Taking care of baby during pregnancy starts with taking care of mama--and that includes your body, your mind and, of course, your gorgeously glowing (and growing) skin. Staying fit can do wonders for a mama-to-be--and also make you feel wonderful. Obviously, we’re big fans of both.
Starting this month, we’re partnering with our friends at Mama Mio, an amazing skincare brand totally focused on giving women fit skin during pregnancy and beyond, to host special pregnancy-safe workouts each month. Our Gorgeous Glow Prenatal Workout Series will bring you to some of NYC’s hottest studios, where you can get your workout glow on, then join us for mini spa treatments and post-workout refreshments.
First up: House of Jai Yoga on Thursday, March 12 at 6:15 pm. This serene studio on the Upper East Side--fittingly founded by a mom and her child--is renown for its vinyasa-based prenatal program, which prepares women physically, mentally and spiritually for the big day. Learn more about the studio and sign up for the first class in our series here!
We recently chatted with Erin Fogel, co-founder and managing director at House of Jai, about the stuido’s highly regarded prenatal program. Get a glimpse of class, then register to join us on March 12.
When did you start the prenatal program and what makes it so special?
The prenatal department was created before the doors of House of Jai even opened! It was one of the most anticipated departments, because it is truly where yoga begins. The union of mother and child. The union of child and relaxation. I opened this studio with my mother, Jeri Fogel, and we believe in family. We wanted to serve every one at every stage of their life, and prenatal is one of our most special and highly regarded programs.
How would you describe your prenatal program.
We treat the prenatal program just as the vinyasa program. We have a blend of both active vinyasa and strengthening classes along with more gentle and restorative classes. The dynamic duo that serve the clients are Cait Morth, a corrective exercise therapist, and Fanny Oehl, a gentle doula.
How is this class critical for the pregnant body? For the mind?
If you ask a client who had their first child without practicing yoga, and the second child with the practice, it really speaks for itself. Modification to a currently practicing yogi are essential for safety, no doubt, but the mind can also be filled with different types of questions and emotions differently during pregnancy. The practice can help to ease the mind and also allow a safe space to ask questions with those who really understand.
How does it help prepare women for the birthing process?
Luckily, we have the beautiful Fanny Oehl who helps to deliver babies all year long. She and Cait Morth work side by side with the students to allow for a great deal of dialogue before and after class. They also offer a quarterly birthing workshop with really allows for the mommies (and daddies) to really know what to expect...when they’re expecting.
Why should a pregnant yogi head to a prenatal class rather than simply modifying in a regular yoga class?
They should be aware that certain postures should be avoided during this special time, and also how to modify ones that can still be utilized. They also will have a group of women who can empathize with them and be supportive during the journey.
What's your absolute fave Vinyasa pose for pregnancy and why?
Malasana, squat pose is one of the most effective poses for a pregnancy. Squat pose will allow for the ladies to begin embracing the shape of open hips while focusing on their breath and peace of mind while holding this shape. A shape that they will need during the birthing process.
Can you give us one House of Jai-style “do-at-home” exercise that pregnant women can try when they can’t get out to a class?
A great at home go-to is a gentle, wide legged, forward fold. They can prop their hands on a table or desk, against a wall, at work, anywhere! It opens as well as mellows the central nervous system.