prenatal yoga

Supporting Mamas Around the Globe - Blooma & Shanti Uganda

Photo by: John Suhar | johnsuhar.com | @jtsuhar

As you mamas know, I run a busy yoga studio with three locations and lots of employees. I am always rushing to get things done, answer emails, and keep the place going. It is so important for me to step back and get back to the spirit and passion of birth. The journey to Shanti Uganda is so important to me, not just as the owner of Blooma, or as a doula, but as a mother and a woman. I need to continue to learn and grow and journey outside of my small, comfortable bubble.

I am blessed to live in a city that has so many resources for birth; the Twin Cities are filled with amazing doulas, birth centers, and mom and baby-first hospitals. There are postpartum support centers and places like Blooma, that welcome all mamas, working to lift them up. Every mother deserves to birth with care providers that can provide medical and emotional support for her and her baby. Unfortunately, not all moms have access to this level of care. Around the world, 800 women die every day from pregnancy and birth related complications - 16 of those happen in Uganda. We know that 90% of all of these deaths are preventable when moms are given access to high-quality care. This is the mission of Shanti Uganda, to provide quality care to women in need.

I remember when I first arrived in Uganda in 2009 to work and learn with Shanti, I was welcomed into the homes of local families. At first, Uganda felt so different from my daily life and I was humbled by the circumstances I witnessed. But as the days wore on and I connected with moms, saw firsthand the depth of sisterhood, family, and connection that existed, I was able to submerge myself into the mission of Shanti Uganda, and the service they provide to so many women and families. The daily distractions of my life – my computer, phone, my own “shit” – was abandoned.

In 2018, it is even easier to become isolated. From emails and social media, there is such a disconnect. We have to go back to community, connection, and support. Women need other women. Being in a fitness class, a book club, a moms group, a COMMUNITY is crucial in fueling your soul. Visiting Shanti and working with the women there was such a reminder of the importance of community. Watching moms carry each other’s babies, singing to them, raising them together. It is the deepest web of sisterhood and support I have ever witnessed.

It because of this sense of community and connection between women that we have to shift our focus to woman’s health, our children’s health, and the future of our globe. If we don’t start supporting women, we all suffer. Feel the vibration and rise up. Women have such an amazing power. We need to support women and show them what that power can bring.

 

So Why Shanti and Why This DONA International Doula Training?

Becoming a doula through Shanti’s DONA International Doula Training will change your life and your outlook on birth. Holding space for a mom at her most vulnerable stage while reminding her what a warrior she is, is a powerful experience. I often say that being a doula is like a drug. It makes you feel good, it is addicting, and it is oh so powerful. Moms need that one- on-one support and guidance from a doula to show her that she CAN do it, that she is stronger than she knows.

Pregnancy and birth are pivotal in a woman’s life. The way a woman feels about herself through pregnancy shapes her birth. Birth can empower a woman like nothing else and can bring them so much confidence in motherhood. But, a bad birthing experience can leave wounds that fester. It is so important to let women share their stories, ask questions, and LISTEN to their response. Women need to feel support as they transition into motherhood. Becoming a doula and working with birthing women makes a difference in the lives of individual women, and to the birth community as a whole.

Training at Shanti us unique because you can fully submerge yourself into the training. You are out of your day to day routine and can give all of yourself to this teaching. You wake up with other trainees, eat lunch with the facilitators, you are surrounded by the sounds, words, and culture of birth.

Photo by: John Suhar | johnsuhar.com | @jtsuhar

Working with Shanti Uganda is a gift that goes two ways. On my first visit I was able to bring my knowledge, experience, and a set of helping hands. But, I learned so much from each person I met, taking so much more knowledge and understanding back home with me.

The money you contribute to Shanti by joining this program is HUGE. It means respectful, maternal care that saves lives. It means supporting women and babies at the most critical level. What you will learn through Shanti will change your life. When you return home, you will have a deeper connection to yourself, your family, children, and relationships.

