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Bringing another human into the world is the ultimate life-altering and transformative experience. During the pandemic, however, it can also be incredibly isolating. 

Thankfully, the support of yoga can make all the difference in guiding you through this special time with greater ease, comfort and relaxation. Haven on the Lake is excited to offer a new online class uniquely designed for pregnancy and the postpartum period of a woman’s life, led by pre- and postnatal-certified yoga teacher Alex Donegan. This class is free for Revive members and $10 for non-members. 

How Yoga Helps Moms-To-Be & New Moms

Donegan, a new mom herself, brings a whole lot of knowledge and lots of heart to her yoga classes, which offer both emotional and physical support. 

Most of us know about the mood-boosting, mind-clearing benefits of a typical yoga class. Pre- and postnatal classes take these benefits up a notch at a time when they’re most needed. With an emphasis on breathing, stamina, pelvic floor work, restorative poses, core strength and safety, participants learn how to become more resilient during and after pregnancy. 

Donegan and her sweet daughter

One of the greatest benefits is gaining an understanding of disaphraphic breathing (aka, breathing from your belly), which empowers you to relax during labor and feel more prepared for the big day. After all, while giving birth is a beautiful thing, it can also be pretty scary and stressful. Yoga gives you the opportunity to practice listening to your body and activating your relaxation response. Plus, it helps you maintain core strength and enhance flexibility and openness in the hips and pelvis.

“The class isn’t just about strengthening, it’s also about stretching,” said Donegan. “We’ll place a lot of emphasis on relaxing and releasing to push the baby out with more ease. Yoga helps relieve stress so you can enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest and labor the way you need to.”

For moms who have recently given birth, yoga is an amazing way to support the body’s recovery after birth. Additional benefits include core strengthening, decreased levels of stress and tension and the opportunity to connect with other new moms.

Best of all, the benefits don’t stop once the class is over: You’ll gain new friends and a sense of community in a supportive environment. Prenatal participants can especially benefit from hearing about the experiences of the postnatal women in the class. You can also bond with the tiny growing babe in your belly, which can be tough if you already have kids at home.

There’s no hard and fast rule on when to join in, though the majority of mamas-to-be prefer to begin prenatal yoga in the second trimester. Postnatal participants are required to have been cleared by their medical provider for exercise (usually around six weeks). No matter where you’re at in your motherhood journey, Donegan prioritizes offering modifications to safely support your changing body.

“This class offers a safe, virtual space to build community,” said Donegan. “I’m so honored to be able to bring yoga to your living room during this sacred time in your life!”