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Mum and Baby Yoga is so Much More than Movement.

As a mum of two, I have been to my fair share of mum and baby classes. Strip back the branding and whatever shape the class takes, they are mostly much of a muchness. A bit of singing, some sensory fun and sign. There is nothing wrong with that, all of those things are based on research into a baby's development but couldn't help but feel a little numb to it all. Going through the motions, enjoying watching my baby interact with the classes but not getting that much enjoyment myself.

Then there's the workout classes, which seem to be a 100% focussed on the mum, baby dumped in the middle in the hope they remain entertained so that the mum can get some exercise done. These left me feeling a little bit frantic and un-present as I rushed between my circuits and soothing my baby.

In both cases, once the class was finished it was time to leave, not really leaving much time to make any new friends - which fundamentally is a big reason we are all there. Obviously this is a huge generalisation, and only my own experience.

What I love about mum and baby yoga is the blend of both experiences, taking the best bits of each plus that time to actually check in and meet new people. I love that the movement is slow and considered, with time to listen to this new body of yours and what they are telling you. As a perinatal physcial therapist I don't believe you should be throwing yourself around in a frantic manner so soon after birth, it doesn't give you time to actually engage in what feels good and what doesn't, and I can't help but think the messaging is all wrong about how our value aligns with how we look - we are so much more than an image or physique. Especially when it comes to postnatal hiit and circuits. It is wild.

I love that the pace of mums and baby yoga allows us to chat to our neighbours and check in with our emotional and spiritual selves in a nurturing environment that fosters care and the village we all hear about. It allows me to share this experience with my baby on the mat, stretching and moving my body and slowing my mind down to allow me to be truly present even if only for 90 minutes. I love the incorporation of song and sign in that slow paced environment, when theres less going on around her my baby is able to engage with me more which feels really bonding. My absolute favourite part of the session is when we lie down with the babies, with some gorgeous soul loving music, the room is darkened (depending on accessibility), sensory lights twinkling above and the mums gather their babies up into their arms or next to them for the savasana. In that moment I feel like we are all connected, mums and babes - sharing a calm moment and able to restore ourselves - before we step out into the hectic and unpredictable life of a mum of young ones. It is pure magic. At that moment in my classes I weave my magic, gentle energy healing for the group - helping make tiny shifts and providing peace. My next intake of classes starts in April, as I return from my own maternity leave - I really hope you will join me.

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