Teacher Training

What's In Store - Bring Your Own Baby Teacher Training

At 22, I was introduced to the practice of yoga at the Piedmont Yoga studio in Oakland, California.  Since then, yoga has been a constant.  When I step onto my mat, it is a feeling of coming home, an invitation to begin again, align breath, body, mind and spirit.  Yoga has kept me conscious and thoughtful during times of change and transformation - especially when I became a mother.  Being able to practice yoga with both of my children since they were infants, introduced a way of being together that I still sense and feel 10 and 13 years later.

My Bring Your Own Baby (BYOB) Yoga journey began when my daughter Reyna was four months old.  I packed us up - curious, nervous, and ready to try something new.  It was time to change up our daily routine and get into a community with other new mamas.  One class in and I was hooked. I was transformed by this mama and baby outing option.  I loved coming to a place where we were not talking about parenting; instead we were parenting.  We practiced yoga with our babies in the form of mindfulness, 100% presence, non-judgement, acceptance, and surrender.  I am thankful to have intentionally nourished these qualities by attending BYOB Yoga. This hour carved out of my day to move, breathe, and connect with my baby in the safe and loving company of other mothers was truly sacred time; time that I reflect on with a savoring sweetness. 

In 2006, we were blessed with Boden.  More confident with my parenting through the practice of Bring Your Own Baby Yoga, I could really focus on getting to know this little guy.  What made the experience of BYOB Yoga a unique form of parent education was the space we were given to navigate our new relationship.  The sequence taught during class introduced a variety of ways to connect:  centering together with breath, physically connecting through infant massage, mindfully moving with integrated baby and parent yoga poses, and at the end of class an opportunity to rest together.  BYOB Yoga cultivated an awareness of how to be myself while navigating my role as mother and how to trust my response in tending to the dynamic needs of an infant.

 A few years later I was delighted at the opportunity to study with Lisa Bergly, creator of Yogabonding.  I became a certified postnatal yoga instructor and began to guide sweet mamas, papas and their little ones through a Yogabonding class.  Now that more time has passed, I am fortunate to be teaching BYOB yoga at Blooma. A few times a week I get to offer a class where moms and dads can show up during this this tender and vulnerable season, create community, move and breathe together, and practice a sequence developed to deepen the level of connection between parent and child. 

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Absolutely in love with teaching this format of a parent and baby yoga class, I was excited when Sarah Longacre Ehlers asked me to design a Bring Your Baby Teacher Training for Blooma.  Seeking another perspective, more training, I traveled to Boulder to study Mommy and Me Yoga with Katie Wise.  I returned inspired and ready to integrate my learnings and my experiences into a weekend teacher training at Blooma.

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Our upcoming Bring Your Own Baby Yoga Teacher Training at Blooma is a two-day immersion, March 17 and 18. We dive into the main components of a BYOB yoga class: creating community, supporting and empowering new mamas, connecting with baby through infant massage, and yoga postures to strengthen postpartum bodies/rehabilitate the core.  Local experts in the fields of mental health, mama well-being, anatomy, and infant massage will present and inform students during this training.  Please come and join other new and experienced yoga teachers as you prepare to explore a yoga practice that focuses on the intimate relationship between mama and baby. The training is ideal for yogis, childcare providers, Nannies. Mamas, Healthcare workers and more. Prior experience with yoga is encouraged, but not required for the BYOB Teacher Training.

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Written by Betsy Elworthy Sundell, RYT: Mama of two, Yogi, Blooma teacher, creator and instructor of Blooma’s Bring Your Own Baby Yoga Teacher Training.  Betsy is also a licensed elementary education teacher and holds her MA in Education.

My Blooma Journey: Motherhood, Yoga, Community and Beyond.

On the journey of parenthood, there are many things that divide us; but I like to believe that there are many more things that unite us. When it comes to parenting, we all long for community, desire acceptance, and need a safe, sacred space where we - and our choices and experiences - are heard and understood. 

Years ago, I was new to the Twin Cities area and was also newly pregnant with my second child. I had worked in the health care sector for years and could help support my family financially. But, I wasn't in love with what I did and I struggled to find the balance I knew I needed. 

