Mum & Baby yoga

As I mentioned in this post, I took my first yoga class when I was pregnant with Marlow and after just one class I knew it would become an important part of my life from then on. I don’t know what took me so long to start up yoga, but I am so thankful I finally did. I loved taking pregnancy yoga classes when I was pregnant, and I am so convinced it helped prepare me mentally and physically for the birthing experience I had always longed for.

When Marlow was 8 weeks old we started taking yoga classes together. Once a week the two of us hop on a bus and head over to Triyoga in Primrose Hill for the Mummy & Me yoga class with Nadia Narain. It is always a highlight of the week for both of us! I love that I get to practice yoga even though I have a little baby who still can’t be left with a sitter, I love that every Wednesday I wake up and my muscles are slightly sore from the previous day’s work out, I love being surrounded by other mums with young babies and chatting to them about motherhood and baby stages, and I love ending the class with a little dance with Marlow – a special time for the two of us to share with each other. Marlow loves the bit at the end when we sing songs (Incy Wincy Spider is her favourite!), and she loves checking out all the other sweet babies in the room —  I’m certain that she loves our yoga class as much as I do.

x Courtney

p.s. Marlow’s romper in the photo above is from Marie Puce.

Pregnancy Yoga with Nadia

I had never done yoga before… until I found myself at 32 weeks pregnant with a breech baby. A good friend (and fellow pregnant mama) recommended I try yoga, both for the physical benefit as well as to calm my mind and find a sense of peace with my pregnancy and baby.  I figured I would give it a go… if, for nothing else, just to have the quiet time to myself and to dedicate a small portion of my busy day to the baby inside me.

Anyone who’s ever taken a pregnancy yoga class at Triyoga will, no doubt, be familiar with Nadia Narain. Her name is practically synonymous with yoga. I can’t tell you how many people recommended Nadia’s pregnancy yoga classes to me before I even took my first step into her class. ‘You want yoga? Oh you must speak to Nadia’.

One pregnancy yoga class with Nadia and I was a changed woman. I felt so empowered by her words, so comforted by her support, and, for the first time in my life, so prepared for my impending labour. I really believe it is thanks to her (and this book !) that I was able to achieve the labour and delivery I had always wished for. I still remember hearing her words in my head as I entered the final stages of labour.  ‘Relax your body, relax your mouth, slow down your breathing…’.

It is a subject I almost find difficult to write about. You know the feeling where you have so much to say, you don’t know where to begin? Where your thoughts get so jumbled up in a rush to be spoken?! I feel this way when I think about the transformation that took place in the final weeks before Marlow was born. I just want to stand on a big soapbox and preach the benefits of yoga, to sing the praises of Nadia, and to tell every pregnant woman to read this book .

Instead, I will simply say that if you live in London, you should definitely take one of Nadia’s classes. If you don’t live in London, you can buy her pregnancy yoga CD which is awesome (and nearly as good as the real deal!) as well as her gorgeous aromatherapy candles… so that, no matter where you live or how busy you are, you can still benefit from her yoga and her teachings.

Jumping down from my soapbox now. : )

xx Courtney

Yoga for you and your baby

When I was pregnant with Sara I went to yoga class once a week faithfully. I danced around the room with other pregnant ladies and connected with my baby embracing my belly. After her birth I went back to a weekly baby massage/yoga class until Sara was crawling around and yoga wasn’t an option any more. Maybe the fact that she is nowadays such a balanced child has something to do with all of these yoga classes she enjoyed as a baby!

Sadly baby number two and three didn’t get similar treatments; it’s just too difficult to get out of the house these days with three small children and a household to manage. But… I recently received the DVDs Bump, Birth and Beyond by the London Yoga Company and Ava and I have been doing our own private yoga class in the living room, and we are loving it! I really feel so much better after the 5 minute quick fix, just incredible. And the exercises you can do together with your baby are wonderfully simple and effective. I wish I had known about these DVDs when I was pregnant, it’s such a lovely way to relax and connect with your baby… And get in shape at the same time!
Yoga for You and Your Baby is available through The London Yoga Company, together with the Pregnancy Health Yoga and the Post Natal Yoga ones.

xxx Esther

Little Nutty Helmets — for the coolest bikey in town


Nutcase is the maker of awesome helmets and their Little Nutty line caters the under five set. In Oz it is legal requirement to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle and given that so many are so cringe worthy (seriously lacking in the style stakes) these make me so very excited to hop on my bike once again.  There is a cool design to suit every member of the family — in fact there are so many cool designs I seriously defy anyone, young or old, not to find one that suits their personality or acceptable to their sense of aesthetic. The Little Nutty range is particularly adorable and ‘dial-to-fit’ sizing makes getting the correct fit for this helmet simple – just turn the dial on the back of the helmet to make it fit your child’s head exactly, growing as the head grows. So cool. Enough said!

For stockists of Nutcase and Little Nutty in the USA and Canada, click here; for Europe click here and for Australia, click here. For everywhere else in the world, see here.

