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Baby DowndogYou’re never too young to start doing yoga. Did you know that yoga practice can be very beneficial for babies? With proper precautions and care, it can be really helpful for their mental and physical development.

When babies are very young they’ll need your help to get into certain poses, but as they grow older, they can perform some of the exercises themselves and benefit from some of these great advantages of start doing yoga at a very early age:

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A balanced diet that contains the right nutrients might be the only thing standing between you and a greater sense of wellbeing and hormonal health.

Hormones play an important role in every body, but women tend to feel the fluctuations of reproductive hormones in their day-to-day lives. If you’re feeling cranky or emotional for no reason, it could be that your body is giving you a sign your hormones are out of balance.

Hormones influence every part of our lives and every function of our body, so having harmonious hormone production is essential to a good life. A balanced diet containing the right nutrients might be the only thing standing between you and a greater sense of wellbeing.
 
If out of balance, your hormones can give you blemishes, affect your metabolism and energy, weight and clarity of mind. If you are preparing for pregnancy, you’ll need to consider what is going on with your reproductive cycle and if it is causing you problems, make the most of seeing a health practitioner who can help you deepen your understanding of what is going on and how to support healthy cycles.
 
By eating healthily, getting all the nutrients you need, and improving lifestyle, you may be able to balance your hormones and regulate bodily functions and processes.
 
These are the four main food groups your body needs for a healthy hormonal system. Finding the right balance for you might take a little trial and error, but below are some of our top health tips to help maintain balanced hormones. For more handy tips from those in the know, check out HealthPost’s health tips from the experts.

Rainbow Your Plate with Vegetables

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Stephanie Williams MumsnBubs Yoga  This month we caught up with Bliss Baby Yoga Prenatal, Postnatal and Women's Yoga Teacher Training graduate, Stephanie Williams of Kalpita Yoga in Melbourne.

Most of us know all too well how stressful and taxing tertiary study can be, and for Stephanie, it was at this time, deep in the throws of studying nutrition and exercise science, when she sought an alternative strategy for stress relief…yoga. 

“I quite enjoyed the first class I went to, but by the third class I was hooked!”  While exploring her deep fascination with the workings of the human body in her university studies, yoga seemed like a natural compliment to what she was learning. And so Stephanie embarked on a Teacher Training course in Melbourne with Shimi Nadaraja from ‘Power and Posture’.

During her teacher training Stephanie’s eyes were opened to the philosophy of yoga, which despite being new material, was closely aligned to the values she had already been experiencing in her practice.
 
The yogic principal of ‘non-attachment’ or Aparigraha rang true for Stephanie, as it related back to her experience with horses. Since childhood Stephanie had worked with horses and as an adult taught riding and horsemanship.

Stephanie Williams Yoga 2 “On a horse the goal might be to get to the other side of the arena – ideally in a straight line – but if it is wobbly the first time, that’s ok, you just do it again. You have to let go of perfection and the outcome, your best effort is right where you need to be, where the learning is. This is similar to practicing your yoga poses, it’s about meeting yourself where you are at on the day, and being ok if it didn’t go as planned.”

After the birth of Stephanie’s sister’s first baby, Stephanie became aware of what little postnatal yoga there was available for new mums, and how ill-equipped she was to teach it! 

“Whilst I knew how to teach a ‘strong practice’ – I didn’t know how to guide my sister through a post-natal practice - it was so different.  I felt there was a real gap in my knowledge, and a gap in services available.”

Stephanie decided to attend the Bliss Baby Yoga Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training course in Melbourne, which she found hands-on and practical.

Stephanie MumsnBubs Yoga Training 2 “It wasn’t just text-book learning, it was more feeling it in your body. There was a lot of discussion, especially with the women who were pregnant on the course as well as with women who had previously had babies. This was great because it’s not easy to conceptualise how it might feel if you have never been pregnant.”

“The act of curiosity and enquiry was really elevated on the course, it helped us learn on a much deeper level.”

Stephanie then completed her Bliss Baby Yoga RPYT Training with a six-day residential stint in Byron Bay, where she said the course really encouraged a connection with her intuition.
Stephanie MumsnBubs Yoga Training “It was an amazing nurturing environment for self discovery. The Bliss Baby course taught me to care for myself, and listen to what my body was saying. Since doing the course I think that my practice has became a softer and more intelligent experience. I now notice on the days when I’m not feeling so strong, there is a lot less judgement and negative self-talk. I have learnt instead to just soften and be gentler with myself - and my pelvic floor has never been better!”

Now Stephanie teaches yoga as her full-time profession and she adores it.  “I love helping women build confidence and connection to their body, connection to their breath, and awareness to what’s going on inside their bodies.”

