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How Can Prenatal Yoga Help In Birth, Postpartum and Beyond?

“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” ~ Kevin Trudeau.

How can yoga help you? Learning techniques to relax yourself, focus, feel grounded, balanced, strong, and how to release and surrender will empower you to have a much easier pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and life as mother.  Growing, birthing and caring for your baby involves your body, mind, heart, gut and spirit, as well as your baby's.

What a picture of optimal health, radiant joy, inner calm, beauty, balance, strength and flexibility. These are some of the advantages of regular yoga practice. If you don't do yoga on an ongoing basis, you might just feel so much better if you give it a try, and take some weekly awesome traditional classes with phenomenal teachers, to see which resonate most with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Stunning photo of this angel mama @Nikk_kee is by @crystaleee . 

Yoga is an ancient self-help science of optimal health and well-being of the body, mind, heart and spirit, now demonstrated by much scientific research, and modern technology has made it much more accessible to so many more people. I am passionate about helping mamas relate to it and make it their own. Regular yoga practice has numerous HUGE benefits in pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond - from decreased common discomforts, aches and pains, to increased strength, balance, flexibility and stamina for advancing pregnancy and active birthing, improved ability to relax and cope, decreased inner stress and its toxic effects, enhanced connection with baby, easier labor with less risk of intervention, quicker postpartum recovery, and so much more. It really helps you feel your best physically and emotionally.

Do these mamas look like they are in hard labor? Well they are. They are using their yoga, meditation & breathing skills to help them cope with the waves of intense sensations, by keeping them calm, focused, grounded & strong - all of which eased labor, as they ROCKED their birth!

Whether you are an advanced yogi or never did any yoga before, regular practice of prenatal yoga (yoga modified & specific for pregnancy) has numerous benefits in pregnancy, birth, postpartum & throughout life, & even helps your baby’s physical & mental health & development. Those inner stress hormones are toxic for the both of you, & the inner relaxation biochemicals are like health magic for you & your baby. Pregnancy is actually a great time to start yoga - as you embark on this life - changing journey to birth & becoming a mother. It is not too late to start, and the more you practice, the more these skills become habitual, so you can easily tap into them in labor or any life challenge. Below is one of my favorite books on how prenatal yoga can enhance your journey from pregnancy to birth and mamahood.

As a midwife and a practitioner and teacher of yoga, I have seen many women once they become pregnant, use this wake up call to take charge of their health & do what they can to make healthier choices for themselves & their growing families; & as mamas incorporated yoga into their lives, I witnessed even more remarkable improvements in their health, how it was a life saver for them during childbirth, how it eased their postpartum recovery & their ability to take on the challenges of caring for their babies with more equanimity & resilience. Healthy life is far beyond eating clean and exercising, and taking the whole food natural supplements I recommend - although those are real important. 

I love authentic yoga so much I want to encourage all to experience how it thoroughly enhances the health of mind and body. Here are some ways regular practice improves the emotions and quality of life, and in the next yoga post I will focus on all the physical health advantages. - Yoga promotes relaxation, peace of mind, and inner calm which decreases anxiety. - Yoga makes for happier, more positive mood and sense of well-being, which decreases depression. - Yoga opens the heart to compassion, deeper connection with oneself and others, which improves self awareness and relationships; this also results in increased consciousness of destructive lifestyle patterns, and a desire to overcome dysfunctional habits and addictions...and also better sex. - Yoga enhances self esteem, inner emotional strength, resilience, and coping ability, which helps one remain steady with greater equanimity in face of hardship, drama, bad news, unsettling events, suffering and life challenges; it can ultimately lead not only to acceptance of much of life that is not in our control, but also to embracing these experiences as gifts, catalysts for change and personal growth. - Yoga enhances spiritual connection no matter what religion, belief system or faith. - Yoga leads to improved creativity and can be such fun if done just about anytime anywhere, such as on a tree over a lake.  

But we can't forget the many physical health advantages. - Yoga eases common discomforts of pregnancy, leads to shorter easier labor & birth, & quicker easier postpartum recovery. - Yoga improves energy & vitality, maintains youthfulness, & eases symptoms of menopause. - Yoga improves sleep & reduces insomnia. -Yoga decreases muscle tension, soreness & pain, & actually eases pain of many chronic conditions. - Yoga reduces inner stress & the illnesses it causes, which constitutes the majority of modern day conditions.- Yoga improves muscle strength, function & tone; it also improves flexibility, balance, coordination & posture, all of which not only improves any athletic performance but also decreases risk of injury. - Yoga improves health of bones, muscles, joints, & cartilage, & reduces risk of problems there, including common affected areas in back & neck.- Yoga improves health of cardiovascular, circulatory, endocrine, gastrointestinal, & respiratory systems, and decreases risk of their related diseases. - Yoga balances metabolism, helps with weight loss, leads to healthier eating, self care & lifestyle, which reduces health problems of obesity, & other conditions from unhealthy habits & addictions. - Yoga boosts immunity to infection & cancer, & decreases risk of inflammatory, autoimmune diseases & allergies. - Yoga improves focus, memory, attention, & sharpness, which decreases age related cognitive decline.