One of the biggest problems in finding balance was that I wasn’t great at carving out time for myself, and certainly, not in a way that encouraged me to “connect” with my baby. It wasn’t uncommon for days to pass without a single thought of my pregnancy, the baby, or what I needed for myself. This only left me feeling more drained with each passing day. I knew this wasn’t sustainable for myself, my family, and my new baby. I needed a change. 

It was around this time that I hesitantly walked through Blooma’s doors. To clarify, I was no yogi. In fact, I was fairly convinced that yoga was not for me. Frankly, yoga seemed like a waste of time. Even so, I left the treadmill at the gym and stepped into the Blooma studio. I moved. I flowed. I breathed. I listened to my heart. I listened to my baby. I found intention. I found community. I discovered how to simply BE. I was hooked. 

From that point on, my yoga mat became a near permanent structure beneath my feet. I clung to every word relating to birth, empowerment, fear, love, and everything in between. I valued the brief interactions post-practice with instructors and fellow mamas alike. I raced out of my corporate office at the end of the day to be greeted by the calming energy that the yoga studio brought to my day and my heart. Blooma was my breath of fresh air amidst an ocean of uncertainty, fear and letting go…

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Months went by. The Prenatal Yoga Classes, that I attended so regularly, prepared me for one of the biggest moments of my life. After much anticipation, I birthed my baby on a pale Christmas Eve morning in runner’s lunge, a pose I had practiced so frequently that my body recognized it as familiar. The woman - my doula - who held my hand, hair and heart throughout my birth experience was the same woman who had guided me through countless yoga practices. Her voice brought me comfort and confidence. She was exactly what I needed during my birth - and Blooma had brought us together.

I had given birth, but I continued to crave Blooma’s energy. In my postpartum days, I religiously attended New Mama Group and BYOB, all creating community and new friendships with fellow mamas who were in the trenches right along with me. Blooma was the one place I could openly breastfeed my baby (because openly was the only way I knew how) and that was enough reason for me to show up, day in and day out.

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Before I knew it, my baby was crawling and we were attending Little Movers and Crawlers Classes together, and then Tots Classes. My oldest son enjoyed Little Kids Yoga and I hit up Vinyasa Classes when I could, in an effort to fill my own cup and focus on myself.As time continued to pass, I felt that my coveted community, my place of prenatal and postpartum solace, was slipping through my fingers. I still had Flow and Barre Classes, but my prenatal and postpartum connection was swiftly ending. My baby was growing. I had spent nearly every day at Blooma. I didn’t want LESS of my Blooma community, I wanted MORE. I grieved at the thought of slowly removing myself from Blooma’s walls. 

I began to seriously reflect on how much I wanted to give back to the community of other new parents, birth workers, and instructors that had selflessly given to me when I needed it most. I wanted to be a part of providing a loving, open, sacred space for prenatal/postpartum mamas to show up, find themselves and connect with their babies, just like I had done in the years before.

Of course, I continued to work the 9-5 job I always had, but I took risks. I didn’t have much of a plan and had no idea where I would end up, but for the first time in my life, it didn’t matter because I knew I had a hell of a lot of passion behind the momentum that was driving my decisions. I dove head first into the numerous training's Blooma had to offer including the BYOB Yoga Teacher Training, DONA Birth Doula Training, DONA Postpartum Doula Training, and Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. I also pursued, with encouragement from my Blooma tribe, the training needed to become a LAMAZE-Certified Childbirth Educator.

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I originally pursued the training's to give back, but I've discovered that I've received so much more. In the end, I left my job in health care and dedicated my time to serving women as a Birth and Postpartum Doula, a Yoga Instructor, a New Mama Group Facilitator, and a Childbirth Educator within the Blooma community and beyond. Originally, I stepped through Blooma’s doors to say “I gave yoga a try” and instead I found what I had unknowingly been seeking for far too long: deep-seeded desires around acceptance, community and sacred space. 

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I’m grateful to say that Blooma has showed up for me in ways that I least expected. It is a yoga studio but it is much more than that. Because of Blooma and all that it is, I have discovered the foundation to help confidently build my family, my community and my inner self.

 

In love, light and gratitude, Sarah Bach-Bergs

Blooma Yoga Instructor, LAMAZE-Certified Childbirth Educator, DONA-Trained Birth and Postpartum Doula, Mama of two crazy boys, wife, friend, and wilderness lover.

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Photo Credit:

First image and Black and White Photo: Meghan Pate

New Mama Group Image: Danica Donnelly