Though, as a healthy pregnant woman, it is necessary to realize that we can't do everything exactly the way we used to, it's important to continue to do the things we love, the things that make us feel strong and vibrant. It's even more important to recognize when we need to slow down, breathe, and be gentle with ourselves.
Having trained with Jane Austen, one of the most widely recognized prenatal yoga instructors/doulas in the bay area and having done yoga for nearly 10 years before becoming pregnant, I continued a strong yoga practice throughout my pregnancy. My daily practice reduced my nausea, made me more energetic, helped me sleep better at night, relieved common pregnancy discomforts, and made me feel strong and ready for childbirth and motherhood.
I am ecstatic to offer prenatal privates and small group classes to accompany mammas to be thorough the trimesters of their pregnancies so they can comfortably and safely continue their established yoga practice. To help them recognize and accept that sometimes it's better to slow down and breathe, and aide in preparation for labor, birth, and motherhood.
After a long labor and a healthy birth, I found myself almost immediately craving my yoga practice. I searched in vain for information and classes for postnatal women, for suggestions on how to safely re-start my practice. I was totally defeated when my doctor said nothing could be done until 6 weeks post pregnancy and only after I had done re-education (physical therapy) of the perineum.
The rebel that I am (ha) I kept doing my own practice, eventually figuring out how to adjust to my post-natal body. When I finally made it to the physical therapist at 10 weeks post birth (a colicky baby made it hard to get out of the house) she was awestruck at my perineum's health and strength. It was the yoga.
I subsequently found a doctor that teaches what I had discovered on my own. That gentle yoga focused on moving the organs back to their pre pregnancy location, and perineum exercises immediately after birth, is not only possible, but preferably done in the first weeks when ligaments are still pliable. She was not only a doctor (M.D.), specializing in childbirth, but a yoga teacher, and a mother. And happenstance has a training facility/yoga studio in Paris. In October 2015, there was an opening for Dr. De Gasquet's prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher training, so I immediately signed up. Now I know the reason that what I learned on my own worked and I have learned how to safely to modify post-natal exercises for all types of births.. The best news of all, it can be done as early as day 1 post-birth.