Our guest blogger this month is Melissa Williams of Yoga Junction in Louisville, Colorado. She has over a decade of experience teaching yoga to new and expecting mothers, to help them smoothly transition into their new life journey. Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to make pregnancy more enjoyable, less overwhelming, and healthier for you and your baby. It can also be a well-deserved escape from a hectic life and a form of self-care. Self-care is such an important, yet overlooked part of pregnancy and motherhood and it is an excellent way to honor the amazing gifts that parenthood brings.
The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga, by Melissa Williams
Pregnancy can be filled with excitement, anxiety and even fear, and sometimes in equal amounts. There are so many changes from the physical and the hormonal to bigger-picture life issues. Where will the new baby sleep? How will our lives change with another addition to the family? What does birth feel like? Prenatal yoga offers a wonderful respite from the sometimes overwhelming emotions and thoughts. It also offers physical benefits that can help keep you comfortable through your pregnancy, and help you through delivery and beyond.
In a prenatal yoga class, you’ll have the space to separate from your thoughts. Often our fears stem from the unknown, whether it’s the birth itself or something else. Having an hour or 75 minutes to clear your mind can provide perspective and insight that often doesn’t come when we continue to let our minds churn. Through breathing exercises and visualizations you’ll learn how to not let your thoughts take over. Ultimately, you will feel more in control of how your thoughts affect you.
Prenatal Yoga for Physical Health
Physically, prenatal yoga is designed to focus on postures that are beneficial for you and your growing baby. As your body changes, your needs change—low back pain, hip pain, troubles with sleep, calf cramps, are some of the many ailments prenatal mamas experience. In a yoga class, we can address these issues not only retroactively, but can also help to open the body so that the pain doesn’t take hold, to begin with. There are postures that help with indigestion and heartburn; postures and breathing exercises that can help with anxiety and tension; and postures that can help your body prepare for birth.
In a prenatal yoga class, you’ll not only feel like the experience is tailored to you, but you’ll also get the opportunity to connect with other women who are going through similar joys and challenges. One of my favorite aspects of teaching prenatal yoga is the community that is built. I have mothers who now have 10+ year-olds that still get together with their prenatal yoga friends.
I feel so fortunate that I get to call this work. Who else gets to wake up every single day and help families celebrate life & love? I love that I get to tell their story. It is incredible to be able to create a moment in amongst all of the chaos that is new parenthood, where new moms and dads can really just focus on that amazing, tiny human that they created. I am pretty lucky if you ask me!
If you are expecting or know someone who is, I would be honored to craft a completely custom portrait experience for you!
Melissa is a yoga teacher, and a freelance writer. She has been teaching postnatal and prenatal yoga for 14 years, receiving additional training in both fields as well as the concept of Yoga Birth; she especially enjoys helping women navigate the childbearing years, helping them find balance, strength, and self-esteem. Melissa was the Editor in Chief of a national wellness publication for 10 years and continues to write on the topics of health, nutrition, travel, and yoga. She also contributed to the book, Yoga Mama (Shambhala, 2016). She lives in Louisville, Colorado, with her husband Steven and their daughters, Sena & Noa, and opened Yoga Junction in 2011.
Join Melissa at Yoga Junction for Prenatal Yoga
Wednesdays 5:45-6:45 p.m.
Saturdays 11-12:15 p.m.