Forget January, Autumn is the real new year!

 Yoga  Comments Off on Forget January, Autumn is the real new year!
Sep 042016
 

treeI was in a yoga class the other day, and the teacher, Bram, was talking about how there’s a certain almost chaotic energy in the air at this time of year. I coudn’t agree more. For me, it’s like blowing wind, or even better, those wasps that are just everywhere these days! So I figure, what better thing to do than head to a yoga class for some R&R…!

My oldest kid just started kindergarten, and her little bro is the new big kid at daycare. Things certainly are changing! I’m keeping myself grounded by doing yoga as daily as possible.

When I’m not momming or my own personal yoga practice this fall, I will, of course, be teaching! Please find below, my Autumn schedule, including Prenatal, Postnatal, Yin and Flow, as well as two super exciting workshops (THIS WEEKEND COMING)
WORKSHOPS SEPTEMBER 10th AND 11th

37Atelier – Réintégrez le ventre et le périnée dans la dynamique du corps par le Yoga
This workshop, offered only in French, will help women of all ages heal their diastasis and pelvic floor from a yogic perspective. You’ll learn practical tools and tips, but we’re not just dealing with the physical body here. Yoga, means union. this workshop was a long time in the works and Anne, Melanie and myself are so excited to be offering it.
Sign up is mandatory. You can click on the link above to register or if you’d like more details.
For the pregnant couples out there, our next Couples Yoga Birthing Workshop is happening Sunday, September 11, and there are a few spots left. We learn ways to cope and enjoy labour in this fun and informative 4 hour workshop. No yoga experience necessary!

Call Happy Tree at or register for any of the family programs online.

Jenny Bee’s fall yoga schedule

Tuesday
Yoga Portage @ Espace Shanti 9:30 (with baby)
Yoga Fluide (flow) @ Shanti 12pm
Prenatal @ Breathepod 3pm (pregnancy)
Prenatal @ Viveka 7:15 (pregnancy)
Wednesday
Mom and Baby @ Happy Tree 10:45 (with baby)
Prenatal @ Happy Tree 7:30 (pregnancy)
Thursday
Équilibre (Hatha/Yin) @ Viveka 10am
Mom and Baby @ Viveka 12pm (with baby)
Prénatal @ Espace Shanti 6:30pm (pregnancy)
Yin @ Espace Shanti 8:30
Friday
Mom and Baby @ Breathepod (with baby)
Cardio-Fit et Yoga maman-bébé
@ Espace Shanti 2pm (with baby)

 

Fear, pregnancy and how yoga can help

 Yoga  Comments Off on Fear, pregnancy and how yoga can help
Jul 052016
 

paolaFear is a subject that comes up a lot in a prenatal yoga class, birth workshop, or meeting with a doula client.

And with good reason! When we give birth for the first time, we are entering uncharted territory. Most of the time, when we do something for the first time we are at least a little scared–fear of the unknown. Add the unknown and countless unsolicited horror birth stories, plus all the unrealistic Hollywood movie scenes. Terrifying, right?

Fear can be a good thing. There is a fear that legitimately protects us from danger. It’s the reason we don’t run into the middle of the highway at night. But there’s another kind of fear that is not healthy. Our disconnect– which allows us to fear being judged, embarrassed, abandoned, neglected… So many of us spend our days walking around in the Stress Response (fight or flight) worried, paranoid, terrified something is out to get us. The same physical, emotional, psychological reaction we’d have if we were in actual danger. Our muscles tense (glutes, traps) jaw, fists clenched. We do not breathe properly. That’s to say all the way down into the belly. Most of us breathe only in the chest.

So first step, remember to breathe!

Fear can be a huge disservice in labour.

  • The aforementioned Stress Response, tense muscles = more pain
  • Adrenaline which naturally kicks in when we’re afraid, cancels out oxytocin (the LOVE hormone–you see, love really is the opposite of fear!) We need oxytocin to continue contractions and we need contractions to continue for the cervix to continue to dilate and for baby to come out
  • Adrenaline can increase blood pressure and heart rate (as well as breath– remember, breeeeeathhhhe)

Fear can slow or stop labour.

It can be easy to ignore our fears in pregnancy. I have prenatal students who will bluntly say they’re refusing to think about their fears. About labour, baby, becoming a parent… I gently encourage those women and anyone reading, to spend time with those fears. Acknowledge your fears. Validate them. Deal with them! They are real!

birthingWe go into greater detail in my Yoga Birth Workshop and prenatal yoga classes, but I wanted to leave you withhttp://mamanaturale.ca/wp-admin/post-new.php this amazingly helpful exercise by Pam England, author of Birthing from Within, for dealing with fear in pregnancy.