Yoga is not a religion, although it can enhance your spiritual connection whatever your belief system; nor is it just a physical exercise, although that is a wonderful perk. It’s not just for those who can do splits and headstands, but it does increase your flexibility and strength on many levels so you might find yourself doing them one day. It is not just about taking a class either. It can be a part of everything you do! It can be done anywhere, anytime - even in the park, and with your minis. 

If you don't do yoga on an ongoing basis, you might just feel so much better if you give it a try, and take some weekly awesome traditional classes with phenomenal teachers, to see which resonate most with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. In between local classes, or if you cannot get to one, there are classes online at yogaglo.com or try out some of these wonderful video classes.

Prenatal Yoga

Element Mind & Body Experience: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga with Elana Brower  

Prenatal Yoga with Desi Bartlett 

* Prenatal Yoga: Open Your Body, Connect to YourBaby with Mara Branscombe 

Prenatal Yoga for Rejuvenation and Calm with Mara Branscombe  

Prenatal Kundalini Yoga with Akal Khalsa 

The New Method - Baby & Mom Pre Natal Yoga by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa 

Here is a list of my 10 favorite yoga supplies  - what I use in my own yoga practice at home and when I teach. I share them with you so you can ROCK your regular home yoga practice and have what you may find helpful in labor as well. Many mamas just love the restorative poses with props to sink into and feel supported by, just to relax and recharge after a long busy day.

If I can help a mama who wants more personal attention, to learn yoga on Skype, private, or small group local classes, then why not ?! It’s been beyond awesome to more personally connect and yoga with mamas all over the globe. So, if you are interested in my private, semi-private or actual prenatal and postpartum classes on Skype or in my local studio, click here and I will contact you for more info and scheduling. Classes are geared for healthy pregnant or postpartum mamas with some, little or no previous yoga experience. But an experienced pregnant yogi is always welcome. I look forward to working with each of you!!

When starting anything new, as well as along the journey of developing any set of skills, I am reminded that Gothe said "everything is hard before it is easy"; but I am also encouraged by the words of Max Ehrman, "beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle on yourself". So take baby steps, throw out the negative self judgement, remember we are all on our own unique paths, and our only competition is ourselves. 

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor

  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself, letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby

  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy

  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom andcommunicate with baby in belly

  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum

  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

I am passionate about changing lives. This 44-day course is changing lives. Vital Mind Reset is a program that will hold your hand and help you heal your life without a prescription. It will also introduce you to a community of people just like you – all working to transform their lives and revive their power and joy. Be a part of this community. Be a part of something greater and get yourself back! This course is a must, by renowned holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan, author of NY Times best seller 'A Mind Of Your Own', a dear friend and trusted colleague I can vouch for personally and support whole heartedly.  

Get a 10% discount on your Sleepod purchases at askrembla.com -use the code SWEETHOME to get your discount.

Get a 10% discount on your Sleepod purchases ataskrembla.com-use the code SWEETHOME to get your discount.

Enjoy radio shows from some of the world’s greatest teachers in spirituality, health, and wellness. Begin your journey of personal growth and healing now by listening to HayHouseRadio.com – radio for your soul. Hay House also brings these teachers and healers to you with their wonderful array of online courses. that enhance the quality of life of individuals and ultimately the world we live in.

What a picture of optimal health, radiant joy, inner calm, beauty, balance, strength and flexibility. These are some of the advantages of regular yoga practice. If you don't do yoga on an ongoing basis, you might just feel so much better if you give it a try, and take some weekly awesome traditional classes with phenomenal teachers, to see which resonate most with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Stunning photo of this angel mama @Nikk_kee is by @crystaleee . “Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” ~ Kevin Trudeau.

What a picture of optimal health, radiant joy, inner calm, beauty, balance, strength and flexibility. These are some of the advantages of regular yoga practice. If you don't do yoga on an ongoing basis, you might just feel so much better if you give it a try, and take some weekly awesome traditional classes with phenomenal teachers, to see which resonate most with you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Stunning photo of this angel mama @Nikk_kee is by @crystaleee . “Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” ~ Kevin Trudeau.

