Yoga studio Urban Ashram had a certification course for pre-natal yoga with Birthright founder Dr. Francoise Barbira-Freedman. I wish I could tell you I got certified, but all I did was attend one of their guinea pig classes! My good friend, yoga teacher/Runner's World editor/makeup artist extraordinaire Marie, who took the course, invited me to join a session a few days ago.
Dr. Barbia-Freedman with Marie. Photo from Urban Ashram's Facebook page.
Up until then, my only experience of pre-natal yoga was courtesy of Youtube. Some of the moves during class were similar to the video moves, so I was relieved to learn that I had been following something legit. Haha. The main differences between live class and video:
- Partner interaction. For some moves, I paired up with a fellow pregnant lady (now on her fourth baby!); for others, I paired up with Marie. One girl came with her husband, another with her mother. I imagine this is a great way to bond, and that there's a stronger flow of energy.
- More tutok. Since the class was mostly made up of teachers, they were very hands-on when it came to correcting and adjusting poses.
- More TLC! The teachers were very considerate of the expectant mothers, propping up pillows, rolling up blankets, all to make sure that we were as comfy as possible.
- It's easier! As well it should be. I get out of breath doing a frickin' cheater's pushup now!
- Pre-natal yoga doesn't really hold the poses.
- There's a bit of a fun element--some shake-shake-shaking involved, and the occasional shoutout to the little one ("Hi, baby!").
- Must work on pelvic area. During the class, there were hip rolls and strengthening moves, I think to help with childbirth. (Or, at least, I hope so. I still can't imagine spewing another human being out of me! Ack.)
- Must work on breathing. Dr. Barbira-Freedman helped one of the participants correct her breathing. One of the teachers taught me how to breathe in such a way that's supposed to make delivery (dare I say it) easier.
- Must buy new sports bras.
My only photo from class, taken while waiting for everyone else. Apparently, three of us attended yoga.
Since it was a trial class, there were a few little kinks, but over all, it was a good experience. I felt sooo many cracks and pops as I stretched, and was so relaxed at the end that I had to really be mindful about staying awake (not an easy feat when you're kind of tried, lying on your side, and hugging a pillow at the end of class!).
For more info on Urban Ashram Manila and their classes, visit their website.