Was hoping for an early start before the baba woke up this morning to do some yoga and have some time to connect with the bump! Of course, she was in my bed by morning and awake with me so instead, we had a lovely session together. Our morning yoga sessions go something like this: she (17 months) potters around drinking her milk and scattering toys; i start my practice, by the time i get to downward dogs and cat she decides to join in and we have a game of boo! somewhere under my legs/ head/ arms , and she either climbs on a bit of me or squeezes herself under me! She goes back to playing and looks up every now and again when i do some clicking or clapping into a pose; every so often i ask her if she wants to ‘climb on mummy’s back’ etc, and at some point she might do; then today i hit on the idea of using her teddy (tiger) which she was cuddling; ‘lets do some yoga with tiger!’ tiger seemed to enjoy this and she grabbed him and started doing yoga with him! Although the way she dangled him upside down was a bit more rough n ready than the way i do it with her! She also interjects my practice by ‘having a rest’; throwing herself down into child’s pose , usually underneath where i’m hovering! ‘Have a rest’ is a key part of yoga that ive always tried to instill! At this age it last approx 3 seconds BUT at least she gets the idea!! A few swings and twists later and we all ‘had a rest’ together, even tiger! Little sibling was kicking away in my belly by now and didnt really get the idea but we will let him off!
We have so much to learn in our yoga practice and in life, from children! Her unbridled joy and physical ‘no boundaries’ approach to life inspires me every day. I particularly love the way she squats to play; showing a beautiful flexibility in the hips and leg strength which would take a lot of yoga to regain for most of us adults! ( i noticed when travelling in rural India alot of women , right up to oldies, would squat , both to work, and to have a little rest and watch the world go by!)
Before having a baby i wondered how on earth i would manage to carry on doing any yoga; the key for me has been a new approach, seeing yoga as something to slot in to every day life that is fundamental to my physical and mental wellbeing, not just something i do once or twice a week for a solid hour. Birthlight’s approach has also inspired me greatly, especially in the early days using baby yoga with my tiny one amidst my upside down new life!
I hope you can take inspiration and even if you fit in one breathing practice while the kettle boils and your child potters, do some hip sequence with your little one during a nappy change, or hold them lightly while you focus ‘mindfully’ on a yoga pose or an every day task; you are doing family yoga! Congratulations! x