Confession: I used to hate yoga. I never understood the hype and would (silently) curse my way through a class when I (very begrudgingly) agreed to tag along with one of my friends. That was back in my hardcore running days when a workout wasn’t a workout unless my heart rate was pushed to the limit and I came back a sweaty mess. That was also back in my kid-free days when, as it turns out, I had no idea what true, never-ending stress and worry felt like. But, at the beginning of this year, I wanted to focus more on my health and fitness again and I wanted something that didn’t take place in -40 degree weather (aka running). So I signed up for a month-long trial at my local Bikram (hot) yoga studio. I felt like I had died about 20 minutes into my first class but, after a few classes, I was hooked. Whilst the physical benefits are great (flexibility, muscle tone, etc.), what really took me by surprise were the mental benefits. I come out of each class calmer, happier, and more relaxed, and I can definitely tell that I’m able to manage my stress better and sleep better during those times I’m doing a lot of yoga vs. those times that I do none. Another thing I have loved about yoga is that it sparked a curiosity in Isabelle and it’s something we can truly do together. Most forms of exercise don’t offer that – either I’m getting a workout whilst my kids are in the stroller (running, biking, blading), or I can help my kids learn a physical activity but I’m not actually getting any physical benefits out of it because they’re still so young (teaching them biking, swimming, etc.) Yoga is our mother-daughter time when Nicky is napping and I love that I’m building a foundation for Isabelle that teaches her body awareness, meditation, and stress management. Once Nicky is a little older, I hope he’ll join in as well – he already does on occasion but mainly just to show off his downward dog skills haha.
For any other parents out there who are thinking of starting yoga with their little ones, I wanted to share the top 5 things I’ve learned when it comes to mommy and me yoga. And make sure to read to the end to learn where we got these sweet matching yoga outfits from.