live well. » words from a wellness advocate, badass mother and connoisseur of life.

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Belly Bliss {a love story}

I arrived at Belly Bliss in a pair of flip flops and my favorite Lululemon pants with the intention to keep at least my thighs toned as my mid-section was rapidly expanding. I’ve been told it’s harder with your second pregnancy! As I sat in the lobby before class enjoying my quiet time, I knew that there was something about this place. The warm and welcoming vibe kept me coming back. The years I spent at Belly Bliss gave me a lifelong friend, invaluable parenting skills {breathe, just breathe), my pre-baby energy…and, yes…eventually strong legs too (but who cares?!).

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Let me tell you my love story about Belly Bliss…

Pregnancy is a unique experience and I knew that I needed to surround myself with people who could relate. So, I went to Belly Bliss for prenatal yoga. I had tried regular yoga classes and it just didn’t feel right. At Belly Bliss, I had experts to guide me through safe movements and people who understood my changing form. There were other curvy moms-to-be sharing the aches, the pains and the joyful flutters of growing babies. Each class started with an introduction. I have to tell you, my initial reaction was to roll my eyes…come on, I came to burn some calories. But, after a few classes I realized what a treat it was to connect with other moms. There was a sense of community, a feeling that “we’re all in this together!” It’s refreshing and empowering. I found my new favorite activity!

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As life changed and I shifted to BYOBaby Yoga, so did the experience and the conversations. We talked about sleep, or lack thereof, diapers, nursing and our favorite set of wheels a.k.a. strollers. We were spit up on together and we all appreciated each other’s unwashed hair. As a new mom, it seems everyone is giving you parenting advice because, according to them, you probably aren’t doing it right. But in the yoga studio there is no judgment, only support…and plenty of cute chubby baby cheeks!

One time in BYOB class, I gazed down at my son in Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog) and he giggled and giggled. The mom next to me whispered, “I can’t wait for my daughter to laugh like that” and my heart melted. I realized that just the week before he seemed to hardly respond to me…and certainly was not laughing yet. I realized that this class wasn’t about reaching my toes again. I realized it didn’t matter if I ever learned to do a handstand. It was all about sharing the experience with my baby and connecting to the community of mothers. I paused and enjoyed the seemingly minor milestone of laughter. It was remarkable!

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Practicing yoga during the newborn stage helped me get through the exhausting days when a tiny human was totally dependent on me. Practicing with other moms was a nice reminder that I was not alone, although at times the days felt so long and lonely. The practice helps with the challenges of parenthood.

The best thing I took away form Belly Bliss was a dear new friend…and one for my son. One day after class I stayed on my yoga mat to nurse Oliver. He was about 6 weeks and didn’t last long between meals. We only lived a mile away…but I just didn’t feel like leaving the space yet. I’m not a very social or outgoing person, and I have trouble just starting a conversation with a total stranger. However, as I sat there nursing my baby boy…so did Jillian. When you are sitting in a quiet room with your shirt pulled up, you can’t help but start a conversation. It was fate! Jill and I realized our boys were born just two days apart. We exchanged phone numbers and started meeting regularly after yoga to walk in the sunshine. Our outings usually involved a caffeinated beverage as well. It was a match made it heaven 😉 Below…the boys growing up together.

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If you are a new mom…especially if you are an introvert like me, I can’t tell you how important it is to reach out. Life in the “4th trimester” is challenging and joyful! At times you feel overwhelmed by love and contentment and other times you feel depleted and sleep-deprived. It’s so wonderful to have a friend who can relate. Trust me, your husband won’t understand, your friend with a 5 year old will sort of understand…but a companion with a child close in age will be a great shoulder to lean on. Find one! This is my friend Jill, who I picked up at Belly Bliss, and her adorable family 😉

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My experience at Belly Bliss has been unforgettable and has brought so much joy to my life. They offer so much more than what I’ve written about today. For example, post-natal rolfing and massage…will make you feel human again! I could go on and on, but go see for yourself!

With love,
Cheryl Spriggs, mother & yogi

 

p.s. Belly Bliss is owned and operated by two moms. it’s in Cherry Creek North.