When yoga isn't as relaxing as it should be
Usually, yoga works wonders for the mind, body and spirit. Breathe, stretch, breathe, stretch. You can feel a day's stress melt away.
Enter, a toddler or infant and that whole scenario changes. It's not bad, by any means, but peaceful and serene aren't the first words that come to mind.
I recently took my first Mommy and Me yoga class at Yogani Studios in South Tampa. A new moms' group, Divine Events, had organized the activity, and I figured I would give it a try.
I first experienced yoga while pregnant with my daughter, who turns 2 in December. Despite having the flexibility of rebar, I came to enjoy the prenatal classes and made them a priority every week. Even today, I credit the yoga for helping me get through labor drug-free.
After countless stroller walks and trips to the playground, I was eager to try a new one-on-one activity with my daughter. Purposely rolling around the floor with her sounded great.
And it was. When she was into it. Half the time, she strayed from the mat or pouted for some unknown, but obviously terrible, reason. She even stood by the door for a while, as if to say, "I've had enough. Let's go home.''
She screamed during the Warrior Pose and whined for me to pick her up during the Tree Pose. (And at least we didn't try this pose). Fortunately, she rallied when the group ran and skipped around the room. And she actually clapped during our renditions of Wheels on the Bus and Incy Wincy Spider.
It seemed like the moms with the younger kids fared the best. They did their poses in peace while their infants laid on the mats or quietly played with the toys strewn about the room. When it came time to incorporate the kids into the moves to increase the intensity, the babies were like dead weight, not my sometimes happy, sometimes sad wiggle worm.
Overall, the class was a lot of fun. My daughter didn't overly object (even though a mom -- you know, that mom -- commented after the class that it must be my daughter's nap time, but it wasn't) and I got to try something different. Seeing the newborns -- and the public displays of breastfeeding -- brought back sweet memories of a time not so far past.
Happily, I was sore the next day, a sure sign that the class worked. My daughter resumed her bursts of utter joy followed by bursts of utter misery. The world was in perfect order, and we had yoga to thank.
-- Susan Thurston, Times mom