by guest blogger and teacher Ruthe Burke
Is Mum and Baby Yoga exercises for me (mum) or my baby?
How does it benefit...
You get some time out to yourself, in a setting where baby is welcome, increase your fitness, get your pre-baby body back, have fun and enjoy a chat with other Mums. Promotes bonding between Mum & Baby by helping you to have quality one on one time with your baby. You might meet Mums who had their baby the same week as yourself or who you met previously in a pregnancy class. Mum & Baby Yoga is a great place to connect with and meet new Mum friends.
Gentle moves and fun songs and rhymes that promote Baby's brain development and key skills that baby needs to master in the first year of their life. Gross motor skills, hand/eye co-ordination, fine motor skills, get to socialise and have fun with other babies. Quality one on one time with Mum helps baby to feel confident and secure in the world. Babies love to hear their Mothers sing to them!
Do I have to be an avid yogi to start?
Not at all, all levels are catered for, from completely new to Yoga, to advanced yogi mums.
How old does my baby have to be?
7 weeks and Mum cleared by your doctor to exercise.
What if my baby is not a happy camper and cries for the WHOLE hour?
Crying is very important and is welcomed in the class. Crying is baby's way of talking to us. When baby cries, they are telling us that something needs to stop or change. They might have a physical or emotional need, they might be hungry, going to sleep, waking up, sensitive to a new environment, cold/hot, music or lights. When baby cries we hold them and listen to them to see what they need. We always ask baby's permission before doing yoga with them, and don't continue if they are crying. This shows baby that we respect them and we listen to them. Crying is also a release of tension, sometimes baby might cry after the end of the class. The most important aspect of Mum & Baby yoga is the bond between Mother and child. We promote positive touch and communication between Mum & Baby as being more important than following the yoga moves. Mum feels free to do whatever she needs to do for herself and baby to be comfortable and happy in the class. Every week a different baby has a different need, there is no perfect hour in the day, but there might be a great 10 minutes where you get time to yourself to work out or where you and baby have a great time singing together. There's no pressure, every baby is welcome, crying or not!
What are the common misconceptions about Mum and Baby Yoga Classes?
Hmm, good question, I'm not sure that I know any! Probably that everyone else is getting more sleep and that only fit and flexible Mums with perfectly quiet babies do yoga. The reality is that Mum & Baby yoga is for all Mums and babies, regardless of age or fitness ability.
How did you become a Mum and Baby Yoga teacher?
Prior to living in Dublin, I worked with Children for over a decade, and was qualified as a Playworker. Since moving to Dublin, I trained with Rainbow Kids Yoga, as a baby music & movement class instructor, and as a Certified Baby Massage Instructor. In 2014, I trained with Yoga Therapy Ireland as a Mum & Baby Yoga Teacher. I previously completed my 500hrs Yoga Teacher Training with them, so they were my first choice for Mum & Baby Yoga.
What is your favourite thing about teaching about Mum and Baby Yoga?
The Mums who have made it out the door and always give it their all, Mums really know how to make the most of their time available to them! They somehow manage to balance it all. And the babies who laugh and giggle and express all their emotions so honestly. I learn something new about communication, people and life in every class, there is so much love between Mums and their babies, it's a beautiful thing to witness, and am so grateful.
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About the Author
As a Mum of three, Ruthe understands the needs of Pre- and Postnatal Mums, and is inspired by the babies that she meets in her class!