Africa. Birth. Yoga. Sisterhood. Look into your heart and think about what you want to do with this one precious life. Movement, action, support, education for all! The Shanti Uganda Birth House is a sacred and special place for a life changing training. Emily and I can't wait for this upcoming adventure and we would love for you to join us!

Learn how you can join Sarah Longacre & Emily Shier for a DONA International Doula Training at Shanti Uganda

Written by Sarah Longacre, Blooma's founder & owner. Mama, doula, yoga teacher, and lover of all things birth!

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

(Photo by Meredith Westin Photography)

Mamas-to-be - it can be exhausting and frustrating to be facing week 41 of your pregnancy. Maybe you are wondering how you can encourage your body and your baby to begin labor. Natural induction methods are gentle enough that you won’t go into labor if your body is not ready but can help move things along at the end of your pregnancy. Always talk with your midwife or obstetrician before attempting to induce labor naturally. 

Here are some natural induction methods to help you and baby along:

 Acupuncture

Acupuncture is used in traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points in the body to stimulate Qi, or energy. Studies have demonstrated that acupuncture is safe to use during pregnancy and research shows that acupuncture may help obtain optimal positioning, increase cervical ripening, and even shorten the length of labors. Acupuncture is one of the wellness services offered at Blooma and it can be beneficial for mom and baby in all stages of life and pregnancy. You can book an acupuncture appointment here or by calling us at (612) 223-8064.

Dates

While it is nice to go on a date with your partner late in pregnancy (for the connection and privacy of just the two of you), we are talking about a different kind of date – the sweet dried fruit that comes from a date palm tree. Several studies have looked at the effects of eating dates late in pregnancy because the Quran contains verses claiming that dates are beneficial for pregnancy. Randomized studies have found that eating dates might ripen the cervix more, lower the need for pitocin induction or augmentation during labor, increase the likelihood of having a vaginal delivery, and decrease postpartum blood loss. Dates can be great for bringing on labor, but be sure to talk with your care provider first. Dates are high in sugar, so we wouldn’t recommend making them a large part of your pregnancy nutrition. 

 Nipple Stimulation

Stimulation of the nipples releases the hormone oxytocin, which can lead to ripening of the cervix, uterine contractions, and milk production. Nipple stimulation can be an effective tool for inducing labor naturally. Studies are varied in the methods used and lengths of time for nipple stimulation, some studies used breast pumps and others used breast massage. The studies found that women were more likely to go into labor with nipple stimulation, had lower c-section rates, and decreased risk of postpartum hemorrhage. However, there have been a few case reports of hyperstimulation of the uterus, by either causing too many contractions or contractions that are too long.

 Castor Oil

Castor oil is a vegetable oil that is produced by pressing the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant. It is an herbal remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to induce labor, but it also works as a powerful laxative. Studies found that using castor oil can be an effective tool to stimulate labor as well as ripen the cervix. However, study participants in several different studies reported nausea after ingesting castor oil.  This is a popular natural induction method I see as an RN, but most women feel pretty miserable after taking castor oil. Also, there is strong evidence that taking castor oil in early pregnancy can be harmful to the developing fetus.

 Sex

Theoretically, having sexual intercourse should help to stimulate labor because human semen contains prostaglandins, which help to soften and ripen the cervix. Also, any orgasmic stimulation can increase uterine activity (whether alone or with a partner). And it’s fun, so why not? The evidence on having sex to induce labor is mixed. Some studies found no significant difference in those advised to have sex and those who were not. However, another study found sex in late pregnancy was associated with an earlier onset of labor and decreased chance of induction. Since it is safe to have sex during pregnancy and may even relieve some stress, we think this method is worth a try. Your partners can thank us later. *It is not advised to have penetrative intercourse of any kind if your water has broken.*

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga and movement don’t necessarily induce labor, but can be beneficial for getting your body ready for labor and can even lead to a quicker delivery. Prenatal yoga poses can help your baby into the optimal position for delivery by stretching and opening the uterine and pelvic ligaments. New research has found that women who exercise during pregnancy have shorter labors and are less likely to use epidurals. Exercise during pregnancy also reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, preclampsia, and c-section. So, it's a no brainer, sign up for one of Blooma’s  yoga or barre classes today!

