Benefits of Yoga for Babies & Toddlers – Crawlers and Walkers

Yoga class provides a safe space for babies, toddlers and their caregivers to explore movement milestones, social-emotional development, and connect with each other and other parents and children. Taking class with your tot or toddler can offer some of the following benefits you might not have thought about:

Tot does toes-to-nose poseLanguage development – Tot yoga classes expose babies and toddlers to language through words with actions, songs, and attention to body awareness. By connecting movement with language, yoga supports the way language development is already happening in your child’s brain.

“University of Washington research in 7- and 11-month-old infants shows that speech sounds stimulate areas of the brain that coordinate and plan motor movements for speech.” – University of Washington ILABS

Comprehension of words relies on areas of the brain associated with motor control as well as ‘classic’ language centers, researchers report.” – Neuroscience News
Tot rings chime, yoga classSensory stimulation and awareness – Babies need tons of sensory input to train their brain to process information. By engaging in unique physical play during yoga, babies stimulate their vestibular and proprioceptive systems as well as senses of touch, hearing, and sight.
“Stimulation through the senses of touch, hearing, seeing, smelling, and tasting directly affect the sensory neurons and help in establishing these connections. According to research, an infant’s brain is producing 2-3 million synapses per second!” – Bright Hub Education
Tot practices balanceVestibular and proprioceptive input – These two senses related to movement and touch are so important they get their own entry.   Baby’s vestibular system, which tells him where he is in space, has been developing since just a few weeks after conception. Proprioception tells him where he in in relationship to himself. Our vestibular sensors are primarily in our inner ear while our proprioceptive sensors are in our muscles, joints, and bones. Together, they are make up our kinesthetic awareness.
Maryann Harman explains in EarlyChildhood News that movement and early childhood development specialists believe that “[all] learning in the first fifteen months of life is centered on the vestibular system development” and that the vestibular system is very closely tied to language development.

“[W]hen our vestibular system is not functioning properly, we often have auditory processing problems in addition to difficulty with balance, coordination, and eye muscle control.” – PediaStaff

“The vestibular system coordinates eye and head movements. Without this coordination, it may be challenging for children to complete everyday activities such as copying from a white board in their classroom …” – Sprouts Child Development Intiative

Learn more about early childhood yoga classes for crawling babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

 

 

Announcing Rooted Pilates

Randi headshotBreathing Space has been so pleased to offer Pilates Mat classes by Randi for the last 2.5 years, but growth and change is inevitable and starting at the end of the month Randi will be running her own dedicated Pilates studio in the neighborhood! Congratulations Randi!

Rooted Pilatesrootedpilateslogo will be Capitol Hill’s first dedicated Pilates studio! Randi is incredibly excited to bring a fully-equipped Pilates space to the neighborhood and is looking forward to hosting all of her students – past and present  – in the new studio.

rooted-pilatesVisit rootedpilates.com to learn more and to join the mailing list or feel free to reach out to randi@rootedpilates.com for more information.
Randi’s Monday 8:00pm Pilates mat and Jaqueline’s Tuesday 6:30 pm class will transition to their new permanent home at  511 11th Street SE (just a block from the Hill Center) on beginning Nov 1.
Students registered for the current session at Breathing Space will receive an email from Randi about how their session will transition over and how the new system will work, but won’t need to do anything except turn up at the new location instead of the old one.
Students not currently registered can continue to drop-in at the current locations through Oct 25. After Nov 1, students can pre-register on a class-by-class basis, or purchase a package. A link to Rooted Pilates’ preliminary schedule and registration is on the website.

Yoga Class FAQs: Baby, Tot, Kids, and Family Yoga

baby yoga class, centeringWe get lots of questions by phone and email, but sometimes it helps just to put them out there:

Early Childhood Yoga FAQs

We often here from parents that they are hesitant to enroll if they aren’t sure their child will enjoy a class. We get it. That’s why we have our:

No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if a kids & family series class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 48 hours after the first class that you will not be able to continue the session, we refund all but $2o for that first class.

We are also very flexible about switching classes for students who have nap time shifts during the course of a series. For example, if your child is enrolled in an 11 am class and starts napping at that time, we’ll happily switch her into one of our 9 or 9:30 am classes instead.

Yep. We move a ton.

