Chelsey Greer entered Middlesex Hospital with her 6-month-old daughter, Brooke. They weren’t there to see a doctor or get their blood drawn. They were there to workout – and chat with friends.
Mom and Baby Yoga class is held every Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Randy Goodwin, MD Conference Center at the Hospital in Middletown. The instructor, Rikki Alrutz, is a veteran yoga instructor who also teaches Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Yoga, Aerobic-lates® for Postpartum Fitness, Couples Yoga for Childbirth Prep and Adult and Child Yoga classes – all at Middlesex Hospital.
Alrutz says there are countless benefits to practicing yoga for individuals of all ages – pregnant or not, including stress relief, sleep aid, relaxation, added strength and flexibility. Yoga can also help with pain management for problems, such as back pain, post-operation recovery and migraines.
Greer, who lives in East Haddam, likes yoga and enjoys attending Alrutz’s classes. Through the prenatal class, and now Mom and Baby Yoga, she’s made friends with other moms, helping her adjust to her new role as a parent She’s done this while also bettering herself in the process. From stretching to general moving, Greer has benefited from the classes, modifying poses as needed and incorporating her daughter into her workouts.
“Legs up and down,” Alrutz commanded as Greer chatted amicably with the other moms. “Squeeze your glutes.”
In Mom and Baby Yoga class, Alrutz says there is a sense of community, and she says all her classes are run like support groups. The stretching and breathing can help with postpartum depression, she adds. The class also allows moms to bond with their children while both regaining areas of the body and appreciating the miracle of birth.
“Plus, these moms don’t feel mom-guilt, because they get to spend time with their babies while working out,” Alrutz says.
If you are worried that you are not flexible or coordinated, don’t be!
Regardless of your age, flexibility, size or coordination, Alrutz insists that everyone can reap the benefits of yoga. She says yoga can by modified to benefit each person, and there are different types of classes to consider: restorative, power or flow classes. If you are looking to take prenatal yoga, make sure the class focuses solely on prenatal yoga and make sure that a prenatal certified instructor leads it. “Yoga is a wonderful thing if practiced safely,” Alrutz says.
YOGA CLASSES AT MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL
Prenatal Yoga Wednesdays and Fridays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Bengtson-Wood Conference Room
Mom and Baby Yoga Thursdays at 10 a.m. Randy Goodwin, MD Conference Center
Postpartum Yoga Saturdays at 9 a.m. Bengtson-Wood Conference Room
Aerobic-lates® for Postpartum Fitness Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Bengtson-Wood Conference Room
Couples Yoga for Childbirth Prep First Saturday of every month at 12:30 p.m. Bengtson-Wood Conference Room
Adult and Child Yoga Second Saturday of every month at 12:30 p.m. Bengtson-Wood Conference Room
* There is a $15 fee per class. You can also pay $50 for any five Middlesex yoga classes or $80 for 10 classes. Purchases can be made at www.middlesexhealth.org.
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