Meditate on This: Mommy-and-Me Yoga

Today the mail delivered one of the most awaited catalogs of every season around this house anyway: Our city’s parks and recreation department class schedule. T and I have taken a parks and rec class each session since he was around 1.5 years old– just as my mom did with me when I grew up. Whether it’s music, sports, or art, we’re up for giving it the old preschool try.

This season’s class is definitely something new and very different for the two of us: mommy-and-me yoga class. This is the type of class where the kids actually listen, watch, and then do the yoga moves alongside mommy (versus the baby ones where they just sleep in the baby bucket alongside mommy in class while she works out). I am not a yoga enthusiast in any sense of the word; in fact, zen’ing out just isn’t and hasn’t been something I’ve aspired to master. I’ve never taken a yoga class, so I figured if I was potentially about to humiliate and embarrass myself in front of a class, why not do it in a class full of preschoolers (hey, at least the laughing would be genuine and sweet-sounding, right?). Plus, I felt if I took it upon myself to ask T to try new things, I, too, should practice what I preach, no matter how painful or weird it might make me feel. So off to yoga class we shall go on Tuesday mornings during the month of August.

Our first class was last week and needless to say it was a positive and interesting experience. First, the enrollment is much higher than I’d anticipated; given it’s the middle of summer in a non-a/c room; I guess I just thought that it wouldn’t be a popular choice, but I sure was wrong. That’s OK though, at least it’s social, a rather large and quiet group, but social. Next, and this was least surprising of all, when T and I walked in, he was the only little boy in the class. Girls and moms sat quietly on mats wall-to-wall, patiently waiting for class to start, and then T and I bounded in, found a spot, and T rolled out his mat and then rolled around on it until class started (way fun! Right?). However once a few more minutes passed, a couple more boys and moms made their way through the doors, so at least I didn’t have to have that “why am I the only boy here?” conversation with T should he have asked (because now he wasn’t, yay!). An added bonus was that I also wouldn’t have to stress about him being the only crazy boy in the room either (double-yay for that!). Then there’s the class itself; as it turns out, is not that Zen-y, crunchy, or chantey (triple yay!). The instructor and her assistant (yes, an assistant wanders through the class and help, err, correct us as we went) offered up really easy-to-understand poses and sequences to do, such as: elephant trunk swing; monkey arm swing; cat-back arch; cow-back slouch; lion-roar; child roly-poly pose; and some sort of lie down flat on back, arms to the side, and breathe for a few minutes chill-out “pose.” Actually we got to do the lie-down pose thing twice because the instructor was so relaxed that I guess she forgot class ran for 50 minutes not 30 (one guess who raised her hand to gently remind her of this little fact when she tried to wrap up early… yeah, Namaste, RMT’ers…). But it was OK that she messed that up as the extra rest felt just fine to me and I’m sure it did to the other moms as well.

My overall review of the class is that although we move – and much of the time move in silly, embarrassing ways – it definitely isn’t anywhere near physiologically exhausting. In fact we lay down a LOT of the 50 minutes, and to me this feels a lot like napping, and I like napping, so bring it on. And yesterday Grandma even got to go and laugh at – I mean WITH – us, too. Good times. T also remained fairly engaged for the duration both class sessions so far (he’s quiet anyway if not still and posing) and especially likes the lion roaring (AKA the loud part), so looks like we’ll return yet again to see what next week brings. That and the playground outside is a great draw for him, too (new park!), and is a nice chance to socialize with our classmates more than lying parallel on mats beside one another.

So what fun class will T and I have this fall? Not sure yet… I have to meditate on that and get back to you. Ohm….