Bringing up a baby is difficult. More so perhaps in Calabria because of the lack of support for new mums. While my friends in England wax lyrical about NCT groups, sensory play and baby music, here in Southern Italy there is nothing of the sort. Whereas young mothers in England cling to each other to understand what they’re doing right or wrong, in Italy family serves that purpose but it sadly means that new mums can end up feeling slightly isolated and dare I say it bored. When a friend of mine told me she was organising a baby yoga course I, understandably, jumped for joy.
I am the mother of a beautiful, intelligent, sweet, entertaining yet MASSIVELY hyperactive toddler. She shuns sleep in favour of exploring everything and anything. She thinks sitting quietly is for losers. Her idea of heaven is to run screaming through my apartment, swinging my prize possessions around her head as though she is training for Olympic shot put events before climbing the furniture and tormenting the cat. While this is incredibly comical to watch in other words, she is a right bloody handful.
Everyone who meets her makes comments about how energetic, intrigued or strong willed she is. Picking up on these subtle backhanded compliments I ummed and ahhed about baby yoga. Yes I will love it, yes she can have that much needed baby interaction, I might meet some new mums to befriend, I love yoga, she might calm down… all these thoughts were interspersed with “but my baby is a nutter and there is more hope of her repainting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel than remaining calm for a yoga session.” I decided to ignore the second voice, which I will now on refer to as ” the voice of reason” and I signed up in a heartbeat.
This amazing serata was organised by Incipit, a collection of young Calabrese entrepreneurs who want to both support tourism in Calabria but also exploit the merits of what we have here to the local people. Held on the beautiful roof terrace of Al Chiara dei Loy, a gorgeous bed and breakfast in the centre of Palmi, RC, the setting couldn’t have been more perfect as our collection of young mums donned our yoga pants and nervously clawed at the yoga mats praying our little ones would play ball. And they did. Except mine.
Our expert yogi showed us a variety of moves and songs that we could use with our bambini to promote good feelings and calmness. As the sun started to set on the horizon over the Tyrrhenian sea it was a perfect location to unite mummy with bubba. Understanding the balance of breathing techniques yoga movements and singing, we were guided through a variety of positions aimed to stimulate our little ones and promote calmness. But then my daughter started to scream. That spine-tingling, hair raising basal scream only reserved for parents whose bare feet have just had a midnight encounter with a particularly menacing block of lego or who have accidentally closed a door on their little one’s fingers. And it didn’t stop there. The screaming continued. Did she want to fly in the air? Nope. Play with an imaginary balloon? As if. Smile lovingly at mummy like the other babies were? You are joking right?
My usually sociable baby had turned into “that kid” and no matter how many cuddles and reassurances she received, this was not her kind of evening and she most certainly was not prepared to play ball. Millie’s only saving grace was her return to calm for the last song. Typical.
Despite all efforts on my munchkin’s part to not participate, I totally loved Baby yoga as it was a truly beautiful experience. The location was perfect, the teacher amazing and the other mummies and babies got a lot out of this beautiful moment of bonding. Never one to give up I will certainly give it another go in the further, hopefully after these molars from hell have made their appearance and Millie is slightly less wound up.
I’m so very grateful to Incipit for giving mums in this corner of Calabria the opportunity to meet, socialise and share beautiful experiences together. This is exactly what is needed and is fundamental in the development of beautiful bonds between mother and child. If you have the opportunity I strongly recommend it because even if your child, like mine is more interested in stealing the practitioner’s doll, there are moments in life that are too precious to waste doing nothing.
What are your experiences of baby yoga? Let me know how your little ones were!
For information about future events check out Incipit’s Facebook page here.