About Prenatal & Postpartum Yoga

Pregnancy can be a rocky road.

It's not just baby kicks and painted nurseries.

To understand why prenatal and postpartum yoga are so healing and life-changing, it’s important to understand the lack of care for moms and moms-to-be.

The US ranks 10th out of 10 developed countries in maternal care and mortality.

Pregnant women and new moms often feel unsupported, isolated, and uninformed about how to take care of themselves and their baby.

Postpartum depression is more widespread than ever, and anxiety is becoming even more common than that.

post partum depression

Studies show Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga Improve Outcomes

We all know that yoga reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and helps with general fitness.

But what’s relatively recently known is how effective prenatal and postpartum yoga are:

prenatal and mom yoga with ma yoga

Ma Yoga® Goes Beyond

Our OB/Gyn-approved, birth practitioner-taught, alignment-based prenatal yoga:

mom and baby yoga

Our strengthening, healing, rejuvenating Postpartum Yoga:

How Ma Yoga® Was Born

Hi I’m Jessica. When I started doing yoga in 1997, it was to relieve chronic neck and back pain.

To my immense relief and surprise, my pain completely went away within a couple weeks!

I knew I wanted to teach yoga, but I needed to know why. Why does yoga heal us? And why does it sometimes hurt us?

I didn’t want to be the kind of teacher who said “Oh, if it’s hurts, just go into childs pose” or worse – “breathe through the restistance.”

I sensed that the body communicates through pain, and I wanted to learn its language.

I searched for answers by studying cadavers with pre-meds at UCLA, becoming a Certified Personal Trainer and getting my Masters in Exercise Science.

But I didn’t find what I was looking for until I came upon an alignment-based school of yoga called Anusara.

Alignment-based yoga means that every pose is an opportunity to align our muscles and bones with what’s called the “optimal blueprint.”

It’s not about what pose we do, but rather the actions we take within the pose that matters.

I was thrilled to be able to get people out of back pain, neck pain, wrist pain, and knee pain.

And yet when I started teaching mamas in 2001, I felt like I was missing something.

Over years of teaching moms and moms-to-be in both yoga studio and hospital settings, I realized that many women slow down, listen inward and begin to take care of themselves in a whole new way when they’re pregnant.

The alignment principles shifted to address what was happening – not ust in women’s bodies – but in their lives: a doorway was opening for them to step into their feminine wisdom and power.

And Ma Yoga was born.​​

 

When I became pregnant in 2006, I loved teaching my prenatal yoga class! I’m still friends with some of those mamas today.

And while my labor didn’t go QUITE as planned, the prenatal yoga helped me stay connected to my calm, powerful center.

The hardest thing was… well, everything after labor.

Being home with baby without help and waking up every three hours throughout the night to feed left me exhausted and stressed.

I didn’t have a postpartum yoga practice and I didn’t know where to start. I had had a Cesarean, and I developed some adhesions that took me years to release.

I was blissed out – here’s me with my daughter – in a fog of exhausted love.

Jessica jennings mom and baby

I couldn’t get to a yoga class because I couldn’t afford to pay a nanny just so I could take yoga.

And of course there was no way I could do a full hour and half practice at home with baby.

I really wanted to meditate, but I had learned from a teacher who said “if you don’t practice for 20 minutes twice a day, don’t bother.”

That’s when I realized: yoga can and MUST change for women in their childbearing years.

We might not have 20 minutes to meditate daily, or an hour of serenity to practice yoga…

But we CAN grab 2 minutes while baby’s distracted by a toy to sit and exhale fully.

And we can find 5 minutes on the floor to “play yoga” with baby.

To do this, we need to know what the most essential elements of yoga are, so we can get right to it.

I had a vision: a Mama Circle for every village in the world. I combined traditional yoga practices with newer therapeutic alignment principles, safe core strengthening for women’s bodies, Western birth and postpartum education, and Ayurvedic self-care – as well as all I had learned teaching moms and moms-to-be for over a decade – and called it Ma Yoga® for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond.

We created “Mama Circles” that not only helped pregnant mamas get out of pain, relieve stress and prepare for labor – we were also there for them when they were ready to return. Babies always welcome – you’re on mute during class, so baby noises never bother anyone.

Soon we had ten locations in Southern California and for the non-local moms, we had tons of wonderful prenatal and postpartum yoga videos.

