I took a postpartum yoga class {Rookie Moms Challenge #7}

Thanks to Rachel Martin for this guest post.
Doing yoga with a baby

During first introductions, another mom in my Mommy & Baby yoga class said bluntly of her very young baby, “We needed to get out of the house.” #truth

Our little short stack, Evie, is a little older than three months, and I sure wish I’d jumped into this class on week 3. As a newly-minted stay-at-home mom, getting out of the house has been a profound challenge– hence my mixed delight and horror at the Rookie Moms challenges. This sh*t is hard.

My own mom suggested I start with postnatal yoga. If Evie could touch her toes, Grandma would pay. Here’s how it broke down.

Babies Make Great Social Props

In Jane Austen books, people always need letters of introduction. I think it’s because they didn’t have Mommy & Me groups.

“Oh, he’s beautiful!”

“What a sweet smile!”

“So much hair!”

“Only seven months?”

This is like the best version of a cocktail party, where you have exactly the right thing to say to everyone. It’s this mellow, diverse group of ladies, and, by merely reproducing, I’ve become a charming party guest.

All this time, I didn’t need social skills; I just needed an infant.

Yoga Has Nothing to Do With It

The sweet instructor, Erin, earnestly corrects my foot position and the angle of my knees. I always thank her and aim to get things in parallel, but it doesn’t matter. I’m holding a baby in front of me and I can’t see my feet, no matter which way they point.

What’s handy here is that I have two excuses for my poor performance that don’t involve my lack of athleticism: for one, my body recently birthed a baby, so no one expects it to be in top form (except that “What’s Your Excuse?” lady). For two, my body is off the mat half of class anyway when I’m soothing or distracting Evie, and maintaining the integrity of the pose is a lot less meaningful when she’s squawking.

No One Cares That Your Baby is Crying (or That Your Boob is Out)

There are always at least three babies in the room, and chances are that one of them is crying at any given moment. Actually, sometimes there aren’t three babies in the room because one of us has taken a particularly grouchy little ‘un into the vestibule to cool off. When these kids set each other off, it’s like a room of car alarms.

Only, it’s cool. When I took Evie into the vestibule during her first class, everyone was sympathetic: “Is she okay?” There were no dirty looks. The time I curled up in the back of the room to feed my sweet hungry hippo, I finished up only to find that two other moms were nursing right on their mats. Boobs everywhere, you guys, and nary a cover-up to be seen.

I’m counting this challenge a success. Can’t do a wall pose for love or money, but Evie and I have a date for story time tomorrow.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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