Yoga for aunt and baby
March 24, 2013 4:21 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to take my 9mo old niece to do yoga in or around New Orleans (preferably more West Bank than downtown). Help?

I've been looking online for a place where I can go to do yoga with my adorable 9mo old niece. She's a crawler, really engaging, and I'd really just love the chance to spend time with her doing something I love. But!! I'm not her mom. So far a lot of the places I've seen online look more geared to moms needing socialization than towards yoga and playing with babies. Would it be awkward for me to go to something like that if I'm not her mom? Any suggestions for places to look where an aunt and a niece looking to have a good time engaged in holistic practices can make it work?

Please assume that mom is not into doing yoga, but is into the idea of having a morning (pref. weekend) free to hang out with dad.
posted by spunweb to Human Relations (8 answers total)
Wednesday mornings and Saturday mornings at Wild Lotus seems like maybe all there is. I have no idea if it would be awkward--maybe just give it a shot?
posted by liketitanic at 4:32 PM on March 24, 2013

I'm not local to your area, but as far as the question about "Would it be weird..." goes, I'd really encourage you to try one session and see what you think. I've done various baby classes and groups, and it's not unusual to see nannies, grandmas, etc. there. I doubt you'd get hit with much judgment or weird looks. It's as much socialization as you want, and if you don't want to chat with the moms then just use it as a fun time to hang out with your niece!
posted by handful of rain at 4:34 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't know about the mom/baby classes in particular, but I loved Wild Lotus when I lived in Nola. I'm sure you could contact them and ask about their mom/baby classes.
posted by radioamy at 4:45 PM on March 24, 2013

Some places will do a sort of check-in where they go around the circle and say their name, kids name and anything they want to about how they are doing. This can be so great for new moms but may feel tedious or TMI for you. Also, I think I stopped going to mama/baby yoga around 7 or 8 months because my kid was too interactive with the other kids (who are sometimes very tiny) and even with her peer group -- tussleling over toys, making another kid cry. Not to mention crawing onto other mom's mats. Once I spent more time managing her than doing yoga, I stopped going. So, call and talk to the place and ask what the class is like and find out the age of the babies and what the protocol is -- maybe you can even email or talk to the specific instructor who will have the best info. And, yeah, you can always go once, see if it works and change your mind if it doesn't -- no harm, no foul.

And for the record, I wouldn't find it weird at all for an aunt/baby pair at yoga.
posted by amanda at 6:08 PM on March 24, 2013

Since you aren't going for the socializing, have you considered scheduling a private session? Tracey Duncan is in your area -
and is fantastic. She also gives wonderful massages.
posted by myselfasme at 6:23 PM on March 24, 2013

" But!! I'm not her mom. So far a lot of the places I've seen online look more geared to moms needing socialization than towards yoga and playing with babies. Would it be awkward for me to go to something like that if I'm not her mom? "

Not at all. I go to lots of these sorts of things, and there are moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, au pairs, nannies, "special friends," all sorts! Plus there's no rule that moms can only make mom-friends; like it's great to meet other moms with kids about your kid's age, but it's also great to meet other adults who are out with their niece or whatever and are cool and fun to talk to! I've made friends with non-moms at these mommy-and-me classes. And plenty of the adults just smile politely but keep to themselves (because they're shy, or exhausted, or not interested in socializing).

A lot of places will let you visit a session free (or try one out before sign-up for the session) to see if you like the class's mojo.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:21 PM on March 24, 2013

As a potential alternative, here is my technique for Interactive Niece Yoga:

*Literate assistant (no yoga expertise required).
*Reasonably yoga-friendly setting (e.g. a yoga mat or a carpet or a non-muddy lawn).
*Deck of cards, each of which shows a yoga pose and gives instructions. The Yoga Deck works well; there is also a kids' version, which might be even better; or you could make your own.

How To Play:

A selection of picture cards is offered to Niece. She grabs one; its instructions are read aloud by the Assistant; this pose is performed by Aunt, much to Niece's amusement. Niece may or may not choose to try out the pose herself.

Ha ha ha! So funny! Repeat.
posted by feral_goldfish at 6:20 AM on March 25, 2013

If you wanted to dispense with the human assistant, various apps exist which will let Niece choose between (or at least, poke stubby fingers randomly at) pictures of yoga poses, and then provide spoken instruction for Aunt.
posted by feral_goldfish at 6:28 AM on March 25, 2013

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