Baby Yoga & Play - Breathing Space

Baby Yoga & Play

This interactive, fun class for newborn to pre-crawling babies and their grownup(s) contains dozens of yoga-inspired movements, postures, songs, rhymes and activities designed to support baby’s development. Each class is filled with calming, nurturing ways to enhance bonding, soothe the inevitable cranky moments, and improve baby’s sleep.

What happens in baby yoga & play?

Having trouble imagining your newborn laying quietly through a yoga class? Our classes are a bit different than some others advertised as baby & me yoga. This is not designed as a parent exercise and instead is a parent-baby enrichment activity involving movement and yoga. Babies are engaged for the entire class time in Baby Yoga & Play. 

    Developmentally Supportive Activities for Baby

    Babies participate while on their backs, tummies, or held in loving arms. For grownups, this class is a special opportunity to meet other parents and caregivers, get support, and learn about baby’s emerging personality.

    Movement and Mindfulness for Caregivers

    Grownups will also get to do a bit of postpartum-appropriate yoga themselves, including strength- and flexibility-building postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to address common physical complaints and mental/emotional stressors during the new-parent period.

    Upcoming Class Series

    Baby Yoga Frequently Asked Questions

    • Tot Yoga - class for baby and toddler crawling to 2, with parentsClasses are offered in multi-class sessions requiring registration. No drop-ins permitted in kids and family yoga class series.
    • Please register the child participant in all kids and family classes.
    • One adult must be present for any class described as family yoga or for children under 4 years old: Family Yoga, Preschooler Yoga, Tot Yoga, etc. Up to two adults are welcome to participate these classes on weekly basis and the same adult need not be present every time.
    • In order to create a safe space for the children and because of limited studio space, we request that students not bring observers to class. If grandparents or other special guests wish to see class, please encourage them to participate.
    • Occasionally we offer single-date classes, typically for older children or infants, but sometimes as a demo and not associated with a series. Registration in advance is still required for these classes and those not meeting enrollment minimum in the week leading up to class may be cancelled.

    Kids-only Classes

    Kids and tweens yoga classes not described as family classes are for the children only. Due to limited studio space and to respect the students, family members and friends are asked not to observe these classes. Many of our venues are near cafes and shops.

    Infant Massage

    Course material is cumulative so drop-ins are not allowed. Families that miss a class are welcome to do an appropriate drop-in in another postnatal class as a makeup or attend the same week in a subsequent series.

    Our public prenatal yoga classes welcome drop-in students.

    • All prices at subject to 6% DC fitness tax.

    Please pay for your drop-in class, class pass, or registration in advance. Several of our class venues have limited point-of-sale options and instructors do not accept cash. Our registration site is mobile friendly and accepts payments right up until class starts.

    What if baby comes early and I don’t get to use all my classes? Send us a note when baby is born and we’ll transfer unused class credits to your account so you can apply the value to future registrations.

    toddler family yoga

    Family, 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 two options to make it up:

    1. Any family member may take any other appropriate weekly class during the same semester, even in advance – this means the same class on a alternate day or something different;
      • Because Baby Yoga & Play classes are offered in a shorter semesters and start dates are sometimes staggered, parents make carry one makeup class past the original series dates by one month.
      • Note that single date or short series workshops – infant massage, baby sign language parent workshop, etc –  are not options for makeups from weekly classes with the exception of family yoga “pop-up” classes. Pop-up classes are the weekly classes scheduled outside of the series. Makeups are welcome, but advanced registration IS required.
    2. If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class (instead of option 1). Guests need to create an account in our registration system to provide contact information and accept terms and conditions (includes our liability waiver and photo release). Please confirm space availability with your instructor.

    What about live online classes? 

    You may still use the online makeup scheduler to set up makeups for online classes.  Please be sure to do so 24 hours in advance to ensure you are added to the class roster and receive the appropriate Zoom links.

    Which class can I take as a makeup?

