“Something that is taught through and through in yoga is bringing that moment to the present. [So, we can take] a moment to really focus on the needs of your baby, and the needs of yourself at that time. You can show up and be a better parent when you can be really, really present.”
Heaven Schydlowsky, Mom and Yoga Instructor
Heaven, Brooklyn-based Yoga Instructor and mama to two-month-old Soleil, met with our Tula team to chat all things Yoga and babywearing. Let’s get to know how she moves through the world.
When Heaven first started practicing yoga, she used it as an exercise for mobility. But when she started to tap in and joined her teacher training, she realized how it can impact how a day begins and ends and gives you a bit of control over that.
“You can wake up in the morning, spend five minutes meditating, and doing breath work and it immediately affects and impacts your day. And maybe you practice that same kind of - I call it a toolbox - taking something out of your toolbox to be able to use throughout the middle of the day. Maybe you had a bad meeting or maybe a bad transaction or something. And you just need to take that moment. I think yoga has really allowed me to use it in ways outside of the studio, off of the mat, and really transformed the way I can interact with others and myself.”
When it comes to becoming a new mom, babywearing has been a resource that’s helped her navigate the ins and outs of parenthood and take her little one along her yoga journey with her.
“Babywearing has helped me so much in everyday life. Being able to put Soleil on my body while I'm going around the house, trying to do little chores here and there. She wants to take a nap on me. It's something that I cherish so much. Babywearing outside of the house is obviously a game changer. I'm on the go, right? So I'm walking to the bus stop where I'm headed in the subway, going in the park - and being able to have that kind of mobility is amazing. And then being able to bring her into yoga and being able to share that practice with her has been super special.”
Benefits of Yoga for Pregnant and Postpartum Parents
According to Heaven, among all the benefits of yoga, “the most important for pregnant parents is a sense of control over their changing bodies and the ability to actively participate in their own pregnancy journey. It’s a way for expecting parents to stay in the now, rather than just waiting for their upcoming due date.”
Heaven’s Yoga Advice By Trimester
“I think the first trimester is a really great opportunity to sort of take note of the things that are changing in your body and really start on a very grounding practice. So, whether you're on the ground just doing cat cows or if you're just sort of laying in Shavasana (because that practice gets a little different as you go through the different stages of your trimesters).
It's always nice to just really stay close to the ground and get a beautiful grounding practice. As you'll start to see through the other trimesters, your balance is a little bit different for all those standing poses and things like that.”
“For the second trimester, I personally felt my best. I just got this spurt of energy and I was so ready to move. So, I really used this time to continue my practice with obviously tons of modifications for pregnant women that exist.
But I loved just really staying rooted in my downward dogs and in a lot of standing poses, some balances as well. And I really started to incorporate Pranayama or breath work into my practice just to get a little bit more streamlined and understanding how that's gonna be so important when it comes to the really big day of our giving birth and going through labor.”
“The most important thing in the third trimester is probably the breath. Really homing in on breath, and some poses that are there to assist you in rest and relaxation.
So, it's a little bit slower. Again, it's back closer to the ground. I loved focusing on breathing. I'd also stand up against the wall and just sort of squat and have a moment of tension in my body to understand what's to come in labor a lot of supported positions, supported sideline positions and things like that to just really, yeah, get ready. And then I would rest.”
Finding Yoga Classes Near You
“I think any at any stage of your prenatal and postpartum journey, prenatal yoga classes are amazing because they really are geared towards the changes that are happening in your body and it's from first trimester to third trimester to after the baby is born - some pelvic floor work, a little bit of sideline, a little bit of understanding what is changing in your body and how to accommodate that in yoga. If you can't find a prenatal class in a studio close to you, I think YouTube is a perfect, perfect place to start and there's so many resources online for that.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you need to do yoga safely while pregnant?
First and foremost, listen to your body. In any practice, whether pregnant or not. If you need to pause, breathe, modify – pay attention and respond appropriately. Buying a pair of comfortable maternity yoga pants will get you started so you feel ready for your practice. Sometimes something as simple as what you’re wearing can help put you in the right mind space! You can also use exercise balls or yoga blogs to help modify poses and protect your changing body.
Can you do hot yoga while pregnant? Aerial yoga?
Generally speaking with any fitness practice or regimen, it’s important to not start something while pregnant that you weren’t doing before. Your body is already under a lot of changes. ALWAYS consult a physician or your care provider before starting any routine while pregnant.
Will yoga help me prepare for delivery?
Prenatal yoga equips expectant mothers with breathing techniques and relaxation strategies that can be invaluable during labor and delivery.
Can you do yoga with baby?
The best way to practice yoga with your baby is to get started when you are cleared by a physician to start moving your body in a more activity-based way. In the beginning you can put your little one on the mat with you and have them watch. You can also put your baby in the baby carrier for a variety of standing positions.