Mommy and Me yoga has become a popular way for new mothers to enjoy the physical benefits of yoga exercises while creating a bonding opportunity with their new babies.

Many yoga studios offer Mommy and Me yoga classes which let you meet and learn with other mothers who are also trying to get back in shape after pregnancy, labor and delivery. An experienced yoga instructor can help you learn the poses and ensure you don’t try to do too much too soon. The company of other new mothers and their babies provides an understanding and nurturing environment.

Some of the poses involve holding and cradling your baby, while the yoga mat provides a soft surface for baby to rest on during transitions. Some classes include Baby Massage techniques which offer their own therapeutic benefits for both mommy and baby.

Contact your local yoga studio to find out if they offer classes. If not, there are Mommy and Me yoga videos available on DVD that allow you to practice on your own.

Consider asking a friend or partner to join you. Here are three important reasons that having support – both physical and emotional – can amplify the benefits you will enjoy:

1) Some of the Mommy and Me Yoga poses may be difficult for you to achieve or maintain until you increase your strength and flexibility. A friend can gently support your body and help you avoid straining yourself.

2) A friend can look after baby if he or she becomes fussy or needs other attention during your yoga time. This allows you to finish your poses and have a few minutes to enjoy the meditative aspects of the yoga experience. Giving yourself a chance to breathe and reflect quietly can do wonders for your mental well-being.

3) New mothers have so much to do, it can be tempting to neglect taking care of yourself. Involving a friend gives you the motivation to keep your yoga practice going. Set a time for your yoga exercises and stick to it.

When undertaking any new form of exercise, discuss your plans with your doctor beforehand. If you delivered by Caesarian Section, be sure you are well healed. Yoga involves stretching and may test your incision. Be cautious. Get your physician’s OK before beginning.