Photo by Julia Swyers

Photo by Julia Swyers

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

@infinitelovedoula

@infinitelovedoula

Creating Your Home Yoga Sanctuary

I absolutely love going to an awesome yoga class, but I can not always get to one. So I am grateful to online classes with amazing teachers and for my regular home practice to which I am deeply committed. It has been a life saver. I created a list of my 10 favorite MUST HAVE supplies - I share them with you so you can also ROCK your regular home yoga practice, so you have what you need for active flow, alignment based or restorative yoga, breathwork and meditation, with props for assisting and supporting you. Create your own haven of calm, a place to recharge and call your own sanctuary within your home! I am a #PropJunkie for a reason. Splurge on the props - everyone benefits from them - you will be thrilled that you did; I want you to feel as supported and pampered as possible when you release into them and have plenty of options to enhance your practice while preventing injury. They not only give you more stability and ways to build strength, they also allow for more freedom, ability to open and breathe; they help you build more self awareness, sharper focus and concentration and ease you into a delicious inner peace and sense of renewal . And these can be used to help you in labor too. Most come in a variety of colors - I like the soothing tones, and that the colors coordinate and are pleasing to your eyes. Check it out here: homesweethomebirth.com/yoga-supplies

Make a ME haven in your home or apartment. It could be in your own special room you dedicate, a corner of your bedroom, basement, a big closet or bathroom. I love some candles, light incense, and an alter of things that inspire. But make it your place to get centered, tune out the world, tune into you and come back to yourself, do yoga if you missed a local class and tap into that sweet inner calm. Commit to 10 minutes a day. I raised 4 kids, and worked full time, but I found 10 minutes daily; I felt so awesome doing it, it became 20 minutes then 60 minutes or longer most days. Sure there are days when it seemed like there was no time, but that's when I needed it the most so I made sure to make the time. I love props for assisting, modifying or deepening both active and #RestorativeYoga practice.

This first posture has many benefits, especially if spending long periods hunched over a computer or iPhone, as it uses a rolled blanket or block to open your chest and heart center; it not only counteracts the effects of "slumpasasna," it feels so yummy. Resting and elevating your lower legs on a bolster releases your low back and relieves strain on your legs being on your feet or sitting most of the day. It's soothing to rest your upper body on a soft blanket, but its placement can assist with alignment and create more space for breathing more fully. The soft flax seed eye pillow, infused with dried lavender flowers, is like a short cut to deeper relaxation; it blocks out sensory overload and calms your nervous system. Release into the support of the props, feel yourself heavy and rooted to what is beneath you. Gaze inwardly with softly closed eyes, to the point between your eyebrows. If it wanders, bring it back. Focus on your breathing at a depth and pace that is comfortable. When a thought comes in, let it pass like a cloud in a blue sky. If you're lost in thought, just come back to focusing on your breath and inner gaze. Set a chime sounding timer but before rushing up, notice how you feel and savor it. #RelaxationTime  #YogaProps

 #Recharging  #MeTimeNow

http://homesweethomebirth.com/yoga-supplies/ ✨🙏🏽✨

It is very soothing to rest your head on a block when doing forward folds..

It is very soothing to rest your head on a block when doing forward folds..

This pose is just delicious.

This pose is just delicious.

Doing a shoulder stand using props, a folding chair and bolster, feels awesome, and makes it more supportive and accessible. There are many benefits to being upside down, even in pregnancy - with modifications and proper instruction.  Iyengar style of yoga incorporates the chairs and many other props you would not necessarily think of, into their classes., to assist, deepen, modify and support your practice. The most advanced yogis use them; as do beginners and pregnant women. My experience is once you know how to use them, you will want to use them more. Once you go props, you don't go back. - you expand, knowing you have more tools to help you on your journey.

Doing a shoulder stand using props, a folding chair and bolster, feels awesome, and makes it more supportive and accessible. There are many benefits to being upside down, even in pregnancy - with modifications and proper instruction.  Iyengar style of yoga incorporates the chairs and many other props you would not necessarily think of, into their classes., to assist, deepen, modify and support your practice. The most advanced yogis use them; as do beginners and pregnant women. My experience is once you know how to use them, you will want to use them more. Once you go props, you don't go back. - you expand, knowing you have more tools to help you on your journey.

Blocks can be used for support, building awareness and strength, and here to bring the floor closer to you, and enable you to create more space for breathing and expansion, in the side of your torso and across your chest you are potentially compressing.. It helps you work the pose in a different way than with your hand on the floor. And it helps make trikonasana (triangle pose) more available to those who can not lower their hand to the floor for whatever reason. Remember it's not about touching your hand to the floor. Yoga is more about using the poses, the transitions into and out of them to become more aware of what it is like to be in your body, they are a doorway inside, a form of meditation in movement, and they prepare for deeper meditation in stillness. They can create heat and energize;  they can slow and cool you down and activate calm. They open blocked energy channels in the body, detoxify, improve organ and system function, and can facilitate healing. Yes, they build strength, flexibility, agility and balance, but on many levels, and the props are tools to ease that process.

