Yoga's not just a solitary activity. It also has a host of benefits when you do it with your child. The added weight allows you to get more intense strength training, and it can also help your child to relax, according to Jessica Carlin, yoga director at the Chicago School of Hot Yoga.
Here are some simple poses you can try at home with your child. For the best results, try yoga when your child is rested and not hungry.
Warrior: Stand with your feet a bit further than hip width apart, and place your baby on your right hip. Lunge to the right with your body held upright and hold for a minute (or as long as your baby will tolerate it). Repeat on the other side.
Tree: Again, hold your baby on your hip. Practice standing tall and engaging your core as you bend your right knee and draw the bottom of your right foot against your shin or thigh. Hold, then repeat on the other side.
Boat: Sit with your knees bent and your legs parallel to each other and placed in front of your body. Place your baby so that he or she is leaning against your shins, and drop your torso so that is creates a 45-degree angle with the ground. Engage your abs and lift your feet shins in the air, just until you feel that your abs are challenged. Lower back down.
Plie Squat: Hold your baby in front of you and engage your core. Bend your knees with your feet wide and your toes pointed out, your seat tucked in. Lower your torso so that you create a 90-degree angle with your legs, or until you feel that it's challenging you. Hold, then repeat until fatigued.
The Chicago School of Hot Yoga will be offering pre- and post-natal classes this fall. To learn more, visit http://chicagoschoolofhotyoga.com/.