Baby Yoga is not just your average baby group. Yes, it's nice to meet other people, play, have a sing-song and a cuppa, but it's also about finding time to relax. Really relax. Really, really relax. The word 'relax' means a different thing to everyone. Some people may read, others watch TV or a movie, even going for a jog is some people's idea of unwinding.
In Baby Yoga, relaxing is to really focus on your breathing, switch off and just zone out.
Ok, your baby is there with you and you can't totally disappear off into a dream world, but you can finish a session by lying or sitting baby down next to you or on you, with a toy or some gentle music, shut your eyes and think about your breath.
My favourite breathing technique is the simple 4 in, 8 out. Breathe in for four seconds through your nose and breathe out for 8 seconds through your mouth, with your eyes closed. As a person with a history of mild insomnia, this really helps me.
Every night I try to do this and actually, in hypnobirthing this is one of the breathing techniques they tell you to try. It worked for me and got me through the first stages of labour and actually right up until the end, when I switched to the rather harder core 20 in and 20 out.
Whilst doing these breathing exercises, think about your breath. This sometimes is enough to guide you to a calm, serene mind. Otherwise, you can play relaxing spa music, classical music or listen to a guided meditation about skipping through an orchard on a summer's day! Just nothing that will disrupt you from your inner calm.
Even if you aren't doing a class and are just feeling the need to scream or stress, take a few minutes to give yourself a break, as you 100% deserve one.
Breathing is something we take for granted, but if we take note of what we are actually doing when we breathe and do it properly, the benefits will prove themselves to you very, very quickly.
When my mummies, daddies or carers in my class are relaxing, I end it with a poem.
In my Baby Yoga session last week, I ended with a poem;
"Slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
Slow down mummy, make yourself a cup tea.
Slow down mummy, come and spend some time with me.
Slow down mummy, let’s put our boots on and go out for a walk, let’s kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk. Slow down mummy, you look ever so tired, come sit and snuggle under the duvet and rest with me a while.
Slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait, slow down mummy, let’s have some fun, let’s bake a cake! Slow down mummy I know you work a lot, but sometimes mummy, it's nice when you just stop.
Sit with us a minute & listen to our day, spend a cherished moment, because our childhood is not here to stay!" x