- Sara

Pedal Power

Having recently returned from one of my all-time favorite cities in the world, as well as Esther’s stomping ground — Amsterdam, I now have a serious case of bicycle-itis. The whole bicycle culture over there is just completely enchanting to me. Visions of every age using the power of the pedal as the main form of transportation, unlike Los Angeles, where the smallest of errands usually entails a full car load up. Not only that, but the bikes in Amsterdam are works of art as far as I’m concerned. My husband and I would duck into any bike shop we’d come across and excitedly “choose” which style ride we needed to have in our possession back in the States. My kids couldn’t get enough of piling into a cargo bike and away we’d go! And not only does bike riding appeal to my “green” side, it appeals to my “fun” side and totally takes me back to my childhood and the feeling of freedom that goes along with riding a bike. The geography of L.A. makes it highly unlikely (i.e. only in my dreams) to become a bicycle driven city, but that does not mean we can’t have our own little slice of the Dutch life. Thanks to the super friendly brother duo, Adam and Josef Bray-Ali, owners of Flying Pigeon LA, we Angelenos now have direct access to the SUVs of bicycle family fun. (more…)

A possible saviour called Cupcake

Cupcake 8-044My friend calls winter ‘soft-play-season’ and she dreads it every year.  Year one of having children I thought she was just being miserable, and I loved watching my baby boy smile as some slightly clownish adults sang nursery rhymes to him in a church hall.  In Year two I was too preoccupied with the new baby in our lives to care much where we were or what we were doing. Now in Year 3, with two children and myself desperate to leave the house on these typical English drizzly days, I am pulling my hair out about where to go and dread the inevitable soft-play options.  It is true — the kids have fun, but at the sacrifice of my sanity.  I find myself looking around wondering sometimes what has happened to my life?  I know that I’m lucky to be hanging out with these two brilliant people, but is it a requisite that places for children should totally alienate adults? I realise I’m sounding grumpy (seriously … if you could see the weather!) but do not fret, here I come to the good bit…

Since moving South I have often heard of the place ‘Cupcake’ (in Putney and Wandsworth) in association with descriptors such as ‘haven’ and ‘God-send’.  And so last week I asked whether it was OK to come and check it out (Cupcake is a members only club and I’m not a member …. yet!).  The minute I walked in I felt a sort of happiness come over me. This didn’t feel loud (from noise or from an interiors-carnage) — no this felt like being in a (stylish) friend’s living room… only a bit bigger and with a bar to order lattes, brownies, babyccinos or something for lunch — perfect! (more…)

Resolution 2 of 999,999. Soul Cycle.

SpinBikesSoul Cycle just opened an amazing new space in Tribeca and while I totally TOTALLY dread working out I decided to just suck it up and force myself to go.  After all, as mentioned before, the only cardio routine I have these days is courtesy of the Dancey Dance segments from Yo Gabba Gabba.

So anyway– Soul Cycle has had a following for quite some time in other areas of the city and I was nervous as hell to go.  I had never done a “spin class” before and I was pretty confident that I was going to die on the bike and make a total scene. As I stood in the lobby waiting for class to start I tried my best to look like a pro but when I saw the sweat drenched people emerge from the prior class I started to panic. (more…)

Physique 57 — the workout that actually works

physique57-our-classes-1I wish it wasn’t the case but I don’t like to work out.  I loathe the gym.  The few times I dabbled in Yoga and Pilates I would be all gung-ho for a few months only to eventually find myself watching the clock like a hawk the entire time (is it over now?….now? …what about now?….)

Last winter however, I started taking classes at Physique 57 and everything changed.

Physique 57 has a major cult following in New York.  In a nutshell, it’s 57 minutes of upbeat music and fluid, muscle crunching movements that hone in on all the key areas.  Based on the famous Lotte Berk method, P57 classes focus on core strength and flexibility and the classes are taught by adorable professional dancers who really motivate you to keep going even when your insides are screaming.   What I love about it is that it is comprised of short routines —  every five minutes or so you work on a different part of the body.  And before you know it, the class is over — yay! (more…)

Kinesis Pilates Studio

Kinesis Pilates StudioUntil recently I had never been inside a Pilates studio, I certainly didn’t know the difference between Pilates and Gyrotonics, and I would never have thought (even after my mom’s raves) that I would like it!

But au contraire! With three lessons under my belt, consider me the newest Pilates fanatic. I have soreness in muscles I didn’t even know existed, and I’m loving it. I feel totally energized.

Pilates is especially great for mums and mums-to-be, as it is proven to strengthen your core (including pelvic floor muscles), increase flexibility, relieve back pain, improve your posture, and tone your body. What more could you ask for? It’s also an enjoyable work-out.

Kinesis is a Pilates and Gyrotonic studio located in Notting Hill. The studio is fitted out with the best of all the Pilates and Gyrotonic equipment, and is light and bright and aesthetically soothing. The very lovely owner and teacher, Melissa, is one of the most refreshing people I’ve ever met, and you feel that vibe the minute you enter. (more…)