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New baby massage and postnatal recovery yoga course

I’m looking forward to meeting a new crop of babies and Mamas on Weds 17th Oct for a 5 week course ( no session Weds 7th Nov).

The Birthlight approach to massaging babies in the first three months is unique; we combine relaxed holds, gentle movement and breath work for Mums with a nurturing and effective massage routine.

This is such a precious time with your newborn 💞

£45 for 5 weeks including tea and treats before each class and massage oil. Free, easy parking and access. At my home studio in Ogwell.

There are 2 spaces remaining 💛

What’s on over Summer?

I am on the verge of stopping all my regular classes for the summer holidays. There will be other things happening though!

Baby Massage : I am running three taster/ top up days on:

Tues 31st July 11.30am-1pm

Thurs 16th Aug 11am-12.30pm

Tues 21st Aug 11-12.30

These are for anyone with a not-yet crawling baby who would like to try some baby massage, or top up with some extra learning perhaps on a part that you missed in the course that you did, or with ideas for progressing the massage now your baby is a little older. £9. Prebooked. Come to one , or more. email me jessyogawellness@icloud.com for more info.

Well Woman Yoga:

A lovely, enjoyable, nourishing form of yoga, inspired by my recent training with Francoise Freedman of Birthlight. Flow, stretch, blossom, connect with your pelvic floor and inner strength, let go, feel supported. Absolutely open to all women at all stages of life: First menstruation to post-menopause. A 2 hour workshop at King St Studios, Newton Abbot on Tues 31st July 7-9pm. £18.Contact me to book/more info.

Blissful Bumps Pregnancy yoga workshop:

One space remaining: Sat 18th Aug 3-5pm £15

I will be found at the beginning of the Summer holidays at Sundara Festival, working in the kids area, and at Santosa Living Yoga and Bhakti camp at the end of the holidays, offering massage and teaching yoga to the smallest campers! I recommend either of these as a way of delving deeper into the many forms of yoga there are, as well as dance, singing, spirituality, holistic therapies and bodywork, and just plain old fun and connection. Oh and the best hot outdoor shower ever, overlooking Glastonbury Tor!

 

New Friday open yoga class!

I am pleased to be able to offer a 6 week course covering the foundations of a yoga practice, starting 8th June, 1.15-2.15pm at King St Studios, Newton Abbot.

Absolutely everyone is welcome and I would love you to try a class for £7 if you are not sure. With this only being a one hour class it is perfect to do in your lunchtime or to slot in to your busy day! The shorter time does mean a little less time to prepare the body for more challenging posture practice so the class will be a gentler option than my Sunday night one. Gentle yet effective though! Give me an hour of your precious time and yoga will give you back SO much more!

Meet me!

This is a lovely video made by the School of Bodywork, featuring me talking about the Indian Head massage course I teach there, and below check me out in action giving, and talking through, an Indian Head Massage. It is lovely : suitable for anyone , very accessible if someone is nervous or doesn’t want to get undressed. It is, as I say here, an upper body massage rather than just the head. See ;massage’-  ‘treatments and prices’ tab for more info.

Next course at the School of Bodywork will be in early 2019!

Postnatal Yoga Mini Retreat in May

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This one is for you if you have, or think you may have an abdominal separation ( diastasis recti)/ pelvic floor issues/ a feeling that something just isn’t fitting back together post giving birth!

Space v limited so let me know soon if you are interested.

New half term starting , classes for tiny people through to adults!

I have new courses in Newton Abbot of :

💛 Postnatal recovery and baby massage

💛 Mum and baby yoga

💛 Toddler yoga

starting this April, and ongoing Sunday classes:

💛 Pregnancy Yoga

💛 Open Yoga

I will be scheduling a Mums’ mini retreat soon, and a postnatal recovery yoga extended class focusing on healing pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

I’d love to hear from you if you can’t find what you are looking for on here!

Yoga for everyone in the heart of Newton Abbot!

Yoga: The Sunday sessions is my weekly open class. Suitable for anyone (over the age of 16) who wants to get peaceful, feel great in their body , and start their week on a high 🙂 Includes slower, restorative practices for quieting the mind and awakening deeper wisdom, as well as stronger, flowing yoga which will raise your heart rate and strengthen you from within. Balances and inversions are worked towards in a way that starts where you are at but challenges you to explore what your body can do! Anyone can benefit from these postures with the right guidance and props!

Drop in rate £9. Prebooked block rate £7.50.

Classes for the smallest students ( Mum and baby yoga, toddler yoga) are now on a two week break for Easter. We restart on Tues 10th April ’18 and there are a small number of places left on both classes ( Toddler yoga 10-10.45am, Mum and baby 11-12.30)

The next postnatal recovery and baby massage course ( for babies aged around 2 -12 weeks) – starts on the 10th May. This is a 5 week course.

Pregnancy yoga continues ( except Easter Sunday 1st April), Sundays 5-6.45pm. Prebook a taster session/ block of 7 classes. ( shorter blocks are possible if you are near the end of your pregnancy!)

Family Yoga: sorry but this monthly class is taking a break until i finish my studies in December ’18. I will also be taking it to a couple of festivals in the Summer holidays!

Mums’ mini yoga retreats: next date for a Saturday Spring mini retreat TBC soon. These cost £25 (3 hour session with tea and cake!)

Lots of Yoga on offer for the New Year in Newton Abbot! 

I am very happy to have finalised my timetable for January, offering yoga for every stage in life! 

TUESDAYS: 

Toddler yoga 10-10.45am

Mum and baby yoga 11.15-12.30pm

WEDNESDAYS: 

Private sessions at Mama Bears Nursery, Queens Drive, Paignton. 

THURSDAYS:

Postnatal recovery and baby massage 11am-12.15pm

Private baby yoga session at Humpty Dumpty’s nursery, Newton Abbot

SATURDAYS:

Mini yoga retreat Sat 20th Jan 1.30-4.30pm

SUNDAYS:

Pregnancy Yoga 5-6.45pm

Yoga- The Sunday sessions- 7.15-8.45pm ( Open yoga class)

FOR MORE DETAILS SEE THE TABS ON EACH CLASS . Namaste 🙏🏻💜❤️💚💛🕉

Toddler and preschooler yoga

Toddlers love yoga! In fact they already know how to ‘do’ yoga! They are wonderful at exploring their physicality, And have a sense of fun and adventure built-in! Yoga harnesses their natural playfulness and flexibility, their ability to copy, and their desire to do things ” all by myself!”; using their love of rhythm and rhyme , we throw in songs and verses to engage them and help them remember; and knowing that they still need to come back to their grownup for cuddles, and that they cant resist climbing on them while they are in a yoga pose, we keep Mums/Dads/carers yoga-ing while their Tot might be off investigating the room; we repeat fun and challenging elements like inversions on grownups backs, butterfly swings, or zooming to the moon, so even a cautious Tot will decide to try them when they are ready; and we always end up with a lovely relaxation under the imaginary tree: “all the children are having a rest, under the Tree, under the Tree../ all the mummies/ all the daddies.” And yes, even the busiest bee will lie down with their grownup /under a sparkly blanket with a comfy cushion when they see everyone else doing it too!

Toddler and preschooler Yoga:

4 wk courses running 10-10.45am Tuesdays at King St Studios, Newton Abbot.. £6.50 per week prebooked. Please ask for dates of current course.

This class is suitable from around 1 to 4 yrs.

For those learning to walk steadily yoga can help them develop balance and coordination and a sheer love of movement! After about 18 months/ 2 yrs copying starts to emerge and toddlers can do lovely balancing, stretching , rolling and resting on their own, as well as playing with their grownup to run, skip, fly, skydive , and practice steady landings!

It is great if you have more than one Tot; we can incorporate smaller babies too if you want to bring your baby and toddler together.For younger toddlers, copying is often delayed.. they might show you their yoga later at home after class! 

You dont need any yoga experience, you dont need to be bendy! Equally, if you have done yoga before it will give you some ideas for reintroducing it into your life with your Tot! (:

I also offer 1:1 tuition, bespoke sessions for groups, and fun yoga – based birthday parties for 0-4 yr olds; prices on request .

I am currently teaching weekly preschool yoga at Mama Bears Nursery, Queens Drive, Paignton. I taught yoga at Skylarks nursery from 2014-2015

Please enquire about preschool/ nursery yoga. Jessyogawellness@icloud.com 07707297316

Mum and baby yoga

Yoga is the perfect companion on the journey of Mothering! Befriending your breath means you will have the best tool for calming yourself and your baby , and delighting them too! any time you need it! Feeling nourished, more open, and stronger from within, will help you enjoy what can be a tiring and challenging year! Mums say they leave feeling great and the class is the highlight of their week!
Doing baby yoga not only lays the foundations for babies’ healthy physical and emotional development; it enhances life with your baby by teaching you techniques for safe, relaxed holding and picking up, soothing a crying baby, being playful together and relaxing together. Babies love yoga! They often seem to ‘ open out’ as they do their yoga, and it can really help to reduce frustration when they are trying to roll, sit, crawl, slide and generally wriggle around! Yoga is gentle, respectful, loving and nurturing touch: we start with massage, songs and rhymes to engage them , and move on to fun stretches, balances, inversions and sequences that will delight them! Then they get to have a lovely cuddle on you as we do a walking relaxation and , usually, finish off lying down or sitting quietly while you share your calm!
I have been using baby yoga techniques and exercises with my Tots since they were tiny, and have been teaching Birthlight baby yoga since Jan 2011. I love it and i love sharing it!

You dont need any yoga experience, you dont need to be bendy! Equally, if you have done yoga before it will give you some ideas for reintroducing it into your life as a Mum (:
Mum and Baby Yoga classes:
Tuesdays 11am-12.15pm and Thursdays 10.30-11.45am
King St Studios , Newton Abbot
Suitable for babies moving on from my postnatal recovery and baby massage classes /from around 12 weeks, to approx 10 months.
For Mums there are lots of stretches, breathing practices and tips for lifting, carrying and soothing babies without strain. Baby yoga includes Mum moving baby’s body into mini yoga positions , and using her own body to support baby in flying, rolling and going upside down! All fantastic for their development. A precious pause in your week to explore and enjoy movement, songs and relaxation with your little one, and to meet other Mums.
Classes At King St Studios in NEWTON ABBOT
£18 for a 2 week taster/ £54 for a 6 week block ( dates can be prebooked off , eg for holidays/appointments) Please contact me on jessyogawellness@icloud.com or 07707297316 to book / for more info. An info sheet including directions, parking info, etc will be sent to you when you enquire.
I also offer 1:1 tuition and bespoke sessions for groups, on request .
Jess xx

Postnatal recovery and baby massage

The first three months after birth are often referred to as the ‘ fourth trimester’, as babies need to remain close to their Mothers and require a nurturing, safe, low stimulation environment to ease the transition from womb to world! For Mamas, this is a time of enourmous change, physical and emotional demands, and the need for nurture and rest is huge.
Postnatal recovery is yoga specially adapted to the first 3 months of Motherhood: deeply nourishing, relaxing and focused on realigning , and arriving in this new, post- natal body!
Baby Massage is about loving touch, enhancing development, and creating special time for bonding between parent and baby from very early on in life.
A 5 week course gives you the opportunity to learn to massage your baby, and look after yourself too. When we feel grounded, safe and rested, we can enjoy our babies! Happy Mama: happy baby (:
Classes:
Thursdays 12.15-13 pm at King St Studios, Newton Abbot. Year- round. 5 week courses. NEXT COURSE STARTS THURS 12th Oct 2017

£45 for a 5 week course. 
 Jess 07707297316/ jessyogawellness@icloud.com
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Suitable for babies aged from around 3 to 10 weeks at the start of the course. ( Babies can be massaged from birth, but the class environment may be over stimulating for a newborn. )
Birthlight Baby Massage offers more than other baby massage classes as it includes elements of baby yoga such as gentle hip sequence movements which helps to ease digestion, and holds that can soothe and settle babies. For Mums there are gentle stretches, energising and relaxing breathing practices and tips for lifting, carrying and soothing babies without strain. Class ends with a quiet relaxation which will recharge you for the rest of the day, and of course there is a chance to meet other Mums of very young babies in a small and nurturing group.
 An info sheet including directions, parking info, etc will be sent to you when you book.
I also offer 1:1 or 1:2 tuition ( gift vouchers available) and bespoke sessions for groups, on request .

Yoga: The Sunday sessions! Price and time alterations.

My Sunday evening class now runs from 7.15-8.45pm. Drop in price is £9 and prebooked rate,  for a block of 6 is £45, meaning you get one class free per block for prebooking. 

This class is suitable for anyone . I can adapt for children over the age of 11yrs (11-16 yrs price £5, 16-21yrs £6), for pregnant and postnatal women, and for whatever you may bring to your mat! Please contact me if you have specific questions/ access needs.

The content will vary : energising standing practices, breath work, floor work to deepen body awareness, accessible inversions ( going upside down), core strengthening practices, and deep relaxation. It is so much more than stretching! 

I play some great music to inspire you and get you flowing , plus we have quieter times to really tune into your breath and deeply listen to your body.

I love sharing what i love doing! Come and give it a try, just turn up! Its such a lovely way to round off your weekend 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🕉🕉🕉

Toddler yoga returns!

It’s been a while since i have run a weekly toddler class, and I will be doing this as a short block of 4 sessions: enough time to give you the tools to practice with your toddler at home, for example learning some songs and rhymes to massage and yoga- to! , starting to work on some acrobatic moves together, and helping your toddler with their balance, coordination and patience! 

10-10.45am, Tuesdays from 27th June-18th July. £7 , booked in advance in a block of 4 ( if you will eg be away you can book for less weeks)

If youd like more info/ to book, Contact me jessyogawellness@icloud.com for an info sheet and i will send a paypal invoice when you confirm.

I do love teaching toddlers and their grownups! Cant wait! 

New In Newton Abbot! Yoga: the Sunday Sessions 🕉🌞

After searching for the right training programme for a good few years, I am pleased as punch to say that I will , as of 24th June 2017, be a student of Tara Fraser, under the British Wheel of yoga, studying for a 300 hour yoga teaching Certificate.

This means i can practice teaching generic yoga classes whilst on the course. (I have already been teaching yoga for 7 years but only to specific groups: Mums and babies, etc)

I feel utterly ready and very happy to be able to offer this and already have a lovely long list of people who have expressed an interest in coming!

The style of yoga will be a mixed bag of hatha yoga; a  mixture of what i have been learning and practicing myself for the last 18 years, ( influences too many to mention! I enjoy a more challenging practice at times, love an uplifting piece of music or two , and I also love slower, mindful, relaxing and grounding yoga) ..plus what i learn from Tara, and what i already teach ( a gentle style focusing on inner stability and with lots of restorative practices)

This class will be open to anyone over the age of 13 yrs.

Drop in price £9 per session, £7.50 if booked in advance as a block of 6 ( you have 8 weeks to use it)

I look forward to yoga- ing with you 🙏🏻🌈🌞🕉

Notice anything different about me??!

I am finally getting the chance to update my website, changing it’s look and most importantly, name! In January I changed my business name from Treetots Yoga to Jess Yoga and Wellness, to reflect the increasing amount of my work which is not just about babies. However! babies still feature very heavily so do not worry! I hope you like the new look and feel (;

Mums Mini Yoga Retreat! Sun 9th Oct

I am running what will be the third Mums yoga workshop at King St studios, 2-4.30pm on Sun 9th Oct. Cost is £20 including tea and homemade vegan cake!

You can expect a specially tailored yoga practice which will deepen your understanding of your postnatal body and enable you to try some more challenging new poses safely. 

Some pair work will allow you to feel supported into a really good stretch, and some sound and flowing mudra work will nourish your feminine energy.

Enjoy a deeply relaxing end to the class with plenty of comfy props, followed my tea and cake.

Suitable for women who are between 6 months and 5 years postnatal ( approx: contact me to discuss.)

Book via 07707297316 / treetotsyoga.co.uk treetotsyoga@me.com.      Jess x❤️

Toddlers, tiddlers, babies and bumps!

I am very happy to be offering something for all of these from September! See timetable page for class times and dates. All classes at King St Studios, Newton Abbot. Book soon as they will fill up xx

Upcoming Workshops

I will be running the following workshops over the Next few weeks: Weekday classes have now stopped until Sept ( see the post below for dates and times for Sept)

Pregnancy yoga is running on Sundays throughout, but NOT on 28th Aug.

