How Our Mom & Prenatal Online "Kula" (community of the heart) Came to Be...
The truth is, even though I’d been teaching prenatal yoga for years, when I had a baby, I felt lost and alone.
My body was depleted (my hair is actually curly!), I was exhausted, and I needed yoga more than ever.
But there was no way I could pay a nanny while I enjoyed an hour-and-a-half yoga class.
Plus, I really didn’t want to leave my baby that long…
So when I started Ma Yoga when my little one was two, we made sure to offer Mom Yoga – Babies Welcome classes where our mamas could come back to with their babies.
The moms loved being together, reconnecting to body and breath, strengthening and releasing tension – and all the while getting to stay connected to baby.
Some moms came back even before they could exercise, just to get a little yoga and grown-up vibe.
In a few years, we had had 18,000 moms and moms-to-be come through our ten locations in Southern California.
I was training teachers not only to offer prenatal yoga, but to start a “Mama Circle” by partnering with a small business in their neighborhood.
But I started noticing a problem.
People came once a week, left feeling amazing, and then a couple days later, that yoga feeling was like a distance memory.
I realized that having a home practice is an essential part of being able to support healing and thriving for ourselves during the difficult postpartum period – and for the rest of our lives.
I started asking my pregnant mamas and moms to try and do a downdog at home.
They’d come the following week and wouldn’t even remember my homework assignment!
So we raised a bunch of money from our amazing community on Indiegogo, and went about creating the “Ma Yoga Living Room” – a place where our students could do mom and prenatal yoga online videos in between classes.
And it was great! Except… for ALL the people who WEREN’T in Southern California.
They were doing mom and prenatal yoga online without a teacher to help them understand what specific alignment adjustments were optimal for THEIR body.
They weren’t getting their personal fears addressed, or having a chance to connect to other mamas.
We all need a teacher. The essence of yoga is self-discovery, and sometimes we need someone to point the way.
And without a feeling of connection to each other, the yoga doesn’t quite fulfill its promise.
Honestly it felt like a failure, because I couldn’t really stand by mom and prenatal yoga online videos, no matter how expertly-taught they were, if people still couldn’t learn how to get rid of their back pain at night, or hear how to adjust their shoulders so their wrist didn’t hurt, or ask how to strengthen their core safely even with diastisis recti.
And then…. Covid came.
All of our locations shut down.
I would never wish quarantine upon the world, and yet there was a silver lining.
We all learned about online possibilities where before there were none.
Suddenly we could reach moms and moms-to-be wherever they were – in towns that didn’t have prenatal yoga, in cities where it was too hard to get around with baby… wherever.
We moved all of our in-person classes and created a full schedule of mom and prenatal yoga online.
My coach came up with how to combine the two – first class is free, and then membership lets you take live classes for 40% off. Plus, you have all the videos to create a therapeutic, personalized home yoga and meditation practice that will fill you up and keep you supported in a current of nurturing energy, no matter how hard things get.
Ma Yoga Living has finally fulfilled my dream of helping women find a Mama Circle wherever they are in the world.
A “kula” in Sanskrit is a community of the heart. Our Certified Ma Yoga Intructors, Birth Practitioners, lifestyle educators and of course our moms and moms-to-be are truly a kula (community of the heart) who share yoga, education and support in birth classes, mom support and yoga, and prenatal yoga online.
I am so honored to be part of movement that recognizes that the journey to motherhood and beyond can be a treacherous one.
Without support, we often feel isolated, lost, in pain, and fearful. We can find ourselves living with wounds – emotional or physical – that we think can’t be healed.
But with just a little of the right kind of guidance, we can learn to change our challenges into opportunities to step into our highest, most powerful, wise and nurturing “Ma” Self.