    Anything class that is appropriate for the family member doing the makeup class. You can even send different adult family members to do the makeup class. Students may make up in any location. For example, if you miss a baby yoga class and there isn’t another that suits your schedule, you may bring your toddler to Little Family Yoga as a make up (baby can even tag along). If you and your child miss Little Family Yoga, you may attend Baby Yoga & Play, a prenatal yoga class, or come to Baby & Toddler Singing Time (weekly class, not weekend workshop). Anytime we have a “Pop-Up” class on the schedule, that can be a makeup (pop ups must be reserved in advance).

     

    How do I reserve a makeup class?

    Our registration system has make up reservations. Log in to the system and look for makeups in the drop down menu under classes (this option only appears for registered students). See instructions here.

     

    I really am only able to attend a couple classes, can I drop-in?

    Prenatal Yoga is the only class where we allow drop-in attendance. Even for that class we recommend committing to a series or a multi-class pass.
     
     

    Making Up in a Pop Up Class

    Occasionally we offer “Pop Up” classes not associated with a series. Advanced reservation is required. Pop ups with insufficient registration 3 days in advance may be cancelled.
     
    We publish pop up classes on our regular class calendar. They tend to happen at the end of a term, but Baby Yoga & Play is scheduled for semi-monthly weekend pop up classes! Get on our newsletter list to be notified.
     
    marching game, preschooler yogaFor weekly classes, yes.
    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 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.
    2. 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.

    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.

    bsfy-open-house 711We have several different parent-child yoga classes on our schedule and people have asked, which one should they should sign up for? To answer that, pick the best description that fits your situation:

    If you have one child, pick the appropriate age range:

    • newborn to almost crawling babies – Baby Yoga & Play or Infant Massage
    • crawling (or almost crawling and at least 7 months old) to 1 years – Tot Yoga
    • 12-24 months – Tot Yoga or Toddler Family Yoga or as a younger sibling in Little Family Yoga
    • almost 2 to 4 years – Toddler Family Yoga or Little Family Yoga
    • 3 yrs – Toddler Family Yoga, Prenatal Yoga or as a younger sibling in Family Yoga
    • 4 yrs – Little Family Yoga or Family Yoga
    • 5-10 yrs – Family Yoga

    If you have a 3 year old or children in multiple age ranges, you have a choice of classes:

    Toddler Family Yoga (steady walking – 35 months)

    • Very active, playful class with simple movements, yoga poses, and beginning breath and body awareness exercises
    • Beginning to incorporate imaginative play and simple storytelling in relation to the yoga poses and activities
    • Typically only uses yoga mats as a prop or for relaxation
    • Younger siblings welcome (non walking infants free)

    Little Family Yoga Yoga (21 months – 4 yrs)

    • bsfy-open-house 698Very active, playful class with age appropriate yoga poses and beginning breath and body awareness exercises
    • Incorporates imaginative play and storytelling in relation to the yoga poses and activities
    • Games are very simple, usually consisting of only one or two steps: jumping in and out of circles, following directions …
    • Partner poses are very simple
    • Typically only uses yoga mats as a prop or for relaxation
    • Especially good for young 4 year olds or reserved children likely to stay close to their parent during class
    • Appropriate for siblings younger than 2 to participate (may enroll at half price, non walking infants free)

    Family Yoga (4-8 or 10 yrs)

    • breathing space 744Still active and playful, in fact a bit more athletic as coordination improves,
    • More imagination/pretend, more and more involved stories,
    • Games become more complicated and start to have rules: move & freeze, musical mats …
    • Partner poses with parents begin to be recognizable as yoga poses
    • Uses mats for the majority of the class, but children will move around the room for many activities
    • Appropriate for younger siblings 2.5 years and older or older siblings 10 and younger to participate (50% sibling discount, strongly recommend second adult participant when sibling is younger than 3)
    • May also be appropriate for 3-year olds who’ve taken our classes for several months and would enjoy the challenge of keeping up with the big kids. By permission only.

    bsfy-open-house 702All classes can accommodate younger or older siblings, so what do you do if both children are not within the same class age range?

