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A new take on family practice for Mother's Day!

07.03.2013 Olga Allon

I thought it would be lovely to celebrate Mother's Day by hearing from some of our students who practise with either their mothers or daughters - and in some cases, both!

Natalie Reid, who practises with her daughter, Rain
After starting my Bikram yoga practice two years ago, I loved it so much I couldn’t help but spout the benefits to one and all - especially my family! I’d come home and tell my partner and daughter all about this posture and that teacher and the next class I was going to.

My daughter was always happy to have a go at postures as she told me “we do that at gymnastics” so when she had the opportunity to attend the children’s class in Balham with Naomi, she was really keen. She went in with a friend, skid-less towel in hand, and came out surprisingly quiet reporting that she felt “calm”.

She loved being “swung like a shopping-basket” whilst in bow pose by Naomi and desperately wanted to attend more classes. So, after discussing it with Olga and Naomi, she was allowed to attend the floor series of the adult classes with me present throughout. I can't tell you how proud I felt watching her practise in the mirror behind me, my have-a-go seven-year-old, knowing we were both doing something that was so good for our bodies. She really enjoyed coming to the class and doing “what Mummy does”.

The other good news is I've managed to get my mother into the studio with me and I'm also practising the pregnancy series - my "Bikram baby" is due any day!

P.S. Since writing her piece Natalie has given birth to a lovely baby girl – another daughter to practise with in the future!

Martine, who practises with her mother, Anne
When they see us together, other students often remark that they'd love to attend with their mothers. It's something we'd encourage everyone to try. Me and Mum love practising together - it's quality time that improves our lives, too.

I want Mum to be able to maintain her independence as long as possible, so I get her bag ready and book her into class using the app to make sure there are no excuses! There are always times when we don't feel like coming, or when life gets in the way, but practising together means we're usually able to overcome the little voice saying "it's too cold", "we're too tired" or "we'll go tomorrow".

It also helps in class as, if either of us feels like sitting down, a look of encouragement from the other keeps us going. Last May we completed our first 30-day challenge. Practising with each other made all the difference - it was so supportive and enabled us to succeed.

We meet such a range of people at the studio and have made so many new friends - not forgetting the staff who are always welcoming and notice if we're absent.

Classes early in the morning or the last class in the evening seem to work best for us. We can see the results and benefits from regular practice and we often spend the journey home discussing how much we've progressed (or not!) and the highlights of each class.

Chantelle, who practices with her mother, Maureen
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

The words above are brought to life when you practise with family. Practicing with my mum has so many pros - it's made it easier to make Bikram yoga a part of our daily routine. And we've become happier and healthier in the process.

We consult each other as to what classes we'll be attending and encourage each other to attend as many as we can. Having someone to compare notes with is something we both think enhances our Bikram experience and practice. We love discussing how each class went and it’s always really interesting to swap notes on postures that we find challenging. Trying to conquer firm fixed pose is the bane of my practice whereas my mum's still mustering the courage to do toe stand.

We motivate each other - it's the perfect mix of a great support system with a healthy dose of competitiveness! And it's a great way for us to bond whilst doing something that is extremely beneficial, both physically and mentally. We even practise postures at home and give each other feedback and tips. Our banter and enthusiasm is rubbing off on other family members too as I'm pleased to say my aunt has just signed up!

Many thanks to Natalie, Martine and Chantelle for sharing their thoughts with us. To celebrate Mother's Day, why don't you follow their example and bring a family member along?

Keep sweating!