Sat 13th Aug: 2-4.30pm: Mini Yoga Retreat for Mums. Suitable for Mums from 3 months to 5 years post natal, this will be a chance to come along without your little one/s and enjoy an energising, grounding yoga practice including some fun pair stretches and massage, followed by an extra long, blissful relaxation with plenty of comfy props! Time for chat over tea and homemade vegan cake at the end. £20 . Advance booking via treetotsyoga@me.com ( Jess) x

Sun 9th Oct: Birth preparation workshop for couples, in partnership with Donna Sparkes.

Donna is an experienced Midwife who worked in New Zealand before raising her family back in the UK. I am really happy to be working with her to bring Mums and Dads -to -be , a yoga and antenatal birth preparation workshop which will help you feel more confident, calmer and give you a toolkit for an active , empowered labour and birth. Suitable for all birth choices. Times and price tbc. Register your interest via treetotsyoga@me.com / 07707297316 ( Jess)

Treeteen Yoga

I completed my Teenyoga ( http://www.teenyoga.co.uk) training course in Totnes in November 2015, with Helen Clare ( http://www.helenclareyoga.com)
I am now excited to be offering yoga in secondary schools in the Newton Abbot area.
I have a background in working with young people , and gained a postgraduate diploma in youth and community work ( Informal and Community Education) from St Martins College, Lancaster, in 2004.
I have managed and run youth projects : promoting sexual health, street based youth work and for young people with Aspergers Syndrome.
I moved away from this line of work when i had my children and trained to teach yoga to smaller people! I am very pleased to be returning to it through yoga, and look forward to using this incredibly powerful took to engage with young people aged 13-18 in schools and colleges.
Contact me to discuss any aspect of Treeteen Yoga. Treetotsyoga@me.com, 07707297316 ( Jessica)

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Indian Head Massage

I have just tutored my first group of massage therapists in Indian Head Massage at the School of Bodywork in Exeter ( http://www.schoolofbodywork.com)

12 qualified massage therapists were on the Diploma course, and the majority gained a Distinction in their practical exam, which i was very proud to witness! I loved passing on my passion for this wonderful treatment and hearing them comment how relaxing they found it to give as well as recieve.

The next course will be in Sept 2016.

 

New baby massage courses

There are spaces on both new courses coming uo in Newton Abbot ( starts Thurs 21st May, 12-1pm), and Totnes, ( starts Tues 9th June, 11.45am-12.45pm). Both are £35 for 5 weeks, suitable for age approx 3 weeks to 3 months.
Mum and baby yoga is more suitable if your baby is 10 weeks or more.
Contact me ASAP to book. See the menu above for more info.

Classes come to Newton Abbot!

I am really looking forward to teaching at Samasthiti Yoga, Newton Abbot’s first dedicated yoga studio. Treetots Mum and Baby yoga (3-10 mths old) starts there Thurs 16th April at 10.30-11.45am, and Treecalm baby massage (3 -12 wks old) 12-1pm. See the menu above for further details. Advance booking essential.

New classes in Newton Abbot!

Really pleased to announce that Treetots will be arriving in my home town of Newton Abbot from Thurs 16th April! Treecalm baby massage for babies aged 3wks-3months , and Treetots Mum and Baby yoga ( for age approx 3- 10 months) will be on Thursday mornings. Time tbc soon. I hope to be able to offer toddler yoga as well in the not too distant future! Follow the blog, like the facebook page, follow me on twitter, for updates, or  text/ whatsapp on 07707297316 to be put on the list to recieve further info. Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces who couldnt make the Totnes days too! (:

New baby massage class on Wednesdays!

IMG_2715-0.JPGThere are currently 2 baby massage classes running, Weds 12.15-1.15pm, and Thurs 11.30am- 12.30pm. Next Thursday course starts 12th Feb, 11.30am- 12.30pm. These classes are for babies aged approx 4-12 weeks. Treetots Mum and Baby yoga is now at 10.30-11.45am Weds. There is no toddler yoga class running at the moment.
Looking forward to another term of lovely babies! (:

Advent special offers!

Over on the Treecalm and Treetots Facebook pages you will find an offer every day until Christmas Day! From discounts on massage for you to special rates for classes, there’s bound to be something to appeal! Pop along and like the page/s to stay up to date! http://www.facebook.com/Treetotsyoga http://www.facebook.com/Treecalmtherapies
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Baby Massage Courses

The next baby massage course starts Dec 11th in Totnes ( there will be 2 sessions before the Christmas break then restarting Jan 7th). These sessions are for babies aged approx 4-12 weeks. They include some yoga-based holds, lifts and movements for babies, and stretches and relaxation for Mums. Birthlight baby massage includes simple, easy to learn strokes that are gentle and effective. Massage is ‘ Loving Touch’, a special time for Mum and baby to communicate and bond. The movements can help with digestive complaints and unexplained crying. Massage also benefits babies’ brain development, skin and muscle tone. A joint relaxation at the end leaves sleepy, happy babies and refreshed Mummies! I teach in a small group, in a lovely venue in the heart of Totnes. Previous attendees have said ” i really loved your teaching style, the group felt warm and nurturing” , and ” a really lovely and worthwhile activity to do with your baby”.
treetotsyoga@me.com 07707297316 to book.IMG_2715.JPG

Massage clinic in Paignton

I have now started a Friday morning clinic at Riviera Wellbeing in Paignton, situated in the town centre. Treatments on offer are Indian Head Massage ( express treatment from £28), pregnancy and post natal
massage, and baby massage tuition ( includes some baby yoga). Appointments btw 9am & 12.30. 01803 467444 to book, or for more info/enquiries contact me treetotsyoga@me.com 07707297316 or click on the menu above.

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Baby massage in Totnes and Paignton

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I am excited about starting my Friday clinic at Riviera Wellbeing, Paignton, ( http://www.rivierawellbeing.co.uk) where i will be able to offer 1:1 and small group baby massage tuition ( including some baby yoga), as well as pregnancy and post natal massage and Indian Head Massage. There is a great team at Riviera Wellbeing, headed up by Phoebe Bavin, a chiropractor who specialises in babies as well as pregnancy and post natal care!

Totnes baby massage classes start Thurs 11th Sept at Chapel House Studios, 11.30-12.30, £35 for 5 weeks. This will be a small group, for babies aged 4 weeks to 12/14 weeks. The class includes many extras like baby yoga moves, stretches and relaxation for Mums, and holding and lifting techniques. You will get much more than you would at any other baby massage class! (; contact treetotsyoga@me.com to book / 07707297316

Walking relaxation with baby in " tiger in the tree"
Walking relaxation with baby in ” tiger in the tree”

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Why Baby yoga is brilliant! 10 reasons:

Jess Yoga and Wellness

Tummy time across the legs!

One of the Hale mums asked me this morning “what are the benefits of baby yoga?”- a very good question that left me floundering in a sea of information and enthusiasm!! So, here goes:
Why baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 1!
For newborn- 3 mths, baby yoga helps establish good head control by giving you positions to hold them in to encourage the neck and back muscles to strengthen. This helps them later to learn to roll, sit , crawl,, and beyond!

Why Baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 2!:
For newborn plus, it eases digestive discomfort, eg. moves to release wind , strategies for soothing colic.

Why Baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 3!
The baby yoga approach (particularly the Birthlight approach) is to encourage babies to explore in 3d- offering enough physical support but allowing them to move themselves- eg the sways that we do…

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Yoga while babywearing! Some top tips!

Jess Yoga and Wellness

Any Mum with a young child will know it is a challenge to find time for yourself. Practicing yoga with your little one is a great way to enhance your wellbeing as well as having fun with them. Another way is to do some yoga with your baby in a sling/ wrap/ carrier! (Also known as babywearing).