When quarantine happened, we moved all our in-person classes online, and I realized my vision from when my daughter was two has come true, in a way I never would have expected.

I give full credit to the Ma Yoga principles of co-creation. 

Now that we’re all online, no matter where you are in your “Ma” journey and in the world – you can oin us for live online prenatal yoga, postpartum yoga, restorative yoga and Foundations classes, or do Ma Yoga Anytime – all in the comfort and ease of your living room (or office, or hallway).

Book your first FREE Prenatal Yoga or Postpartum Yoga class.

The Ma Yoga® Philosophy

The “Ma” in Ma Yoga means mother in just about every language. For instance:
 
  • Mandarin Chinese: Mãma
  • Hindustani: Māṃ
  • Spanish: Madre or mamá
  • Arabic: Māma
  • Russian: мама
  • Bengali: Mā
In Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga, “ma” also means the highest, most powerful and wise – as in “Ma Kali”, the mother of all goddesses.
 
Ma Yoga is based in both ideas: that when we learn to mother ourselves – to turn nurturing energy inward – we becoming our highest, most powerful, wise, and nurturing “Ma” Self.
 
When you’re connected to your inner wisdom, you can make choices that are right for you and your family.
 
When you’re in your power, you can manifest your deepest desires.
 
And when you’re in a current of nurturing energy, you feel supported throughout all the challenging parts of this journey.
 
We can’t wait to support you on your “Ma” journey!
Ma Yoga Beverly Hills - prenatal & postpartum yoga

Love Ma Yoga! It’s individualized, calming, balancing, strengthening and nurturing for both body and the nervous 1st-time mom soul.

Kristina D.

Ma Yoga was exactly what I needed!

I learned a lot, from breathing exercises to pregnancy-friendly postures to awareness of certain important muscle groups. I worked my increasingly pregnant body, without ever pushing it too far.

I always felt a lot better after class than before, more relaxed and with less aches and pains. I highly recommend Ma Yoga to any pregnant woman, but especially yoga-nitwits like me who need some extra reassurance and support!

Trynke DeJong

Colleen’s prenatal yoga class is amazing!

Colleen treats each session as a community bonding experience. We start with a little sharing about how we are feeling and I personally get a lot from this.

There’s plenty of repetition of postures for those who aren’t familiar with doing yoga to feel confident in what you are doing but enough variation for the experienced yogis to not feel like it’s routine.

Samantha

Jamie is an incredible teacher, with so much calm and helpful advice…wonderful all around!

Tasha V.

The instructors are knowledgeable and confident. I only wish I found this when I was pregnant!

Leilani W.

Thank you so much for your wonderful gift of [Ma Yoga for Everyone] today. My legs are still shaking but I feel less anxious.

You are amazing!! Can’t thank you enough for your encouragement to join you this morning. I needed it emotionally and physically.

 

Rosibel R.

I just want to take a quick minute to thank you SO much for these classes, Jess.  I REALLY look forward to them. Not only can i feel my (now plumper) body strengthening, but I have noticed that when I am stressed I have a hard time breathing deeply.

Anyway, your class, the breathing and mostly YOU have helped me realize what that is and learn to take a moment and breathe.  I REALLY appreciate it.  Truly.

Gina S.

I started going to Ma Yoga when I was 16 weeks pregnant.  It was the best thing I could have done for myself!

Prenatal yoga helped a lot with the normal aches and pains of pregnancy.

I felt myself getting stronger and overall feeling much better each time I went.  It also helped me deal with the stress of being pregnant.

Kristin L.

I had a wonderful experience with Rachelle during my pregnancy. She is extremely knowledgable about prenatal yoga and goes above and beyond to make sure you get the answers you are looking for during this precious time.

She is also very hands on, corrects your poses if she sees you’re out of alignment which I really appreciated. I would highly recommend her class!

Brooke D.

These yoga classes are great. I often walk in feeling like my back and hips are all out of whack and then walk out feeling *amazing*.

I love the community here too – it’s a very supportive place.

All choices are embraced and that feels really nice.

Lyra K.

I googled around and found Ma Yoga. I went to the first free class and enjoyed it. It was harder than I thought it would be, but I left feeling better.

My instructor was Jessica and I really loved her attitude and the class. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I was definitely getting better at all the poses and my balance.