Generally, if you are enrolling in a class for your child’s age, we are prepared for your child to behave in age-appropriate ways.

kids yoga bowFor Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs), we don’t use yoga mats and instead move all over the room. Some of our students are always on the go and that’s really quite alright. Some toddlers seriously need to move in order to pay attention. Those are the students parents assure me do the yoga poses at home, just never in class. Sometimes those students join in briefly whenever their favorite activities come up and then go back to running in circles. It’s all good.

For Kids or Family Yoga (ages 3-6, or 4+), we do use mats and are beginning to learn to be on the mats for much of the class. Class is still super active, we move off mats for all sorts of games, and we don’t expect stillness from young children.

If your child has special needs, it is helpful to check in ahead of time so the instructor can be prepared and think through lessons and activities with your child’s needs in mind. We are happy to have you enroll and decide after the first class or two if it is the right fit. Again though, check in with the instructor. Parents are typically more worried about possible disruptive behavior than our yoga teachers and will work with you on strategies to help your child succeed in class.

Absolutely. Your child is welcome to bring any grownup they want with them to class. Up to 2 caregivers may attend class on a weekly basis. Additional visitors may attend occasionally and are encouraged to participate. Please be considerate of space constraints when bringing guests.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaProbably Toddler Family Yoga, but get in touch if you think the slower, slightly less boisterous environment of Tot Yoga might be a better fit. Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga classes.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

Nope, sorry. We don’t offer drop-in options for classes for crawling or older children or trial classes during the regular session.  Children really do need the consistency of a weekly class both for comfort and so they can best learn and drop-ins can be disruptive to the class routine. Read more.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince it often takes several classes for a child to settle in, dropping in once is not really the best indicator of whether your child will enjoy class. However, we get that it can be tough to commit to a class when you can’t imagine what happens or how your child will react, so:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

We also understand that life is unpredictable and have a generous makeup policy for families that wish to commit to a series but know they will miss a class or two.

Tot yogaAbsolutely. It sometimes takes a few weeks for our more reserved students to get comfortable enough to participate. That’s one of the reasons we offer classes in 6-10 week series rather than drop-in. Toddlers especially need time to get used to a space, a group of people and an instructor.

Even once they are comfortable, some more reserved little ones may be more watchers than doers in class. That doesn’t mean they are not learning and they may be more inclined to practice at home.

tot yoga kicking cobraWe do expect parent participation. The more yoga you do in class the more your child will do.

While parents should expect to move quite a lot, we will be doing yoga appropriate for the child’s age range, so it’s probably not a workout for the grownups as compared to an adult class.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaPoses and activities are designed with toddlers/preschoolers in mind. While your instructor will likely be able to make suggestions, we expect adults to take care of their own bodies during class.

It’s rarely a problem. Pregnant moms often skip or modify belly-down poses and anything else that doesn’t feel right and adults with special conditions adjusting accordingly.

The biggest challenge is probably for adults who have significant difficulty getting up and down from the floor. I’ve had mobility-challenged caregivers, usually older nannies or grandparents, do very few of the poses with no problem. My suggestion is to try it and see how it goes.

Do note that several of our class venues are down a flight of stairs (strollers can be left locked outside). Our Saturday and Sunday class venues are handicap accessible.

Family Yoga FAQs

We often here from parents that they are hesitant to enroll if they aren’t sure their child will enjoy a class. We get it. That’s why we have our:

No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if a kids & family series class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 48 hours after the first class that you will not be able to continue the session, we refund all but $2o for that first class.

We are also very flexible about switching classes for students who have nap time shifts during the course of a series. For example, if your child is enrolled in an 11 am class and starts napping at that time, we’ll happily switch her into one of our 9 or 9:30 am classes instead.

Yep. We move a ton.

Generally, if you are enrolling in a class for your child’s age, we are prepared for your child to behave in age-appropriate ways.

kids yoga bowFor Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs), we don’t use yoga mats and instead move all over the room. Some of our students are always on the go and that’s really quite alright. Some toddlers seriously need to move in order to pay attention. Those are the students parents assure me do the yoga poses at home, just never in class. Sometimes those students join in briefly whenever their favorite activities come up and then go back to running in circles. It’s all good.

For Kids or Family Yoga (ages 3-6, or 4+), we do use mats and are beginning to learn to be on the mats for much of the class. Class is still super active, we move off mats for all sorts of games, and we don’t expect stillness from young children.