“I find that women tend to already be in a beautiful nurturing space when they are pregnant, but during the postnatal phase, they can tend to be more disconnected from their own bodies, as their focus shifts to the external baby. I like working with these women to create confidence and regain that deeper connection.”

To continue her journey working with women Stephanie recently completed the Bliss Baby Yoga 80 hr specialty Women’s Yoga Teacher training in Byron Bay, exploring yoga for all phases of the menstrual cycle, fertility and menopause.

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Talita Pregnancy Wellness 3This month Bliss Baby Yoga Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training graduate, naturopath, and mama-of-1, Talita Sheedy, shares her tips for wellness during pregnancy.

As a naturopath, yoga teacher and now mum, my passion has grown for pregnancy and highlighted how we can be more mindful throughout our pregnancies. Making the smallest changes enables you to enrich your pregnancy to make it enjoyable and healthy for you and bub.

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Ana Mums n Bubs YogaThis month, Senior Bliss Baby Facilitator and experienced Mums n Bubs Yoga Teacher, Mari Notaras shares some valuable insights on how to create harmony and joy in your Mums n Babies yoga classes.

As a prenatal yoga teacher there is nothing more divine than sending off your very heavily pregnant woman (or ‘head of the class’ as I like to say!) from (potentially) her last prenatal class, with a powerful womanly chant of ‘Ommm’. 

This time of transition, just before a woman gives birth and becomes a mother, brings up mixed emotions for her, and often the number one question asked upon her departure is: “when can I come back to yoga?”. 

The prenatal class that she has been attending since she was ‘five minutes pregnant’ has become an important part of her weekly routine. Apart from the most obvious and recognized benefits of yoga, the class has given her a sense of belonging, community, peace and connection to the other ‘pregnant goddesses’, along with quiet, contemplative connection to her baby growing within.

Mums n Bubs PC 4 Aug 2014 LRThe transition into motherhood often challenges our sense of identity and connection with others. We are removed from the familiar settings that we knew before baby arrived to find ourselves in a more intense, often tiring and isolated environment. The sheer bliss of holding that little bundle of joy in your arms opens your heart in a way that words cannot express. But the joy, the love, the hours of watching your baby respond to you, can quickly turn into moments of uncertainty and pure exhaustion!

It is obvious for prenatal yoga teachers that the next addition to your repertoire of yoga classes is Mums n Bubs Yoga.

What I personally love about teaching postnatal yoga, is saying goodbye to the women in the prenatal class and then joyfully welcoming them back into the nurturing postnatal setting. The connections are re-kindled with their past fellow prenatal yoga students, and the women love to proudly show off their new addition to the family!

I am frequently asked by yoga teachers contemplating teaching Mums and Bubs Yoga, what it is really like to teach yoga to mums and babies?  In theory, the idea of a mums and bubs class all sounds amazing, but it is important to know that this class will not resemble your typical yoga class - as you have known it! (Read Ana’s article on managing the chaos in a Mums N Bubs yoga class).

Mums n Bubs 0815 LRI have personally taught Mums N Bubs Yoga, on and off, for over 12 years now. I have loved watching the women in these classes regain their body awareness and move confidently through yoga postures designed to help reset, realign and strengthen their postnatal bodies. It is joyful to see the mothers interact through play, touch, song and delicious eye contact with their babies more confidently as time goes on. The babies absolutely love all of the massage, yoga movements, chants, songs and connection that they get to share with their mummies. We honestly have a heap of fun!

With the benefit of hindsight and from my personal experience, here are some tips to make the process of teaching Mums N Bubs Yoga more enjoyable for yourself, your students and their babies. 

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Nicole Koop Bliss Baby Yoga LRGraduate of our Bliss Baby Yoga 80 hour Women’s Yoga Teacher Training and self-confessed ‘Bed Yogi’, Nicole Koop, shares her story of how embracing a feminine approach to yoga has benefited her and the other women that she works with.

As the busy mother of three children, Nicole’s body, mind and soul were bearing the brunt of the many challenges that women can face on their mothering journey.

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Womb space hands LR

This month our Bliss Baby Yoga Fertility Yoga specialist, Tanya Neate, shares the benefits of yoga in supporting women on their journey to conceive.

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Christmas ChaosThis month Bliss Baby Yoga senior course facilitator, and busy mum-of-2, Mari Notaras, shares her tips on staying grounded through the busy festive season.


Whoa! Crazy time of year is upon us! Knowing that I was planning to write this article, I have been watching those around me (and myself) with a bemused curiosity, and observing the impact that this time of year has on us all
(Disclaimer – I DO live in Sydney!)

I am sure you can relate to this; this incessant need to get everything done before the end of the year! It makes everyone go at full speed, head first, towards Christmas.

