Teach Mums and Bubs Yoga in your home – 5 ways to reduce the chaos

So you want to teach Mums and Bubs yoga in your home but you’re not sure where to start to organise your space. Let’s discuss.

Between 2017 – 2019 I ran a yoga studio space in a downstairs lounge room of our house. In that time I had over 100 women, babies and children through the doors (and I learnt a LOT about what works and what doesn’t along the way).  

Let me share the 5 things you must consider when setting up a home-based yoga studio. I’ll also share the before and after renovation pics of our space from when we bought it, to what it looked like when we ran classes at home. (Because who doesn’t love a good Reno series!)

5 MUST DOs when you teach Mums and Bubs yoga at home

Remove all clutter and everything you don’t want babies to touch.

Mums and Bubs yoga is not always relaxing. That part is already certain. But you can help your students feel more relaxed by creating a space that their little ones are free to crawl, roll or toddle around without fear that they will hurt themselves or break anything.

In the image below you can see that we set our yoga space very simply. While plants and other trinkets look beautiful in regular yoga studios, in a Mums and Bubs space they can become a problem. Little ones will want to play with the dirt, and Mums will feel frustrated by having to constantly drag their baby away from getting into something they shouldn’t.

We set up a baby gate on our stairs and kept all the other doors closed during Mums and Bubs classes so that the only spaces they could move between was the yoga room and the kids playroom, where everything was kid-friendly.

teach Mums and Bubs yoga
home based yoga studio

Set up practical spaces to make life easier for your Mums.

Getting out of the house with a baby can be overwhelming at the best of times. Going to a yoga class (which we typically think of a as quiet space) can feel even more stressful, especially on days that your baby is unsettled and won’t nap. Make it easy for Mums by having easily accessible spaces for them to use if and when they need.

Set up a space for them to change nappies and provide a couple of spare nappies and wipes for days when they forget something. If you don’t have the space for a whole change table, offer some mats or blankets that they can use for changing and make sure to wash them after each class.

Provide a comfortable couch where they can feed their baby if they feel like they want to take a moment away from the chaos of class to try and settle their baby. I had a couch just outside the studio doors that my students could use when they were feeding. It meant they could still hear the class and get the benefit of community, breathwork and meditation, even when they weren’t able to do the physical practice. If you don’t have space for a couch, make sure you offer lots of yoga bolsters and help them to set up comfortably against a wall when they need to feed or hold their baby.

teach Mums and Bubs yoga at home
Mums and Bubs yoga studio at home
teach Mum and Bubs Yoga studio

Make a plan to keep little ones busy

Many yoga teachers who teach Mum’s and Bubs yoga only allow babies to attend up until they can crawl. I understand the logistical reasons for this. It’s certainly a LOT more chaotic and harder work to teach classes with babies and toddlers who are on the move, than it is to teach non-mobile babies.

However from my own experience, when babies start to move is when you need your community of Mums the most. Because of this, I’ve always tried to teach Mums and Bubs yoga classes for newborns all the way up to preschool aged children. (Bonus tip. Do NOT try to include them all in the one class. It will be utter chaos. Organise them by baby’s age so you don’t have to worry about protecting newborns from stumbling toddlers mid-savasana.)

If you are going to offer classes that include older babies and toddlers, I recommend making a plan for how you’ll keep them busy. In my home-studio space I was fortunate to be able to set up a kids-playroom that was right next door to the yoga space. The door between the rooms was never shut and it was visible for Mums who still wanted to be able to keep an eye on their little ones.

kids playroom at yoga studio
kids play room

I also hired a casual babysitter to come and watch the kids in the play space so that Mums could relax properly knowing that someone was there to mitigate any sharing disagreements that came up.

If a carer wasn’t available (and depending on the age of the kids attending) I would set up a sensory activity in the play space before the class started. This usually bought us about half an hour of uninterrupted yoga time before they spread the play dough into the yoga space as well. Embracing the mess of motherhood is definitely a good theme to introduce when you teach Mums and Bubs yoga!

home based yoga studio play room

Set expectations about what yoga in a Mums and Bubs class looks like

A lot of the magic in a Mums and Bubs yoga class comes from the freedom for yoga to look like whatever it needs to look like. You as the teacher need to set this expectation for your students. Many new Mums will come to a yoga class with their baby expecting it to look and feel like it did pre-birth. If you’re finding students aren’t coming back, it might be because they are left feeling so frustrated that their baby wouldn’t sleep like the others and they spent the whole time feeding and rocking them and didn’t get to “do any yoga”.

At the start of class you need to make the boundaries and expectations of your class culture clear. Explain the spaces that babies are free to move and what you expect of the Mums in your class.

For example “Your baby is free to move between this room and the next. If your baby is fussy or crying, please feel free to stop the physical practice and soothe them in whatever way they need. You can move to our space outside if you want to sit and feed them or come to the wall with a bolster for support.

If you’re unable to join in the physical practise of yoga today I want you to focus on your breath and stay present in this space. At times the class will be noisy. I want you to practise noticing how you respond to the noise and breathing through any frustration that comes up. At the end of class we’ll have time to connect while bubs play so please feel free to hang around after class for a cup of tea.”

Embrace imperfection

This was a BIG learning for me when I set out to teach Mums and Bubs yoga classes. I wanted everything to be perfect from the very first class. In reality, the space was ever-evolving depending on what classes I was teaching and who was coming along.

Just like you’ll ask your students to embrace the imperfection of trying to practise yoga with a little one, you’ll also need to embrace the fact that Mums and Bubs yoga classes are unpredictable and chaotic most of the time.

If you put too much pressure on yourself to teach Mums and Bubs classes that feel calm, you will inevitably feel overwhelmed and not enjoy your work. And THAT would be a real shame – because the world needs more spaces where Mums and babies can just show up, exactly as they are.

Where to now?

Want to see more of our home-based yoga studio – check out this video here.

Learn more how to teach Mums and Bubs yoga and postnatal classes in my Online Yoga Teacher Training.

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