Here are some top tips for Yoga while babywearing:

1. Follow the TICKS rules for safe babywearing. (Google it)

2. Use a quality sling that is adjusted perfectly for you. Get advice , eg from The Sling School Manchester (www.theslingschool.com). My personal preference is stretchy wraps and woven wraps; basically a long bit of (specialist) material which you wrap around your body and the baby. Fits perfectly, spreads baby’s weight evenly over your back and torso, and no sticky out bits to get in the way!  Pictured above is the ‘Je porte mon…

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New: Treecalm Baby Massage

My latest arrival is Treecalm baby massage! Combining the Birthlight approach to baby massage with gentle stretches and relaxation for both parents and babies as well as tips and techniques for lifting, carrying and settling babies that will give you a precious toolkit for life with your new baby!
Massaging babies regularly can help parents bond with and enjoy their baby; ease colic, wind, constipation and crying in babies; and help babies sleep more deeply.

Baby massage home tuition ( birth to approx 5 months) available throughout South Devon.
Baby massage summer workshops:
Dads and babies workshop, Sat 26th July 10.30am, Totnes ( approx 4 weeks to 5 months)
Baby massage classes from Sept 2014 in Totnes and Ashburton.( day and time tbc) ( for babies age 0-4 months)

Spring Cleaning without actual cleaning!!

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Spring is such a wonderful time! But does anyone else feel a sense of dread at the words ” spring cleaning”? As a busy Mum, i barely find time to do eseential cleaning ( ie slightly more than using baby wipes to swipe the worst bits…) , and i dont imagine my Tots would agree that spending a morning cleaning would be a priority over going to the beach, doing their new puzzle, playdough, etc etc…! 

SO! I have a great alternative that may just clear enough negative energy for actual cleaning to become a possibility.. Or maybe not, but this way we focus on what we CAN do! 

Try listing ( mentally or on paper) 3 things that feel ” stale” : 1. In your relationships / day to day routine 2. In your work ( which cd be parenting if you dont have paid work), and 3. In your home environment.

then find 3 easy, positive things you can do, within the next 24 hours, towards shifting this stale energy. Dont think too hard: go easy on yourself! And they must be stated with positive intention ( a Sankalpa in yoga terms), so no ” i will NOT or i will STOP, instead ” i will, or i AM ( better still!)

For example: 1. I always stay up too late on a sunday ( positive step: i am taking care of myself by having a bath and being in bed by 10.15pm) 2. I dont know why , but this project is not working. ( positive step: stop it for now and see what else emerges ) 3. I have a pile of toys/ papers/ dishes that never seems to shift! ( clear it now! Tackle 3 things within it and sort the rest into a drawer/ throw away.)

Now do them! (: ( let me know how you get on ) x

 

Ways to relax with your baby!

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Before i had a baby i couldnt help wonder if all those people telling me ” just you wait” / ” you will never sleep again”/ ” you wont be able to do that any more” etc.. were right and i would have to give up my love for yoga, relaxation and meditation When i had a small person to care for Whose needs came above my own.

Happily, i have found that if i take care of my own wellbeing, pay attention to my breath, draw my focus inwards into my body instead of reacting to situations when they feel unsettled…magically, it has a positive effect on my children too.

I would like to share with you some lovely pics taken at one of my classes of Mums really relaxing with their babies. It makes me quite emotional when i see these.. If i have helped anyone to calm themselves and enjoy some moments of oneness with their baby, i am one happy teacher! (:(:

1: Mummy and Child's pose
1: Mummy and Child’s pose
Legs up the wall pose: with baby up the legs!
Legs up the wall pose: with baby up the legs!
Walking relaxation with baby in " tiger in the tree"
Walking relaxation with baby in ” tiger in the tree”
Suported cross legged sitting pose with relaxed hold on baby
Suported cross legged sitting pose with relaxed hold on baby
Supported sitting pose with alert but relaxed baby!
Supported sitting pose with alert but relaxed baby!
Lying flat, knees raised to ease lower back, baby content across Mums tummy
Lying flat, knees raised to ease lower back, baby content across Mums tummy
This is me actually.. Wearing the fab JPMB stretchy wrap, having some lovely outdoor relaxation with my 2nd born, approx 5 months old (:
This is me actually.. Wearing the fab JPMB stretchy wrap, having some lovely outdoor relaxation with my 2nd born, approx 5 months old (:

Pregnancy and postnatal massage

imageI specialise in pregnancy and postnatal massage; i visit you at home, bringing everything you need to feel totally calm and comfortable. Then you only have to put on your dressing gown and chill afterwards! (; i am happy to work around baby’s feeds etc: i understand things are unpredictableImage with a baby. For pregnant clients i use a massage chair or massage bed with body cushion. You totally deserve it, and it’s good for baby too..i also do personalised vouchers for a lovely gift (:

Home visits available in South Devon. See ” Treecalm Therapies” tab above for more info.

Pregnancy and postnatal massage

I specialise in pregnancy and postnatal massage; i visit you at home, bringing everything you need to feel totally calm and comfortable. Then you only have to put on your dressing gown and chill afterwards! (; i am happy to work around baby’s feeds etc: i understand things are unpredictableImage with a baby. For pregnant clients i use a massage chair or massage bed with body cushion. You totally deserve it, and it’s good for baby too..i also do personalised vouchers for a lovely gift (:

visits available in South Devon.

Hello South Devon!

Treetots has relocated to Sunny South Devon! The Tots and I have been here for 2 weeks now ( I actually grew up here but have been in the North West for 20 yrs!)
I am currently researching the area, aiming to have classes for both babies and toddlers up and running in September. These will be in the Totnes / Ashburton / Newton Abbot area.
I am available straight away for massage : I specialise in Pregnancy and Postnatal ( New Mums) massage, (although i do massage for all grownups!) i work on a mobile basis so I come to you (: ideal if you have a bump or little person to work around, and you can just relax after your treatment. More info on the drop down menus above / text 07707297316 / email treetotsyoga@ me.com
Jessica x

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Treetots is Uprooting!!

Big changes are afoot! Treetots Yoga will be uprooting and moving to South Devon at the end of June.
Classes are still running as normal for now, and I am still taking massage bookings for this month.
Final class dates as follows:
Knutsford Toddlers and Babies: Weds 12th June. (Baby class moves to Tues 10am from 18th June with Sarah Clover of Breathing Space Yoga.
Hale Babies: Tues 25th June.
Sale Toddlers and babies: Fri 28th June.
Yours, Jessica x

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How much yoga is enough yoga?

A quick answer that will be relevant to most of the Mums who come to or are thinking of coming to my classes, is ANY amount of yoga can be hugely beneficial! If you can come once a week you will learn a lot, you will use some of it at home, and some of it may come to you at those times in the middle of a hard night with a teething baby, or a long wet afternoon with a tetchy 6 month old… And you will think- phew I’m glad i had that in my toolkit! I know this as Mums have told me so!
If you can come to class AND do a daily ten minute joint practice with your baby, you will both benefit massively! It’s amazing how even a few minutes pausing in your day to pay attention to your posture and breath, and to tune in to and delight your baby with your movements, song, voice and smile, can really perk up your day together.
With a toddler, ten minutes is quite a lot, and you may well find that their first reaction is “NO”!!, especially if you try and be too insistent about it! Better to slot in a few of the songs or individual poses when you can, so they don’t actually know they are doing yoga! Or maybe that’s just my rather independent minded little girl…..!

If you practice/ d yoga before having children, you may like me have wondered how you would keep up your practice alongside family life. It is generally hard to get out to a yoga class while you have a young baby, and I would say, probably not advisable while your baby is under 6 months anyway ( and needs caution ie tell the teacher you are postnatal, after that, I would say until baby is 1 year but much depends how your birth, and postnatal recovery has been.)
I didn’t get back to a class until my second baby was over a year, and with my first, attempted to get back to my regular class from when she was around 8 months on numerous occasions involving last minute dashes after breast feeding my baby to sleep, running past the babysitter out of the door and then getting there to find the class full, on one particularly memorable occasion! ( I think I actually cried in the leisure centre foyer!) I found with the my first that the frustration of feeling like I couldn’t get back to class and wondering when this would be possible, actually had a worse effect than the lack of uninterrupted practice! Soi tried to go easy on myself the second time, and had lower expectations anyway being on my own much of the time with two little ones. When I finally made it back to class it was sooooo worth it! I had a deep emotional release during ‘ saddle pose’ that took me back to giving birth, connected me with my changed, postnatal self, and brought me right back into the present. I have been to a couple more classes since then but the Saturday morning class I can sometimes get to clashes with a music class that my little ones love, and I have to say, that takes priority. I feel that the best way to practice is to have a home based practice, no matter how infrequent or ” chopped up” it has to be to fit around children’s needs and the need for sleep! Classes are the icing on the cake for me, really important to check in, to get inspiration and guidance from a teacher, but most important to have a foundation of connecting with your self on your own mat.
I do not do an asana practice every day. Sometimes I go a while week without a fuller practice; usually I do about half an hour if I’m lucky. But this works for me, it is better than nothing, and I try to live the principles of yoga , and to use my breath as an anchor, every day.
Last year I blogged about a ‘ home based yoga retreat’ over Easter weekend, and I am planning on doing the same thing this year, and to share with you how this is different now having two toddlers instead of a new baby and a toddler! Watch this space! How do you balance your practice with your parenting? Or are they part of the same thing?

