WHEN a young mum started suffering from postnatal depression after her first baby she tackled it with yoga.

Now, Becky Hampson is teaching other mothers – and their babies and toddlers – how to relax with yoga and avoid depression at popular classes at The Hub in Central Drive, Westhoughton.

Becky, now 33, was living locally and a single mum when she had her son Myles, now eight. “I felt quite isolated and got postnatal depression,” she explained. “My health visitor suggested a college course called Personal Development stage 1 at Westhoughton College where they offered a crèche.”

Becky enjoyed the course which looked at areas including self-esteem and attitude and habits. It helped Becky build her confidence and she made a friend of another mum who was also on her own. “It was so valuable to my healing as I wasn’t really getting out and about,” she said.

When the course came to an end, she signed up to more classes there including a course on setting up and improving a new business as well as another on Iyengar yoga. All the courses were free, with a crèche, and Becky loved them, especially the yoga which she had enjoyed previously.

“The small business course led me to set up a business teaching fitness,” said Becky, “and the yoga course helped me to re-connect with my yoga love that I lost whilst pregnant. I went on to study further to be a yoga teacher.”

Becky made a success of this, working abroad at yoga camps – always taking her little boy with her – and continuing her business back home.

Eight years on, Becky found herself again pregnant “but this time I was determined not to have postnatal depression. I used my yoga practice and reiki healing throughout in order to have a calm, tranquil home birth,” she said.

“Even though I was on my own and life seemed challenging, I turned it all into a positive and thought about how best I could provide for my boys.”

With her own history in mind, she also did charity work to raise awareness of depression and for national charity Mind, raising thousands of pounds.

When Becky was tagged in a Facebook post about someone to teach children’s yoga and postnatal yoga at a place called The Hub, she arranged to go along. And she was surprised to find herself back at the same Westhoughton College (now re-named) that had helped her so much.

The upshot of this is that Becky has now started her own baby yoga and toddler yoga classes when parents exercise with their children.

“It helps calm babies and young children. They bond with their parents, concentrate on their breathing and they all learn flexibility,” said Becky.

The classes are held on Mondays at 12. 15pm for parents and toddlers and at 1.15pm for babies and parents. They cost £5 and there is a free crèche and a café at The Hub.

Becky is delighted with the way it has been received and Hub development project manager Gaynor Ratcliffe is equally pleased.

“We want to get more parents who might feel isolated and depressed and who might end up at the GP’s surgery coming in here instead,” said Gaynor. “They can enjoy the classes, get their children looked after and socialise with other parents. They need to get out and about and we’re very local. It’s better than medicine!”

For more information about the baby and parent and toddler and parent yoga classes, call The Hub on 01942 635985 or email westhoughtonhub@gmail.com or ring Becky on 07720 395723.