 The evidence has shown that these natural induction methods can associated with stimulation of labor and cervical ripening in women that are term or post-dates pregnancies. Remember to talk with your care provider before attempting to induce labor naturally. To read more about the research studies cited in this blog post, visit https://evidencebasedbirth.com.

 

Written by Beth Supple, MN, RNC-MNN

Beth is a Labor & Delivery Registered Nurse, childbirth educator, and mama of two.

 

 

 

My Blooma Journey: Gratitude, Motherhood, & Connection

I’m laying on my side, facing my 5 week old baby, his tiny limbs gently exploring the air.  There is soft music playing in the background, sun shining through the window, we’re warm and comfortable.  Strong hands reach to my neck with intention and massage my neck, my shoulders, my back, all the way down to my feet.  Unconsciously, a couple of big tears roll down my checks. It’s such a relief to move my nursing, mama body into powerful poses, to lay down to rest, and then to receive someone’s tender touch and affirmation.  With hormones shifting, emotions raw, and exhaustion all encompassing, these are tears of gratitude. Thank you for this space, thank you for noticing me, and us, together and connected. At a time when every waking (and sleeping!) moment is consumed with giving care, I have a sweet moment at Blooma where I am the one receiving.

In those early weeks and months of Samuel’s life, yoga at Blooma was the place I went to receive.  Parenting young children is so physically demanding, but I don’t think it’s ever more demanding than those first few weeks after giving birth.  In that space of newness and recovery, yoga was the sanctuary of our day. It was the place I went to be acknowledged, celebrated, and encouraged.  A place where I could connect with other moms - where our stories, our concerns, our joys (and sometimes our babies’ cries!) could be heard.  

Samuel is my 4th child, and it hasn’t been like this with my other babies.  There was no sanctuary where I felt that sweet connection and relief. My older kids are in 6, 9 and 12, and  Blooma wasn’t even in existence when I was pregnant for the first time.   Perhaps Blooma’s offerings weren’t as developed when I had the chance with my middle children, but I think the biggest factor was my desire to take care of myself wasn’t as developed.  I look back on those years and I think how much easier things would have been if I’d had this community. And I should have known better, I’ve been involved with the birth world for over 20 years.  

When I was 19, I had the rare opportunity to shadow the village midwife in a small fishing village in India and attended many births with her.  I came back to college, completed a doula training, and attended births in my early 20’s. I became an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner, and opened my practice in 2007 focused on women’s health, specializing in fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum care. I have walked alongside women becoming mothers hundreds of times, always encouraging excellent self-care and valuing of their well-being.  But now, with more things than ever on my to-do list, I finally see this equation from a different angle.

My assumption with my first three babies was that time spent caring for myself took away from the well-being of my family.  I would fit in an acupuncture treatment or massage, but there was no foundation of support that offered consistent care. Now, I recognize that the most important thing for my home, my children and my practice (which has now grown into a much larger women’s health and fertility center) is that I take top-notch care of myself.  Because Blooma has classes where I can bring Samuel with me, and offers childcare on-site, this is much easier to achieve.

My journey with Blooma started with barre class at 14 weeks of pregnancy.  I’d been dealing with very significant pain in my sacrum for a couple of weeks.  I knew that I needed something to help stabilize and strengthen my pelvis and decided to try a barre class.  After the first class the pain had significantly decreased and I was hooked.   I made an effort to get to barre class at least 3 times/week-- it became one of my main priorities.  If I didn’t go, the pain would start to return, so I was motivated. I was also determined to do barre regularly because I remembered how much strength it takes to care for a baby-- to hold and wear a baby, and then a toddler--for long hours, and especially to lug that infant car seat everywhere!    

