(All Levels: Asana for pregnant women)
Fatigue during labor is often misinterpreted as Pain. In this practice, I will lead through a series of poses in which the psyche, nervous system and immune system have a chance to rest. Both soothing and regenerating, these poses bring balance to our demanding daily lives, allowing us to release tension at deep levels and experience an increased sense of well- being. These are meditative poses in which the body is at rest because it is supported. Props allow the posture (whether a forward-bend, backbend, twist, or inversion) to be held without strain for extended periods of time. An excellent series for those suffering from depression or anxiety.
In this practice, you will learn: Viparita Karani (Belly as Pond Pose) w/ bolster and blanket w/ and w/out Elevated Spine, Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) w/ variations using bolsters and/or blocks, Supta Baddha Konasana (Queen’s Pose), Side-Lying Pose.
Naked Yoga School is a weekly online yoga instructional video series where you will be guided through nude asana sequences in the privacy of your own home.
The series was developed with unity in mind and with the aim for each participant to reconnect with themselves and others in an open way. Removing your clothes in your practice is a liberating experience but it can be unnerving at first. The teachers in the videos will guide you through the experience and help you cultivate security, strength, centeredness and wholeness. Nakedness is often viewed with shame and fear. This practice is geared toward removing this shame, fear and other limiting self perceptions and instead bring you closer to pride, respect, honor, openness and acceptance. Our instructors will guide you through the practice to help you gain confidence with your body. We are all born naked. It’s OK to be naked. There should be nothing to hide. Let’s do naked yoga and feel free!
(All Levels: Asana for pregnant women) Pushing through to the end-result = goal-oriented (just like w/ sex) neglects the extraordinary journey, the fullness of lessons we could learn along the way. Giving birth is a creative act, and like all creative acts it cannot be forced to conform to society’s unnatural time constraints. The insistence on pushing in labor is a reflection of our cultural attitude that force and haste are superior to trust and patience. Pushing can be dangerous to both the mother and the baby. When a woman is pushing she is holding her breath. Oxygen therefore, is not going to her uterus which makes contracting more difficult and painful. It is also not going to her baby. This can lead to a drop in the fetal heart rate and possible brain damage. Tearing of the perineum is more common for women who have pushed over a long period of time and studies show that pushing does not necessarily get a baby out faster anyway. Practicing labor positions with your partner ahead of time can help you learn to slow down, absorb the fullness of each pause, and BREATHE.
In this practice, you will learn: Lunge Release on wall; Lunge Release on chair; Standing Hang Release; Forward Bend Sacrum Press on Ball-medial and downward; Hands and Knees Lower Back Release; Chair Back Release; Bonding and Visualization in Upavista Konasana (Extended Straddle); Side-Lying Touch Relaxation Exercise.
(All Levels: Asana for pregnant women) Quickening refers to the moment of awareness when the mother knows she is pregnant. In this practice, we focus on becoming conscious of releasing the quadriceps and external rotators of the hips in order to strengthen them and build our endurance for labor. When we tone, energize, and rest the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, we can use the quads and hip muscles more efficiently.
In this practice, you will learn: (Cat Cow Pose), (Cat Cow w/ Infinity Circle Hips), Lunges w/blocks, Kapotanasana (Pigeon Pose) w/ bolster and wall, Kapotanasana (Pigeon Pose) w/ bolster and chair, Ustrasana (Camel Pose) at wall, Quad Opener at wall.
(All Levels) Getting into an upside down position can help a breech, an oblique (diagonal lie), or posterior baby reposition themselves into the head-down orientation for birth. During a forward-leaning inversion, the uterus briefly hangs by the cervical ligaments; returning to an up-right position relaxes the ligaments. Babies that are not in a head-down anterior position OR malpositioning of the uterus often put pressure on pelvic nerves, causing pain in the back, groin, and legs. Notice wrist options. These asana also help release lower back and hips which, due to the additional weight of the pregnant belly, often experience discomfort. These asana also help build communication and clarity of intention between partners.
In this practice, you will learn: Sitting Back to Back Breathing, Upavista Konasana w/partner feet at sacrum, Partner Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose) with belt-Pull Variation/Push Variation, Partner Pinchamayurasana preparation (Dolphin Pose) with belt-Pull Variation/Push Variation, Standing double squat: one up/one down; Double squat push/pull arms.
(All Levels: Asana for pregnant women)
As the pregnant belly grows bigger, internal organs are radically displaced: there is a lot less room for the stomach, intestines, bladder, lungs, etc. One way to adapt to this enormous internal re-positioning is by lengthening the side-bodies both through deep side stretches and learning how to breathe laterally.
In this practice, you will learn: Virasana (Hero Pose) w/ arm variations, Diagonal Table Top, Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) w/ blocks, Ardha Chandrasana (Half-Moon Pose), Trikonasana, Parsavakonsana (Side-Angle Extended Stretch), Gomukhasana (Cow Pose).
(All Levels: Asana for pregnant women)
In this practice, the emphasis is on nourishing the parasympathetic nervous system: relaxing the kidneys, adrenal glands, and lower back area. Breath-awareness is a key to help secrete endorphins and let go of adrenaline. Oval breathing helps to lift the front body, relax the back body, and ground the thigh bones – allowing for deeper, more expansive access to your breath. The Law of Sphincters tells us when we relax the jaw, we relax the cervix and uterus; when we release our lips, we release our perineum muscles and pelvic floor. There is a natural expulsive process of the muscles when they are relaxed.
In this practice, you will learn: Facing the Wall Ropes: Baddha Konasana (Cobbler Pose) w/Oval Breathing a) ropes, b) Namaste behind back, Upavista Konasana (Straddle Angle Pose) a) ropes, b) Namaste behind back, Parsva Janu Sirsasana (Side-Flank Stretch Head of the Knee Pose) a) ropes, b) Namaste behind, Parsva Upavista Konasana, (Side-Flank Stretch Upright Angle Pose), a) ropes, b) Namaste behind back, Dandasana (Staff Pose) a) ropes, b) Namaste behind back.
(All Levels: Yoga for pregnant women)
This practice is about choosing when and how to let go and hold on. We cannot separate what we believe about life from what we believe about birth. We can use sex and sensuality awareness as a conscious tool for induction, relaxation, and propulsion. The same body parts and hormones that are involved (oxtytocin, relaxin, prostaglandin) during sex are involved during labor and childbirth. Once we understand that the LOVE HORMONES stimulate the Natural Expulsive Reflex (NER)/ Fetal Ejection Reflex (i.e., uterine contractions) we can learn to build confidence in our bodies innate wisdom. Labor and childbirth can become the lived/embodied concept of the Erotic: the infinite connection with oneself, with the universe. Practicing Contraction/Expansion and finally, how to CHOOSE, can allow us to let go. Often, control leads to unconscious contraction; resistance leads to pain. Instead, even just noticing the contraction can change our habitual reaction to what we think is pain (the unfamiliar).
In this practice, you will learn: Standing Balance Pose Front/Back; Standing Balance Pose Lateral; Child’s Pose Roll; Bridge lift w/ Ball under shoulder blades; Torso Twist (Gate Pose); Hip Release on Back-roll back/forth; Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) w/Feet on Ball; Legs Elevated.