Prenatal Yoga / Bellyrama

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

We’re continuing our prenatal yoga routine with this month’s guest contributor, Jenni Derryberry Mann, owner of Blooma Nashville. Jenni is a trusted authority on all things Yoga and specializes in prenatal and Mama-Baby practices. She is an all around calming voice and trustworthy guide through pregnancy and early motherhood, and she’s put together a wonderfully energizing routine for expectant mothers. SCOUT will be joining Blooma Nashville on Sunday, October 4 for the first annual Bellyrama, a family festival celebrating birth and babies at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park amphitheater.

This month: Prenatal Yoga routine, part 2 of 2, with Jenni Derryberry Mann of Blooma Nashville

Jennifer Derryberry Mann, owner of Blooma Nashville

You know that sense of community that comes from sharing an experience with someone? That’s the hallmark of prenatal yoga at Blooma Nashville. Mamas with beautifully round bellies sharing a practice, preparing for birth—it’s a sweet, reassuring moment. You can create that connected feeling with baby-to-be at home, too.

Here are a few poses to help you connect mind, heart, and breath to your perfectly pregnant body. Enjoy a single pose if you have just a few spare moments, or try them all together as a short sequence:

A Powerful Squat to Build Strength for Birth

3. Goddess Pose is a high squat with a wide stance. Step your feet about 4 feet apart, and turn your toes out slightly. Bend your knees so your thighs are nearly at a right angle to your torso. Raise your arms into a V shape overhead, then bend your arms until your elbows are about shoulder-height. You can move your arms a few inches forward to bring some ease into the shoulders. Lengthen your low back and gently hug belly button toward baby for support. For more support, do this pose against a wall. A few other details to refine: Knees track lightly back toward your pinky toes. Slightly lift your breastbone to open your chest. Keep your shoulders, neck, jaw, and face relaxed. Isometrically squeeze your feet toward each other to help engage your inner legs and hamstrings. To work deeply here, you might put on a favorite song, breathe in ujjayi, and after holding steady for 6 to 8 breaths, begin to dance. Stay in the pose and let your hips sway and arms move freely. Enjoy the feeling of movement through your strong legs.

To end, straighten your legs, bring your arms down, and heel-toe your feet to about hip-distance apart. Soften your knees. Some figure 8s with your hips may feel fabulous right about now!

This pose strengthens the legs, opens the hips, and tones the shoulders. Most importantly, it lets you apprentice with intensity that lasts about as long as a contraction. You feel yourself strong and capable. You practice breathing and moving through challenging moments. You can also use this pose as a place to practice the vocalizations—long, low moans as you exhale—that can be useful in later, active labor.

Rest Easy, Mama!

4. Side-lying Savasana. The classic yoga resting pose is relaxing for pregnancy, too. From a seated position, roll to one side and ease down to the floor. Rest your head on a pillow or your arm, tuck another pillow between your knees, and cover up with a blanket if you like. Rest your other hand on your belly. Breathe deeply and sweetly. Enjoy 8 to 15 minutes of easy rest to connect with your beautiful belly and your sweet bebe growing inside. Bliss!

When you feel complete, take your time sitting up. Use the strength of your arms to bring yourself up, and keep your neck relaxed. Rub your hands together, and then place one hand at your heart, and one at your belly as you breathe. Then give your belly a squeeze and send some love to baby. In just that short practice, you’ll feel lighter and more connected than you have all day. Enjoy, mama!

To learn more about Blooma Nashville, visit their Nashville studio at 4107 Charlotte Avenue, or you can check them out online.

About Jennifer Derryberry Mann

Jenni Derryberry Mann opened the doors to Blooma Nashville in 2014, believing that women deserve a beautiful, warm welcome into pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. A mama, prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher, life coach, and women’s circle facilitator, Jenni also incorporates training as a doula, a rebozo instructor, and yoga nidra meditation guide into her work with women as they make their sacred journey into motherhood. Jenni has been part of the Blooma Inc. family from the very beginning, when she helped create the first Blooma studio in Minneapolis in 2007. At Blooma Nashville, Jenni teaches Prenatal Yoga, BYOBaby Mama-Baby Yoga, Little Crawlers & Movers Yoga, the Blooma Birth Intensive class, Blooma Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, and she leads seasonal circles for women and mothers.