Taming Tigers

  1. Write down all the things you hope won’t happen.
  2. Look your tigers in the eye. (Let your imagination flow into your fear.)
  3. Ask yourself: What do I need to do to tame or escape each tiger? (i.e., what will make my birth place safe?)
  4. DO IT! (Even if you are afraid.) Get help if you need it.

 

 

Once in a Pink Moon?

 Yoga  Comments Off on Once in a Pink Moon?
Jun 212016
 
Once in a pink moon?
bioHappy Solstice everyone! I’m going to admit, I was looking forward to the moon being pink tonight, but it seems the term Strawberry Moon refers to strawberry picking season and hasn’t conicided with Solstice since the 60s! What does it mean? 17 hours of daylight. Babies will be born. Toddlers will not sleep. And so it is.

Speaking of babies being born, I’m still on a bit of a high after doula-ing an amazing birth last night. One strong mama and one adorable baby girl. One pround Papa on Father’s Day!
Because it is officially summer, studios tend cut a few classes. It also means I start to get creative with my offerings. Below you’ll see what I’m up to over the next few months. I hope to see you very soon!

For new parents

I’ve opened up a few places for Postpartum Doula care and private Yoga Therapy. Write back for more details or call 514.318.4566.

If you’re eager to practice yoga with your new baby outside, please join me Tuesday 10am on the riverbank in Verdun for the entire month of July. I will need a few confirmations before we go ahead, so please let me know if you’re serious about coming. The Facebook event is here.

For those of you wanting to learn and practice Shantala Baby Massage, there are two spots left in the class I’ll be running at my house in Verdun.  12-1 pm Tuesdays in July. Come bond with your baby, help him with gas, sleep, pretty much everything! More details here.

I am also available for private baby massage lessons.

Happy Tree’s Postnatal classes are still in full swing over the summer. Join us Wednesdays 10:30!

We’ve also just opened up a new Mom & Baby yoga class at Breathepod in Ile des Soeures. There is room for another mat or two, Fridays 10am. You can sign up here.

In August, Espace Shanti’s outdoor classes in collaboration with Cardio-Fit will resume Tuesdays at 9:30. You can register right here. This class is so much fun–an amazing workout!

209Prenatal offerings

For the pregnant mamas out there, at the moment, the ONLY group prenatal yoga class I’m offering is Wednesday 7:30 pm at Happy Tree Yoga. It’s a beautiful group in a warm and inviting studio. NEW Series: Wednesdays June 29th 2016 – August 3rd 2016 – REGISTER NOW! (Drop-ins welcome)
Our next Couples Yoga Birthing Workshop is happening Sunday, July 17, and there are a few spots left. We learn ways to cope and enjoy labour in this fun and informative 3 hour workshop. No yoga experience necessary!

Call Happy Tree at or register for any of the family programs online.

 

For the BIG KIDS
And the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Family Yoga will be happening outside Saturday 10am in Verdun. Be in touch for more details!

For more information on the packages I’m offering, visit www.bonadeayoga.com or call 514.318.4566

Alignment tips for mamas to be

 Guest Posts, Health, Yoga  Comments Off on Alignment tips for mamas to be
Jul 232015
 

Guest post by Bill Boland and Anita Halton at BodyFix Method

breathYou’re excited to feel your baby growing inside you. But you also feel the physical stress that extra belly weight is causing. Your body is constantly adapting and not always in good ways. You feel it in your back, your neck, and your legs. These aches and pains are the result of postural changes caused by the developing fetus. Along the way, your body’s natural alignment is being compromised.

Here are 4 potentially damaging postural changes to be alert to and a few simple exercises you can do to correct them and avoid pain.

 1. Swayback (Hyper-lordosis)

This is excessive curvature of the low back spine. We all have a natural amount of lordosis or curve in our low back (lumbar) spines, but when this curve becomes exaggerated, or hyper-lordotic, we are at risk for lower back pain, disc herniations, or sciatica. Pregnancy exacerbates the natural lordosis or curve of your lumbar spine. The added weight of your baby in your belly is pulling your pelvis into a forward pelvic tilt; this puts the back into a position of hyper-lordosis.