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    My baby boy’s birth story.. Again!

    Reposting this for Tracey (:
    My baby boy was born on Wednesday 28/12/11 at 10.10am , weighing 7lb 2oz. He is my second baby , my little girl was born in March 2010.

    I was 9 days over my EDD. I woke up at about 8am and said to my partner ‘Im going to be pregnant forever!’ as it felt like every night passing was another one with no labour starting!! Little did i know 2 hours later my boy would be in my arms!!
    I went downstairs to make a brew and some strong Braxton Hicks then turned into some mild contractions; they were so gentle i thought they would go away again but i looked at the clock and timed 4 of them, 3 mins apart; i went back upstairs and told my partner, reassuring him that he didnt need to call the doula, or the midwives, or fill the pool, and i would just go for a shower and see how i got on. By the time i got into the shower i realised i should phone the doula, which i did myself and then handed the phone to my partner as another contraction came!
    By the time i got out of the shower i was having to hold on to the door handles and sway my hips, as my partner hurried to get our little girl up and called family to take her round to his Mum’s. By the time i got to the bedroom i was having to hold on to the windowsill and bed , lower to the ground. I became really hot, felt sick, threw off my dressing gown and wished i had prepared some more floor coverings for the bedroom suddenly as i realised this was where i was going to be labouring! My partner came up from sorting out our little girl and making phonecalls to the doula and midwives, and i held on to his shoulders, and asked for my ball and some towels. from this point i had about twenty minutes of intense labour where i dont remember having any thoughts , i think i just went inside myself and breathed my way through the contractions. Shortly after this i had intense pressure in my lower back, and then very soon i could feel things were changing- a sense of calm came over me and the energy changed ; contractions seemed spaced out a little, and i knew that this was transition. My partner told me the midwives were on their way but i knew the baby was coming as i began to feel an incredible force bearing down to bring my baby out. I knew i didnt have to do anything, to breathe and allow my body to lead me, I remembered Ina May Gaskin’s ‘raspberry lips’ which i had been looking at on Youtube the night before, and just did this as the contractions came on. I told my partner to ring 999, and i heard him say ‘My wife’s in labour- St Marys- but we’re having a home birth’ i said to him ‘tell them you need instructions’; then i felt a bulging , like a soft baloon, coming out of me, and he said ‘i can see the head! But theres a sac covering it- its bulging out of her- i dont know what it is’; i heard the operator say ‘ if you can see the head tell me’ and ‘if your wife feels like pushing tell me’; i knew that it was closer than they thought. Then she said ‘tell her to lie on her back’ , which i did, worrying that this ‘sac’ might be the placenta blocking the baby’s exit and fleetingly wondering how the hell they would get me into hospital for an emergency section….!! I quickly realised i couldnt stand to be on my back and shouted that i was turning back over, held onto the bed post again on all fours, and then i felt the famous ‘ring of fire’ and with a slow, beautiful and powerful force, felt my baby’s head being born. my partner told the operator ‘his head’s out!’ and what i couldnt see was, his head was still inside his amniotic sac, my partner described it as strecthed like cling film over his face! Then the operator said ( which i could see the irony of at the time and makes me giggle) ‘tell your wife to keep pushing’!!! I knew i didnt have to do anything, and waited for a beautiful peaceful pause before the next contraction brought the baby’s body out and i shouted ‘YES!” his daddy caught him and saw that he needed to unhook the cord from around his neck; the operator told him to rub baby’s mouth and nose, and rub him quickly with a towel. I turned around to see the thick rope of the umbilical cord curling up to my beautiful boy!! Then there was a knock on the door and thinking it must be the ambulance my partner passed the baby through my legs and ran to unlock it, then ran back up to see me holding my slippery baby, still kneeling in the same spot. It turned out to be my partner’s brother and neice at the door and they came in and looked after our little girl, who had been downstairs playing all this time, fully hearing what was going on but staying calm!!! The ambulance came a couple of minutes later, and the 2 lady paramedics were gentle and lovely; they knew about mine and baby’s haemophilia status and we were debating about how the cord bloods were going to be collected by the midwives and what they were going to give me for the 3rd stage injection; however, i got both my natural 3rd stage and my precious cord bloods going to the baby as by the time they decided to clamp and cut the cord, it was a good few minutes later. When the midwife got there she had a look and told me the placenta was ready to come out, i pushed gently and there it was! 10 mins after the birth. She managed to get the cord bloods which had to be taken to St Marys urgently.
    The background to all of that was that i had had a late amnio to detrmine whether the baby had haemophilia, which came back positive ( i am a carrier of mild haemophilia with low levels myself but mine normalise in pregnancy; i have a 50:50 chance of having an affected boy). Despite being advised to have a hospital birth i had insisted i felt a home birth was safer for me, (and how right i was!) , and my consultant had been very supportive of my choice once she realised i was serious about it. I had strict time limits laid out on how long my second stage could be as the concern was that any trauma to the babys head could cause a bleed. my first baby’s birth had involved a difficult second stage, she came out OP and had become distressed and had some swelling of the head; so of course my fears were of the same thing happening but with worse consequences , especially as the midwives kept telling me that this baby was either OP or ‘spine to the right’.
    My doula had done some rebozo on me the week before and im sure that , as well as the daily yoga, yoga and birth prep classes with Sarah Hague, acupuncture from Balwant Kaur, chiropractic from Sally Scott, natal hypnotherapy,etc!!…. helped the baby to turn into a tip top position when it mattered!
    What i find most amazing is that he was born ‘in the caul’ which i considered rare and special anyway, but for a baby with haemophilia, its like being born with a giant duvet wrapped round the head!! How perfect!!

    PS our doula got there just before the midwife; her face when she saw the baby was a picture!!

    Reflecting on which of the many things i had read about and practiced helped me get through labour so easily this time, its really hard to pin down. I did use the
    ‘ooohaaah’ exhale that we had practiced at pregnancy yoga, all through the first stage, and i used golden thread breath, as described by Uma Dinsmore- Tuli, during the strong afterpains that i got when first feeding him. Other than those and ‘raspberry lips’ , i think it was a combination of the yoga positions i had been practicing which really helped me tune in to the right muscles and think about the physiology of birth as well as chilling me out and giving me inner strength. I had also been using acupressure for late pregnancy and bringing on labour, as taught by Debra Betts ; passed on to me by Balwant my acupuncturist. i was actually doing some strong acupressure to a point on my hand shortly before contractions began, and the previous day my partner had done some really strong acupressure on various points too. (he had come along to see my acupuncturist and learn this from her).
    To summarise i can honestly say I enjoyed my 1 hour and 7 minutes!!!, I would say it was an ecstatic birth, and not at all an experience of pain. I would love my story to inspire all Mums to be that birth can be beautiful, quick, gentle, powerful and amazing; second timers with how much easier it can be; and to encourage peoples’confidence in their own body ( and their partners ability to deliver the baby if neccessary!!)

    I am now settling in to being a Mum of 2, and with my partner starting a new job working away from home alot it has had its tough moments already. My little boy is gorgeous, and a pretty happy chap after his gentle entry into this world! I’m looking forward to getting back to yoga again , and have had to go easy on myself and remind myself that i may be feeling well, but i have still just given birth! More than ever i feel that yoga is what can tie together and underpin my life as a Mum, and i cant wait to get back to teaching, this time with a very current connection to the Mums in the class as i will be teaching with my baby!

    See you soon out in the big wide world! x

    What makes Treetots Yoga mum and baby / toddler classes unique?

