Two times a week (and sometimes three if I’m lucky) I truck myself and my cute little baby out to a mommy-baby yoga class. The trip is a refresher on the challenges of doing things with a little person in tow.
Sometimes I wake him up from a nap. Sometimes I force him to nurse before I drive 20 minutes from my Sunset house to the Mission neighborhood and my favorite yoga studio. When I get there I circle several blocks looking for free parking while the baby screams. (He hates the car.) I unload the carseat full of baby, put it in the stroller, drag out a diaper bag, yoga bag, and my purse. Then we hoof it over to class.
These logistics are actually not a big deal because I love what happens in the hour and a half of mommy-baby yoga.
The asanas are more for me than the baby. We mostly do stuff that post-partum women give a damn about: abs, back, hips, pelvic floor. With a wee bit of baby stretching at the end.
But it is the only 1.5 hours of my day that require me to be present and centered and focused on only one thing. And I get to share that with my baby.
These are the only hours of my week with: No TV. No work. No internet. No big sisters. No playdates, playgroup, carpools, soccer practice, soccer games, dance classes, girl scouts, guitar lessons, piano lessons, homework, music practice, reading time, art projects, birthday parties, church, sleepovers, cooking, or cleaning.
We can’t use our phones except to take a cute picture. We focus on our breath, our bodies, and our babies. And it gives me just enough juice to power through the rest of the day.
I listen to new moms chat with each other about how to best get their babies to sleep through the night or latch on properly. And for once I get to be the elder stateswoman as they turn to me and ask questions from my experience. I truly know nothing more than they do, but it is fun to mouth off and tell funny stories about when my big kids were babes.
The entire experience is precious and lovely and in the moment, as I move and sweat and make faces at my baby while doing a downward dog.
Chaturanga offers a chance to zerbert my tiny yogini’s sweet tummy. I wiggle my fingers and wave hello from Warrior Two. I lift my head from Child’s Pose and sniff his soft cheeks, shiny and sparkly from my lip gloss kisses. He grins with joy and I catch a glimpse of the teenager he will be, when the kisses will come from someone else. I know that this time goes by fast and that I am often pulled in five directions as I attempt to give all of my kids (plus a husband) what they need while working and taking care of domesticities.
Which is why I’m grateful for that hour and half of mommy-baby yoga.