Heather P.

I just wanted to drop you a line and express my gratitude for the confidence you’ve inspired in me as I approach labor. Your class was like a lifeline, with your words of wisdom echoing through me as I approach the big day and beyond!

Additionally, the learning and insightful instruction I’ve received has led to a much more comfortable last month than I anticipated.

Angie W.

Thank you again for another great class. You don’t know how much I love coming every week.

Not only is it nice to finally “move” my body, but I love being able to connect with Grayson. And he loves doing yoga with mommy too!

Jennifer W.

Practicing yoga with my baby next to me is such a rewarding experience – even if I only get to do a few poses, a little goes a long way.

Jessica is an amazing yoga teacher, especially for pre and post natal women who need a little extra care from an experienced teacher.

Her class is challenging, but gentle, and I leave feeling like I’ve had a spa day.

Tiffany F.

I can’t tell you enough how much yoga helped me, not only through my pregnancy, but also through labor.

I know that it made all the difference for my health, and also for my body & mind through pregnancy and when I was laboring and pushing. Can’t thank you guys enough!

Lilly-Jade

I am so thankful for my experience with yoga and I am so excited to continue my practice now that my baby is here.

I love having dedicated ‘me time’ in the calendar. Yoga definitely changed my life. I am more at peace with myself now than I ever have been before.

Kelley L.

Rachelle is so knowledgeable and welcoming and I am so thrilled my sister told me about this gem! She beams warmth and passion for what she does.

She’s an incredible resource and she’s very attentive to everyone’s movement within the class.

I’m very excited that I found Rachelle and this class so early in my pregnancy so that I can make it a part of the rest of my journey.

Barri S.

My prenatal class with Jessica has been the best thing in my life. I am now 29 weeks pregnant, and I know this class has made all the difference in the quality of my pregnancy experience.

I feel healthy, strong and empowered; both mentally and physically. I have Ma Yoga to thank!!

Vicky V.

I am so grateful for the service provided at Ma Yoga. Last night’s class helped soothe my nerves and bring me back to center. The intimacy of the group and the like-mindedness of the other pregnant moms left me feeling cleansed and cared for. Plus, when you’re pregnant, you wonder if all your non-preg friends can really stand to hear more about your pregnant woes and changes, but here, all were completely supportive and understanding, because they’re all in it with you.

Rachelle, the instructor, was not only fantastic, she was kind, compassionate and informative about all things birth related.  Thanks Ma Yoga for your services to pregnant moms. I’ll be spending the rest of my pregnancy (and beyond) with you!

Stephanie A.

Rachelle’s prenatal yoga class saved my sanity in my third trimester. I didn’t start prenatal yoga until I was around 7 months pregnant, and the class allowed me to carve out time to focus on my own wellbeing as well as my baby’s.

I learned so much about healthy pregnancy and from Rachelle and the other women in the class. The breathing techniques also came in super handy for pain management during labor and delivery.

Heidi S.

During my pregnancy Rachelle was my savior! It was my first baby, and my first time doing yoga.

I used so many techniques during my labor and they actually helped! I could hear her calming voice in my ear during contractions. There aren’t any words to express my gratitude for her class.

Kadijah W.

Thank you so much for recommending me to take Melanie’s and Rachel’s classes.

Learning so much from them and my sciatica pain is so much better since I started taking prenatal classes.  Thank you so much.

 

Seno R.

Whether you’ve done Yoga a lot before, or you have never tried it, Jessica is very welcoming and an excellent prenatal yoga teacher.

When I’m having a good day, or having a harder day, there’s really no excuse to not go to Ma Yoga because it 100% makes me feel even better. If you’re looking for a Prenatal class, do this one!

Meghan N.

Jessica is so warm and supportive, with detailed knowledge of the body. She quickly became a key source of support throughout my pregnancy, helping me prepare for the biggest change of my life.

I have recently returned to Mommy and me yoga with my 7 month old and it felt like coming home. I can’t tell you how blissed out I felt all week after yoga. Truly the most amazing yoga class I have taken – such a nurturing and safe space.

LOVE LOVE LOVE my classes with Jessica at Ma Yoga!!! I’ve been attending since I was 21 weeks and I’m now 26 weeks.

