I try to tell every new mother I encounter in the East Bay that if they accomplish one thing during their maternity leave, it should be attending a mom and baby yoga class. (After 6-8 weeks of healing, of course.) It’s a reason to leave the house, a place to meet other moms, and no one bats an eye if you need to breastfeed, or even just lay down for a minute to take deep breaths.
Bonus points for anyone who tries postpartum yoga at three different studios before her baby turns one.
Yogalayam (South Berkeley)
The post-natal yoga class at Yogalayam is offered twice per week. It includes instruction on infant massage and there are volunteers on hand to comfort fussy pre-crawlers. If your kiddo is beyond crawling and you’ve missed the boat, rest assured there is also toddler yoga you can enjoy. 1723 Alcatraz Ave, Berkeley.
Brilliant Births (Berkeley)
Before it was Brilliant Births, it was 4th Street Yoga, and I attended a Mom and Baby yoga class when I had a newborn,. When I stopped to nurse, the instructor noticed my posture and hooked me up with a magical pillow position that felt like nothing I could have dreamed of. In this spirit, go to a place like Brilliant Births that knows how the body works and is there to make you feel good. Note that this place is upstairs, so you might want to wear your baby in a carrier to get there. Bonus: there are many good walkable lunch spots to treat yourself. 1809 4th Street, Berkeley.
Namaste (Berkeley, Grand Lake, Rockridge)
Twice per week in Berkeley and once in Rockridge, the Namaste family of yoga studios adds $5 supplement added to all postnatal classes in Berkeley only for additional baby holding service. The 2nd Monday of the month includes a newborn massage lesson. Participants should bring an extra blanket and towel for classes with baby massage.
Berkeley Yoga Center (Berkeley)
The Berkeley Yoga Center (also upstairs, overlooking Strawberry Park) has a postnatal class once per week. I went to prenatal yoga there at 40 weeks pregnant and bragged that I wouldn’t be showing up the next week. Then there I was at 41 weeks pregnant, hoping to get things moving. (At 42 weeks, we headed for Alta Bates.) 1250 Addison Street , Berkeley, CA
Leela Yoga (Alameda)
In this class designed for mamas of infants, poses address the unique effects and stresses of pregnancy, birth, and caring for small children. One class is offered per week at Leela Yoga for pre-crawling babies and a different weekly class is suggested for crawlers and toddlers up to age 2. 1708 Lincoln Ave, Alameda
Then Comes Baby (Oakland)
This destination for new moms is host to classes across disciplines, but Mom & Baby Yoga is on Monday and Thursdays at Then Comes Baby.
Yoga Alameda (Alameda)
Mom and baby yoga focusing on the shoulders, back, pelvic floor and the core is offered once a week at Yoga Alameda. 1502 Park Street, Alameda.
Yoga Tree on Telegraph (Berkeley)
This San Francisco-based chain offers postnatal yoga at the Telegraph Avenue location for moms and their pre-crawling babies. 2807 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley.