A few months ago, we were lucky enough to take a Yoga for Doulas from Whole Mama Yoga. It was great for us to learn some basic poses that we could pass on to our clients, as well as a great time for us to enjoy a lovely afternoon of yoga with other Triangle area doulas.
As time passed, we realized our clients have loved getting some pregnancy specific yoga poses, so around 32 weeks, we send some great hand outs from Alexandra and Lauren made. So when it came time for our provider spotlight for December, we knew exactly who to turn to!
Whole Mama Yoga is comprised of two wonderful women that believe in bringing yoga and wellness in general to women of all stages of their lives, as well as hosting birth classes and mindfulness retreats. Both Alexandra and Lauren teach classes throughout the week, and would love to see you at one of their classes!
How do you feel yoga can help women prenatally and in the postpartum period?
Yoga offers so many tools. The most obvious is physical movement. Women who are pregnant often have aches and pains from carrying baby-- yoga helps with low back pain, hip pain, tightness and tiredness. And the same is true for new moms: postpartum, the right application of yoga movement can help with shoulder rounding and upper back pain. Yoga can help with rebuilding hip and core strength, too. But yoga isn't just movement. It's a reminder that the breath is a tool for centering, getting present, being in the moment. What mom-to-be or new mom doesn't need that? Finally, yoga offers additional tools like mantra, meditation, and chanting that can be incredibly helpful for both labor and delivery and those long stretches of night for new moms.
What are some of your favorite tips to help both our pregnant and new moms achieve their goals with practicing yoga?
The most important tip that we can offer is that a practice doesn't have to look like your old practice. You don't need a yoga mat. You don't need to be alone. You don't need more than a few minutes. A few moments of intentional movement and breathing can change your mood, how your body feels, your attitude, etc. A short, 5-minute yoga practice is a legit yoga practice, especially for tired pregnant mamas and tired new mamas.
How do you structure your yoga classes to have all people feel comfortable with the poses with their changing body?
This is such a good question! In our classes, yoga poses adapt to people, not the other way around. There are so many props, like bolsters, blankets, and blocks that can make new moms and pregnant mamas feel safer and more comfortable in movement. And because prenatal classes and postpartum classes tend to be conversational, it's easy for students to find modifications that work for them. Of course, that's really our job, too: Lauren and I truly do have expertise on how to modify poses for every mom!
When not teaching or practicing yoga, where can we find you?
We love to run, hike, and do boot camp classes in addition to yoga. We both love family time, spa time, and quiet time-- the latter is something we don't get enough of, as every mom will attest.
What are you most excited about related to the upcoming holidays?
That previously mentioned quiet time. The holidays mean more family around, and that often translates to a few more opportunities to sneak off alone or to sleep in or to get up early and be on our mats without interruptions. Time without children makes us both better moms!