Why does this happen? I have to admit, I am one of those people right now... My bathroom is currently getting renovated (included with a singing wanna-be 'Ed Sheeran' tiler); my daughter is leaving Year 6 and is wanting to attend all the “I’ll never be in primary school again” events possible; every conceivable Christmas party known to man is happening for both myself and my husband; the “we must catch up before the end of the year” conversation takes place daily; my house is a bomb; I still haven’t done my Christmas shopping – and -  what about the actual day…..!

Can you relate to this?

Deep breath in, long calm breath out… I am so grateful for having the gift of yoga in my life.

Wrapped up in the busyness of Christmas, it is more important than ever to find time for ourselves. Christmas Day is a time to fully embrace our family and friends, to be present in each other’s company and to treasure all the moments that we have together. Often, people bring this snowball effect of stress, tiredness, and general ‘over-doing it all’ to the Christmas ‘rest’ period and are completely wiped out.

From a yogic point of view, we can use this time of year to deeply reflect and re-assess how we are living our lives. What can you do to ‘amp’ up your self care practices during this overloaded period? How can you avoid burnout and exhaustion?

These are questions that I ask myself on a daily basis, and I have come up with six reminders that may help you take care of yourself a little better during this crazy busy time:

1. The Power of Pausing

Stop and be in the moment; recharge. Pausing allows us to make wiser choices in our lives.  Simply take a deep breath and observe your body. Is there tension that you can consciously release? Dropping deeper into our own being and creating the space to listen to what our inner voice is telling us, helps us to make better choices for those around as well as ourselves. Fundamentally, pausing also permits us to see the beauty in life. As a mother, reminding myself to pause (and not react) can allow me to really see and hear my children. Last night I paused and heard the most wonderful story through the eyes of my ten year old daughter; her joy, her expression, her understanding of the world around her – all of which made me smile.  These are moments that I treasure.


Yoga Nature2. Find somewhere special in nature

As simple as this sounds, connecting with nature can help you feel more balanced and in harmony.  Go for a walk and feel the breeze and the sun against your skin. Sit under a tree and feel the grass under your toes, hear the birds and the sounds of nature. Take a moment to recalibrate. Being a great lover of the ocean I find that a daily dose of seawater helps me feel alive, refreshed, grounded and in the moment. Spending time in nature is essential to our wellbeing.


3. The Art of Giving and Receiving

What does it even mean, to give, or to receive? At one level, it is an exchange of ‘things’.  For giving and receiving to mean something more, it is important to relate to this concept at a heart level. Giving and receiving is about the opportunity we have for a deep exchange with other people. These gifts aren’t a physical gift at all. It can be the gift of love for someone you love, or even a favor someone does for you for no apparent reason.  Simplicity.


4. The Season of Santosha

Santosha or ‘contentment’ is the second of the Niyamas of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. Santosha simply means accepting and appreciating what we have, what we are already, and moving forwards from there.  Mindfully choosing contentment can be very powerful at this time of year.

Examples of choosing contentment are when you are contemplating purchasing another Christmas stocking filler; take a very deep breath, and pause – ‘is this really needed?’ This serves as a good reminder not only to ourselves, but to our children in these days of over consumption and consumerism.

Cultivating gratitude for what you already have and contemplating what you actually do need can be applied to the traditional Christmas Day ‘over consumption mentality’ that many of us are guilty of.  Before eating, a simple acknowledgement of thanks and gratitude can change our mindset and help to avoid overeating and indulging on Christmas Day.  As often as you can, choose contentment especially when dealing with family members on Christmas day!

5. Drink Water

How you feel is strongly influenced by your hydration levels. This time of year can often involve the odd glass of champers or three, as we celebrate Christmas cheer with friends.   A good habit to get into is to drink one glass of alcohol and then one glass of water to help with the hydration levels the day after.  I find if I don't drink adequate amounts of water during the day I often feel more sluggish, irritable and lethargic in the afternoons. Drinking water on a daily basis is essential for our health, vitality, concentration and focus.


Restorative Yoga Bliss Baby Dec News6. Practice Restorative Yoga

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"I really enjoyed the Bliss Baby Yoga teacher training online course because it was flexible, allowing me to do the work and practices at a convenient time....especially helpful for mothers with babies."  Helen Santamaria Popescu

“I found it so convenient as a new mum, working three different jobs I was able to also do the course without feeling overwhelmed. I enjoyed listening to the lectures during my drives and was sad when they came to an end  _ I might have to re-listen.” Leah Gencheff, Newcastle

"This was an absolutely amazing course.  Full of practical, useful information and inspiring teachers."  Lee 

 

 

 

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