    You have multiple children to enroll:

    • A 3-year-old and a 1-year-old – Little Family Yoga (2-4 yrs) with the younger one enrolled at half price
    • A 5/6 year old and a 2.5 year old – Family Yoga (4-8 years) with the younger enrolled at half price
    • A 5- and 9-year-old – Family Yoga (4-8 yrs) with the older enrolled at half price.

    Sibling discounts are automatic; just sign up both children.

    Our Tot Yoga (crawling-24 months) and Little Family Yoga (21 months-4 yrs) have a 3 month age overlap on purpose. Personality, more than physical development, should be the deciding factor between the two classes. 

    tot yoga circle timeTot Yoga tends to be a quieter class with more repetition from week to week, so suits more reserved toddlers better.

    Little Family Yoga tends to be louder and move move more quickly from activity to activity to suit the energy level of 2-4 yr olds. Little Family Yoga requires more verbal direction following, incorporates more imaginative play, and typically involves less physical helping from parents. Very active almost-2 year olds often do well in this class because the social environment challenges them more than that of the younger group. Younger siblings accustomed to the energy and speed of older toddlers and preschoolers tend to enjoy this class as well, even if they are not able to do every pose.

    Toddler Family Yoga (walking-4 yrs) is a crossover class which is very much like Little Family Yoga with some adaptations 12-21 month old students. 

    Baby Yoga & Play classes are offered in 3-6-week series. Full registration required, no drop-ins.

    moms and babies in yoga classWe know it’s hard to get out of the house with a newborn, that naps are sometimes unpredictable, and life can be complicated . . .  and that’s why we are requiring series registration for this class.

    Committing to the whole series makes it infinitely more likely that you actually attend. It far too easy to say “oh, I’ll go next week” if you are planning on dropping in. If you end up with an unavoidable conflict, illness, or disrupted nap-time, you can take advantage of our generous makeup policy.

    Make Up Options for Baby Yoga & Play

    baby & me yoga, warriorsBecause it’s hard to convince babies to be born and maternity leaves to be set on our schedule, we offer lots of flexibility:

    • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to
      • attend any other family yoga class as a makeup within the same timeframe, or
      • bring a friend to class as a makeup.
        See makeup class FAQs for details.
    • Any of baby’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – mom, dad, grandparent, nanny . . .  and the same adult need not attend each time. Registration is for one adult-baby on a weekly basis, but occasional visitors are welcome to attend as well.
    • Partial registration: If there is room in the class once the series begins, late registration will remain open for the first 1/3 of the series. Registration automatically prorates. If you can’t complete a series but can commit to 2/3 of the series in consecutive weeks – say because you are going back to work before our series ends – contact us about partial enrollment.

    So what does this mean?

    • If a full series conflicts with work or travel, feel free to attend multiple times a week during the weeks you can attend.
    • If you are going back to work and baby will be home with a nanny or other caregiver, feel free to have them attend in your stead.

    Still not sure if Baby Yoga & Play is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.

    For safety and consideration of your fellow students and comfort of your child, please do not bring sick children to class or camp. 

    Please keep your child(ren) home from class if they have been experiencing any of the following in the previous 24 hours:

    • fever,
    • vomiting,
    • an unexplained rash,
    • diarrhea,
    • conjunctivitis,
    • mouth sores (especially in the oral-staged children),
    • persistent and frequent cough that interferes with your child’s class involvement or poses a risk to others,
    • extremely runny nose, or
    • any other contagious illness. 

    Please note that older children too sick to attend school should not be tagging along to yoga class.

