Giving birth to a child changes everything. Obligations, priorities, boundaries, emotions, what you thought you knew about love and other big “life” concepts, and of course, your body. Whether it’s your first baby or seventh, introducing a new person into your family who needs you 24/7 requires a shift and can be a very emotionally challenging and demanding experience.
With the mental and physical stress of new parenthood, it makes sense that a yoga practice (asana, meditation, pranayama/breath work, and philosophy) can be helpful and add to quality of life. But especially if you already had a yoga practice before having a baby, it becomes clear right away that the yoga is different post baby.
First of all, there is the issue of time. Taking care of a little one is demanding, and when you barely have time to...
Okay, so you are pregnant. It's hard not to be tempted to hit up google and start searching everything. Of course, your rational mind knows this isn't the best idea. We all know anyone can post anything on the internet. And it's so easy to get lost in a deep wormhole. But at the same time, the internet can be a very useful resource for finding useful information, both biased and very opinionated. It can also be a very useful way to connect with other women and mamas going through this journey of pregnancy and motherhood along with you.
Want some places to start? Here is just the tip of the iceberg.
As a doula and prenatal yoga teacher, mamas often express to me how overwhelmed they are with everything there is to learn about. Sure, knowledge is power. But not knowing where to begin can be intimidating and even disempowering. Part of my job as a doula is being able to point mamas to resources. And yes there is a lot out there! From evidence based resources, to books, to blogs, to podcasts you can find it all. I would like to share with you some of my faves, starting with books, and later I will delve into other sources. Seek out what resonates with you the most. Keep what you love, leave the rest. Your intuition, your inner wisdom, your ancient knowledge is enough to fill in the rest of the gaps.
Birthing from Within - An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England and Rob Horowitz ...
What follows is a beautiful birth story as experienced by a mama who attended my prenatal yoga classes. She said that her experience was life changing, and wanted to share her story with other mamas in hopes of helping them feel inspired and empowered by their own stories.
I ended up two weeks overdue...which is really typical for a first pregnancy. I was very lucky with my doctor who had patiently waited until 42 weeks without induction, closely monitoring me and the baby. However, after 42 weeks and 3 cm dilation with no further progress we decided that waiting more would result in complications so we scheduled the induction at Cedars on December 23rd at 2 am, which was the only available time. I felt good about it as I ad read a lot about success of pitocin with stalled labor.
Summer may be almost over, but in some places (like here in L.A.) the heat is not about to let up just yet. And when the temperature lingers around 100 degrees, it’s hard not to feel at least a little cranky and uncomfortable.
If that’s you right now, stop what you are doing and try this!
Sitali Pranayama is a cooling breath practice that cools and calms your body.
It does require the genetic ability to roll your tongue up like it’s a taco. If you were not blessed with that very useful ability, no worries, you can get the same benefits by pursing your lips like you are drinking out a straw and lightly pressing the tip of your tongue against your teeth.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Sit up comfortably as you would at the start or end of a yoga class in a comfortable seated position such as cross legged.
Yesterday I took a workshop breaking down some arm balances and inversions. For me, these two categories of poses are especially challenging. Some poses that many yogis seem to be able to just glide into seemlessly such as crow pose (bakasana) and headstand in the middle of the room are to me, rather elusive. Crow in particular I have been attempting for about ten years or so now. I try and try, fall over, try again, and get frustrated. Oh, and I watch those who can do it and get jealous. I know, super yogic of me.
But here is the honest truth about my attempts: I get so frustrated when I can't do a pose that I will stop trying for a while. I walk away. Sometimes I avoid taking classes with teachers that I know will be arm balance heavy. It feels like hard work that I don't want to do. So really, I practice...
When I tell people I am a prenatal yoga teacher, they usually have a lot of questions for me, pregnant or not. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, garnered from my education, experience, and research I have done. Keep in mind that I am not a medical professional!
How is prenatal yoga different from “regular” yoga?
The biggest difference is that everyone in the room is a pregnant woman! This results in a class tailored more specifically to address the aches and discomforts of
pregnancy. Also, the aspect of community is a major part of prenatal yoga classes. It’s a wonderful place to meet other women who are going through a similar experience as you, making it a great place to vent, share stories, get tips, or whatever else you may want to hear/say. The other difference is that the tea...
During a 5 day yoga immersion I was in recently, the teacher posed a question to the room filled with passionate, eager-to-learn-more yogis, most of us teachers. Why do you practice yoga? Knowing the answer to this question, he said, is essential to find clarity and purpose in teaching.
It's a simple question, yet a worthwhile one. Why do we do anything that we do?
After considering this question, I realized that my answer changes often. My practice is so intertwined in my life, and as my daily needs change, so does my practice and reasons for doing it.
I first came to yoga for the physical aspect. I was a teenager and of course I wanted a hot bod and a workout that I didn't hate, and as someone with a dance background, I found the fluid nature of yoga to be quite enjoyable. That was during my hot yog...