    There are an ever growing array of classes and activities out there to take our little people to. So what makes my classes unique?
    A Treetots Yoga class includes yoga for you, yoga for your baby, but most importantly, yoga you do together! Birthlight yoga is all about enhancing opportunities for joyful bonding between mums and babies, parents and toddlers. There are loads of benefits and things to take away to use in everyday life; like lifting techniques to strengthen you and avoid injury, breathing techniques to calm you down during the challenging times, fun rhymes and songs to entertain and delight your little one which will come in handy on a dull day!
    One of the mums recently said of her time coming to classes from her daughter being 9 weeks to 9 months: “it really calms you down”. I couldnt put it any better! (;
    Jessica x

    Quick Guide to postnatal neck and upper back pains: avoid and ease them!

    I put a series of 3 factsheets together alongside Sally Scott, Chiropractor, as we felt Mum were not always given good advice about common aches and pains. Its well worth reading all 3- most of us will have tension in all these areas at some point postnatally!

    New mother’s neck and upper back pain:

    Neck and upper back pain is common in new mothers, particularly those who are
    breastfeeding.
    A rounded shoulder position and forward neck posture puts a strain on the joints
    and discs in the neck and upper back.
    This is a very easy posture to get into when feeding and once baby has
    latched on is difficult to correct!

    P1060611.JPG

    Symptoms

    Pain is often achy with a tight feeling between the shoulder blades or the back of the neck.
    In the neck there may also be sharp twinges on sudden movement, stiffness, or
    achy discomfort.

    Managing Neck and upper back pain.

    Chiropractic treatment for neck and upper back pain pain includes releasing stiff

    joints using gentle joint manipulation to free the movement of the joints. Massage
    techniques are also employed to relieve muscle tension across the shoulders,
    between the shoulder blades and at the base of the skull. The most important
    action in reducing neck pain is correction of postures which are causing the
    problem
    The following should be practiced to minimise strain on the neck and upper back:

     Stand with the head held high and chin tucked, not jutting out.

     Relax the shoulders back and down, even when carrying you’re your baby
    there is no need to hunch up your shoulders.
     Try to alternate which side you carry your baby on.
     Get comfortable when breastfeeding, sit with your shoulders back and use supports and cushions to raise the baby up to your breast rather than lowering yourself down to the baby.
     When feeding check for tension in your shoulders and whether your head is forward.
    Notice the difference in posture in the second picture below to the first picture:

    Back is straight and well supported, shoulders relaxed, elbows hang vertically
    below shoulders, neck straight and looking forward, knees lower than hips, and
    baby well propped on cushions to hold them at the right height without strain on Mum’s neck and shoulders: comfy Mum- good latch- happy baby!
    All these points can apply to a well supported sitting position on a chair.

    P1060615.JPG

    Below are some stretches to release tightness in the neck and between the
    shoulder blades:

    Shoulders, stretch 1: Pull arm across body keeping torso facing forward

    P1060747.JPG

    Shoulders, stretch 2: Put backs of forearms together with elbows one on top of
    the other, it doesn’t matter if you can’t link palms. Gently push elbows

    downwards and pull arms outwards against each other, keeping them linked. You
    should feel a stretch between the shoulder blades.

    P1060736.JPG

    Shoulders and upper back stretch 3: Kneel on the floor and lengthen arms in
    front. Reach as far forward as possible feeling a stretch in the upper back.

    P1060729.JPG

    Neck strengthening: lie flat and tuck chin to lengthen back of neck. Push head
    gently backwards into the mat (if you have a hard floor you can use a small

    cushion or towel). This will release muscles at the back of the neck whilst
    strengthening the deep muscles in the neck.

    P1060753.JPG

    The content in this factsheet is intended as general advice only and does not
    replace a diagnosis by a qualified professional. It is based our combined
    professional opinions. Do not carry out stretches or exercises which cause pain,
    discontinue and seek advice. Please feel free to contact us if you have any
    questions!
    Sally Scott is a Chiropractor with a special interest in pre and postnatal care. She
    is based in Chorlton, Manchester
    http://www.sallyscottchiropractor.com
    Jessica Healy is a baby and toddler birthlight yoga teacher with classes in Hale
    and Sale (Cheshire), and Chorlton (Manchester). She is also a mum of two!
    http://www.treetotsyoga.com

    Connecting with Autumn, openness to change.

    I think everyone’s feeling the shifting of early Autumn to mid- Autumn now. The leaves have suddenly fallen from the trees I have been admiring on my drive to nursery/ work – the glorious golden Limes on Mauldeth Rd, the magnificent orangey Horse Chestnuts in Hale Barns, and the sprinkling of stunning red trees and vines along the way. This wind has speeded up the leaf fall, brought us piles of lovely crunchy ones to jump in, and hastened the bringing -out of the winter coats and scarves! I love autumn. I love the reminder that change is always happening, but is more visible at this time. I love the putting on of tights and scarves, hot water bottles on my toes in bed, soups and roots to eat and delicious British apples like Russets. Sometimes we say things like ‘oh i cant believe it’s already (name of month/ season)’/ ‘we didnt really have a summer did we?’/ ‘Im not ready for (name of cold season/ month) yet’. What actually is this? I believe there are more to these statements than meet the eye- Resistance due to blockages in our bodies and emotions, and a lack of spiritual wellbeing. I find that if i hear myself saying these sort of statements, or anything that sounds ‘fixed’ like ‘i really dont like that/ i dont think i will ever/ i will stick to x/y/z’, warning bells sound, and i try to reflect on why my mind is creating a block. Often i find that as soon as i catch myself saying something like this, and then reflect, something will soon happen to contradict that statement! If we are open to recieving messages from our hearts, and from the Universe ( or ‘god, however you concieve of him/ her/ it/ them), and from other people with true and heart- centred intention, there is guidance available to us, and positive changes we can make as a result.

    Yoga frees up blockages in our energies and helps us open our hearts. Blocked heart energy can correspond with hunched shoulders, closed chest and tense shoulders. Even just a few stretches every day can help to free the area up and has a positive effect on our thoughts and emotions too.

    Wow- a blog that has not mentioned the little people! This is another change for me as i feel my post- natal ‘bubble’ starting to lift. Instead of feeling i miss when my baby boy was tiny, i am going to consciously focus on the positive aspects of this change. I do kind of love that ‘baby bubble’ when i dont think about anything outside of the immediate care of my children, don’t watch or listen to news , etc. But that has passed now. It feels quite nice to be reconnecting with the world again! (;

    PEACE x

    Massage

    Did you know i offer massage home visits? I specialise in pregnancy massage and postnatal massage, plus i also treat partners, grandparents etc if you want to double up and have childcare during your treatment! ( discount avail for +1 treatment per visit)
    I have some availability next week beginning 15/10. See tab above for more info/ message me.

    The Blogging muscle!

    I recently write a guest blog for someone and although it took me a while to get round to it i really enjoyed it. I have been really lax on the blogging recently and I now realise its because of the iPhone! Since i got mine i hardly go on my computer! Plus my ‘e’ key doesnt work and i have to keep filling in e’s! So, is it possible to blog from my phone?? Or do i now need an iPad?? Clever apple – probably the latter!

    I do think blogging is like a muscle, if you dont do it for a while you get out of practice , you need to keep exrcising it. I find Tweeting is the same, when i tweet regularly i start to think in tweets! FB statuses i have pretty much stopped as i find you can ramble on and its a bit wasted as it may just get missed if no one happens to see it. So, its great that my tweets are visible on here but i feel i need to blog again. I have so many thoughts and experiences to share about yoga and parenting. So, if i cant blog from my phone i will find another way to fit this into my days/ nights! And put an iPad on my Xmas wish list….!(;

    My baby boy’s birth story: 28/12/11

    I’m reposting this after almost 9 months, both to celebrate my baby boy having been outside the womb for as long as he was in, and because someone asked me to repost! Enjoy (:

    My baby boy was born on Wednesday 28/12/11 at 10.10am , weighing 7lb 2oz. He is my second baby , my little girl was born in March 2010.

