GUEST BLOG! KID'S YOGA TEACHER, SARAH'S STORY
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to start pregnancy yoga with Pippa!
I was eagerly waiting outside Biddenham Village Hall at a tender 14 weeks, and enjoyed my first session so much that I didn’t miss a single class right up to my last one, 4 days before giving birth to my first, beautiful daughter. I found the sense of relief on my increasingly tired and strained body an absolute necessity, particularly in those last few months where everything seems to be so heavy and slow, Pippa’s calm, gentle classes gave me an oasis of peace and time where I could just “be” without having to try to rush anywhere or make my body do things it was just not in the mood to do! The bonding time Pippa encouraged me to share with my unborn baby meant that when she arrived, I already felt I knew her, and I was just putting a face to the wonderful bond we already shared.
Once my daughter was 6 weeks old, I was once again banging on the door of the village hall, massively excited to start the next chapter in my mummy and child yoga journey. This time, the peace and calm was a wonderful excuse to relax with my baby, and both of us felt the benefits of cuddling up together in savasana, breathing together almost as if she were back inside me. The opportunity to talk to other mums was also a great comfort in those early weeks where as a new mum, I was always wondering if I was “doing it right” but Pippa’s classes gave me the confidence to realise there is no “right”, only what feels right for me and my child, and that has been the basis for my parenting ever since.
You can imagine my joy, when on finding out I was pregnant again, I was able to repeat my experiences with Pippa in another round of pregnancy and baby yoga sessions with my second daughter! This time, providing me with wonderful and much appreciated moments of calm from a chaotic (but adorable) toddler, giving me the chance to bond with my new baby away from anyone else who needs my time, and to focus all my attention on this beautiful new little being I had magically created.
Now, with a three year old and an almost-one year old, my yoga practice has taken me into more of a yin style with Kanti Freeman (Divine Harmony) - topped up with some hatha flow when feeling more energetic! This style of yoga is perfect for me at the moment when head space is as much needed as stretching and relaxation for my body. Kanti’s gong baths also are a fantastic way to clear out some mental cobwebs and have some much needed “me time” as the beautiful sounds of the gongs wash over me, I always leave her sessions feeling completely calm and ready for whatever my crazy (and glorious) family have to throw at me next! (Kanti teams up with Pippa for the Stretch & Sound Bath sessions held periodically on Sunday evenings, they are definitely worth a visit).
So, understanding how beneficial yoga is to me, I was desperate for my children to be able to experience this too. Pippa teaches wonderful classes up to the toddler years, but I didn’t want my children’s yoga journey to stop there! So I trained to be a children’s yoga teacher, and approached Pippa to see if she would be interested in teaming up to provide classes that will let kids enjoy the fantastic benefits that yoga can give, all the way through to the end of primary school. I am particularly passionate about this because of my other work as a secondary school drama teacher where I see the students reacting to the stress of exams, peer pressure, growing up…the multitude of things they have to deal with every day, and I want to be able to provide them with just a small moment of calm every week to help them manage all this.
My philosophy for yoga teaching is to help the children learn about the important stuff in life: how to de-stress, cope with big feelings, understand how amazing their bodies are to establish a positive body image, to look after nature and the world they will inherit, to understand that in this massively ego-centric world not everything has to be a competition and they are allowed to just “be” without judgement from others or perhaps more importantly, themselves. I also want to expand on my own experiences and evolve from where I left off with Pippa’s baby yoga classes, where I nurtured the amazing bond I have with my children. Why does that have to stop when they grow past babyhood?
Yoga is a fantastic way to develop parent/child bonding, as well as family bonding if siblings are attending the same class. And that “do what feels right for you” approach to parenting? Yoga encourages that as a school of thinking that can be applied to every aspect of life, and what better lesson is there for our children than to learn to trust themselves to make their own decisions in a way that is compassionate to their own needs, the needs of those around them, and the needs of our beautiful and ever evolving planet.
You can find out more about KIds, Pregnancy & Postnatal Yoga classes by clicking here