If your child has special needs, it is helpful to check in ahead of time so the instructor can be prepared and think through lessons and activities with your child’s needs in mind. We are happy to have you enroll and decide after the first class or two if it is the right fit. Again though, check in with the instructor. Parents are typically more worried about possible disruptive behavior than our yoga teachers and will work with you on strategies to help your child succeed in class.

Absolutely. Your child is welcome to bring any grownup they want with them to class. Up to 2 caregivers may attend class on a weekly basis. Additional visitors may attend occasionally and are encouraged to participate. Please be considerate of space constraints when bringing guests.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

preschooler yoga class, massageYes, please do. We often have younger siblings in tow for Little Families Yoga classes. They are welcome to nap or be in arms during class. No charge for non-walking siblings, just bring them along.

Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaProbably Toddler Family Yoga, but get in touch if you think the slower, slightly less boisterous environment of Tot Yoga might be a better fit. Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga classes.

Nope, sorry. We don’t offer drop-in options for classes for crawling or older children or trial classes during the regular session.  Children really do need the consistency of a weekly class both for comfort and so they can best learn and drop-ins can be disruptive to the class routine. Read more.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince it often takes several classes for a child to settle in, dropping in once is not really the best indicator of whether your child will enjoy class. However, we get that it can be tough to commit to a class when you can’t imagine what happens or how your child will react, so:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

We also understand that life is unpredictable and have a generous makeup policy for families that wish to commit to a series but know they will miss a class or two.

Tot yogaAbsolutely. It sometimes takes a few weeks for our more reserved students to get comfortable enough to participate. That’s one of the reasons we offer classes in 6-10 week series rather than drop-in. Toddlers especially need time to get used to a space, a group of people and an instructor.

Even once they are comfortable, some more reserved little ones may be more watchers than doers in class. That doesn’t mean they are not learning and they may be more inclined to practice at home.

tot yoga kicking cobraWe do expect parent participation. The more yoga you do in class the more your child will do.

While parents should expect to move quite a lot, we will be doing yoga appropriate for the child’s age range, so it’s probably not a workout for the grownups as compared to an adult class.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaPoses and activities are designed with toddlers/preschoolers in mind. While your instructor will likely be able to make suggestions, we expect adults to take care of their own bodies during class.

It’s rarely a problem. Pregnant moms often skip or modify belly-down poses and anything else that doesn’t feel right and adults with special conditions adjusting accordingly.

The biggest challenge is probably for adults who have significant difficulty getting up and down from the floor. I’ve had mobility-challenged caregivers, usually older nannies or grandparents, do very few of the poses with no problem. My suggestion is to try it and see how it goes.

Do note that several of our class venues are down a flight of stairs (strollers can be left locked outside). Our Saturday and Sunday class venues are handicap accessible.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

Kids Yoga FAQs

We often here from parents that they are hesitant to enroll if they aren’t sure their child will enjoy a class. We get it. That’s why we have our:

No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if a kids & family series class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 48 hours after the first class that you will not be able to continue the session, we refund all but $2o for that first class.

We are also very flexible about switching classes for students who have nap time shifts during the course of a series. For example, if your child is enrolled in an 11 am class and starts napping at that time, we’ll happily switch her into one of our 9 or 9:30 am classes instead.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

Nope, sorry. We don’t offer drop-in options for classes for crawling or older children or trial classes during the regular session.  Children really do need the consistency of a weekly class both for comfort and so they can best learn and drop-ins can be disruptive to the class routine. Read more.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince it often takes several classes for a child to settle in, dropping in once is not really the best indicator of whether your child will enjoy class. However, we get that it can be tough to commit to a class when you can’t imagine what happens or how your child will react, so:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

We also understand that life is unpredictable and have a generous makeup policy for families that wish to commit to a series but know they will miss a class or two.

Yep. We move a ton.

Generally, if you are enrolling in a class for your child’s age, we are prepared for your child to behave in age-appropriate ways.

kids yoga bowFor Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs), we don’t use yoga mats and instead move all over the room. Some of our students are always on the go and that’s really quite alright. Some toddlers seriously need to move in order to pay attention. Those are the students parents assure me do the yoga poses at home, just never in class. Sometimes those students join in briefly whenever their favorite activities come up and then go back to running in circles. It’s all good.