    I was 9 days over my EDD. I woke up at about 8am and said to my partner ‘Im going to be pregnant forever!’ as it felt like every night passing was another one with no labour starting!! Little did i know 2 hours later my boy would be in my arms!!
    I went downstairs to make a brew and some strong Braxton Hicks then turned into some mild contractions; they were so gentle i thought they would go away again but i looked at the clock and timed 4 of them, 3 mins apart; i went back upstairs and told my partner, reassuring him that he didnt need to call the doula, or the midwives, or fill the pool, and i would just go for a shower and see how i got on. By the time i got into the shower i realised i should phone the doula, which i did myself and then handed the phone to my partner as another contraction came!
    By the time i got out of the shower i was having to hold on to the door handles and sway my hips, as my partner hurried to get our little girl up and called family to take her round to his Mum’s. By the time i got to the bedroom i was having to hold on to the windowsill and bed , lower to the ground. I became really hot, felt sick, threw off my dressing gown and wished i had prepared some more floor coverings for the bedroom suddenly as i realised this was where i was going to be labouring! My partner came up from sorting out our little girl and making phonecalls to the doula and midwives, and i held on to his shoulders, and asked for my ball and some towels. from this point i had about twenty minutes of intense labour where i dont remember having any thoughts , i think i just went inside myself and breathed my way through the contractions. Shortly after this i had intense pressure in my lower back, and then very soon i could feel things were changing- a sense of calm came over me and the energy changed ; contractions seemed spaced out a little, and i knew that this was transition. My partner told me the midwives were on their way but i knew the baby was coming as i began to feel an incredible force bearing down to bring my baby out. I knew i didnt have to do anything, to breathe and allow my body to lead me, I remembered Ina May Gaskin’s ‘raspberry lips’ which i had been looking at on Youtube the night before, and just did this as the contractions came on. I told my partner to ring 999, and i heard him say ‘My wife’s in labour- St Marys- but we’re having a home birth’ i said to him ‘tell them you need instructions’; then i felt a bulging , like a soft baloon, coming out of me, and he said ‘i can see the head! But theres a sac covering it- its bulging out of her- i dont know what it is’; i heard the operator say ‘ if you can see the head tell me’ and ‘if your wife feels like pushing tell me’; i knew that it was closer than they thought. Then she said ‘tell her to lie on her back’ , which i did, worrying that this ‘sac’ might be the placenta blocking the baby’s exit and fleetingly wondering how the hell they would get me into hospital for an emergency section….!! I quickly realised i couldnt stand to be on my back and shouted that i was turning back over, held onto the bed post again on all fours, and then i felt the famous ‘ring of fire’ and with a slow, beautiful and powerful force, felt my baby’s head being born. my partner told the operator ‘his head’s out!’ and what i couldnt see was, his head was still inside his amniotic sac, my partner described it as strecthed like cling film over his face! Then the operator said ( which i could see the irony of at the time and makes me giggle) ‘tell your wife to keep pushing’!!! I knew i didnt have to do anything, and waited for a beautiful peaceful pause before the next contraction brought the baby’s body out and i shouted ‘YES!” his daddy caught him and saw that he needed to unhook the cord from around his neck; the operator told him to rub baby’s mouth and nose, and rub him quickly with a towel. I turned around to see the thick rope of the umbilical cord curling up to my beautiful boy!! Then there was a knock on the door and thinking it must be the ambulance my partner passed the baby through my legs and ran to unlock it, then ran back up to see me holding my slippery baby, still kneeling in the same spot. It turned out to be my partner’s brother and neice at the door and they came in and looked after our little girl, who had been downstairs playing all this time, fully hearing what was going on but staying calm!!! The ambulance came a couple of minutes later, and the 2 lady paramedics were gentle and lovely; they knew about mine and baby’s haemophilia status and we were debating about how the cord bloods were going to be collected by the midwives and what they were going to give me for the 3rd stage injection; however, i got both my natural 3rd stage and my precious cord bloods going to the baby as by the time they decided to clamp and cut the cord, it was a good few minutes later. When the midwife got there she had a look and told me the placenta was ready to come out, i pushed gently and there it was! 10 mins after the birth. She managed to get the cord bloods which had to be taken to St Marys urgently.
    The background to all of that was that i had had a late amnio to detrmine whether the baby had haemophilia, which came back positive ( i am a carrier of mild haemophilia with low levels myself but mine normalise in pregnancy; i have a 50:50 chance of having an affected boy). Despite being advised to have a hospital birth i had insisted i felt a home birth was safer for me, (and how right i was!) , and my consultant had been very supportive of my choice once she realised i was serious about it. I had strict time limits laid out on how long my second stage could be as the concern was that any trauma to the babys head could cause a bleed. my first baby’s birth had involved a difficult second stage, she came out OP and had become distressed and had some swelling of the head; so of course my fears were of the same thing happening but with worse consequences , especially as the midwives kept telling me that this baby was either OP or ‘spine to the right’.
    My doula had done some rebozo on me the week before and im sure that , as well as the daily yoga, yoga and birth prep classes with Sarah Hague, acupuncture from Balwant Kaur, chiropractic from Sally Scott, natal hypnotherapy,etc!!…. helped the baby to turn into a tip top position when it mattered!
    What i find most amazing is that he was born ‘in the caul’ which i considered rare and special anyway, but for a baby with haemophilia, its like being born with a giant duvet wrapped round the head!! How perfect!!

    PS our doula got there just before the midwife; her face when she saw the baby was a picture!!

    Reflecting on which of the many things i had read about and practiced helped me get through labour so easily this time, its really hard to pin down. I did use the
    ‘ooohaaah’ exhale that we had practiced at pregnancy yoga, all through the first stage, and i used golden thread breath, as described by Uma Dinsmore- Tuli, during the strong afterpains that i got when first feeding him. Other than those and ‘raspberry lips’ , i think it was a combination of the yoga positions i had been practicing which really helped me tune in to the right muscles and think about the physiology of birth as well as chilling me out and giving me inner strength. I had also been using acupressure for late pregnancy and bringing on labour, as taught by Debra Betts ; passed on to me by Balwant my acupuncturist. i was actually doing some strong acupressure to a point on my hand shortly before contractions began, and the previous day my partner had done some really strong acupressure on various points too. (he had come along to see my acupuncturist and learn this from her).
    To summarise i can honestly say I enjoyed my 1 hour and 7 minutes!!!, I would say it was an ecstatic birth, and not at all an experience of pain. I would love my story to inspire all Mums to be that birth can be beautiful, quick, gentle, powerful and amazing; second timers with how much easier it can be; and to encourage peoples’confidence in their own body ( and their partners ability to deliver the baby if neccessary!!)

    I am now settling in to being a Mum of 2, and with my partner starting a new job working away from home alot it has had its tough moments already. My little boy is gorgeous, and a pretty happy chap after his gentle entry into this world! I’m looking forward to getting back to yoga again , and have had to go easy on myself and remind myself that i may be feeling well, but i have still just given birth! More than ever i feel that yoga is what can tie together and underpin my life as a Mum, and i cant wait to get back to teaching, this time with a very current connection to the Mums in the class as i will be teaching with my baby!

    See you soon out in the big wide world! x

    Toddlers and yoga

    Our little people have so much to teach and show us if we are receptive to it. Reflecting on todays expriences i realised my Tot, who is 2 yrs and 4 months, has shown me:

    1. Memory!– I took her to my toddler class today along with my baby aged 7 months, who i normally teach with, but havent taught with Tot since before baby boy was born. I told hr she was coming to Mummys work, to yoga, but thats about all. When we arrived at the Studio, where she has never been before, she said ‘wheres Benji?’ . Benji is her friends who used to come to my first toddler yoga class in Chorlton, over a year ago! I hadnt even realised that she remembered life before baby came, and although we still see Benji, she knew that Benji was linked with going to a yoga class that is Mummy’s work! ( for her, yoga is something we do at home, and in the park, so its not just the yoga that sparked the association) I am amazed at her memory! And it shows me how important all their early expriences are in forming positive, or negative associations. So, how brilliant for any parent to create an early positive association around the word ‘yoga’. And instead of ‘have a rest’ which is what i usually call relaxation, i am going to start to use the word ‘relax’, to promote positive association!

