Despite all the hippie humor on Facebook surrounding my decision to attend a postnatal mother and baby yoga class with James today, I think I might have actually been the biggest hippie there. At least, I was the first to get all National Geographic when James started to fuss. Ten seconds after the class began. Probably because I was really smug about how good and calm he was being. He sure showed me!
Several people brought bottles. Babies came in carseats, not slings, and no one said anything about burying their placenta in their yard. No one gave their kid a raw sweet potato to eat like at the one and only La Leche League meeting I went to. It was a little disappointing.
I set up my mat like the lady next to me. James went at one end, on a pile of blankets, my mat went by his feet, and then I set up a big pillow against the wall opposite James. The teacher explained later that I could use that to support my lower back if "James needed a break" (which he did).
When I did the hands and knees poses and downward dogs and lunges, I could kiss his little tummy. When we had to face the other way, we could touch our toes together. It was so wonderful to spend some one-on-one time with James.
We were supposed to have a word to focus on during the class. My first word was "calm". Then it was "I need to vacuum". Then it was "What time is it?" And then it was "FOCUS ON THE PRESENT LIKE THE TEACHER SAID, YOU IDIOT". And then it was "calm" again, for a while.
We stretched every muscle in our bodies. Even our wrists. After eight weeks of nursing a baby who now weighs as much as a good-sized Thanksgiving turkey, it felt amazing. Later we stood in a circle with our babies and sang songs to them while we swung them around and bounced them and did lunges. It was the best parts of storytime, neighborhood playgroup, and an exercise class, all in one.
Conveniently, James wanted to nurse during the hard-looking core strengthening exercises that followed. And then it was time to lie down with our eyes closed. Win!
At the end, the teacher left the room and returned with a tray of cups of chai tea for everyone. It did not take much convincing for me to sign up for eight more classes. It did take some convincing to get me to leave.