I had done weight training and exercise during my first pregnancy, but by the time I was recovering from my third birth, I was physically weak and depleted and had a variety of physical ailments related to this.  This time around I wanted things to be different and I was determined to emerge from this pregnancy strong and vibrant.

Samuel is now almost 5 months old and I have marveled so many times at what a profound impact Blooma has had on the ease of my postpartum journey.   We try to make it to babywearing barre at least a couple times each week. Postpartum can be an incredibly isolating and lonely time, especially in the winter months. Getting to class regularly not only boosts my energy and my mood, but has provided connection and community, laughter and support.   

The staff at Blooma and the other women in my classes have witnessed my baby grow within my belly and now out in the world.  They have celebrated with me and sympathized with me, and I have done the same for them. They’ve witnessed me when my baby is adorable and when he’s inconsolable.  By showing up again and again I have not only become stronger and more comfortable physically, but I’ve also learned to be more vulnerable and more compassionate with myself and others.  

For everything I have received at Blooma I am so grateful.  Thank you amazing teachers and staff. Thank you Sarah. And thank you to all the women in the classes who share this space with me.  

Kara is a Blooma Mama and the founder and senior practitioner at Fertile Ground Women's Health and Fertility Center.  Fertile Ground is a holistic women's health center in Southwest Minneapolis offering acupuncture, Chinese medicine, therapeutic massage and Maya Abdominal Therapy for women facing fertility challenges, who are pregnant, postpartum or dealing with other women's health concerns.

Blooma- A Mama Thank You Note

I want to thank you for the safe and nurturing community you have created and continue to foster at Blooma.  We struggled with infertility for many years and when we surprisingly got pregnant it was equally frightening and thrilling.  I loved my prenatal yoga classes.  They became an incredibly sacred space for me - to connect with my soul and with the babe growing inside of me.  They helped me make peace with my fears.  I often tell people the best decision I made when pregnant was joining Blooma.  Once Henry arrived I could not wait to get back to Blooma.  Those first few months in BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby Yoga) were amazing.  I cried my way through the entire class my first time back.  I was filled with so much joy being able to reconnect with myself (and connect with Henry) in that space.  I also wept the day I realized we had outgrown BYOB.  He started crawling and climbing and finding his way off the mat entirely too soon!   I am not sure if hear this…  but… thank you. The space you provide for women (at so many places along the journey) is a gift on countless levels! 

Written by Katie, Blooma mama to little Henry, wife to Travis, lover of sunshine and bearing witness to the stories of others

 

To learn more about the classes at Blooma, please visit us HERE.

Setting Expectations & Becoming a Mother of Two

Below is a thank you note from a Blooma Mama, sent to us shortly after the birth of her second baby. At a Prenatal Yoga class earlier in January, this beautiful mama shared her words for the new year, “Realistic expectations”. For the birth of her second baby, and moving from a mother of one to a mother of two, Hilary wanted to have realistic expectations, “I know that baby number two will have a different personality than the first, and I am a different mama.” We are so happy to hear about her amazing birth, and the strength and support she found at Blooma. After her birth she said “I definitely went in with realistic expectations and just followed my instincts. I feel like I had a birth I can really be proud of. Introducing my two special babies to each other for the first time was such a wonderful moment.” Read her note to us below.

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Hello! I wanted to thank you for the wonderful yoga class last Tuesday. It was just what I needed to ground myself as I prepared to meet my son. Yoga has been such an important way to bond with my baby during a hectic and emotional pregnancy. Attending that last class while overdue was so special.

August Eugene was born at 10:59am on Wednesday, January 18 at a whopping 9lbs 1oz and 22" long. Almost immediately after class I began to have contractions and used the breathing and grounding from class all evening. Things were moving slow, so I just kept myself in the zone and didn't even start timing contractions until 4am when they became strong- I thought I was having back labor again like with my first. By the time I made it to the hospital at 5:30am I was shocked to find out that I was already at 8cm and in transition! Apparently, I was focusing and coping much better than I thought- it was a proud mama moment for me. I needed to be on antibiotics and luckily my water hadn't broken yet. We were able to slow things down just enough to get the full round of meds just before he made his grand entrance.

