Prenatal yoga brought me so much physical and emotional support during my pregnancy. Back then, I was committed to going three days a week. Before Baby was even born, I was looking forward to Mommy & Baby yoga classes as soon as I was cleared to exercise. I counted out six weeks from Baby’s last possible entrance into the world and wrote two months worth of classes into my calendar, plus additional reminders on my iPhone.
Oh, how those reminders taunted me. Six weeks postpartum, I was so sleep deprived I could barely function enough to take a shower. When Baby was eight weeks old, I started reading every book I could find on baby sleep. Mommy & Baby Yoga felt like an epic adventure I could only dream about. I was too scared to wake Baby up from a nap or of being out too long and missing his “sleep window.”
In the end, we only made it to one Mommy & Baby Yoga class, and instead seeing one of my amazing prenatal yoga teachers, we had a substitute. I actually loved her, but I was really looking forward to seeing Ashley again. If I could do it over, come hell or high water (or nap disruption), I would have made it to every class… at least for the Baby’s first 2-3 months. Scared of the hour and fifteen minute long class time, I should have called and talked to Ashley about my worries and figured out a way to get there for at least part of the time.
So now what? Despite what I just wrote, I’m still pretty nap weary. Now that Baby’s too mobile to come to class with me, but way too young for kids yoga, I would need to find a different studio or gym with childcare. But even then, the group classes don’t mesh with Baby’s schedule, and I’m a little wary of drop-off babysitting programs.
Still, I really needed yoga in my life again. Around New Years’ 2014, I made a resolution to do a sun salutation everyday. This felt like a practice I reasonably could keep. I wouldn’t have to leave the house. It would only take a minute or two. I could do it when Baby’s napping, before I go to bed, or even next to Baby during tummy time.
It seemed perfect. I finally found a way to keep my practice up… except for when I didn’t. Without a set time in my schedule, some days I would simply forget to do it. More than once, I got into bed for the night and then got back out to do a sun salutation before going to sleep. Other nights, there I was no way I was going to get back up once I laid down.
At about this time, I read about Yoga Studio App in Health Magazine. I looked it up in iTunes and read some great reviews. The Yoga Studio App offered classes three ways: by length (15, 30, or 60 minutes long), level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), or type (strength, relaxation, flexibility, balance, or combination). I would also be able build my own classes by piecing together individual poses or groups of poses already strung together for me.
However, the app also had a hefty price tag: $2.99. What?!?! For an app? Are you kidding me? Yes, I know I’ve paid double that for a cup of coffee, but the idea of spending $2.99 on an app was excruciating. I passed.
Yet something about the app really appealed to me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I went back and looked at it again. Deep breath. Buy. Password. Download. Please be worth it.
Oh my God. This app is amazing. It’s worth so much more than $2.99.
Everyday, after Baby goes down for his first nap, I do a 15 minute class. I do not change clothes, check email, tweet, pass go, or collect $200 (although that last one would be nice). I go directly to the playroom and roll out my mat (after scooting over Baby’s activity gym to make room on the floor).
Rotating through the four different 15 minute beginner options to keep it interesting, I’ve been going strong for over a month. I’m working up my courage to add some intermediate classes into the rotation and mix it up even more. I may only fit in a 15 minute practice, but it’s made a difference. I feel stronger and more flexible, and I can measure my improvement from doing the routines every week.
At first I worried about practicing without a teacher, but the app has seamlessly incorporated helpful tips throughout the classes. Little phrases like “reach your hips high,” “reach back strongly through your left heel,” and “pressing the outside edge of your back foot into the mat,” helped me find balance in previously difficult moves and further strengthen poses I had thought I’d already mastered.
Overall, I cannot recommend this app enough. I honestly can’t stop talking about it. It’s great for total novices or advanced yogis. I encouraged my mother-in-law to put it on her iPad, and I even got my husband to practice with me (twice). Yoga Studio App has to be one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
How do you fit in your yoga practice or another cherished activity? What app can you not live without?
Pingback: Kicking Up my Cardio with Billy’s Favorite Moves | Reflective Mama
Pingback: Dear Stroller, It’s Not You… | Reflective Mama
Pingback: Yoga Strong Every Day | Reflective Mama