Yoga was an important part of my prenatal routine and still continues to be, in my life as a new mum. Post delivery, it was hard to find a suitable time slot to re-incorporate it. With twins, there is always a baby that needs feeding, changing, playing with, bathing and soothing to sleep. We hardly leave our kids at home alone with our helper, especially now at 19 months of age, when they are very active and really “double trouble”! I fit in a one-on-one yoga workout at 7am one day a week, so that I can be back before the hubby scoots off to work.
I have been looking for ways to attend extra yoga sessions and was happy to hear about the new Mum and Baby Yoga classes at my studio, Prana Yoga KL. I signed up for these as soon as they started. Below is my review of the first few classes I attended with my two rascals and helper:
- If you practice yoga, it will be one of the few activities you enjoy that you can actually bring your baby to. I find that if I don’t find ways to incorporate my (hopefully) budding little yogis into my regular practice, I may not practice as often as I should or I may not even practice at all
- Yoga is great exercise for adults and kids alike. Lack of physical exercise in a baby will have pretty much the same effects as for an adult – poor digestion, constipation, emotional agitation, poor circulation plus physical and cognitive sluggishness. There are a wide variety of reasons why you should introduce physical activities to your child early on
- Yoga is said to stimulate all of baby’s senses and help to improve his or her sleep patterns, but I think we have not been doing this long enough to see such benefits
- It’s a good way to introduce your really little ones to yoga, before they progress to actual kids yoga (usually for kids 3 years and above). I like to think that even though my toddlers are not always cooperative in class, they are learning some moves through observation and osmosis. I recently caught them doing “downward dog” type poses during playtime at home. My twins especially enjoy crawling all over me when I am planking, sliding down my back during a “downward dog”, sitting on my bent knees when I am activating my core muscles as well as being moved up and down during squats
- You can see it as a kind of structured playgroup session, with an instructor leading the activity and your kids being able to interact with other kids over yoga and songs
- It’s a great way to make new mummy friends or to reconnect with old friends from prenatal yoga classes
- Classes are informal and relaxed – mummies are free to breastfeed / feed, change and comfort baby or to soothe him or her to sleep when needed. In some ways, this helps you to see that with the support of others, you can develop a balance between doing something for yourself and meeting your baby’s needs. It can also give very new mummies better confidence to handle their babies
- The instructor, Vivian previously taught similar classes at the now defunct Fit For 2 in Bangsar Village 2. Vivian is mother to a young toddler herself so can emphatise with other mummies and knows how to manage toddlers
- Prana Yoga KL is located at TTDI’s Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun, a secure and family-friendly location
- Every time someone comes to a class, they donate RM1 to a selected charity as part of their unique Pledge a Ringgit™ programme
- I must admit that I had visions of having peaceful and calm “zen-like” yoga practice with my twins before I actually started. I think I must have been delusional as there is nothing “zen-like” about toddlers. I had to lower my expectations of getting a proper workout during these sessions. I now just focus on getting whatever I can out of the hour yoga-wise (usually about maybe 20 to 30 minutes worth of a low intensity workout), in between chasing after my crawling / walking toddlers and making sure they don’t become a complete nuisance to other mummies by doing things like digging into handbags, stepping over small babies, or unscrewing and emptying the contents of water bottles all over the wooden studio floor!
- It is suitable for babies above 3 months, but my personal opinion is that Mum and Baby Yoga is best embarked on with infants under 9 to 12 months who are not yet actively crawling or walking. The infant will be less disruptive and more cooperative as a “live yoga prop” in mummy’s yoga practice. Unfortunately, there are no Mummy and Toddler Yoga classes to cater more for toddlers between 12 months and 3 years of age (the base age for kids yoga classes). The best I can do is to stick it out and seek the teacher’s support to modify some exercises so that it can be more engaging for kids like mine
In any case, do check out these classes as it could be something that you and your baby may enjoy! Kindly email Prana Yoga KL at [email protected] or refer to their Facebook Page and website for more information.
Li-Hsian recently left a career in corporate communications to become a full-time mum to twins. She is learning new things daily as she tries to balance the romance of motherhood with the messy realities of her latest role.
Image Credit: Gallery Hip.