All those hours of goddess pose paid off and those strong mama legs and arms were so necessary for a not-so-little boy who was way too comfortable to leave without a very long marathon of pushing. I can't believe after weeks of contractions and false labor that I am on the other side. I am so looking forward to bonding with my chill little dude at Bring Your Own Baby (BYOB) Yoga soon. Thank you so much again for providing such a wonderful space to start my relationship with my baby. It has meant so much to us!

hilary-and-gus-2

-Hilary Bundt, Blooma Mama of two!

Looking Ahead in 2017

We continue to rock our New Year's REVOLUTION in 2017. Our Revolution isn't just about January, it's about having an amazing year (ups, downs, and everything in between). With 2016 a few weeks behind us, we wanted to share what we're looking forward to most in the New Year! Babies will be born, our community will grow, and families will celebrate milestones together. Blooma's Leadership Team is looking forward to all different things, from vacations and celebrations to walks in the sunshine and yoga trainings.

Sarah Auna - "I've been asked by one of my dearest yoga teachers to assist her on a yoga retreat to Tuscany, Italy in 2017!!!"

Marina Polvitzki - "I'm looking forward to visiting my little sister in Copenhagen for her graduation, and then traveling to Norway for a camping trip with her + our partners. I am also excited to drink the first batch of beer that we brewed on New Years Eve! Imperial Smoked Chipotle Porter... Mmm :)."

Sarah Longacre - "I am looking forward to being kinder to myself."

Tyler Copeland - "I'm looking forward to living in my new apartment. I has huge southern facing windows with tons of light and is only 4 blocks from Lake Calhoun. I can't wait to walk around the lake on a daily basis with my dog."

Lauren Herbeck - "My baby girl starting Kindergarten this fall.  I am excited about her growing up and enjoying school (which she has been asking to start for 2 years now!) but also the extra time I will have with my boys while she is there."

Meghan Foley - "I am looking forward to continuing my yoga therapy training out at Kripalu in the Berkshire mountains. I am excited to have more time in my schedule to relax and take classes. I am excited for this frozen tundra to warm up."

Greta Fay - "I am looking forward to escaping to the beach, snuggling my best friends fresh babies, staying home more, potty training and summer adventures!"

Sam Boyd - "I can't wait to finally go on a honeymoon with my husband, and stick my toes in the sand. I am also very excited to expand our CSA to more members this summer and grow even more veggies!"

Laura Gillespie - "I am looking forward to exploring my second summer in the Twin Cities (I don’t know how much longer I can take the cold!), making more friends in the area, and taking a trip home for my niece’s first birthday!"

 

And, of course, we are all looking forward to more Blooma love, more mamas, more babies, and more time on the mat or at the barre! What are you looking forward to in the New Year?

 

Thank you to Megan Foley, Sarah Auna, Greta Fay, Sarah Longacre, Tyler Copeland, Laura Gillespie, Sam Christopher, and Marina Povlitzki for your contributions!

My Blooma Journey: Motherhood, Yoga, Community and Beyond.

On the journey of parenthood, there are many things that divide us; but I like to believe that there are many more things that unite us. When it comes to parenting, we all long for community, desire acceptance, and need a safe, sacred space where we - and our choices and experiences - are heard and understood. 

Years ago, I was new to the Twin Cities area and was also newly pregnant with my second child. I had worked in the health care sector for years and could help support my family financially. But, I wasn't in love with what I did and I struggled to find the balance I knew I needed. 

One of the biggest problems in finding balance was that I wasn’t great at carving out time for myself, and certainly, not in a way that encouraged me to “connect” with my baby. It wasn’t uncommon for days to pass without a single thought of my pregnancy, the baby, or what I needed for myself. This only left me feeling more drained with each passing day. I knew this wasn’t sustainable for myself, my family, and my new baby. I needed a change. 

