When I started teaching prenatal yoga earlier this year, I’ll be honest – I had no idea what I was doing. I knew how to teach the poses, what the modifications were, and how to sequence a dynamic class, but I didn’t know the impact it might have on the community.
Even though I wanted to start up a prenatal program in my city, I was intimidated because I am not a mother. I prepared for the day when a student would ask me how many kids I had and I would have to say “none,” but claim some level of knowledge in teaching techniques to help ease labor and delivery.
Before the sessions started, I prepared for my new clients by reading every pregnancy book I could, studying anatomy and watching videos on Youtube of women giving birth.
The Meaning Of Success
Soon enough, I was actually delighted to see that starting up such a class was met with great success.
From April to July, the class experienced regular attendees, who became friends and checked in with each other every week. One day after class, the students were talking and one of them asked if they were keeping me from my day. “Not at all,” I said, finally realizing one of the true meanings of having prenatal yoga in the community: finding a support system.
Watching the soon-to-be moms talk about going on walks together, how they were feeling, how their other children were adjusting – was the greatest thing that could have ever happened with the class. It was even better to watch this group connect on social media and support each other through the journey of pregnancy.
Sharing The Path Together
When the first baby of the group was born during the middle of the summer, she was brought to the studio before one of the classes, so the others could meet her. She became the first sweet “yoga baby” of the program, and over the next several weeks, it was beautiful to see the photos of the other babies that were born.
My students told me some of the meditation work and the poses helped during labor, and this was wonderful to hear as well. But I think at the very core of things, the students now have babies in the same age group and can still continue to share postnatal successes and struggles – together.
Launching A Program In Your City
Beginning a prenatal yoga series can be as simple as finding a class time that works for expectant mothers, and reaching out to locations around town that serve expectant parents. Crafting a dynamic program also includes combining asanas, meditation and visualization with ample opportunities to connect with other expectant moms and share advice.
Set up time built in to the class schedule for students to socialize, share and overall, have fun and enjoy nine months together.
by Kelly McLendon - Kelly is an RYT-200, trained at Pranayoga School of Yoga and Health in Indiana. She has been teaching since late 2010 and has taught a variety of classes in Indiana and Ohio, including yoga basics, all levels, vinyasa flow, restorative and prenatal. Her goal is to help clients learn to relax and live in peace in the present moment.
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