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Bundles of Joy: Prenatal Yoga

My second Bundles of Joy feature is on Anita Mawji, a prenatal yoga instructor. Anita has been teaching yoga (specializing in Hatha Vinyasa Flow) since 2003 and has taught people of all ages from celebrities to doctors, dancers to teachers, students & children. She currently teaches privately and from time to time at Yoga Works (where Tanya Emrani, my Bestie’s Bump discovered her!) She is also the founder of Sage and Stone, a handmade jewelry & yoga lounge apparel line. It was so wonderful meeting her and learning all about the amazing benefits prenatal yoga has not just physically, but emotionally.

Q1: What got you into prenatal yoga?
I used to teach regular yoga and then I got pregnant. After having my daughter I went into severe postpartum. I had a hormone imbalance. I wish I had a community to go to for support. I ask GD to see me through it and promised once I got better I would help other women in the same situation.

Q2: What are the benefits of Prenatal Yoga?
There are so many benefits of Prenatal Yoga. Some of them are:
reduces stress
it’s calming
it opens up areas of the body that get tight
It strengthens areas
Helps with digestion
Helps with mood and hormones and overall emotional state
Keeps woman active and healthy and teaches them how to listen to their bodies
I feel the biggest benefit of prenatal yoga is that it creates a community. Other women in similar situations can relate to each other.

Q3: What’s the most frequently asked question you get from expecting moms?
Most questions are physical related. They consist of:
What do I do for lower back pain?
Carpal Tunnel
Breathing techniques for labor
Charlie Horse
Indigestion and insomnia

Q4: How soon do you recommend expecting a woman to start prenatal yoga?
I don’t even think you have to be pregnant to start prenatal yoga. It can help with getting pregnant. There are lots of opening exercises so I think from the time you find out your pregnant you can start. Every day is a different day, each month is new. Prenatal yoga allows you to connect with your body and connect with other moms.

Q5: What do you think the long term effects are for doing prenatal yoga?
Some of the best long term effects from prenatal yoga are the many lasting friendships and support from each other. Physically you fit the whole time. You are eating better and feeling better. It teaches you to stay calm in labor. Teaches you to have gratitude for wherever you are. You go into the pregnancy feeling supported, safe and protected.

Some prenatal yoga DON’TS we learned from Anita!
If you are pregnant you shouldn’t do poses that put weight on your belly, extreme twists or heated yoga (your hormones are raising as is, why add heat!)

A pregnancy product must have is a Bolster. It can help with sleepless nights. Place bolster between knee and heel.