It was around this time that I hesitantly walked through Blooma’s doors. To clarify, I was no yogi. In fact, I was fairly convinced that yoga was not for me. Frankly, yoga seemed like a waste of time. Even so, I left the treadmill at the gym and stepped into the Blooma studio. I moved. I flowed. I breathed. I listened to my heart. I listened to my baby. I found intention. I found community. I discovered how to simply BE. I was hooked. 

From that point on, my yoga mat became a near permanent structure beneath my feet. I clung to every word relating to birth, empowerment, fear, love, and everything in between. I valued the brief interactions post-practice with instructors and fellow mamas alike. I raced out of my corporate office at the end of the day to be greeted by the calming energy that the yoga studio brought to my day and my heart. Blooma was my breath of fresh air amidst an ocean of uncertainty, fear and letting go…

belly_viggo

 

Months went by. The Prenatal Yoga Classes, that I attended so regularly, prepared me for one of the biggest moments of my life. After much anticipation, I birthed my baby on a pale Christmas Eve morning in runner’s lunge, a pose I had practiced so frequently that my body recognized it as familiar. The woman - my doula - who held my hand, hair and heart throughout my birth experience was the same woman who had guided me through countless yoga practices. Her voice brought me comfort and confidence. She was exactly what I needed during my birth - and Blooma had brought us together.

I had given birth, but I continued to crave Blooma’s energy. In my postpartum days, I religiously attended New Mama Group and BYOB, all creating community and new friendships with fellow mamas who were in the trenches right along with me. Blooma was the one place I could openly breastfeed my baby (because openly was the only way I knew how) and that was enough reason for me to show up, day in and day out.

baby-and-me

 

Before I knew it, my baby was crawling and we were attending Little Movers and Crawlers Classes together, and then Tots Classes. My oldest son enjoyed Little Kids Yoga and I hit up Vinyasa Classes when I could, in an effort to fill my own cup and focus on myself.As time continued to pass, I felt that my coveted community, my place of prenatal and postpartum solace, was slipping through my fingers. I still had Flow and Barre Classes, but my prenatal and postpartum connection was swiftly ending. My baby was growing. I had spent nearly every day at Blooma. I didn’t want LESS of my Blooma community, I wanted MORE. I grieved at the thought of slowly removing myself from Blooma’s walls. 

I began to seriously reflect on how much I wanted to give back to the community of other new parents, birth workers, and instructors that had selflessly given to me when I needed it most. I wanted to be a part of providing a loving, open, sacred space for prenatal/postpartum mamas to show up, find themselves and connect with their babies, just like I had done in the years before.

Of course, I continued to work the 9-5 job I always had, but I took risks. I didn’t have much of a plan and had no idea where I would end up, but for the first time in my life, it didn’t matter because I knew I had a hell of a lot of passion behind the momentum that was driving my decisions. I dove head first into the numerous training's Blooma had to offer including the BYOB Yoga Teacher Training, DONA Birth Doula Training, DONA Postpartum Doula Training, and Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. I also pursued, with encouragement from my Blooma tribe, the training needed to become a LAMAZE-Certified Childbirth Educator.

meghanpate

 

danicadonnellyphotography_160519_0384

 

I originally pursued the training's to give back, but I've discovered that I've received so much more. In the end, I left my job in health care and dedicated my time to serving women as a Birth and Postpartum Doula, a Yoga Instructor, a New Mama Group Facilitator, and a Childbirth Educator within the Blooma community and beyond. Originally, I stepped through Blooma’s doors to say “I gave yoga a try” and instead I found what I had unknowingly been seeking for far too long: deep-seeded desires around acceptance, community and sacred space. 

buddy-yoga

 

I’m grateful to say that Blooma has showed up for me in ways that I least expected. It is a yoga studio but it is much more than that. Because of Blooma and all that it is, I have discovered the foundation to help confidently build my family, my community and my inner self.