In order to keep your spine in the most neutral curve possible, focus on these things alignment principles and try these exercises:

a. Butt Strength.  A strong butt is critical to keeping your pelvis from going into more of a forward pelvic tilt. Muscles in front and in back need to balance each other and keep the pelvis level.
b. Thighs Too Strong. The big thigh muscles, known also as quadriceps, are the strongest muscles in the body and they will easily pull the pelvis into a forward tilt if they are too tight. The tendency is going to be for your quads to get tighter and tighter as your baby grows and as you gradually gain weight during pregnancy, so you need to stretch them!

c.  Supple Hips.  Hip flexors are muscles that bring the knee to your chest. The psoas is a deep hip flexor, the only muscle that connects your lumbar spine to your legs. It gets tight when your knees are turned out and you walk with your hip and thigh muscles instead of your leg and butt muscles. It’s easy to do when you’re pregnant. When the deep hip flexor, the psoas muscle, is tight, it will pull your pelvis into an increased forward tilt, making delivery more difficult. It is very important to stretch those deep hip flexors.

This Simple Lunge is safe to do all the way through your pregnancy.

 

2. Abdominal Separation

Abdominal separation (diastasis recti) is a separation between the left and right side of the muscle covering the front surface of the belly (rectus abdominis). Pregnancy puts so much extra pressure on the belly that sometimes the muscles in front can’t keep their shape, causing a separation of the abdominal muscles. You’re also more likely to have the problem if you’re over 35, or if you’re having a heavy baby, twins, triplets, or more.

This condition can occur if your abdominals are either too weak or too tight. What’s your best strategy? Avoid compression in the abdominal area (no crunches!) and keep your abdominals long, strong, and supple. Avoid planks, or sit-ups, swimming or any positions on all fours.

Do these exercises, instead:

a. Standing Overhead Arm Extension

b. Hero’s Pose (Virasana with block)

c. Backbend over Bolster

d. Abdominal Corseting: Imagine that you are wearing a corset and practice engaging your abdominals and holding them while breathing for 10 breaths. Then release. This will gently strengthen your deepest abdominal, your transverse abdominal.

 

3. Rounded Shoulders, Forward Head Posture & Shallow Breathing

Forward Head Posture is a postural condition that affects millions of North Americans and pregnancy only increases your chances of suffering from it. The added weight of your growing breasts can begin to create a tendency to round your shoulders and sink your breastbone. As your shoulders come forward, your head follows and you wind up slouched. There’s a lot of fatigue in pregnancy, but sitting in a slouched posture will only add to that when you diminish your ability to breathe. Oxygen is a primary source of energy. You need more energy now than ever, and you will need more energy after your baby is born for sure, so here are some exercises to help you stand and sit tall, breathe more easily, and relax.

These exercises will keep your chest open and your breath deep and powerful.

a.  Standing Chest Opener

b. Standing Arm Circles

c. Seated Shoulder Blade Squeezes

 

pillow

Seated knee pillow squeeze

4. Turned-out Feet and The Waddle  

Because your belly is growing out, there is less room for the legs to find the ground straight ahead. Your legs and feet will have the tendency to point out or “evert”. This alignment habit will result in a gait pattern of the pregnancy waddle.

If you are accustomed to walking straight ahead, you will now somewhat roll side-to-side because your toes are no longer pointed forward. This alignment pattern will tighten the hip flexors and contribute to a sore low back. A waddle is also inefficient way of walking. It can be avoided.

Do these exercises daily:

a. Seated Knee Pillow Squeezes

b. Walking in Place

The Body Fix Method creates custom plans for therapy clients. If you’d like the full descrption and photos from this post, Anita has offered to send you a copy. Just contact her at anita@bodyfixmethod.com
Feb 152013
 
31 weeks with baby boy

31 weeks with baby boy

These days, life is about little more than Babe. She is the absolute light of my life. Papa and I get along great and try to find time to spend together, but he’s been bringing home the bacon these days. I stay home and happily cook it.

Babe and I spend hours playing and minutes annoying each other. If I scroll back through recent posts on this blog, it’s pretty obvious that my head and heart are with her, not the baby I am growing.

When I was pregnant with Babe, she was all I thought about. So when does this little baby boy get his turn? Twice a week at yoga class.

Prenatal yoga is something I also did when I was pregnant last time (though I was going five times a week). I have less time this time, but keeping up this practice is so important for me. I think it’s what’s keeping me sane.

Prenatal yoga allows me to, first of all, get out of the house! It gives me a good stretch, takes care of the terrible pain in my sacrum. It gives me a chance to breathe. Slowly. Deeply. It gives me strength I will need for labour. More than any of this, though, yoga is THE time I have with this baby boy. I feel his every movement when I’m there. I send down only the best of vibes.

I know when he is on the outside I will love him just as much as I love Babe. I know that my attention will likely greatly shift to him. The needy, helpless newborn.

Babe is strong and independent. While she’s still pretty into Breastfeeding (I sometimes think it’s her raison d’être) she just adores her Papa. I see him playing a bigger role in her everyday and nighttime.

The thought makes me sad. But then it will all balance out, right? I can make room to love and care for them both?