Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mama and Baby (and Papa!) Yoga

I love yoga and am so excited that I can include my little one.  Santa Barbara has two great options.  Mama Emma and Baby Olivia lead my favorite class which is $12 at Santa Barbara Yoga Center.  Click here for a schedule of classes.  I love it for the workout, stretching, and zen-like state I leave the class in, no matter how frazzled I was when I came in.  Babies participate as much or as little as they'd like.  They crawl around some and play with each other, and crawl under and over their mamas who are holding poses or flowing through sun salutations.  They may give you a hand in your stretch like Olivia did for me today by crawling over and pushing on your leg!  They are remarkably entertained the entire time, and some even join in on the closing Om.  The babies I've met in this class are 3 months to 1 1/2 years old, and every age in between, and the moms are all different ages as well.  

The second baby yoga class available in SB is $16 at Yoga Soup with Dani.  Click here for a schedule of classes.  Also a blast for my daughter, this class is smaller and very different.  The first part of the class is more for the mamas, although babies are not ignored.  It is a mix with a kundalini emphasis.  Less poses and sequences than I'm used to, and more strength work.  Expect to do breath of fire and a serious arm workout, lifting Baby up into the air.  The last part of class is baby-focused and by far my favorite part.  Yogini kids music gets the little ones' attention.  A lot of the movements we did with our babies were more suited for young babies with colic, but were also fun for my 10 month old.

To sum it up, I get more of a yoga workout and stretching from Emma's class at SBYC, and leave feeling more balanced.  I think this is the class for moms who miss their yoga routine.  I also enjoy Dani's class at Yoga Soup.  For moms who prefer kundalini or strength training, you will love Dani's class, and my sense is older babies will really get into the yoga themselves in this class.  My daughter has a great time at both.  I really suggest checking them both out, since they are so different.

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