It's hard enough to jump back into the swing of everyday life after the birth of a baby, let alone rediscover your exercise groove. Start stretching and strengthening with a new mom and baby yoga class at a Chicago-area studio. You'll nurture yourself and connect with your new baby in a supportive atmosphere.
Yoga is a form of physical exercise-stretching, meditating and breathing practices that devotees claim strengthen and relax both the mind and body. By flexing and bending your way into a variety of postures, or asanas, you'll gain both flexibility and vitality. With baby in tow, you'll learn how to do poses with your baby and beside your baby. Most doctors will give you the go-ahead to practice gentle yoga at six to eight weeks postpartum.
"Yoga strengthens the mother-baby connection because it allows them to focus on themselves, with no distractions, and embrace that closeness as they learn about each others' body language. It's a time of play and physical activity for both: Mom gets to stretch her body and strengthen her muscles while she interacts with her child in a playful way," says Kristine Johnson, yoga teacher and co-owner of Bubbles Academy, which offers not only mother and baby yoga, but also toddler and family yoga.
Sweet Pea Yoga and Massage also offers a mother and baby yoga series of classes that focus on stretching and strengthening, as well as infant massage techniques. Still feeling out of whack after labor and delivery? Sign up for Sweet Pea's Bouncing Back From Baby, a series of four 90-minute massages aimed at helping the body return to pre-pregnancy alignment. You'll also learn some at-home yoga poses to help ease yourself into new mom mode.
To locate a yoga studio or teacher in your area, visit www.yogachicago.com.
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
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