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February 23rd, 2009

Yoga Babies

On February 21, 2008, I rushed into our first yoga babies class. My boy was exactly 2 months old. I knew no one except the friendly face of my doula and chiropractor who teaches the class.

It wasn't my first yoga class with my boy. When he was 3 weeks old, I started participating in a post-natal yoga class on the other side of town at the suggestion of my cousin who has a little girl just 6 weeks older than my boy. And while I loved spending time with our cousins and enjoyed the low key nature of the class, I wanted something local that was easier to get to.

We began the class as we always do, by going around the circle, introducing ourselves and our babies, and describing what is new with our baby that week. When it was my turn, I announced that my 2 month old boy had just slept 11 hours the previous night. The other moms looked at me in amazement and envy. One mom sneered, "I hate you." I don't think she was kidding.

The class itself was hard. My abdominal muscles have stilled not recovered from my section and I couldn't move as well as I once did.

At the end of the class, I was told that the class goes for coffee afterward. I was delighted but nervous about the prospect of meeting some local moms and babes. I've always been shy when meeting new people and it took me several months after my son was born to realize that the minutia of baby-dom is a universal conversation topic amongst new moms.

I don't remember if I talked to any one that day and when the crowd started to thin, I headed home.

As the weeks progressed, I began to talk to other moms and gradually became less intimdated. I felt sad when new folks joined the class and my boy was no longer the youngest. I felt anxious when a mom would announce that it was her last class because she was returning to work. I felt awe when I watched a babe begin to slither, or crawl, or walk, or talk.

As the weeks progressed, I felt great affection towards some of the kids that I had spent my thursday with since they were small. I felt like I was no longer an outcast as I was surrounded by moms who cloth diapered, co-slept, and wore their babies.

As the weeks progressed, I made some really good friends. We walked home together and shopped the local shops on our way. My days were passing so quickly back then and Thursdays were my marker of the passage of time. Every Thursday when I walked to yoga, it seemed like I just blinked and it was Thursday again. It was my favourite day of the week.

In the summer, I started taking my boy to the farmers market on Tuesday afternoons. Week after week, I ran into my yoga friends, so we decided to make it a regular playdate.

When the farmers market ended in the fall, we started having playdates in our homes. Our kids play fabulously with each other and enjoy each other's company. The playdates continue today.

As the weeks progressed, my friends stopped coming to yoga because the timing conflicted with naps or because their kids were too active. Most weeks, my boy was the oldest and I started feeling like we didn't really belong there anymore. The new crop of moms didn't stick around to go for coffee afterward, and interestingly, I didn't have much in common with any of them in terms of parenting practices.

Last week, I decided that it was to be our last class. I long envisioned a melodramatic farewell with tearful goodbyes. Instead, it was thoroughly anti-climatic. Only one other mom-babe pair attended and we don't know each other very well. The first half of the class was uncharacteristicly quiet, since both the babes were sleeping in their strollers. Much of the second half was spent with me pottying and feeding my boy.

At the end of the class, my boy snuggled with the teacher during final relaxation. I dressed him up in his winter outerwear and we walked home in the snow. I remembered our first class nearly a year prior. I knew that it was time.

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