For Kids or Family Yoga (ages 3-6, or 4+), we do use mats and are beginning to learn to be on the mats for much of the class. Class is still super active, we move off mats for all sorts of games, and we don’t expect stillness from young children.

If your child has special needs, it is helpful to check in ahead of time so the instructor can be prepared and think through lessons and activities with your child’s needs in mind. We are happy to have you enroll and decide after the first class or two if it is the right fit. Again though, check in with the instructor. Parents are typically more worried about possible disruptive behavior than our yoga teachers and will work with you on strategies to help your child succeed in class.

 

Postnatal & Baby Yoga FAQs

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20 + 0.0575% sales tax of $1.15 = $21.15. Single class is good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $18 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $180 + 0.0575% sales tax of $10.35 = $190.35. Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 6-8 consecutive classes for the same discount as the 10-class flex pass. For example, 5 classes is $90 + $5.18 tax = $95.18.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
  • All prices at checkout include 5.75% fitness tax.

Baby & Me Yoga classes are a blend of baby-centric activities, with the primary emphasis on baby-caregiver interaction and bonding, and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers.

We do age-appropriate poses, activities, songs and rhymes along with some gentle stretching and conditioning for caregivers.

While caregivers still get a some exercise, it’s very different from classes where baby is invited, but hopefully sleeps or remains quiet during class so moms can get a workout.

Ironically, Baby & Me Yoga classes are often quieter and calmer than a lot of postnatal exercise classes because baby is engaged throughout.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

We have never been able to talk babies into being born on our series schedule, so offer drop-in options for those classes. If you are able to commit to the majority of a series, we can set up a partial registration for you at the series rate. Simply contact us with your specific dates.

Of course, if your child will be home with a family member or nanny when you go back to work, you are welcome to have the join class when your leave ends.

Baby & Me Yoga Class

Baby & Me Yoga is a blend of baby-centric activities and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. It is not designed as a serious workout for caregivers, but you do need to be prepared to move and we hope you will leave feeling better in your body than you arrive.

We spend a good portion of the class sitting criss-cross or in other positions on the floor and we get up and down several times. Almost every class incorporates lunges or squats while holding baby as well as some shoulder or low-back exercises for caregivers.  Comfortable, stretchy clothing is important and jeans are not recommended.

moms and babies in yoga classGenerally, class is most appropriate after 6 weeks. We strongly recommend that you be cleared for exercise, especially if you had a surgical birth or complications. Baby too tends to be more ready to participate after about 6 weeks. A 45-minute class is a long time for a newborn. Very young babies often sleep, eat, or fuss their way through class.

That said, you are still welcome to come. We’ve had moms happily start class as soon as they are ready to be out and about, modifying exercises that are too strenuous (such as skipping the abs) and addressing baby’s needs as they arise. Sometimes, just being at class is what mom needs. If that’s you, please come.

If you would like to wait until the six week mark but class is already starting, don’t fret. Late registration is welcome for several weeks into the series as long as there is room in the class. We are happy to reserve your child’s spot in advance if you contact us.

playing in baby yogaPlease bring a baby blanket and small, quiet toy to all our class locations.

Most of our venues have a few yoga mats to lend, but you may prefer your own yoga mat for hygiene or comfort. If so, please bring one.

 

baby yogaYour baby will cry.

Let’s just get that out in the open. That’s how babies communicate; it’s totally fine.

Even the fussiest babies are welcome in Baby & Me Yoga. Your instructor will not be distressed and is happy to have you there and, I promise, the other moms/caregivers have been there and will be far less upset about your baby fussing than you will be. Please join us.

baby yoga classThat’s fine too. We are not running baby boot-camp.

 

preschooler yoga class, relaxationThat may not work. There isn’t a lot to entertain big kids at baby yoga, but we have occasionally had parents bring older children, mostly when other plans for them have fallen through or school is closed. Siblings are welcome in that circumstance. We do not recommend bringing older children on a weekly basis.

If you need to bring your older child, we recommend bringing quiet toys or books and arriving a few minutes early to set up a space for your child and to set expectations. Please check in with the instructor ahead of time if possible.

If we hold class on a day that school is closed, we’ll be very flexible in our planning. If there were ever enough demand for childcare during one of our series, we would definitely consider that. If you want to take class with a toddler and infant regularly, consider attending Little Families Yoga instead or doing a makeup in that class if you decide to skip rather than attend baby yoga.