I feel more relaxed and calmer about the prospect of giving birth – it was VERY nerve-racking to think of it before I started my classes. It helps you breathe and strengthen and just feel more confident that “you can do this”!!!! 🙂

Kate F.

Jessica Jennings is a talented teacher, and she comes with both nursing and [alignment] expertise- so you are in very good hands when you take her class!

Labe I.

I finally didn’t feel so alone in the journey and I learned so much about what I can do during labor. I literally reared up. Thank you.

Erika L.

Thanks for caring so much and for your amazing class Melanie!

All the techniques I learned and practiced in your yoga class also helped me to achieve this birth.

Patty

Yoga has relieved the discomfort and the aches of pregnancy and made the experience more enjoyable.

It has made me aware of simple things I can correct on a daily basis to relieve common pregnancy symptoms. I learn something new every week.

Melissa C.

Great class with Hayley! She is a confident calming teacher. I really enjoyed her flow and the pace of the whole class.

Savannah F.

Melanie is an amazing instructor and I love her prenatal yoga classes, it has helped me get back my strength and feel like myself again during pregnancy. Overall, I have seen significant improvement in my ongoing back & chest pain as well. I feel very relaxed and flexible after each class and plan to continue it through out my pregnancy.

Anshima R.

I took two abSOULutely fabulous classes today: Morning class with “Lindy” Evening class with Melanie.
Melanie provided us with spectacular pelvis opening poses, Lindy did spectacular upper back opening poses(Lindy was my first class after a long hiatus, she was so soothing and healing for me. I went in feeling rusty and a bit “off”, I left class feeling safe and nurtured.) Melanie’s class was also exceptional; her pelvic openers really soothed my lower back; It is tingling now in a state of ultimate relief!) Both Lindy and Melanie took the time to ask each student how they were feeling and adjusted the class according to what each student needed and was safe to do. I have been a yoga practitioner for approximately 30 years; yoga is my anchor in life. I highly recommend both Lindy and Melanie. They are precious gifts.

Nina R.

When I told a friend that my lower back started hurting, she recommended prenatal yoga. I found Ma Yoga online and started taking Melanie’s classes virtually. Wow, my lower back rarely hurts anymore! The knowledge she shares about how certain poses help this or that during pregnancy is useful, too. I also appreciate the chance to hear what other pregnant participants are experiencing at the start of each class. I’m so glad these classes are available virtually since it’s not easy for me to drive these days without feeling some disequilibrium.

J.P.S.

Thank you so much for recommending me to take Melanie’s and Rachel’s classes. Learning so much from them and my sciatica pain is so much better since I started taking prenatal classes. Thank you so much🙏

Tara J.

The feeling that these amazing ladies, especially dear Melanie, give to pregnant women with pure love, care, peace and knowledge is priceless.

Jessie

Thanks for caring so much and for your amazing class Melanie!

All the techniques I learned and practiced in your yoga class also helped me to achieve this birth.

Marc H.

My Ma Yoga prenatal yoga class was an invaluable part of my pregnancy.

Melanie is such a gifted teacher that cares for your growing belly and your overall health. I know my baby and I became stronger, and flourished because of her instruction!

Wendy O.

Melanie, everything you taught me over the past six months came into play and helped prepare me for that wonderful night.

I will never be able to fully express how honored and grateful I feel for all the wisdom you shared with me as I took your class, but my husband, my mother, and I agree that it all played into my ability to stay focused and have a wonderful child birth experience.

Brookelin

I really loved Kathy’s affirmations around power and continuous encouragement of the mamas and their strength. It was great to practice strengthening muscles during the 1 minute time to prepare for contractions and labor. I really enjoyed doing cat/cow throughout the practice in between shapes and poses before going back into downward dog. The whole practice felt really good in my body. The mantra at the end was beautiful as well: “All that matters is that my baby is healthy and that I am healthy”. Great class!

Jessie B.

I participated in Kathy’s prenatal class today as a mom with a dog, toddler and 4 month old while I was trying to wrap up a work call. Kathy didn’t blink an eye. Instead, she focused on what I was doing amount the commotion and gave me praise. At one point I was holding my little one and she mentioned she would incorporate mom and baby poses so I could incorporate my baby in the practice. My toddler was “participating” in front of the screen and Kathy included her by guiding her to put her hands up or do yoga prayer. I can’t believe how focused and calm Kathy was while not only guiding me but a handful of others. Her voice was calm and soothing and her flow was natural. I could get up leave and join back in with ease. Great job Kathy. Thanks for helping this mom through whatever kind of yoga practice I can get!

