Prenatal yoga helps prepare the mind, body, and spirit for birth and early parenting. Through gentle stretching and strengthening asanas (poses), common pregnancy ailments are often alleviated and expectant moms gain endurance and confidence in their ability to labor. In addition to the physical benefits, prenatal yoga also prepares women mentally and emotionally for the challenges of labor and postpartum. The practice of meditation and breath work can help women to stay focused, relaxed and calm throughout their birth. And finally, prenatal yoga offers expectant moms access to a community of other pregnant women, with whom they can share their experiences.
As a prenatal yoga instructor, I encourage women to trust their bodies and find their own innate wisdom to gestate and birth. Each yoga class consists of a brief “check-in” discussion, centering/meditation, breath work, asana practice (yoga poses), and relaxation. I also find many opportunities throughout class to teach about birth and to practice pain coping techniques as part of the yoga practice.
The transition into motherhood can feel challenging both emotionally and physically as the mother's body begins to realign after so many months growing a baby. Post-Natal Yoga focuses on bringing the body back to strength and alignment in a fun and nurturing environment with other mothers. We begin the class with a chance to talk about common themes such as sleep (or lack there-of), feeding baby, how to wear your baby, etc., and then move into a moderately-paced yoga class which focuses on relieving shoulder and back pain, strengthening deep abdominal and pelvic muscles, and building stamina. Feel free to bring your baby with you, as well as a baby blanket to rest the baby on. The class is appropriate for women with babies 6 weeks to crawling.