Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby

Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby

by Oct 29, 2020Parenting, Yoga, Yoga for babies, yoga for parent and baby

A Yoga Journey for Parent and Baby

I never expected to write a book — a decade ago I was a new mother, trying desperately to make the most of my maternity leave before returning to my job in the creative field. Living in San Francisco at the time, a city regarded as one of the best for maternal care and resources, I had my pick of plenty of mommy-and-me classes. I dove into them, dreaming of bonding and entertaining my daughter while I recovered some semblance of my pre-baby body. 

The Idea Was Born

Class after class, my experiences fell into two categories — either focused almost entirely on my baby (fun for her, but not much use for me), or focused entirely on me (useful for me, but missing the opportunity to bond.) Let me be clear — mothers NEED classes expressly for mothers. It’s a wonderful service to moms allowing infants to come to fitness classes. Through my journey of motherhood I have relied on the community I have found in mother-centered fitness. But — as my return to the workplace loomed, I found myself longing to pick up my daughter, to interact with her and engage her while I was exercising. And as a new mom with an aching back, diastisis recti, incontinence issues and emotional overwhelm, yoga seemed the best way to attend to my mind and body. My prenatal practice became my postnatal savior. 

As a result, I started looking for ways to bring my daughter into my postures. Over time, we developed a little routine together and in an inspired moment, I jotted down a few rhyming verses about our playtime. Lightbulbs flashed above my head and I realized I could share this sweet interaction with other mothers and fathers; the idea for Just Like the Ocean was born.

Class after class, my experiences fell into two categories — either focused almost entirely on my baby (fun for her, but not much use for me), or focused entirely on me (useful for me, but missing the opportunity to bond.) Let me be clear — mothers NEED classes expressly for mothers. It’s a wonderful service to moms allowing infants to come to fitness classes. Through my journey of motherhood I have relied on the community I have found in mother-centered fitness. But — as my return to the workplace loomed, I found myself longing to pick up my daughter, to interact with her and engage her while I was exercising. And as a new mom with an aching back, diastisis recti, incontinence issues and emotional overwhelm, yoga seemed the best way to attend to my mind and body. My prenatal practice became my postnatal savior. 

As a result, I started looking for ways to bring my daughter into my postures. Over time, we developed a little routine together and in an inspired moment, I jotted down a few rhyming verses about our playtime. Lightbulbs flashed above my head and I realized I could share this sweet interaction with other mothers and fathers; the idea for Just Like the Ocean was born.

Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby

A Long Wait

What happened next can only be described as life … my return to work, a cross country move, several launched businesses, a failed marriage, and continually adjusting to my daughters’ (I have two now) evolving stages. I developed illustrations, had the poses evaluated and approved by a prenatal yoga expert, and submitted my book to publishers. And … nothing. As a first time author, it’s very hard to get a foot in the door with well-known publishers. But I kept pushing, believing that someone, somewhere would see the value in a partnered yoga flow benefiting both mom and baby. And so, I waited. And waited. And finally, finally, I found a boutique publisher who loved my book, and they were ready to help me share it with the world. A full decade had passed since I’d started this journey, and when I held it at last in my hands, I cried. I am thrilled beyond words to see my book available to share with other parents!

    Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby
    Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby
    Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby
    Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby
    Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby

    A Dream Finally Realized

    The book itself is 19 interactive yoga poses, paired with a rhyming story about exploring a jungle island. There are poses to help ease back pain related to bending over a nursing baby, poses to strengthen the pelvic floor, exercises to mend diastisis and poses to bring mindfulness and relaxation. Each pose is accompanied by simple illustrations and instruction for those new to yoga. Perfect as a gift for a new mom or dad, Just Like the Ocean allows parent and baby to bond while building physical strength and balance, engaging with baby to share the emotional and physical benefits of yoga.

    Here’s what one mom had to say about Just Like the Ocean:

    “I loved taking the time to connect with my baby and my body. Amelia liked being able to see me and move with me during the poses. After bending over her all day, my back really needed the stretches. I could feel a difference right away. I hope to make this part of my daily routine with her.” – Kathleen (mom) & Amelia (3 months)

    Reading that review made me realize that all my work and waiting had truly been worth it — other mothers were able to benefit from the soothing and playful poses, and finding a quiet moment to connect through yoga. I was thrilled to see my dream finally realized!

    Just Like the Ocean, a yoga journey for parent and baby, can be purchased on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Like-Ocean-journey-parent/dp/1733382925

    yoga for mama and baby book

    Author bio:
    Emily Foster Williams is an award-winning graphic designer* and mother of two daughters. After working on designs for Sprite, Coca Cola, Dolby, and the Dallas Cowboys, she opened her own design studio, We Are Charette, where she specializes in creating playful, engaging brands for natural consumer goods, food and services. Emily has always enjoyed putting pen to paper, creating rhymes and teaching children, as well as learning ukulele, swing dancing, travel and settling down to do some yoga… with her cat.

    Emily is based in St. Augustine, Florida and available for interviews and public speaking engagements. For more information, or to arrange a review copy of the book or an interview with Emily Foster Williams, please contact: [email protected]

    *Emily’s design for Metallica’s Death Magnetic album won a Grammy for Best Album Design while working at the design firm, Turner Duckworth.