I’ve learned valuable information regarding personal care for Mamas both before and after birth from my clients over the past 13 years. One topic I’ve heard a lot about is Prenatal Yoga, especially a wonderful studio offering prenatal yoga near Chicago. Wish I learned about this incredible practice when expecting, long before I became a newborn photographer in the Chicago area! Seriously…the things I’ve learned since I opened Lillybelle Rose Photography. Just as important as caring for yourself while expecting, is knowing how to make caring for your little one during those first weeks of life. To help you navigate the newborn stage, I’ve written quite a few helpful blog posts. Here are some for quick reference : Newborn Soothing Techniques and Tools and How to Calm a Newborn. I digress…back to why we are here!
Both before and after delivering, taking care of yourself is key. This journey can be a little easier with the right tools, and prenatal yoga may be just the thing! (Be sure to discuss this form of self care with your Dr. before beginning.). As someone who practiced yoga for years after having our daughters, I can attest to the dramatic difference the practice can make in your daily life. The more I’ve learned about the practice of prenatal yoga near Chicago, the stronger the urge to share more information you my audience – expectant and new Mamas. This is for you!
Meet Beth Adas, owner of the wonderful Mindful Movements Yoga and Pilates Studio in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Here is a quick blurb about her studio and mention of Lillybelle Rose Photography! Beth and her staff have taken the time to answer some questions about the practice of prenatal yoga and the studio. My assistant (and bestie!) attends Beth’s studio and raves about the staff, atmosphere and classes. Let’s learn more about Beth, Mindful Movements and prenatal yoga near Chicago!
Yoga Studio near Chicago and Naperville
Q: When did your yoga journey begin?
My yoga journey began over thirteen years ago when I signed up for a pre-natal class. Prenatal classes hold a very special place in my heart as I formed friendships with women in that community that I are still a part of my life today and that played an important role in my early years of motherhood.
I attended yoga classes sporadically after my daughter was born to help me manage the stress of being a new mother. Over the years, yoga slowly became an integral part of my life practicing and attending classes at least 4-5 times a week. After struggling for years with chronic pain and mysterious health issues, I was diagnosed in 2019 with an autoimmune disease. I had to learn how to listen to my body, put my ego aside, and stop pushing through the pain and fatigue. My health struggles are what inspired me to pursue my yoga teaching certification.
I received my 200-hour yoga teacher training certification through Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute. My program focused on classic asana, traditional therapeutic yoga, and the neuromuscular reeducation of somatics. I believe that yoga can benefit everyone no matter what kind of physical challenges they face. It just a matter of finding the right practice that works for your body!
Q: When did you open your studio?
Mindful Movements opened in December 2013 under the ownership and guidance of two wonderful women – April and Christy. I assumed ownership of the studio in May 2022. Purchasing a studio was not on my radar at the time but when the opportunity presented itself to me, I knew it was the next step in my life journey. We have an amazing community at Mindful Movements and the support I have received from everyone has been wonderful.
Prenatal Yoga Classes
Q: What are some differences a client can expect between the structure of prenatal yoga classes and general yoga classes?
Teaching a general population yoga and prenatal yoga class both require a mix of specific techniques of asana (poses), pranayama (breath work), and relaxation exercises designed to lead the student to a state of mental balance, self-awareness, and physical strength.
With this specialized group of students, a prenatal class is designed for a community of yogis going through the same life changing experience. A portion of the class is sharing experiences – aches and pains, changes in the body physical and emotional, etc. Some of the main differences in sequencing for the pregnant yogi is moving mindfully with awareness, acceptance, and gratitude of the changing body. Prenatal students need to avoid deep back bends as well as prone and supine positions after the first trimester unless modifications are offered. They also need to focus on a deep body awareness with connection to their body, breath, and baby.
Q: What are some of the benefits of a prenatal yoga practice?
There are so many, but we feel these are some of the most important ones:
- gentle movements to keep body active and promote optimal fetal positioning
- sense of community – connecting with other women going thru the same experience
- meditation, mantra, and breath work to help with stress, discomfort during pregnancy and to prepare for labor.
Q: How often should an expectant mom plan to attend a prenatal class to see the greatest benefits of the practice?
Yoga is most beneficial for everyone when it becomes a part of your regular routine. Making it a priority to take care of yourself during pregnancy is even more important. Attending any prenatal class on a consistent basis will provide benefits and teach you options for poses and breath work that you can also practice at home outside of class.
Q: Are there any styles of yoga an expectant mom should avoid?
For an expectant mom new to yoga, she should avoid a vigorous style yoga. Many experts advise to avoid heated/hot yoga classes. It is more about avoiding contraindication(s) practices rather than a specific stye of yoga. It is how you practice opposed to what you practice. For the experienced student, she should listen and honor her body and let go of her ego as her practice will change throughout her pregnancy.
Q: Are there any special safety guidelines in place for prenatal yoga?
It is very important to have a qualified certified prenatal yoga instructor teaching the classes and to always have doctors’ approval to practice.
Q: What training do your prenatal yoga instructors undergo to teach this highly specialized form of yoga?
Our prenatal instructor, Lisa Barker completed her 95-Hour Prenatal Yoga Advanced Teacher Training at Amala School of Prenatal Yoga. Lisa offers a safe space for pregnant students to calm the nervous system and build and restore a solid connection between mind, body, and baby at her studio offering prenatal yoga near Chicago. She is passionate about maternal and infant health and believes that yoga is one of the many ways to mindfully connect to your baby or babies during pregnancy and help foster a happy healthy birth experience.
Q: What are some questions a potential yoga client should ask a yoga studio before committing to a class?
For prenatal classes the client should ask about the advanced training the teacher has received who will be leading the prenatal classes and their experience in teaching this special population. It is very important that the teacher has additional training focused on prenatal yoga and it should be beyond anything that was touched on in their general yoga teaching training program.
For other yoga classes, it is also important to ask about the training the instructors have received. There is very little regulation in Illinois when it comes to teaching yoga. At the minimum, instructors should have completed a 200-hour teaching training program.
Q: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about Mindful Movements?
Anytime someone asks me the question of what makes us different from the other studios in our area, I will respond with – “we are so much more than just a studio!” Mindful Movements is a community of students coming together to care for and often heal both their bodies and minds. One of our new members said to me the other day, “Since I have been coming to this studio so much joy has been brought into my life that I didn’t even realize was missing!”. She had recently moved to Glen Ellyn from out of state and she found a place at that felt like home for her. I strongly believe that we have created a safe space that is free of judgment and that in turn gives our clients permission to practice in a manner that is best for them.
In addition to yoga and pilates, we also offer healing therapies – acupuncture, ayurvedic healing, massage, and Thai body work. Our teachers and practitioners will work together when a client requires that focused attention. It is truly an honor to own such a beautiful space, work with such incredible teachers and healing practitioners, and most importantly get to know all of our community members. Many people have referred to us as a hidden gem!
Our prenatal classes are held on Monday evenings. For clients new to the studio that want to try out our various types of classes, we offer a special two-week package of unlimited yoga classes. Come check us out! I don’t think you will be disappointed!