Top 5 Reasons to Do Yoga with Your Infant: Baby Yoga & Play FAQ

baby & me yoga, warriors

5. Yoga is good for babies.

  • The poses we do in baby yoga classes are developmentally supportive, may improve digestion, ease gas pain and colic, and boost the immune system.[1]
  • Yoga play stimulates the vestibular system, proprioceptive development,  and motor control.[2]
  • Baby Yoga rhymes, songs, interaction, and movement stimulates language development.[3]
  • Dedicated face time interaction in baby yoga class stimulates baby’s neurological development and empathy skills.[4]

4. Baby yoga class is good for parents.

mom and baby centeringEven though more than half the poses we do in class are for baby, the benefits for mom and dad can be dramatic. Practicing yoga with your infant can help you feel more relaxed and gentle stretching and conditioning exercises can provide relief from some of the stresses and physical symptoms of early parenting.

3. Yoga practice helps babies sleep better and longer. 

Moving and engaging with caregivers for 45+ minutes is a lot of work for babies. Many parents report that their best naps of the week are on baby yoga days.

2. It’s is a way to get to know your baby better.

moms and babies in yoga classYour baby will engage with you and the yoga poses, games and songs in a way that will reveal his or her unique personality. Does she like vigorous movement or gentle activities? Is he outgoing or reserved with new people and experiences? Your baby will communicate their preferences in class and participating is another opportunity to connect with your baby and meet that fundamental need of your child.

1. Baby yoga is fun.baby yoga

Hands down, this is the best reason to do yoga with your baby. Babies have fun. Parents have fun. You both learn games, songs and poses to use at home and to teach other people in baby’s life.

Baby Yoga Frequently Asked Questions

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20 + 0.0575% sales tax of $1.15 = $21.15. Single class is good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $18 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $180 + 0.0575% sales tax of $10.35 = $190.35. Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 6-8 consecutive classes for the same discount as the 10-class flex pass. For example, 5 classes is $90 + $5.18 tax = $95.18.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
  • All prices at checkout include 5.75% fitness tax.

Baby & Me Yoga classes are a blend of baby-centric activities, with the primary emphasis on baby-caregiver interaction and bonding, and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers.

We do age-appropriate poses, activities, songs and rhymes along with some gentle stretching and conditioning for caregivers.

While caregivers still get a some exercise, it’s very different from classes where baby is invited, but hopefully sleeps or remains quiet during class so moms can get a workout.

Ironically, Baby & Me Yoga classes are often quieter and calmer than a lot of postnatal exercise classes because baby is engaged throughout.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

We have never been able to talk babies into being born on our series schedule, so offer drop-in options for those classes. If you are able to commit to the majority of a series, we can set up a partial registration for you at the series rate. Simply contact us with your specific dates.

Of course, if your child will be home with a family member or nanny when you go back to work, you are welcome to have the join class when your leave ends.

Baby & Me Yoga Class

Baby & Me Yoga is a blend of baby-centric activities and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. It is not designed as a serious workout for caregivers, but you do need to be prepared to move and we hope you will leave feeling better in your body than you arrive.

We spend a good portion of the class sitting criss-cross or in other positions on the floor and we get up and down several times. Almost every class incorporates lunges or squats while holding baby as well as some shoulder or low-back exercises for caregivers.  Comfortable, stretchy clothing is important and jeans are not recommended.

moms and babies in yoga classGenerally, class is most appropriate after 6 weeks. We strongly recommend that you be cleared for exercise, especially if you had a surgical birth or complications. Baby too tends to be more ready to participate after about 6 weeks. A 45-minute class is a long time for a newborn. Very young babies often sleep, eat, or fuss their way through class.

That said, you are still welcome to come. We’ve had moms happily start class as soon as they are ready to be out and about, modifying exercises that are too strenuous (such as skipping the abs) and addressing baby’s needs as they arise. Sometimes, just being at class is what mom needs. If that’s you, please come.

If you would like to wait until the six week mark but class is already starting, don’t fret. Late registration is welcome for several weeks into the series as long as there is room in the class. We are happy to reserve your child’s spot in advance if you contact us.

playing in baby yogaPlease bring a baby blanket and small, quiet toy to all our class locations.

Most of our venues have a few yoga mats to lend, but you may prefer your own yoga mat for hygiene or comfort. If so, please bring one.

 

baby yogaYour baby will cry.

