I remember walking into the yoga studio, but this time was different.
Before, I had breezed in with a mat, my keys, a water bottle and my growing baby bump.
Nothing and everything had changed since the last time I had joined this group of mamas-to-be. Now, I navigated the narrow hallway with a diaper bag in one hand and a carrier in the other. Inside that carrier was a new little person I had begun to get to know. She was our second baby, so she couldn’t have our undivided attention like her older sister had.
But today was all about the two of us. We were headed to Baby & Me Yoga.
This day turned out to be one of my favorite memories with my daughter when she was a baby. I remember her in her little yoga outfit gifted to me by my mom. She smiled up at me during each downward facing dog and watched eagerly as we played a little forward fold-gazing pose peek-a-boo.
I remember peeking one eye open as we snuggled through a final savasana and soaking up my newfound ability to lie flat on my back again.
The class was punctuated by little coos, cries and mamas taking breaks to nurse their babies. There were maybe a couple of familiar faces from the prenatal yoga classes I had taken. But even the unfamiliar faces were familiar in a way. We were all there having gone through the transformative experience of giving birth, all adjusting to a new normal, all sleep-deprived, all healing in some way and all soaking up this time with our new little loves.
The hour we spent was a much-needed boost for mind, body and spirit. This gathering of fellow mamas gave me peace of mind in knowing I was not alone in the beauty and the challenge that is postpartum. The movements served as a way to thank my body for all it had done and continued to do in growing and nourishing my baby, as well as to aid in my physical recovery.
I left the studio that day with a smile on my face, a renewed and refreshed mama with a happy (and now sleepy) babe.
Fast forward, and I am now teaching Baby & Me Yoga classes and hoping to give other mamas this same kind of experience.
If it’s not your thing, find another way to be with other women in the same stage of life. Or, spend some time doing something fun with just you and your baby.
If I’ve learned anything as a mama of four, it is that mommin’ ain’t easy, but the mom friends and memories are priceless.
Lacy Knipper is a certified birth educator and prenatal yoga instructor at Statera Integrated Health and Wellness Solutions in Dubuque.