Last Tuesday I donned my exercise gear for the first time since I found out that I was pregnant. For over a year now I have been in a state of perpetual tiredness: the exhaustion and sickness of my first trimester was replaced with hard work as I tried to get everything sorted in preparation for the baby's arrival in the second trimester, which in turn was replaced with broken sleep and an inability to move more than ten paces without stopping for a cuppa in the third. Then Sophia arrived and our lives were turned upside down and back to front, sleep became practically non-existent, and some days I barely had time to wash the baby sick out of my hair, let alone pull on my leggings and take myself down to the gym.
Isn't life ironic? Just when I could really do with an endorphin-boosting, stress-busting, mood-enhancing, health-kick the most, there was absolutely no way I could find the time or the energy to do it. Or was there? The perfect solution was presented to me over a coffee with my friend Hannah in the form of Mummy and Baby Yoga Fit. Hannah is a qualified Yogi, specialising in pre and post-natal yoga, and she has started to run private and individually personalised classes for busy new mums which aim to get them back into shape and to manage their stress levels, while bonding with their babies in the comfort of their own homes! For a frazzled mummy with no childcare, this sounded too good to be true and I didn't waste any time in signing myself up for a taster session.
The basic class structure was simple: Hannah started with a consultation to discuss the needs of both me (de-stressing, building core strength and toning up) and Sophia (wearing her out so that she might consider getting some sleep!), so that she could tailor the class accordingly, and then the yoga session began with some deep breathing techniques which promote mindfulness. By the end of this, I was already calmer than I had felt in months, although I was inwardly berating myself for not attempting something like this sooner!
Next came some warm-up stretches, followed by traditional yoga moves and balance poses which Hannah had adapted slightly to incorporate Sophia, to build strength and stability. Sophia was enthralled by the movements, and the sound of Hannah's calm voice as she talked me through each exercise, and particularly enjoyed connecting with me through 'Downward Facing Dog' and the round of Sun Salutations which were rhythmic and lulling.
Baby yoga followed, with some stretches for Sophia and fun songs and rhymes. I let go of my British reserve for a few minutes and enjoyed belting out a bit of 'Hickory Dickory Dock' as I lifted Sophia above my head in time to the song. After this, Hannah taught me a few stretches which could aid Sophia's digestion and aid comfort (and therefore good sleep), and I lapped it up!
Finally, the session ended with a warm down and some relaxation techniques for both of us together. As I lay in 'Savasana', utterly exhausted after a full-body work out with my unusually calm baby next to me, Hannah's deep relaxation music playing quietly as she read me a poem called 'Slow Down', I breathed out a year's worth of stress, worry and sleeplessness, and vowed that I would do this again soon. Even if it was on a day when I didn't have the time to wash the baby sick out of my hair.
COMPETITION! I have collaborated with Pose, Pointe, Play to offer one of my readers one FREE Mummy & Baby Yoga Fit session in your home with the talented Hannah Varley.
To enter:- Head to Pose Pointe Play's Facebook page here
- Like the page
- Like the Mummy & Baby Yoga Fit competition post (pinned to the top of the page) and share it
- One winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on Sunday 4th September
If you are interested in enrolling in your own personalised at-home Mummy and Baby Yoga Fit classes, or would like to find out more, please contact Hannah at: firstname.lastname@example.org or head to her Facebook page