    Specific Guidance on The Flu & Common Colds

    Influenza

    Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children and some people with weakened immune systems may  pass the virus for longer than 7 days. (Source: CDC)

    In the case of a flu diagnosis, or suspected, please keep your child home for a full week from becoming symptomatic.

    Common Cold

    You’re generally contagious with a cold 1-2 days before your symptoms start, and you could be contagious as long as your symptoms are present—in rare cases, up to 2 weeks. (Source: Ceder-Sinai.org) 

    While you are most contagious in the first 2-4 days of symptoms, resuming daily activities without exposing others depends on both your immune system and your ability to follow hygiene protocols. Most small children have trouble with the later. If your child has a frequent cough and is not yet reliable about coughing into their sleeve or a very runny nose, they are likely to expose others to the lingering virus. Please stay home until symptoms subside.

    Weekly Classes

    We have a very liberal make-up policy so please take advantage of that if your child (or you) is ill. 

    Camps

    Unfortunately it is not possible to do a makeup from camp.  See our camp policies for more details.

    Cleanliness at Classes and Camps

    Most of our venues are cleaned at least weekly, and many of our host partners step up sanitation of high-touch areas when there is an illness outbreak.

    If hand washing stations are not readily available, your instructor may ask you and your child to use hand sanitizer upon entry. Tissues and hand sanitizer will be available as needed.

    Our teachers clean and/or sanitize shared objects regularly. We strongly recommend not allowing your children to put them in their mouths.

    We regularly wipe down Breathing Space yoga mats with disinfecting wipes. We always recommend using a baby blanket as a barrier between the mat and your infant in Baby Yoga or Infant Massage. However, due to the porous nature of a yoga mat, you may wish to bring your own, especially in spaces where Breathing Space doesn’t own the supplies.

    • Realignment Studio: Prenatal students are requested to clean any Realignment Studio mats at the end of class with provided supplies.
    • Shenanigans and Townhomes: Staff wipe mats between toddler classes. Adults are welcome to help. Tweens and adults will be requested to wipe their own mats after classes. Rinsing hands after disinfecting is recommended.
    • Hill Center: We are not able to effectively sanitize these mats. Feel free to bring your own. We strongly recommend using a baby blanket as a barrier between your infant and the mat. You are welcome to wash hands in the art room sink at any time.

    If you have specific questions about venues and policies, please ask.

    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.

    That 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.

    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.

    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

    Breathing Space does not allow single class drop-ins for family classes. Why?

    Semester Commitment is Best for Both Students and the Program

    We’ve written before about the benefits of committing to a weekly yoga class. Children, even more than adults, benefit from the consistency and progressive teaching enabled by full registration.

    We understand that may be different from what you are used to with yoga classes. Kids yoga operates in an unusual context. While adult yoga classes are very often drop-in based, you cannot just occasionally show up to any other kind of teacher-directed children’s class. There’s no drop-in ballet, gymnastics, music, art, karate, etc. All of these programs require registration in a series of classes or monthly membership. This creates a stable class and allows lessons to build upon on each other.

    Session Commitment Encourages Consistent Attendance

    As a parent, there are tons of demands on my time and regularly attending a class requires commitment. Paying ahead of time gives me that sense of obligation to actually go every week. This is true for me with my own classes and it’s doubly true for me to motivate my child out of the house, even for activities she (or we both) adore.

    Session Commitment Enhances the Student Experience

    As a children’s instructor, I find:

    1. Drop-in classes are not in the best interest of the child. It often takes 3 or 4 classes for a child, especially a toddler, to feel comfortable with a new place, new people, and a new routine. Children benefit from repetition and structure. Since drop-in students tend to only show up once or twice a semester, they miss out on the full benefits of the experience.
    2. Drop-ins detract from the experience of the students who have committed to a full session of classes because my attention is drawn to the new student – on everything from taking payment and filling in the parent on policies, facilities, and expectations, to making the new child feel comfortable.

    But . . .

