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.
It’s our pleasure to introduce you to 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 1 of 2, with Jenni Derryberry Mann 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:
Breathing and Hip Circles in Baddha Konasana
1. Baddha Konasana is a comfortable seated pose, where you bring the soles of your feet together, and press through your heels and the ball mounds of your toes. (If your hips or low back feel cranky, sit on a folded towel or blanket). Let your knees open with ease, stretching inner thighs. Lengthen your spine.
Breathe smoothly. Inhales and exhales last a little longer than your usual breath. Feel your breath moving in through your ribs, and down and out along the length of your spine. After a few breaths of becoming more aware of your body, deepen the breath into Ujjayi breathing: Breathe in through your nose, gently tightening the back of your throat so you hear and feel the whisper of breath. Exhale the same way: through the nose, slight tightening in the throat. Notice your breath as it moves through your body, becoming more aware of your body softening, and your baby nestled in your pelvis.
Continue breathing, and begin to circle the torso from the hips. Gently hold your shins, and circle around. Keep your jaw soft. Relax neck. Move freely, letting your breath direct the movement. After several circles in one direction, change directions.
Hands + Knees for the Pregnant Mama
2. Dancing Mama is a gentle chest opener and hip opener. On your hands and knees, place shoulders over wrists, hips over knees, and let the back of your neck feel long and relaxed. Extend your left leg to your left, from the hip, foot on the floor, toes facing forward. Inhale and extend your left arm to the left, reaching it up and open toward the sky. Breathe into your ribs. As you exhale, reverse the arc of your arm, bringing it out wide and down. Then scoop your hand in toward your heart, and stretch your arm out in front of you. Reach your hips back a bit so you feel long through the spine, from your tailbone to your fingertips.
Continue, following the pace of your own breath: Inhale, reach the arm out to the side and up to open the chest. Exhale, scoop your hand in toward your heart and stretch your arm long in front of you.
Repeat 5 to 7 times, then return to hands and knees. Let your hips circle freely, a few times to the left, then a few times to the right. If you don’t love the full hip circles, try swaying your hips in a soft arc, from the left to the right, and then the right to the left. Let your body move in a way that feels enjoyable. Let your body practice feeling good about itself.
Then repeat on the right side: Right leg to the right, right arm reaching out wide and up, then scooping into the heart before stretching long in front of you on exhale. Enjoy 5 to 7 breaths on this side, before returning your hand to the floor and circle the hips a few more times.
Check back next week for the completion of the sequence!
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.