Blocks can be used for support, building awareness and strength, and here to bring the floor closer to you, and enable you to create more space for breathing and expansion, in the side of your torso and across your chest you are potentially compressing.. It helps you work the pose in a different way than with your hand on the floor. And it helps make trikonasana (triangle pose) more available to those who can not lower their hand to the floor for whatever reason. Remember it's not about touching your hand to the floor. Yoga is more about using the poses, the transitions into and out of them to become more aware of what it is like to be in your body, they are a doorway inside, a form of meditation in movement, and they prepare for deeper meditation in stillness. They can create heat and energize;  they can slow and cool you down and activate calm. They open blocked energy channels in the body, detoxify, improve organ and system function, and can facilitate healing. Yes, they build strength, flexibility, agility and balance, but on many levels, and the props are tools to ease that process.

It’s not all in your head. Depression has become an epidemic in which psychiatrists are infamous for saying “oops” and quickly writing a prescription. Reclaim what depression took from your life. Be a part of the Vital Mind Reset community! This course is a must, by renowned holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan, author of NY Times best seller 'A Mind Of Your Own', a dear friend and trusted colleague I can vouch for personally and support whole heartedly.    Check out Dr Brogan's awesome life changing course  here.

It’s not all in your head. Depression has become an epidemic in which psychiatrists are infamous for saying “oops” and quickly writing a prescription. Reclaim what depression took from your life. Be a part of the Vital Mind Reset community! This course is a must, by renowned holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan, author of NY Times best seller 'A Mind Of Your Own', a dear friend and trusted colleague I can vouch for personally and support whole heartedly.  

Check out Dr Brogan's awesome life changing course here.

Stop, Drop, and Yoga - Pranamat Style!

I was so intrigued by this Pranamat gift I got in the mail I had to Stop Drop And Yoga to Strike A Pose or two - although as you know I am prone to SDY anywhere any time. If you want one yourself, you can easily get it here: http://amzn.to/2h6R0Hs . I am not just a junkie for Yoga Props - especially aesthetically pleasing ones like this. As a holistic midwife and yoga teacher, I love drawing on a variety of modalities to help mamas. Holistic means treating the whole person, using complimentary, alternative, and sometimes even conventional remedies (ideally as last resort) to help prevent or heal health issues, 'dis ease' and illness. This is an eco-friendly, all natural , therapeutic massage mat (made from 100% linen, undyed cotton and cocnut fiber! (I liked it already!), in a soft turquoise, with prickly lotus flowers, that uses the ancient and modern principles of yoga, MindBody medicine and massage therapy to promote relaxation, decreased muscle tension, enhance flexibility and treat minor aches and pains. My curiosity lead me to follow the guidelines in the instruction manual and report back my experience.

 

“Everything is hard before it is easy.” ~ Goethe. I knew this Pranamat was sent to me to try out and post my honest reviews over the course of a month on social media and write a blog about it. Well whoa! The spikes on the lotus flowers are sharper than they look - just warning you. But that did not phase me as I have done and love acupuncture and all sorts of deep tissue massage, I know good pain and it’s my friend. It felt irritating and uncomfortable at first, but not at all unbearable - just wear a layer of clothing and gently place yourself down on it. But the yogi in me knows to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, it is just sensations - nothing to fear, and when I allow it to be, surrender, let go and breathe into it, or focus on parts of my body where there is no sensation, the discomfort lessens and even goes away. And that is what happened! Not only does the feeling of lying on what feels like a yoga bed of nails resolves, it morphs into a pleasant warmth, and a sense of energy currents. So it takes some getting used to, but I am now liking to experiment with this pranamat. My favorite thing to do so far is just lay there on it outside on beautiful day, and use it to cultivate a sweet inner calm. It was my daily massage therapy and relaxation time. I highly recommend this new best friend of mine. And they come in pillow size! To purchase the Pranamat, go to: http://amzn.to/2h6R0Hs and to purchase the Pranapillow go  http://amzn.to/2gc2Lzi - but do enjoy exploring the various colors they come in.

 

 

I just enjoyed incorporating it into my busy day, my time to be unplugged, rest and recharge...and why not sometimes outside on the warm flat driveway or front yard when the weather is nice? It's especially good for those whose lives are hectic, fast paced, over scheduled and stressful, and require more and more time on the iPhone and computer; this combination of constant hyper stimulating sensory overload, and increased tension and stress is lethal. I am now used to the sharp lotus flowers's on it that stimulate acupuncture energy meridians in the body, and lying on it for 20 minutes induces a delicious relaxation. Whether it's the ancient Chinese medicine or guarding Me Time to unwind, breathe and just focus on the prickly warm sensations of the mat's lotus flowers - all I know is it just feels good, and gives me a glorious sense of wellbeing - even on the driveway or grass of all places. 

Get your Pranamat at: http://amzn.to/2h6R0Hs  or your Pranapillow at http://amzn.to/2gc2Lzi

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