I was never really a yoga fan.
I thought it was too slow. The idea of standing still for a long stretch of time just seemed incredibly boring. I’ve always been a soccer kinda girl, I need competition and fast pace to get me excited about exercise. But much like every view I had prior, pregnancy changed that. I started taking prenatal yoga classes to help me prepare for birth and found it brought me so much strength, peace and tranquility that I kept going once my daughter Milou was born.
(The Soul of Yoga Studio, Milou practicing her poses at 14 months)
Our local Yoga Studio, Soul of Yoga offered "Mommy and Me" yoga classes and by the time Milou was three weeks old I needed to venture outside of our home so I thought I'd give it a try. Three years later, this class is still one of our weekly highlights together. What developed during those Friday morning yoga sessions in between breastfeeding, diaper changes, a whole lot of laughter, tears and (at times) a tiny bit of yoga was a strong bond and friendships between some incredibly inspiring women.
(During a yoga session, Brooklyn, the youngest in the group, was inspired by her walking friends. She let go of her mother's hand and set off walking for the first time and we caught this incredible moment on video)
Among these inspiring women was the crunchy mama who breastfed her baby in a sling while standing on one leg bent forward in a “swan pose” (missed photo op, my mistake), there was the ultra-fit mama who somehow always managed to get a full hour of yoga in while the rest of us felt it was a huge accomplishment if we were able to get 5 minutes of yoga in total. And then there was me, the mama who brought her baby in with new funky kidswear each week. While some baby girls wore pink headbands and little tutus, Milou came in with blue and orange rompers with prints of monkeys climbing up her sleeves, black leggings with cobra snakes slithering around her legs with bright red moccasins to match the red tongues of the cobras.
(Organic cobra leggings by Mini Rodini, wish they came in adult sizes!)
Although I never had much interest in fashion, spending my entire working life in the Humanitarian world, the role I was attaining as the mother of a baby fashionista was so fun that I began carefully selecting her outfits each Friday morning trying various color and print combinations to get those “Oh”, ”Ah” and “Wow” reactions from the other mommies.
(Yoga has become an everyday routine for us, regardless of where we are in the world. Downward-facing dog pose in Bondi Beach, Sydney seen above. Namaste/tree pose in Ubud, Bali below)
By the time we had graduated to toddler yoga, I had written so many notes to eager parents of various websites and stores in Sweden where these organic, color popping clothes could be purchased that my husband jokingly suggested I should just start my own web store and bring my favorite brands of organic kidswear to the US. Although it was meant as a joke, the idea reminded me of the struggles of finding organic kidswear when Milou was born. Her bed had an organic mattress and soft, organic bedsheets, yet the onesies and pajamas she spent most of her time in were made with cotton grown with highly toxic pesticides. My solution was simply to purchase clothing back in Sweden and have them sent here to my home in Southern California. It sure wasn’t the cheapest and most convenient way but at least I knew her clothing was ethically made. I thought more about my husband's suggestion. Why shouldn't I help provide other parents with the same option? And perhaps I could take it one step further and create my own line of organic, funky kidswear, made entirely here in the USA?
And with that, the spark of Ruth & Ragnar was ignited.
Namaste and lots of ooooommm.