Monday, August 31, 2009

Bend me, Shake me...

Emery and I finished up our stint at Yoga Child last Saturday...the class that wouldn't die is finally over, and I have mixed feelings. I'm sad that its done, mostly because it means this chapter of Emery's babyhood is closed. I remember being pregnant and thinking about how wonderful taking Mommy and Me yoga would be, I remember rubbing my belly and thinking of all the friends I would make and the things we would learn...


That really didn't happen.

I feel seriously underwhelmed and its a shame because the pre-baby lessons K.O. and I took at the studio were great! Its one of the reasons I was so pumped about post-natal classes; I thought if their couple's classes were so comprehensive, well then the actual baby classes were gonna blow me away.

Not so much. I found the instructor less learned than I had hoped, I didn't really connect with anyone else, and I felt frustrated throughout, spending more time trying to stop Emery from rolling off the mat than I did getting to practice any actual yoga.

So here's a break down of the good stuff and the bad stuff, just in case you were thinking of joining up. A lot of people talk/write about Yoga Child and this class, but there are very few ACTUAL reviews. I'm hoping this sheds a little light on the subject.

Lets start with...

The Positive:

It got me OUT OF THE HOUSE every week and there's a big part of me that says it was worth the price of the class right there. Knowing you have something to look forward to, knowing that if you just hold on for two more days there is a something other to do than go to the grocery store and stare at the wall, can get you through some tough spots.

I partially credit going to yoga with helping Emmy conquer her fear of strangers. She got to see other adults in a calm and quiet environment-as opposed to what usually happens-somebody or another is trying to take her from her mother, making googly faces inches from her own, all the while screaming about how cute she is. That's a lot to handle and I never understood why people were surprised when Emmy would recoil in terror. I think class helped with teaching Emery not all people are asses.

There were a couple of things my instructor said that made a lot of sense. I was able to bring a few lovely one liners home with me which I try to hold on to them when I am feeling stressed. The one that I really meditate on is about trying to give from an empty basket. The gentle reminder that its okay to take some time just for me has been exceptionally beneficial and I try to remember that metaphor when I feel myself overextending or trying to take on too much.

I got a little bit of exercise and now know just HOW out of shape my abs are.

They are very out of shape.

Moving on to the...

The Negative

The class wasn't as yoga-ish as I had hoped. A lot of the exercises we ended up doing were Pilate's based, and while yes, I do want a toned tush...I didn't sign up for squats, v-shapes sit-ups and crazy isometric tummy work. I wanted to gently stretch and rediscover my body...thus the reason I signed up for a yoga class...not a Pilate's class.

I didn't make a single friend. Now, its not that I didn't get along with the other ladies, the other women in the class seemed very nice, but I was the youngest there by a good ten years and Emmy was the oldest baby by a good 2 months. I blame this mostly on the fact I had C-section and had to wait 12 weeks before I could be cleared to take the class, most women only have to wait 6. No one really had much to say to me, and while that's not Yoga Child's fault, its still a negative for me.

The instructor seemed to be making things up as she went along. She kept trying to give us these calm, focused meditations, these insightful little tidbits of wisdom...only they were kinda based on the toys I'd brought Emmy to play with. One day she started talking about butterflies and cocoons, siting the Eric Carle book "The Hungry Caterpillar". I know this book very well, mostly because Emmy has both, a stuffed caterpillar and stuffed butterfly from said book

...which I bring to yoga

...which she was chewing on as this woman was going on and on about our metamorphosis.

She also had us try to do infant massage on our last day, which left the outfit Emmy was wearing that day smeared with oil which doesn't really come out in the wash. Don't get me wrong, she was a very nice woman, I just don't know how experienced she is, or well thought out the actual classes were. This leads me to my next point.

The schedule that the class was supposed to follow was, apparently, more of just a suggestion than an ACTUAL timeline for when we were to meet. I was supposed to be done with yoga the first week of August but my instructor had to cancel so often it was pushed back four weeks...right into the middle of my vacation. Granted, Yoga Child would let me make up two of the classes I missed with either the alternative baby class on Thursday or any adult class I'd like. And that's very nice...but I didn't sign up for the Thursday class and I don't have the time to take a class without my daughter...that's why I took the Saturday baby class.

Yoga Child is a great studio. The owner is wonderful, the staff is warm and helpful, and they're are right next to Whole Foods so parking is free. I wanted to write a happier review of my experience, but this is mucky hand I was dealt. Maybe Thursday's class is better, maybe I just stumbled into a bad round. Its possible, and I sincerely hope that's the case. Yoga Child deserves nothing but great reviews and I'll be hoping to get lots of email siting the awesome experience other people had in the same class.

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