 

In love, light and gratitude, Sarah Bach-Bergs

Blooma Yoga Instructor, LAMAZE-Certified Childbirth Educator, DONA-Trained Birth and Postpartum Doula, Mama of two crazy boys, wife, friend, and wilderness lover.

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Photo Credit:

First image and Black and White Photo: Meghan Pate

New Mama Group Image: Danica Donnelly

 

 

6 Yoga Poses Prenatal Mama’s Can Rock!

Pregnancy is such a transformative time. The word 'Birth' is basically synonymous with the word 'Transformation'. Your body is changing, emotions and hormones are in flux, and life may feel chaotic and out of control. Just as pregnancy and birth are transformative, so is Prenatal Yoga.

At Blooma’s Prenatal Yoga Classes, we UNDERSTAND. We get it. We acknowledge it all - the waves of the ups and downs, the way you feel unfamiliar of your own body, and the fear change can bring. Our intention at Blooma is to educate, support and give you the BEST yoga postures to comfort your pregnant body and mind each class. Coming to class can help you perfect your form to gain the most from your practice.

Here are our Top 6 Favorite Prenatal Yoga Poses for Expecting Mamas.

1. Cat/Table Pose (MARJARYASANA / BHARMANASA)

cattableposeGet on all 4’s! This rocking movement back and forth from Cat to Table is my # 1 all time favorite. As the baby grows, more weight and tension is put on the lumbar spine and muscles of the lower back. The entire spine will benefit from gliding easily back and forth and this movement can encourage baby into “optimal fetal positioning” for delivery. It could very well be a position that supports you in labor!

*Replace cow pose with table to avoid added pressure to the lumbar spine and to avoid over stretching of the abdominal muscles.

2. Child’s Pose (BALASANA)

childspose

Child’s pose is the great pose of surrender. Allow your knees to go wide to make room for baby and bring your toes in towards each other. Fully let go with the support of either a blanket or pillow under the knees, and a bolster under the chest. This posture can help fight off nausea, relieve stress and anxiety, and help to quiet down the mind. Your head can go to either side or forehead down. Eyes closed. Deep breath. Let go.

3. Squat Pose (MALASANA)

squatposeTake a yoga block underneath your sitting bones, take your knees wide and have a squat! You can put a blanket underneath the heels for more lift. Squat pose will help to open the hips and lengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. Constipation is common in pregnancy and this pose can help aid in digestion. For more support, you can try a squat while leaning against a wall. *Don’t hold squat pose if your baby is breech and you are 34 weeks or more.

4. Warrior 2 (VIRABHADRASANA II)

warrior2

The pose of confidence! This hip-opener, leg-strengthener, heart-opener, mind-bender is a must for every prenatal yoga mama. Finding strength, balance, breath and inner confidence in Warrior 2 will help create that same confidence on your birthing day. Learn to breathe into all parts of your body here. Check in with your front knee and make sure it is guiding towards your front foot’s pinky toe side. Open up that front hip, ground down in the back foot just as much. Feel baby snuggle up and in while your tailbone lengthens down. Heart open with your hands reaching wide - and breathe!

5. Goddess Pose (UTKATA KONASANA)

goddess
At Blooma we call this the “Mothership of all poses." In this pose we get to tune into sensation. We get to see what shows up in our minds as we face challenge. Goddess pose is not only an endurance builder, but a confidence maker. Open the hips, lengthen the inner thighs and pelvic floor muscles and goddess pose will create an opening in the pelvis. This pose is a strengthens the muscles in the legs. We often have a tendency to internally drop the knee, so line it up with your second toe for proper placement. Imagine your scratching your back against a tree behind you to keep the shoulders and torso up tall. Glide side to side, then come back and find your center. Let your fire-y goddess shine! With every exhale you can sink down and create a mini micro-bend in the legs to feel your strength!