Let’s just get that out in the open. That’s how babies communicate; it’s totally fine.

Even the fussiest babies are welcome in Baby & Me Yoga. Your instructor will not be distressed and is happy to have you there and, I promise, the other moms/caregivers have been there and will be far less upset about your baby fussing than you will be. Please join us.

baby yoga classThat’s fine too. We are not running baby boot-camp.

 

preschooler yoga class, relaxationThat may not work. There isn’t a lot to entertain big kids at baby yoga, but we have occasionally had parents bring older children, mostly when other plans for them have fallen through or school is closed. Siblings are welcome in that circumstance. We do not recommend bringing older children on a weekly basis.

If you need to bring your older child, we recommend bringing quiet toys or books and arriving a few minutes early to set up a space for your child and to set expectations. Please check in with the instructor ahead of time if possible.

If we hold class on a day that school is closed, we’ll be very flexible in our planning. If there were ever enough demand for childcare during one of our series, we would definitely consider that. If you want to take class with a toddler and infant regularly, consider attending Little Families Yoga instead or doing a makeup in that class if you decide to skip rather than attend baby yoga.

_____

Sources:

  1. Garabedian, Helen. (2004). Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger. New York, NY: Touchtone/Simon and Schuster.
  2. Kopp, Claire. (2003). Baby Steps, Second Edition: A Guide to Your Child’s Social, Physical, Mental and Emotional Development in the First Two Years. New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks.
  3. McEllroy, M. (2014, July 14). Months before their first words, babies’ brains rehearse speech mechanics. UW Today.
  4. Medina, John. (2011). Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

Returning to Our Community Roots

superhero camp collageThank you so much for sharing your kids and family yoga experience with us. We’re having a wonderful summer so far and hope you’ll be joining us for great classes and camps we have planned.

The biggest change for Breathing Space in coming months is that we’ve decided to let go of the 1123 Penn location at the end of the summer and go back to a mobile program format.

We are excited to work with community partners again to offer classes and camps in a variety of locations around the Hill, both SE and NE!

Breathing Space started as a mobile program and the model makes a lot of sense for us given the limited hours needed for children’s and family programming. We took the 1123 Penn lease in the fall of 2014, starting classes there in 2015, because we had seemingly reached our limit for growth at our class spaces at the time and were anticipating our summer camp venue to be unavailable in 2015. The neighborhood yoga and wellness landscape has changed quite a bit in the past two years, with many more options for adult yoga and new opportunities for partnership locations for our family programming. As much as it is nice to have complete control over a studio space, it simply make better business sense to let go of the full time location.

Mind JarWhat’s more, community is a defining characteristic of family yoga and we’ve missed being a regular member of our partner communities over the past two years. By returning to a mobile model, we are excited to be able to reach further on Capitol Hill and are launching our first Northeast location classes at the Parish of St. Monica and St. James in September! If you have connections to community locations or ideas for classes not on our upcoming schedule, please let us know.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga and FAQs

Yoga is an Ideal Prenatal Exercise and Much More

prenatal moms stretch in yoga classYoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm.

Yoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm.

As a physical practice, yoga during pregnancy builds strength, endurance, and flexibility. Asana practice, what we know as yoga poses, improves circulation, combats fatigue, and reduces tension and stiffness in muscles and joints.

prenatal moms in yoga classAs a mental discipline, yoga cultivates focus and emotional stability. Breathing exercises during prenatal yoga help mom relax deeply and connect with baby.

Prenatal yoga celebrates the mom and baby connection and the beauty and power of your changing body.

“Yoga was enormously helpful to me during my own pregnancy and I still feel that my regular practice was the most important preparation that I did for childbirth.”  – Jen

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “exercising at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week can benefit your health during pregnancy in the following ways:

  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
  • Increases your energy
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves your posture
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor.”

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

According to the Mayo Clinic, “[r]esearch suggests that prenatal yoga can:
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
  • Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath

Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.”

