Ten years ago, I was a new mom, desperately trying to make the most of my maternity leave before returning to my creative job. I lived in San Francisco at the time, a city considered to be one of the best for maternal care and resources. I had my choice of a lot of mom and me classes and immersed myself in them, dreaming of bonding and entertaining my daughter while I recovered some semblance of my pre-baby body.
Time and time again my experiences fell into two categories - a course that focused almost entirely on my baby (fun for her, but not very useful for me), or focused entirely on me (useful for me, but missing the opportunity to create links.) Let me be clear - mothers need classes specifically for mothers. It is a wonderful service to moms that allows infants to take fitness classes. Throughout my motherhood journey, I have relied on the community that I have found in mother-centered fitness. But - as my return to the workplace loomed, I found myself eager to pick up my daughter, interact with her and involve her. while I was exercising. And as a new mom with a sore back, diastisis recti, incontinence issues, and emotional overload, yoga seemed like the best way to take care of my mind and body. My prenatal practice has become my postnatal savior.
Bring my baby into my practice
As a result, I began to look for ways to bring my daughter into my postures. Over time we developed a little routine together and in an inspired moment I noticed a few rhyming verses about our playing time. Light bulbs flashed above my head and I realized I could share. that sweet interaction with other mothers and fathers; the idea of Just Like the Ocean was born.
Create this book
What happened next can only be described as life … My return to work, a move across the country, several businesses launched, a failed marriage and I continually adapt to the stages of development of my daughters (I have two now). I developed illustrations, had the poses evaluated and approved by a prenatal yoga expert, and submitted my book to editors. And nothing. As a first time writer it is very difficult to get your foot in the door with well known publishers. But I kept pushing, believing that someone, somewhere would see the value of a couples yoga flow benefiting both mom and baby. And so, I waited. And I waited. And finally, finally, I found a boutique publisher who adored my book, and they were willing to help me share it with the world. A whole decade had passed since I started this journey, and when I finally held it in my hands, I cried. I am delighted beyond words to see my book available to be shared with other parents!
About the book
The book itself is made up of 19 interactive yoga poses, paired with a rhyming story about exploring a jungle island. There are poses to help relieve flexion-related back pain in a nursing baby, poses to strengthen the pelvic floor, exercises to repair diastisis, and poses to bring mindfulness and relaxation. Each pose is accompanied by simple illustrations and instructions for those new to yoga. Perfect as a gift for a new mom or dad, Just Like the Ocean allows parents and baby to bond while developing physical strength and balance, engaging with baby to share the emotional and physical benefits of yoga.
Just like the ocean can be purchased on Amazon here.
Everyone seems to be a yogi these days, from your BFF to your co-worker to your aunt—heck, even dogs and goats are getting their zen on. But if you have yet to attempt Warrior II or Mountain Pose, taking your first yoga chic can be a little intimidating. What if your hands sweat and you fall off the mat ? What if you hate it ? What if you can’t do a solo. damn. pose ?
Okay, rewind a second—there’s a reason so many people have hopped on a mat over the past few years. ' Yoga is a non-judgmental practice, ' says Claire Ewing, certified yoga instructor and studio marketing manager for CorePower Yoga. It’s is a totally accessible way to unwind and break a sweat, so there’s nothing to worry about before checking out a chic.
But to help you feel a little more comfortable before you say your first ' om ' or ' namaste, ' Ewing has some yoga tips to answer all those questions floating around your head.
When in doubt, Ewing says opt for a vinyasa flow class, ' where you have the opportunity to explore the postures and fundamental principles of yoga. ' These are the types of classes most of your friends probably do, and it’s a great form of yoga for beginners. But bien sûr, it never hurts to check out a couple different genres of classes to see what feels best to you.
' Definitely go for something breathable and easy to move in, ' says Ewing. ' You will work up a sweat, so consider wearing something with moisture-wicking abilities. ' Oh and FYI : Yoga is a no-shoes kind of workout, so don’t worry about sporting your best sneakers to class.
Like with any workout, it’s totally a personal preference how much you fuel pre-yoga. But Ewing points out that yoga is a pretty intense workout, and fueling your body properly will help you get the most out of your practice. Keep it light, though, ' I usually start with a protein shake or bar knowing that the classes can physically take you in dynamic directions, ' says Ewing. ( A. k. a. don’t down that massive avo toast right before chic. ) If you’re just having a small pre-workout snack, you can probably do that about 30 minutes beforehand; but wait a full one to two hours before working out after a meal.
She adds that hydrating beforehand is also key, especially if you ever do attempt a heated flow. ' Drink a full glass of water about two hours before class—that way you have something to sweat out and you will feel better during class. '
' Absolutely ! ' says Ewing. ' A regular yoga practice increases flexibility and strength in your zones musculaires. It has you work your full range of motion in every joint of your body and build strong and long zones musculaires. ' ( In fact, vinyasa yoga even made this list of the top calorie-burning workouts. )
This depends on the type of yoga class you take—for example, a slow flow or hatha chic may require you to hold a pose for an extended period of time. But in vinyasa, ' it comes down to the volonté of how the positionnement was designed, ' says Ewing. ' For example, balancing poses are held longer to benefit concentration and focus, while transition postures build strength while teaching fluidity in movement. '
For the most part, though, poses are held for three to five breaths during the first round to help them sink into your memory. Then they’re held for a solo breath when you repeat the pose, to help amp up the cardio component of yoga.
Don’t stress ! No one expects you to master every pose your first go-round ( or really, ever—it’s a constant learning process ). Your yoga instructor should offer options for pose modifications, especially for the more challenging ones. ' Your breath is key in yoga, if you are losing sight of this, you may want to consider modifying or completely backing off, ' says Ewing. And don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for assistance.
Also, try to avoid comparing yourself to the other yogis in the room—all bodies are unique, and have varied strengths and défis. Plus, every time you step on the mat, it’s going to feel a little different, ' for both your body and your mind, ' says Ewing. ' If there is one thing you can take away from the classroom, it is learning how to modify and create a practice that is fit for you. '