6) Final Resting Pose (SAVASANA)

final-resting-pose
It’s time to allow your body to soak in all of your hard work. The MOST important pose in yoga- savasana. When you prepare to lie down, sit on the left side of your hips and slide your arm down until you reach the side seam of your body onto the mat. Laying down on your left side (again to promote optimal fetal positioning) let your left leg stay extended long. Place a bolster underneath your right knee, bent at 90 degrees, with your right foot on the bolster as well. A second pillow can go underneath your head. Close your eyes and rest mama. You deserve it.

During every prenatal yoga practice be compassionate and kind to yourself, listen to your body, and most of all know how loved you are.

**Please consult with your health care provider before starting a prenatal yoga practice.

Written by Stacy Seebart E-RYT500/ RPYT Stacy-Seebart
Director of Blooma’s Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training

Let's Go To The Barre - in the morning!

I'm not a morning person.  The proof is in my college transcripts, or my employment records. If I had a job that required me to work early in the morning, it never lasted long.
 
Then I became a mom, and again, and again. And soon my afternoon workouts were first on the chopping block under the pressure of nap time, or groceries, or doctor appointments. I resented putting myself on the back burner. Then I noticed that resentment was getting worse, because I was tired and at a loss for an outlet.
 
Enough was enough and I made a plan. And so I took my first 6 am class.  And I survived, AND I felt great! And by noon I had completely forgotten I had already worked out, and wasn't beating myself up for missing yet another thing.  Then the next day I did it again, and again, and two years later I am getting up and making ME the priority.
 
How did I start, and how do I keep it up? Each night I make sure to:
  • Set my workout clothes in the bathroom before bed.
  • Set my alarm for a ridiculously early time (who are we kidding though, I'm up at that time anyway with kiddos most nights!).
  • Establish a routine that my partner and I agree on so I can have that time to myself.
It isn't easy, but neither is being a grumpy mom, wife and co-worker. With my 6am workouts, I am able to handle the sideswipe of everyday life with a bit more grace.
 
See you in class! 

Jessie Seehof Carlson is barre, yoga, and prenatal yoga teacher at Blooma. She has been part of the family since 2008 and is incredibly grateful to teach and take classes in such an open and loving community. Click here for Jessie's class schedule!
 

I'm Pregnant!

It was 4am as I climbed back into bed with the pregnancy stick in my hand and a towel covering it to hide "the results," my body was gently trembling ... but not as much as my mind. Under the towel were pink lines that would 100% change the future of my family. I played through the scenarios of what each line would represent to Brian and me. There would be a deep disappointment and a relief if there was only one line. And two? Well, two lines represented, HOLY SHIT how did that happen?! Accompanied with feelings of joy for what I have wanted for a long time. But how to do it all?!
I could go on and on about the stories I played out in my head. So there we were, holding the stick as I said a prayer out loud. We pulled back the towel and two light pink lines were staring at our stoned morning faces. We turned to one another for a long time and embraced like never before. I sobbed in Brian's arms. Tears of joy, tears of relief (that at 40 I am still fertile), and tears of enormous "how am I going to do it all?"

And now, here we are 5 weeks after revealing double lines and I am still in disbelief. So far I am learning that second pregnancies are WAY different than firsts! The biggest difference is a familiar one to many of you. I feel less "connected" to this baby/pregnancy because of Ms. Metta and my full, busy life. So with that, I am going to need to be more conscious with daily choices and how to spend my time. It is dropping me into what truly matters. 

I am definitely more emotional this time around as well: knowing this will be my last pregnancy, an uncle dying of Alzheimer's, a best friend's miscarriage and wondering how I am going to do it all have added in layers of feelings that I did not experience with Metta. 

I look forward to having each one of you on this journey with me. And once again I will be teaching prenatal yoga PREGNANT and loving it.  I will resonate with all the pregnant Moms and we will do this together.  Thank goodness we have one another. I am so very grateful for Blooma. And well ... come to think of it, while this pregnancy is kicking my 1st trimester booty, my team is busy getting ready to birth another studio. Blooma Plymouth is opening May 1 with FREE CLASS all day! We can't wait for you to meet our newest addition.
 
Love and hugs to you all!
Sarah

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