I guess all of the Beatles music and soothing meditation sounds I play at home didn’t do much for Ella when it comes to the whole "peace" vibe.
Here’s what I learned taking her to our first mom and me yoga class: she’s a tiny crazy baby. An adorable, sweet, perfect little crazy baby. Or maybe she’s just a toddler. Yep. That’s probably what it is.
I decided to check out a mom and baby yoga class offered at Yoga Parkside. So I found the smallest pair of yoga pants possible for Ella (totally optional) and went to the Yoga Beginnings class which is for strong walkers through age 3. Ella is 16 months and a strong walker, indeed.
It was quite an adventure. I’ll be honest, among the five other adorable little ones, my baby was the class disrupter. It’s true. She ran around. She bounced around. She found a mirror. She found curtains, the radio. She also found some decorations. But, she couldn’t quite find her Zen.
It turns out, this is not unexpected. Whew.
Megan Callahan is the owner of the studio (which is in the basement area of Parkside Lutheran Church), and a Certified "Kidding-Around Yoga Teacher."
With a baby on the way and a nearly 3-year-old son, she knows all too well how it works. Kids are unpredictable. She also knows what a wonderful opportunity yoga is for little sweeties. It really is time to play, bond and strengthen their growing little muscles.
The 30-minute class started with breathing exercises. The room is very clean and quiet. There was some jungle music. There was stretching, singing, dancing, bubbles, jogging and a bit of toddler-chasing. Mostly by me. Megan is sweet, patient and clearly practices what she preaches – she is one calm teacher.
The class was refreshing. It may not have gone exactly how I thought it would, but it was all I’d hoped it would be. Spending time with my baby, trying something new, bonding with her – it’s all so special.
“Children are natural yogis, and when they are encouraged to tune in and connect to themselves, even for the brief moments you find with toddlers, we are helping set them up for lifelong benefits,” said Megan.
She stresses how hard it is to be a toddler, with intense emotions they don’t quite understand and so much energy inside. Yoga, she said, helps keep it all in check.
I agree. But, there is more. As a mom of four, getting that one-on-one time with each child is a challenge. Having something special to do with each of them is very important. Plus it got me to yoga, too. See how that happened. I complain there’s not enough time for me to go to yoga, but there I was.
If you’re worried that your kid won’t cooperate, don’t stress. They watch and take it all in, their brains are processing. Just like anything else, it takes them some time. Megan said don’t worry, they’ll get it. Eventually.
Yoga does help children find a calm state. Ella is still searching for hers. But, in the meantime we’ll be going back again sometime soon.
Yoga Parkside – Yoga Beginnings class
Where: 2 Wallace Ave.
When: Various times/days
Cost: 5 weeks, $50. (each class is 30 minutes)