With so many benefits for both mum and bub, why not give mums and bubs yoga class a try?

If you’re looking for an activity that may benefit both you and your baby, why not give mums and bubs yoga a try? While baby may be more ‘Lying Inert’ than ‘Downward Dog’, and crawling every way but the center of your yoga mat, it can be a delightful way for you to strengthen your muscles while bonding with baby.

If yoga was something you enjoyed before baby, then mums and bubs yoga could be the perfect way to help you make time for yourself, and maintain your all-important sense of self – which is often forgotten in the newborn haze!

Sharon Little is a Level III Senior Yoga Teacher specialising in Mother & Baby classes on the Gold Coast, Sharon has taught Yoga on the Gold Coast for over a decade. Offering specialised courses in prenatal & postnatal yoga teaching and restorative yoga. She believes postnatal yoga can be a great way to help recover from the stress of carrying a watermelon in your belly for nine months and trying to navigate the first thousand days of parenthood.
“Postnatal yoga can be an oasis of calm for a new mother.  It offers her the time and space to come home to herself, which is so essential when she is giving out so much energy  taking care of her new bub,” she says.
Studies have shown that the health benefits of both yoga and meditation are far reaching. Some benefits include helping reduce stress and improve your sense of wellbeing. Reducing stress and anxiety can be particularly useful for new parents.

“Postnatal yoga can help tone the essential core muscles that have been weakened by the strains of pregnancy and birth and will also stretch out those muscles that have become tight from poor posture; caused by the weight of a big pregnant belly as well as the relentless demands of breastfeeding and caring for baby,” says Sharon.

Benefit for bub

Babies can also  benefit from mums and bubs yoga also.

“Babies receive gentle stimulation that supports their development through songs, chanting, nursery rhymes, simple movements, and baby massage. They also seem to be calmed by simple chanting and gentle music in the classes and when the mothers are able to relax this seems to transfer to the babies, making them calmer,”.

When things don’t go to plan…

One thing to remember is that mums and bubs yoga can be a bit more chaotic than a normal yoga session.  You need to be prepared that things might not go as blissfully as planned, and that maybe this time you may just be sitting there feeding or settling your baby and not doing much yoga after all.

“The idea is not to be put off or feel bad if your babe is unsettled – you should be encouraged by the teacher to hold your baby (if you’re in a traditional class setting), walk around with your baby or breastfeed your babe to calm them and also that it’s ok if your baby cries – it’s all part of the wonderful, chaotic joy of mums’n’bubs classes, and if other mums are present they will always understand and support you!

“Even if you end up breastfeeding for half the session, I encourage the woman to focus on her breath and relax her body as she breastfeeds so that this becomes a yoga practice in itself.  It’s all about developing gentle self-acceptance and mindfulness in your mothering, which is so much more than the postures that you do on the yoga mat,”.

If things aren’t going to plan for you and bub, why not find a peaceful place to hug or breastfeed your baby whilst you close your eyes.

If your baby is very young, and unsettled regularly when you try to do yoga, then you can wait a few weeks and try again when baby is feeling more settled. Don’t be disheartened if it seems too hard at first. The first couple of months are very changeable and babies can be sensitive to various stimulus.

Remember, it is usually recommended to wait until after your six-week checkup before you begin to exercise. If you’ve had a caesarian or complicated pregnancy or birth, make sure you check with your doctor before starting any new exercise.