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20 + 0.0575% sales tax of $1.15 = $21.15. Single class is good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $18 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $180 + 0.0575% sales tax of $10.35 = $190.35. Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 6-8 consecutive classes for the same discount as the 10-class flex pass. For example, 5 classes is $90 + $5.18 tax = $95.18.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
  • All prices at checkout include 5.75% fitness tax.

prenatal yoga at Realignment StudioYoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm. A our prenatal yoga class might involve:

  • Breathing. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
  • Stretching. You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion while standing, sitting or lying on the ground.
  • Strength Work and Dynamic Movement. Moms in prenatal yoga are working to maintain fitness for a comfortable pregnancy as well as train for the endurance event that is labor and birth. Holding your bodyweight in postures while working against gravity is a great way to build strength. We’ll also do pregnancy appropriate vinyasa, moving with breath, to build fitness.
  • prenatal moms in savasanaCool down and relaxation. Every prenatal yoga class sets aside time for conscious relaxation. You’ll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.
Category: prenatal yoga

Our pregnancy yoga classes are held at Realignment Studio, 641 Pennsylvania Ave SE, lower level.  The studio is within one block of the Eastern Market metro stop and convenient to many bus routes along Pennsylvania Ave SE and 8th Street SE. Read more about locations.

Category: prenatal yoga

Students should wear comfortable clothing for movement that is not too stretchy and be prepared to practice in bare feet. Our venues have yoga mats to share, but carrying your own may be preferable. We have all the other props you might for exercises during class. Please bring a water bottle and you may wish to bring a small towel or cloth to cover your eyes during relaxation.

Category: prenatal yoga

Absolutely. Our classes are all levels, with variations offered for newer or more experienced students. We have plenty of props and adaptations ideas for moms who are not super flexible and offer postures and exercises specifically tailored to pregnancy and beginning students. All students should be cleared for exercise by their healthcare provider.

Category: prenatal yoga

Prenatal Yoga Class - Teacher AdjustmentAn in-person prenatal yoga class with a qualified instructor offers benefits you simply cannot reap on your own in front of a dvd or streaming video. Personalized sequencing, a watchful eye for alignment corrections, and customized adjustments complement camaraderie of a group class. Breathing Space prenatal instructors are also knowledgeable about birth, babies, and resources in Washington DC.

Category: prenatal yoga

Pregnant moms are welcome anytime and we often have moms in class who are anywhere from a few weeks along to counting down the days to to baby. During your first trimester, you may find you prefer your regular yoga class or fitness routine or that are too tired/uncomfortable for exercise. Consequently, we start seeing moms most often during the 2nd trimester, because they start feeling better or because the growing belly and pregnancy discomforts compel them to seek us out. We also have moms who start class in their final month. It’s never too early or too late.

Category: prenatal yoga
Prenatal Yoga Class - Balance Pose

Prenatal yoga classes focus on the fundamentals because so many women start yoga for the first time during pregnancy. We work to build flexibility, strength and fitness through modified postures and movements designed for pregnancy. We focus on exercises that might address common pregnancy discomforts and prepare for the endurance event moms are training for: birth.

More experienced yogis who take care to adjusting for their changing bodies may try to keep up their non-prenatal weekly class well into pregnancy. That’s fine, but I still recommend adding prenatal yoga to your routine.

The breath-exercises, concentration, and therapeutic work we do is not typical of a non-prenatal asana or vinyasa class. Also, the pregnancy-customized postures you learn can be incorporated into your non-prenatal yoga classes when the group instruction isn’t appropriate for you.

What worked for me (Jen) was continuing my one regular weekly class (with self-modifications as my belly grew) and one prenatal class for pregnancy and birth specific techniques and  to be in community with expecting moms. 

Category: prenatal yoga

How to Drop-in to Prenatal, Postnatal or Baby Classes

Baby & Me Yoga ClassOur public weekly Prenatal Yoga and Baby & Me Yoga classes welcome drop-in students. Classes can be reserved one at a time or using a multi-class pass.

Please set up an online account and pay for your drop-in class in advance. Our registration site is mobile friendly and accepts drop-in payments right up until class starts. Most of our class venues do not have a receptionist so it’s a great help to the instructor if you take care of this yourself in advance, but if you don’t manage that, come anyway. Please note that instructors do not accept cash.

No single class drop-ins to any class for children/teens from crawling or older. Kids and family classes require series registration.

Makeup Classes FAQ

IMGP5062Our classes are offered in multi-week sessions with students committing to 6-12 consecutive classes. There are lots of benefits to committing to a weekly class but we understand that modern life is busy and sometimes unpredictable. So, we offer a generous makeup policy. Any family member may take any other appropriate class within 4 weeks of the original series dates – this means a similar class or something different.

