Upon arrival at the Center for Living Peace, a soft-spoken woman, who exuded an unquestionable Zen vibe, greeted me. She gave me a quick tour around the center, indicated where to park my stroller, and introduced me to group of women waiting for the class to start.
A new friend invited me to attend mommy/baby yoga with her and another of her friends whom I’ve previously met. Yoga is not really my thing, but new experiences, with new friends and the opportunity for Rocco to interact with other babies makes it worth another go around.
Inner peace has eluded me over the past 10 years during my numerous attempts at yoga. People swear it’s exercise, but I can’t wrap my mind around that premise. Yoga, at least for me, lacks the telltale signs that I generally associate with exercise, like streams of crevice creeping perspiration (“hot” or Bikram yoga notwithstanding), the feel of my heart DJ-ing a rave inside my chest, the struggle to catch my breath before I lose consciousness or the sensation I might lose my low-carb, high protein breakfast due to the intensity of my exertion. How much of a workout can I get while holding an infant?
Lack of exertion aside, I do like the stretching and relaxation parts of yoga. The corpse pose is my fave; playing dead has always had its advantages, surviving attacks from large predators and signaling the end of a yoga session.
Yoga is more of a lifestyle, one that’s not really my scene. I like strollers over baby slings. I like doctors over doulas. I understand and appreciate the importance of breastfeeding, however a yoga studio with multiple women whipping out bare DDs in the middle of class, and feeding kids while striking yoga poses, is just a bit much for my “right time, right place” sensibilities. It really felt like this was not the right time nor place for me.
I didn’t pay much attention to the instructor. Poses became less important as I enjoyed watching all the kids interact with each other and the toys that were laid out for them. Rocco was really having a great time. I was so proud of how independent he acted the entire class. I think I could have left the class and he would have been fine on his own, well, except that one time he bumped his head. He also got a little aggressive with one of the little girls and kept yanking on her shirt and touching her face. We’ll have to work on those courting moves.
In the end, I once again reaffirmed that yoga is not for me; no inner peace, not even the corpse pose this day. However, I would still do it again. Why? It’s definitely not for the yoga, but simply to let Rocco hang out with other kids.
Isn’t that what we do as parents? We find activities that benefit our child, even if it means we have to step outside of our comfort zone. No, I didn’t work up a sweat or get in a workout, but my calves and hamstrings have never been so pliable. And, also, lunch afterward with my girlfriends and their kids always tends to make things better.