Mom and Baby Yoga (moms and infants until on the verge of walking/walking)
Special Class Information: Feeding on Demand, Sleeping Babies and Older Sibling Participation
This is a breastfeeding supportive environment—this does not mean that we are not open to moms who choose to bottle feed!. This simply means that we create a class environment where you should feel free to breastfeed openly and on demand if this happens to be how you choose to feed your baby. We hope that, no matter how you choose to feed your baby, that you will feed your baby on demand during class. While I know it can be frustrating to arrive and have your baby sleep through the whole class, it is my policy that sleeping babies should not be woken. In most cases, this only results in a very cranky baby that is not cooperative. If your baby chooses to sleep through the class, you can do the exercises on your own and I am happy to help you find a supported relaxation pose so you can get some rest. Only you know what is most appropriate, but I recommend that you do not try to bring older children with you in addition to your infant. Please try to find some support so you can make this a special time with your new baby. If you do choose to bring older children it is important that you not allow them to touch other babies or disrupt the experience of other moms. If you are looking or a “Mommy and Me” yoga class for moms to share with young children of a variety of ages, please call me and I can recommend other classes in Pittsburgh for you (412) 855-5692. This class is really intended to be for moms with newborns up to one year of age and not a “yoga together” class for mothers with young children to take together.
What to wear? What to bring?
You should wear comfortable clothing that you can move and stretch in. We practice in bare feet. You will want to bring everything you need to feed baby, diapers, a receiving blanket and any toys or snacks that you need to keep older babies and toddlers happy and comfortable. For your own comfort, please bring a yoga mat and a water bottle. You should bring a towel and burp cloths to pick up spills and thrills.
Mom & Baby Yoga Benefits
- Increased strength, energy and endurance for mom
- Recover physically & emotionally from pregnancy and childbirth
- Stabilize strength in pelvic floor and abdominals
- Learn yoga techniques to calm and delight baby
- Bond with your baby and share an activity that brings you both increased health and happiness
- Network with other new moms and share ideas, resources and support. Make new friends too!
- Reduce anxiety, stress and some of the aches and pains of motherhood: sore shoulders, back and neck especially
- Learn ways to cope when you feel overwhelmed and exhausted
Doing Yoga Together:
Preparations and Expectations
You love yoga and now you want to make it a part of your child’s life too. We are delighted that this is the case and we have a few things to keep in mind that will help you and your child enjoy the experience.
Keep an Open Mind
We find that it takes a couple of visits to the studio for children (ok, it’s actually true for adults too!) to understand what the activity is and what is expected of them. You might find that your child acts bored or is not interested in doing yoga. The way that babies and children enjoy yoga classes may be different from the way that you enjoy them. What we know is that, over time, sharing yoga together with your child creates beautiful memories and is time that you will cherish forever.
Prepare for Class
As much as possible, make sure that you and baby have had a snack and are wearing comfortable clothing. Try to leave enough time to get the studio so that there isn’t a lot of stress before class. Bring your little ones favorite toy or comfort item and some snacks as appropriate. Bring a receiving blanket for newborns and pre-crawling infants and a change of clothing and more diapering supplies than you think you need. For young children, after the first class, make sure that you talk with them about it and start talking about it again a few days before class—–remind them of the teacher’s name, another child’s name or some feature of class that they remember (a story, a sound or ritual).
Enjoy the Moment
When we release our expectations, we can enjoy whatever is happening. This is yoga! Yoga together is very different from adult yoga, but it allows us to stay fit and take time to meet our own needs as adults while sharing something that is very important to us with our children. Sometimes it goes as planned and sometimes it is a bit of a disaster, but know that you and your child are never judged at Yoga Matrika. There isn’t one of us who haven’t had a child tantrum during a Mom & Baby class or who didn’t have a baby who cried through an entire class——we welcome you and your little one, even if you are having “one of those days.”
Parents who engage in yoga with their babies and toddlers deepen their parent-child bond and
create a safe space for the exploration of the mind-body-spirit connections offered through yoga. Medical
research shows that movement guided by parents stimulates muscle and nerve development and can
increase immune system function.
Other research shows that the benefits of yoga for babies are similar to the benefits of massage –
stimulating pressure receptors on the skin slows down production of stress hormones such as cortisol.
As children grow, regular exposure to yoga often leads to the following benefits:
Increased compassion for all living beings
Increased confidence, self-awareness and self-acceptance
A general sense of calm
Improved imagination and communication skills
Better sleep, lower stress
Little Om (walking to age 3/4): Tuesdays 9:30-10:30 am
In Little Om, we use stories, music and play to introduce yoga to the youngest members of our community. Each child must attend with an adult who will help facilitate the experience for the child. Infants who are younger than 1-yr. of age are welcome to attend as are older siblings at no “extra” charge—-they can participate as much as appropriate, but will not be permitted to be disruptive. We use developmentally appropriate exploration of movement, texture and touch and everyone has a fun time! Research shows that yoga improves the quality of life for children.
Kids Yoga (mature 4-year olds to 10 years): Wednesdays 4:30-5:30 pm
In Kids yoga, children take the class on their own—–parents or caregivers are welcome to either wait in the front room or to drop-off their child (at 4:20) and return at 5:15 to pick them up. This is a holistic and fun approach to yoga—-we do physical poses (asana), play games, read stories and all classes end with a visualization and relaxation exercise. When children practice yoga, they naturally approach it is a process and their poses and the manifestation of their practice looks different from when adults do yoga. This is a fun and age-appropriate introduction to yoga, which has been shown to help children deal with anger and frustration, reduce anxiety and fears and provides skills they can use in school, with friends and family and for themselves to self-soothe, communicate with clarity and take good care of their bodies and spirits.