Frequently Asked Questions

toddler family yoga

Tot (for us that’s ~8 mo+), kids, and family classes require series commitment. Need to miss due to travel, illness or other conflict? Take advantage of our generous makeup policy.

Our children’s and family classes and some special topics are offered in multi-week series with students committing to multiple consecutive classes. There are lots of benefits to committing to a weekly class but we understand that modern life is busy and sometimes unpredictable. If you must miss a class, you have three options to make it up:

  1. Any family member may take any other appropriate class within 4 weeks of the scheduled series, even in advance – this means the same class on a alternate day or something different;
  2. If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class (instead of option 1). Please confirm space availability with your instructor.

How do I reserve a makeup class? No advanced registration is required to take a make-up class but it an RSVP always appreciated. Simply email to let us know you are coming.

I really am only able to attend a couple classes, can I drop-in? For adult or parent & pre-crawler classes, yes. That means Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga, Baby & Me Yoga. We do not allow drop-ins for any class focused on children crawling or older.

No advanced registration is required to take a make-up class but it an RSVP always appreciated. Simply email to let us know you are coming.

Category: makeups

Rebecca Gitter teaches baby yoga classYes. If you know you will be out of town or will miss class for any reason, feel free to take your makeup class whenever it’s convenient in the same session.

This is particularly helpful for prenatal and postnatal students who expect babies to arrive or maternity leaves to end before a session is over. Feel free come more than once a week as your schedule permits.

We allow one makeup to carry over into a different session, within a month of the original series dates, so feel free to come a couple weeks before or after your class begins or ends.

Categories: attendance, makeups

prenatal yoga forward bendsIf you or your child falls into the proper age range for the desired makeup class, yes you may.

Parents of registered children may take a makeup in Prenatal or Baby & Me Yoga. Your teenager can take a makeup for your toddler and vice-versa, so long as the student attends an appropriate class. Any weekly yoga class is open to make-up students, even if they are marked FULL (though please give us a heads up in that case).

Category: makeups

Focusing on our Core Mission

Beginning April 1, Breathing Space will streamline programming to focus on our core mission of serving families and children with yoga and wellness programming. We are ending nearly all of our (non-prenatal/postnatal) adult yoga classes by March 31 (the only exception may be Jen’s sunrise classes).

Why? Options for adult yoga classes have expanded dramatically in the neighborhood since we began offering a couple classes a week at Hill Center back in 2014.  Jen set out to run a kids and family program and only ended up offering adult classes because there appeared to be a need. That is no longer the case.

Beginning April 1, we will focus on our prenatal, postnatal, early childhood through teens and Pilates programming. All of our classes will be offered in multi-week series, mostly 6-week sessions. If there is room, drop-ins will be welcome in our prenatal and postnatal classes as well as any special series we run for adults, but multi-class passes will be eliminated*.

Instead, participants are asked to commit to either 6-week series or monthly memberships. Monthly memberships are the best option for clients who wish to attend several different classes each week or simply prefer automatic billing. For clients whose due dates or maternity leave schedules don’t coincide with our 6-week sessions, we will allow flexible scheduling. The same generous makeup policies we use for kids & family classes will apply for these series classes as well.

*If you are holding a class pass that expires after March 31, expect an email from us with more details. Feel free to ask any questions too.

If this means we part ways . . .

We will miss our adult-only students but hope you will find another great class in the neighborhood. We are more than happy to make suggestions, just ask. Here are just a few:

  • Tricia teaches twice a week at Capitol Hill Yoga and they offer a great new student special;
  • St. Marks Yoga has been all-levels yoga instruction in the neighborhood since 1978. Their Monday evening class would be appropriate for those who have enjoyed our gentle yoga. Any of the Sivananda or Integral Hatha Yoga classes would be a good option for students who have enjoyed our Yoga Fundamentals classes. Breathing Space students have the option of converting any remaining classes to an SMYC pass.
  • Freed Bodyworks, just a couple blocks closer to Potomac Ave Metro, offers semi-private specialty yoga classes, including Yin Yoga and Mindful Curves for Larger Bodies.

Opportunity this presents . . .

Rent our StudioWe are excited to continue building and expanding our family programming. However, this schedule shift means we will have more hours available in the studio for partner programming. If you know someone who’s looking for an afternoon or evening class or meeting space starting in April or even a part-time daytime space starting in the fall, please let us know!

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