Talking Mum & Baby Yoga with Melissa Curtis
We’re sitting having a chat with Melissa Curtis talking about her classes, why she loves Mum and Baby yoga and her experience of being a mum and a yoga teacher.
Q: How did you start teaching Mum and Baby yoga?
I started to teach Mum and Baby yoga after I realised my pregnancy yoga students needed a follow-on, plus I missed them and needed an excuse to get them back into my class so I could see their babies! All that was available at the time were classes that focused solely on the baby, but I wanted mums to get benefit from the class too.
Q: What are the benefits for those taking part in a mum and baby class?
The benefits are countless, to be honest; but here’s a few to start with. It helps a mother regain her strength and energy levels. These classes help build community, mother to mother support. Mothers leave feeling relaxed with new shoulders. There’s a strong emphasis on safe practice, making sure mother is practising the correct moves especially to help encourage the abdominal muscles to regain their shape. Postnatal yoga gives mother and baby time to bond both physically and emotionally. Mum is taught breathing and relaxation techniques which help soothe a tired nervous system. It’s amazing, you should see how the babies respond to me, talking their mums into a relaxation. They’re so interested in what I’m saying. Babies find this class fun with lots of learning and socialising.
Q: With all your years of experience as a teacher, can I get a great tip for all new mums?
To go with the flow and follow your own instincts. You don’t have to do what everyone around you is telling you should or shouldn’t be doing as a mother. My favourite affirmations for mothers is: I AM THE BEST MOTHER I CAN POSSIBLY BE. You are doing your best and that’s enough. From a yoga point of view, when looking into Mum and Baby yoga classes make sure the teacher knows how to check your stomach muscles correctly so they know what yoga will help but most importantly, not help you.
Q: What do you love most about teaching Mum and Baby yoga?
Seeing mothers connect and bond with each other during such a rollercoaster of a time. Having a baby is such a gift but, it’s by no means an easy task and requires lots of support networks. I feel my job is done when the class has finished and everyone is chatting away while I clean up. Only the other day I taught a class that finished at 11:45 am, all the mums went for a cuppa after and didn’t leave the canteen until 3:30 pm! This is when my heart sings.
Q: Is a Mum and Baby class for everyone or just those that have done yoga before?
Most women come to a Mum and Baby class without having ever done yoga. The class is geared towards everyone. If there is someone brand new to it or with 10 years of yoga practice behind them, I guarantee you they will all feel included. Some women are also worried their babies will not want to be put down or feed or sleep through the whole class. Well, yes this can happen but it’s never a wasted journey. Baby can be included in every yoga pose we do. If Mum wants to leave baby asleep after a long night then they get of yoga in and an extra relaxation, if baby ends up feeding the whole class well then Mum gets to sit back and relax watching us all but I always wink and say ‘there’s always the pelvic floor exercises’.
Our next Pregnancy Teacher Training course starts September 2018. For more information about how you can become a Pregnancy Yoga Teacher please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 677 9859