Be Well Family is a collaboration with Wee Wander, a site dedicated to helping Philadelphia parents navigate their city. See more in this series here, or keep up with all of Wee Wander’s tips, guides and Philly related parenting help on Facebook.
The thing about mommy-and-me yoga is that there’s often a little more to it than just squeezing in a workout. Sometimes you just want to get out of the house with that baby. Sometimes you have a toddler who needs to work out some wiggles. Sometimes exercising with your kid attached to you is the only way you’ll get any exercise at all. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 excellent options for mom-friendly yoga of all sorts, whether you’re looking for a serious sweat session or just a little postnatal support. There’s truly something for everyone (including the moms who want to drop that kid off for an hour).
When you want drop-in and drop-off options, try … Yoga Habit (Fairmount)
Yoga Habit, a newish kid on the block, offers all the usual slew of yoga classes, but focuses more than the average studio on families, with a few different kid-and-parent classes, including a couple aimed at toddlers and one with a drop-off option for kids that are between 3 and 10. Also of note: These are classes aimed at kids, so it’s not about your serious workout as much as it is introducing yoga to your little, and getting in some bonding time (if you don’t drop ’em off, that is). You can pre-register or drop in. Read more here.
When you’re on maternity leave, try … Wake Up Yoga (South Philly, Fairmount)
Because the classes for moms and babies are on weekdays AND because people who go to Wake Up Yoga tend to be a loyal bunch (which means new mom friends for you!) AND because the mom-and-me baby class is both gentle and strength-building, the options at this friendly, popular studio chain are nice for that first yoga class after baby. There’s also a great class offered for moms who want to bring their older baby or toddlers, too.
When you want some Om-alone time, but you don’t have a babysitter, try … Focus Fitness Main Line (Bryn Mawr) or Nest (Center City)
How can you tell Focus is owned by a busy mom? They’ve got childcare down to a science. This popular shop has Studio K, a supervised lounge for kids and babies (aged 3 months to 8 years) to play and hang while their parents get their sweat on. The sitter studio is open Monday through Saturday in the mornings and later in the day on Tuesdays. The times coordinate with a bevvy of Focus classes, including yoga, spin and strength options. Pay per visit or buy a card and save. (Bonus: Focus owner Abbie Chowansky also runs Born to Burpee, a bring-your-baby postnatal program that runs outside in the warmer months and in Studio K in the winter.) Also worth noting: the Center City outpost of Nest has paired up with Dhyana Yoga to offer prenatal and postnatal yoga with $10 babysitting on Thursday mornings for the month of December. The kids love hanging in Nest’s downstairs playspace so much, they won’t even notice you’re gone.
When you’re a working mom, try … Mama’s Wellness Joint (Washington Square West)
Clearly, there’s no shortage of mommy-and-me yoga places around Philly. But many sessions run during the week, which is why working moms really appreciate MWJ’s Saturday classes. Plus, this popular city sanctuary opens the studio to crawlers and toddlers and has a lovely family yoga class on the weekends, too. Note: Mama’s is a block from Seger Playground, so you should leave time to hit it up before or after class.
When you want to bring the family, try … Dhyana Yoga (Northern Liberties)
For just $10 a family, you can pop by Dhyana’s No Libs outpost for a family yoga session (aimed at literally the whole family — crawlers, wigglers, snacks, toys and kids up to age 8 are all welcome), or for $5, you can do something a bit unusual with the storytime yoga for families, which is, yes, a storytime with yoga poses worked in, as well as meditation and mindfulness crafts. (Both are nice intros for newbies.) They also offer a kids’ yoga class, aimed at kids three years and up, accompanied by a grown-up.
When you want some serious new-mom support, try … Belly Pilates (Bryn Mawr)
When it comes to wellness for moms, Belly Pilates is incredibly comprehensive — the studio offers prenatal and postnatal Pilates and yoga, infant massage and baby signing classes, nutritional support, support groups, mom-focused webinars, and more. The mom-and-me yoga classes are — not surprisingly — very attuned to the needs of new moms, focusing on stress reduction, core strengthening, relaxation techniques and more, while welcoming babies from six weeks on up through crawlers.
When you want to take a private class with your pals, try … Philly Dance Fitness (Graduate Hospital)
Here’s a fun option: You can gather a group of friends (at least four grown-ups) and their new babies, and schedule your own private mix of yoga and Pilates — or, as they call it, Yogalates — through the fabulous folks at Philly Dance Fitness. The classes focus on helping moms recover from both pregnancy and birth, zeroing in on all the muscles that are, as they say, “most affected by carrying and breastfeeding babies” — so, your core, your shoulders, your back, your chest and so forth. Classes are aimed at moms (or dads) with new babies, starting at six weeks until the babies are crawlers. (If you keep an eye on the PDF website, you might even notice the occasional mom-and-me Yogalates class on the schedule — they do offer it from time to time.)
When you want a free class, try … Y2B Fit (Mt. Airy)
Crystal Widmann started her yoga and barre classes for moms as virtual streaming sessions (you can still log on to find those anytime you want), but she also opened up a brick-and-mortar place just this past summer. And the second Saturday of every month, she hosts her classes for free. The yoga class is vinyasa, and it incorporates baby; for the barre classes you’ll strap your tot into a carrier for added resistance.
When you want to raise a mini yogi, try … the YogaLife Institute (Wayne)
Not only does this Main Line yoga mainstay offer two different weekly mommy-and-me classes — one aimed at new babies who aren’t yet crawling, and one aimed at toddlers from crawlers to three-year-olds — but they also offer training to parents, teachers, coaches and other grown-ups who want to learn how to teach yoga to children and teens. Furthermore, YogaLife also offers yoga-based tutoring, which helps kids learn mindfulness, stress management and attention-harnessing skills, while also getting a little help with their studies.
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