I am often asked what the difference is between Post-Natal Yoga and Babe & Me Yoga. The truth is, they are very different in style, intent and mood. To better grasp these differences, I interviewed one of our amazing yoga teachers, Jessica Blissett, who specializes in these classes.
Me: What’s the main difference between Post-Natal Yoga and Babe & Me Yoga?
Jessica: Both of these classes are unique for different reasons. In Babe & Me Yoga, we focus on connecting with baby through movement, music and play. The practice can be quite challenging, but I wouldn’t compare it to what you experienced in your pre-pregnancy practice. As we know, our babes can be distracting. Whether this is welcomed or not in class, it means that the movements don’t always get the targeted attention you might want or expect. Overall, this class is about nurturing the bond between you and babe, as well as the surrounding community of new mothers.
In Post-Natal Yoga, we are able to focus more on movements and address a proper routine for the postpartum recovery. We bring our attention to the breath, abdominals/core, upper body openings and general strength. It’s a time just for mamas to get away and receive the self-care they need, but rarely give themselves when caring for everyone else around them. There is, surprisingly, no Post-Natal Yoga classes offered in the area beyond Babe & Me Yoga, which as I described above, is entirely different. After receiving my training in this specialized class, I felt there was a need to fill that gap and provide a class tailored specifically around postpartum exercise. This is a class for anyone who has experienced pregnancy and birth, whether you’re 6 weeks or 20+ years postpartum!
Me: Why practice yoga after I’ve had a baby?
Jessica: Yoga allows you to channel your inner wisdom and intuition. This helps you understand your body’s new limits and avoids pushing you beyond your comfortable edge. After pregnancy and birth, your body needs plenty of time to recover. Although you may feel ready for your pre-pregnancy 10km run, bootcamp or Zumba class, a more gentle regime can benefit you inside and out.
Yoga helps to connect our body, mind and breath. In class, I try to keep the movements fluid to honour the transition the body has undergone as organs slowly begin to move back into their place, which can take up to one year to settle. Yoga also helps to strengthen areas of the body weakened by pregnancy and birth, such as the pelvic floor (mula bandha) and core muscles (uddiyana bandha). Lastly, most yoga classes incorporate breathing exercises (Pranayama), something that has vastly changed since your bump arrived. Body, mind and breath connection—that’s why yoga compliments postpartum exercise.
Me: Why should women slowly ease into an exercise regime after baby arrives?
Jessica: Your body has undergone vast changes after pregnancy and birth. As your bump grows, areas of your body can become weak, such as the pelvic floor muscles that sit at the base of the pelvis. These important muscles help avoid ‘pee’ accidents (because no one wants to continue to cross their legs when they sneeze), as well as makes sex more pleasureful *wink*! Bountiful bellies can also weaken the core muscles (not talking six-pack abs here, rather the inner layer of abdominal muscles under the belly button). You’ve probably heard of the dreaded “mummy tummy”? Minimizing, or eradicating this bulge means your “team” of muscles (pelvic floor, core) need to be working together. If you push yourself too hard, too soon after baby arrives, you can create permanent damage to these already weakened muscles. It’s important to honour the shift our bodies have made in creating life for nine months, then delivering that light into the world. Take your postpartum exercise regime slow and mindful. There’s absolutely no rush here ladies! You are all beautiful, goddess mama warriors!
For more information about Post-Natal Yoga, click here.
For more information about Babe & Me Yoga, click here.