Ma Yoga® is a strengthening, therapeutic, and transformative yoga for moms and moms-to-be rooted in alignment with our highest Self. When we come from authenticity, from something bigger than our ego, our will, or comparing ourselves with others, we become the Mom we want to be. The word “Ma” in Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga, as well as most languages, refers to “mother”: the powerful, nurturing flow of energy that we all have within us – our greatest potential as a human being, the most expansive love, and deepest strength that we know of. Yoga teaches us that it is all there within us, always ready to be experienced and enjoyed.
This idea of alignment with our true Self helps us manifest the lives we want to live. Never before have we had such motivation to release what is blocking us and step in to our power, our deep inner knowing, and our nurturing, loving energy.
Alignment-based yoga is also about remembering that we are all connected, that the same energy creating your friend’s big belly is creating your little one. This energy is always at play (“lila”) and instead of worrying about differences, we can appreciate them. So our worries from comparing get transformed into “wow! Look how different our bellies are. Wild.” Or “I feel that having my baby in a __________ (hospital, birth center, house) is right for me and I’m so glad you found the place where you feel safest.” You don’t have to feel separate because you are doing it differently; you can acknowledge people’s sweet intentions and get back to aligning with your own.
On a biomechanical level, the therapeutic alignment principles we teach help us eliminate back, wrist, neck and knee pain, which are so common during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones work on every joint – not just the pelvis – and create vulnerability. Any misalignment you might have started with gets magnified. Understanding the direction our muscles and bones want to go to create stability, as our teachers do, give instant physical relief and a consistent practice can keep you out of pain and feeling great throughout the whole journey.
Ma Yoga helps us see the ups and downs, the doubts and excitement, and even the aches and pains as gifts. Learning how to be with physical discomfort (there will be some even alignment can’t make go away completely) becomes wonderful preparation for lying all night with a sick baby sleeping on you with your head in awkward position against the wooden headboard. Finding strength in Warrior II becomes training for standing your ground with your screaming toddler. And breathing through a challenging long hold helps you feel you can get through anything.
A huge part of our yoga is nurturing community. We nurture community and we believe that community nurtures. In this yoga, we learn how to find the feeling of support in our own bodies so we can enjoy offering a wide open heart to our babies, our loved ones, and our community – and receives well.
While in our classes you will be taken step by step through breathing and postures that will feel delicious, and help make lots of space for baby, prenatal yoga is actually about finding your strength – both inner and outer. It is not “gentle yoga”, but it is sweet, and anyone can do it, even if you have no yoga experience and haven’t exercised in months.