    2. Expectations and boundaries She coped very well with me teaching, and compared to a year ago when i last taught with her, she seemed less bothered by me giving me attention to everyone else. This is partly her age, and partly having a sibling now i think. However, the things that upset her were about ‘things’ that she either wanted to play with and couldnt reach herself, or that someone had, or tried to take off her. It’s easy to get irritated by a whiny toddler wanting to play with something you dont want them to have, or getting upset over what we percieve as a trivial sharing / not sharing situation. But these scenarios are very central in their development! As babies they needed to cry to get what they needed. As toddlers, they learn that there are many other ways, like talking, and positive or negative behaviours. I am ultra aware of my inconsistency at the moment because my Tot always makes me realise – by asking again and again where we are going, or what we are doing, sh is checking whether i will give the same answer- if the plans chang sh will accept a simple explanation but not several changes without proper reasons/ reasons she does not understand. So, using this understanding, i can see that she does not know the boundaries of posessing, sharing and wanting something that is out of her reach. I must help her to understand by being consistant, by explaining in simple terms, and by acceoting that sometimes she will find it hard to accept, but by ‘giving in’ i am making it worse for hr as i am changing the boundaries again without an explanation. For example, because she was whinging that she wanted a ‘big ball’, and this was starting during the relaxation, i was tempted to just give her one, even though i initially said no, and do not like these balls to be played with by the toddlers. But i did stick to a no, she later had a mini tantrum about this once everyone had gone, but i think this was also because she was in a new situation, tired, hungry and thristy, and unsure about what was coming next. The lack of a ‘big ball’ was just the straw that broke the camel’s back! So, being consistant is so important! And managing our toddlers’ expectations by setting boundaries.

    Copying: When i last taught with Tot she would rarely copy the yoga poses or stretches during class, but often do so later at home. I think that i something that 1 yr olds do alot! They seem to pass out of the phase gradually from 2 plus, but still , 2,3 and 4 yr olds sometimes dont copy anything until the 2nd or 3rd class. I think it depends on personality, but also how much they see their parent (primarily), and others, joining in. A child visibly copying of course makes the experience of going to a toddler yoga class much more gratifying as you can see that they are taking it in! I try to say to Mums whose little ones may not join in the first time, or even the first few times, be patient- they are observing, watching you, and other children to see what’s expected, and give them space to copy in their own time! And when people ask me “whats the best way to teach my child to be calm?”- my answer is “show them!” No amount of yoga classes is going to teach this if they see Mum rushing round all day and never taking time to focus on her own energies/ have a stretch and some deep breaths! Oh, and although i didnt think sh was singing along during class, after class while i was packing up she was belting out all the toddler yoga songs!! So maybe vocal copying takes longer to become less delayed!

    Im sure i will think of more!

    J (:

     

     

     

    Why Baby yoga is brilliant! 10 reasons:

    Tummy time across the legs!

    One of the Hale mums asked me this morning “what are the benefits of baby yoga?”- a very good question that left me floundering in a sea of information and enthusiasm!! So, here goes:
    Why baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 1!
    For newborn- 3 mths, baby yoga helps establish good head control by giving you positions to hold them in to encourage the neck and back muscles to strengthen. This helps them later to learn to roll, sit , crawl,, and beyond!

    Why Baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 2!:
    For newborn plus, it eases digestive discomfort, eg. moves to release wind , strategies for soothing colic.

    Why Baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 3!
    The baby yoga approach (particularly the Birthlight approach) is to encourage babies to explore in 3d- offering enough physical support but allowing them to move themselves- eg the sways that we do across our lap to ‘my bonny’: we support them but allow them to ‘fall’ into our front hand which stimulates their sense of balance, and encourages them to use their trunk muscles to stay upright

    Why Baby yoga is brilliant! : Reason 4:
    It gives you a ‘toolbox’ to draw on (ever think- ‘how am i supposed to play with my baby when they cant hold things/ everything goes straight in their mouth?! Or, ‘i just dont know whats up- ive tried everything!’)
    Try: Rolling/ swinging/ inversions for boredom!
    Tiger in tree/ relaxed walks/ focus on your breathing to soothe and calm overstimulated/ tired baby
    Hip sequence, massage moves, swooping and rocking cat for some ‘me and mummy time’ looking at your face!
    Joint moves like aeroplane/ mama warrior/ adapted tree pose for a baby who is quiet/ relaxed but wants to be held.
    i could go on…..!

    Why Baby yoga is brilliant! Reason 5:
    It gives you time and space to be playful and joyful with your baby: mutual spirals of joy result!

    Why baby yoga is brilliant! Reason 7:
    Tummy time doesn’t have to be just putting your baby on their front on the floor! In baby yoga we:
    *Lay them across our laps in stick pose- moving to mini handstand, rollercoaster and inversions.
    *Carry them in tiger in the tree/ safety hold/ firemans hold which both support the head and neck before they have head control, and strengthen the head, neck and back.
    * Do cobra pose together, so baby is on floor on their tummy but can see Mum doing the same!

    Why baby yoga is brilliant! Reason 8:
    Because the foundations of creating a person who knows how to relax, lie in showing our children how to relax- they learn by what they observe!
    Relaxation is a key part of yoga- we always relax at the end of class, and balance more active poses with resting poses.
    My favourite: ‘Mummy’s space” pose- otherwise known as child’s pose!( on all fours- sit on heels, tuck arms by sides and rest forehead on ground- v comforting)

    Why Baby yoga is brilliant! Reason 9:
    Because the foundations of creating a person who loves to be active, and is physically confident, lie in encouraging physical exploration from an early age. Mums say the classes give them the confidence to try new things with their babies, like putting them on the top of their heads, turning them upside down, the monkey swing, etc! We do these in class safely and steadily with lots of pointers about your own posture and baby’s too.

    And finally! Why baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 10!
    Can any of the baby yoga Mums / toddler yoga Mums past or present, think of their own top reason?! Tell me what you love/d about baby/ toddler yoga. The reason most often given by the Mums who come to my classes is that it gives them the space to focus on and enjoy their baby away from the distractions and to do lists of everyday life. ( back to reason 5!) 

    Yoga while babywearing! Some top tips!

    Any Mum with a young child will know it is a challenge to find time for yourself. Practicing yoga with your little one is a great way to enhance your wellbeing as well as having fun with them. Another way is to do some yoga with your baby in a sling/ wrap/ carrier! (Also known as babywearing).

    Here are some top tips for Yoga while babywearing:

    1. Follow the TICKS rules for safe babywearing. (Google it)

    2. Use a quality sling that is adjusted perfectly for you. Get advice , eg from The Sling School Manchester (www.theslingschool.com). My personal preference is stretchy wraps and woven wraps; basically a long bit of (specialist) material which you wrap around your body and the baby. Fits perfectly, spreads baby’s weight evenly over your back and torso, and no sticky out bits to get in the way!  Pictured above is the ‘Je porte mon bebe’ , borrowed from the Sling library via the sling school!

    3. Forward bends are obviously out of the question! Any move which puts strain on your body in the same way that your pregnancy did- ie pulling forward the lower/ mid back while weighing down the abdomen, is bad news. Bending over while babywearing needs to be done with wide legs, deeply bent knees, and bum stuck out ( sounds less graceful than it looks!!).

    4. Standing poses – particularly Warrior poses, tree pose, side angle pose, arm stretches and yogic full breaths, are perfect.

    5.  Focus on breathing extra deeply into your chest , consciously expanding your ribs; good practice for babywearing in general and very strengthening for the chest and intercostal muscles as they have the extra pull of baby’s weight to work against.

    6. Stick pose (sitting with legs straight in front of you) is good, ensure that you engage the abdominal muscles and flatten the lower back, don’t let it pull forward.

    7. If you need the stretch for your inner thighs and hips, and if you use caution, loosely cross legged and butterfly (soles of the feet together, knees relax outwards)positions are good.  Engage the core  muscles to hold you steady and don’t overstretch. Be aware that your ligaments are probably still soft, if you are still breastfeeding and / or in the first few months after birth. Do not overstretch- ie dont go as far into the stretch as you would outside of the pregnancy/ postnatal period. Listen to and respect your body.

    8. Relaxed walks / walking meditation, or seated meditation, are wonderful for calming yourself and your baby. They will hear and feel your slow and steady heart beat, your slow and deep breathing, and they will feel your good vibes! Babies relax deeply when parents do the same.

    9. Outdoor yoga is perfect! Embrace and take inspiration from the elements.

    May you find shanti (peace)xx