Once a week, I attend a class where women stand on mats, jiggle babies and talk about Namaste. It’s called “Baby Yoga”. Because babies need to do yoga because life is hard. Or maybe because moms need yoga, to find inner peace. Regardless, here are instructions on how best to discover calm with a small child.
10:14 – Arrive for the 10:15 baby yoga class. Do a small victory dance over not being late then sprint up the stairs because still need to roll out mat, set up “nest” for Mini-Tex that he won’t use and lay out range of toys for him to ignore.
10:15-10:18 – Shuck off layers and layers and layers of clothing because only crazy people decide to walk in the frigid cold with their babies. Run on tiptoe to not disturb other women who are supposed to be focusing on their breathing but are nursing or swaddling their babies.
10:19- Lie on mat with eyes closed, pretending to focus on breathing but actually listening to Mini-Tex crawl towards a group of unsuspecting three month olds.
10:20- Cock open an eye only to see Mini-Tex playing three month old’s head like a set of bongos. Forget all intentions of inner peace and sprint to move Mini-Tex away from bewildered three month old.
10:21- Am instructed to sit Mini-Tex on lap and do sitting version of cat and cow. The three month olds sit placidly in other mother’s laps. Mini-Tex wiggles his way out of my arms and takes off. Continue doing cat and cow.
10:22 – Inhale, am cat. Exhale, release all tension associated with carrying small person everywhere. Inhale am cat again. Exhale, am cow. Inhale, cat. Exha-where is Mini-Tex? Out of corner of my eye spot him ripping toy out of smaller baby’s hands. Jump up to return stolen plaything.
10:23 – Other moms are windshield wiper-ing knees back and forth. Attempt to convince Mini-Tex to play with toys from home. Mini-Tex has seen said toys and prefers other babies’ toys.
10:24 – Mini Tex takes off, invariably to steal someone’s rattle. Lay back into butterfly pose.
10:25- Feel tension releasing from lower back. Hear noise. Is sound of Mini-Tex climbing all over woman on next mat over. Leap up to move him, feel tension returning as apologize profusely to woman.
10:26 – Carry Mini-Tex to far side of room to area with lots of toys and blankets. Lay back down on mat and lift rear end into bridge pose.
10:27 – Breathe in bridge pose. Close eyes, love bridge pose.
10:28 – Breathe in. Fill self with air. Breathe out, remember how calm feels. Realize Mini-Tex is uncharacteristically silent. Open eyes to see Mini-Tex once more using woman on next mat as jungle gym.
10:29 – Grab Mini-Tex while repeating “Sorry. So sorry” over and over while transporting him back to “nest” next to mat.
10:30- Being in tree pose gives excellent bird’s eye view of Mini-Tex pulling leaves off of nearby decorative tree. Dash to relocate Mini-Tex and save greenery.
10:31 – Lug surprisingly heavy tree into yoga studio bathroom and close door. Mini-Tex has made his way across room and is yanking lamp cord out of wall. Rush to prevent damage to lamp and store it with tree in bathroom.
10:32 – Instructor picks up Mini-Tex and carries him to demonstrate warrior one.
10:33 – Am strong warrior, focus on breathing and keeping knees over big toes.
10:34- Instructor continues to hold Mini-Tex to demonstrate warrior two. Am composed of straight, relaxed lines. Am zen.
10:35 – Mountain pose to chaturanga. Feel peaceful intention slowly returning while instructor wrangles squiggling Mini-Tex.
10:36 – Instructor lets Mini-Tex down to show class proper downward dog. Class follows along. Hear surprised yelp from instructor, look up to see Mini-Tex pulling on her bun as instructor tries to lower to child’s pose. Race to remove tiny baby fingers from instructor’s hair.
10:37 – Place Mini-Tex back in play area at far side of studio. Sit back on mat and rock foot like baby with fingers interlaced between toes.
10:38 – Switch sides to rock other foot and open up other toes. Mini-Tex crawls across room at top speed and grabs hold of curtains to closet, then yanks with all his might. Drop foot baby to catch actual baby.
10:39- 10:47 – Accept defeat and play with Mini-Tex quietly in corner while other women with docile babies in adjacent “nests” do yoga poses.
10:47 – Shavasna.
10:48 – 10:50 – Decide to attempt shavasna pose. Stretch out on mat while Mini-Tex blows raspberries on all available patches of skin.
10: 51- 11:05 – Visit with ladies and well behaved babies. Intercept Mini-Tex’s attempts at toy thievery. Apologize profusely.
11:06 – 11:10 – Layer up. Feeling surprisingly exhausted despite not having done any poses.
11:15 – Find inner peace as Mini-Tex falls asleep in carrier during walk home.