohibitively steep steps / smooth floors (she won’t sleep in the buggy unless the ground is bumpy. Gravel is the dream) or narrow aisles. There’s no denying it, life has changed, and so, too, has my work-out regime.
I signed up for the 20 day unlimited pass for £20 and braved my first ‘Mummy and Me’ yoga class at Triyoga on the King’s Road (www.triyoga.co.uk/chelsea-location/) when my daughter was six weeks old. Initially hesitant, I was delightfully surprised by every aspect of the experience. There is a lift for buggies and the serene, welcoming faces of the staff are the perfect antidote to the constant look of angst I had been modelling. As I walked into the bright, warm studio I was enthusiastically greeted by Cat who calmly gathered the necessary kit for me and explained that ‘anything goes in this class’. After a brief round of introductions, we began working through various postures – some for Mummy, some for baby and some for both together – with Mummies feeding, changing and tending to their babies as needed. It was an excellent bonding experience for my daughter and me and very enlightening to discover an activity that the two of us can enjoy equally together. Plus Cat’s evident knowledge and passion for Yoga at all ages and stages of life is inspiring.
The benefits of ‘Mummy and Me’ yoga are numerous. For babies, yoga encourages development and awareness of their new little bodies, as well as helping with digestion and sleeping at night (thank God). For Mums the exercises help with recovery post-birth, improve posture and promotes a sense of overall well being and calm. Plus there is a real sense of camaraderie throughout the class. It is a lovely reminder that you are not the only one getting to grips with it all. I left the class (after a quick pit stop for a delicious juice at the café) feeling completely elated, enthused and energised and my darling daughter slept more peacefully that night than any night before. ‘Mummy and me’ yoga really is the gift that keeps on giving!