    There are two major objections that I hear from parents to registering for an entire session:

    1. That they aren’t sure if class will be right for their child. We get that. It can be hard to even imagine a toddler or preschooler yoga class if you’ve never attended one.

      That’s why we offer a No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 24 hours of class that you will not be able to continue the session, you will pay only $20 for the class you attended. (See refund policies for more information.)
    1. That they have travel or other schedule obligations that prevent full attendance. We understand schedules can be tricky. We intentionally skip holiday weekends and other high-travel times and offer a very generous make-up policy. To make up a missed class:
      • Any family member may take any other appropriate class during the same session – this means a similar kids class or parents can take an adult class;
      • If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class. Please confirm space availability with your instructor.

    Weekly Yoga and Baby Sign Language Makeups

    Students enrolled in weekly in-person yoga or baby sign language series classes (6-10 weeks) may make up missed classes in another appropriate classes within 4 weeks of the original series dates.

    balancing preschoolers

    This is quite flexible. For example, if you miss a baby yoga class and there isn’t another that suits your schedule, you may bring your toddler to Little Family Yoga as a make up. If you miss Little Family Yoga you may take a prenatal yoga class or come to Baby & Toddler Singing Time (weekly class, not weekend workshop). Anytime we have a “Pop-Up” class on the schedule, that can be a makeup (pop ups must be reserved in advance). You can even send different adult family members to do the makeup class. Students may make up in any location.

    See class policies for more details.

    Makeup Scheduling Online

    There is a makeup scheduler in the MainStreetSites registration system. You must be logged into your account for the makeup scheduler to appear and you must be enrolled in a class for makeup spots to be available.

    screen shot of makeup scheduler and drop down menu

    Once you are logged in, simply choose an appropriate makeup from the classes that appear. The student drop-down must match the enrolled student. If you are sending a different student than the original enrollment, just note that in the text field.

    screenshot of makeup class options

    Note that toward the end of the semester, there may not be any available makeups in your desired class. We recommend scheduling your makeup as soon as you know you will miss and when you can attend instead. Makeups do not carry over to the next semester.


    Workshop Makeups: Infant Massage, Birth & Baby Series

    Many of our workshops are one time events and there is no makeup option if you do not attend. See our workshop enrollment and refund policies for details.

    For short series classes such as Infant Massage, Beyond the Bump, or any birth & baby series – prenatal or postnatal, students may attend the same class in a subsequent series as a makeup. Those makeups are not in the scheduler. Email us to confirm.

    Our registration system automatically creates waitlists for any fully enrolled camp or class. To get on the waitlist, you complete the registration process but do not submit payment.

    If a camp fills way in advance, we will consider expanding staffing to accommodate waitlisted families.

    If a spot opens up, we will contact you about submitting payment or for confirmation before we charge the payment method in your profile.

    It is impossible to predict waitlist movement: Some camps we have several families change plans, sometimes at the very last minute. Sometimes when a spot opens, the first waitlisted family takes it. Other times, we call through the whole list and everyone has made other plans. So while we always recommend getting on the waitlist if you want to be called, we generally cannot make likelihood predictions.

    Speed things upon confirmation up by saving a payment card to your account profile. We use NMI which is a secure, PCI compliant merchant processing gateway to store payment information.

    Important: Do not include a waitlist registration on the same order as camp enrollment. The registration system will charge you in full for both camps even though your waitlist registration does not represent an enrollment. Tech support is working on fixing this problem. In the mean time, please do separate orders: one order for any camp with a waitlist and a separate order for any camp

    Occasionally we offer pop up classes for families to try out a single class with no commitment. Those tend to happen at the end of a term, but Baby Yoga & Play is scheduled for semi-monthly weekend pop up classes and Family Yoga (ages 4+) is sometimes offered in that format!

    Upcoming Pop Up Classes

    [ai1ec tag_name=”pop-up” view=”stream”]

     

    Get on our newsletter list to be notified when pop ups are scheduled.

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