Stephanie G.

Such a great class! This was after a year of not doing any yoga and Kathy was amazing. Very personable and welcoming and friendly. I will definitely be attending more of her classes. Thank you!

Kayla C.

Lindy was an amazing instructor. I felt so relaxed after and less tensed. She was also so caring, attentive and took time to talk to each student to know them more.

Bonita C.

On Wednesdays, I feel less physical pain, I always feel more grounded, it’s easier to attend all the needs of my kids. Your class is truly nurturing my soul and my body.

Judit

I really like Rachelle’s class because I find that the exercises she focuses on are really helpful for pregnancy and for labor prep, plus she’s really attentive to different people’s bodies and their varying needs based on belly size and stage of pregnancy. It’s also cool because she’s a doula so her insights to birthing and labor have been really valuable.

Fatimah

Rachelle is so knowledgeable and welcoming and I am so thrilled my sister told me about this gem! She beams warmth and passion for what she does.

Amanda C.

Rachelle’s prenatal yoga class saved my sanity in my third trimester. I didn’t start prenatal yoga until I was around 7 months pregnant, and the class allowed me to carve out time to focus on my own wellbeing as well as my baby’s.

Kathy B.

Rachelle is an INCREDIBLE instructor! I would not have gotten through my pregnancy without her.

Anna G.

During my pregnancy Rachelle was my savior! It was my first baby, and my first time doing yoga.

I used so many techniques during my labor and they actually helped! I could hear her calming voice in my ear during contractions. There aren’t any words to express my gratitude for her class.

Noemi

Last night’s class helped soothe my nerves and bring me back to center. The intimacy of the group and the like-mindedness of the other pregnant moms left me feeling cleansed and cared for.

Rachelle, the instructor, was not only fantastic, she was kind, compassionate and informative about all things birth related. Thanks Ma Yoga – I’ll be spending the rest of my pregnancy (and beyond) with you!

Jane H.

Jessica’s non-prenatal Saturday morning class is a joy! Her focus on alignment has gone a long way to improve my sciatica injury. She is extremely knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and fun. It is a great way to start the weekend.

Gary K.

My class with Jessica has been the best thing in my life. I am now 29 weeks pregnant, and I know this class has made all the difference in the quality of my pregnancy experience.

I feel healthy, strong and empowered; both mentally and physically. I have Ma Yoga to thank!

Danielle S.

Whether you’ve done Yoga a lot before, or you have never tried it, Jessica is very welcoming and an excellent prenatal yoga teacher.

When I’m having a good day, or having a harder day, there’s really no excuse to not go to Ma Yoga because it 100% makes me feel even better. If you’re looking for a Prenatal class, do this one!

Linda E.

LOVE LOVE LOVE my classes with Jessica at Ma Yoga!!! I’ve been attending since I was 21 weeks and I’m now 26 weeks.

I feel more relaxed and calmer about the prospect of giving birth – it was VERY nerve-racking to think of it before I started my classes. It helps you breathe and strengthen and just feel more confident that “you can do this”!!!! 🙂

Keric

Jessica Jennings is a talented teacher, and she comes with both nursing and [alignment] expertise- so you are in very good hands when you take her class!

Saron O.

I googled around and found Ma Yoga. I went to the first free class and enjoyed it. It was harder than I thought it would be, but I left feeling better.

My instructor was Jessica and I really loved her attitude and the class. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I was definitely getting better at all the poses and my balance.

Sarah T.

Practicing yoga with my baby next to me is such a rewarding experience – even if I only get to do a few poses, a little goes a long way.

Jessica is an amazing yoga teacher, especially for pre and post natal women who need a little extra care from an experienced teacher. Her class is challenging, but gentle, and I leave feeling like I’ve had a spa day.

Sara L.

I thoroughly enjoyed my yoga class with Heather Johnson. Taking class with her was so calming and helped me with making more space for baby.

She checks in and explains the poses really well. I could tell she really enjoys teaching and connecting with her students.

I 100% recommend taking one of her classes!

Joanna R.

Hayley is a wonderful teacher, very sweet. I really disconnected and relaxed with her.

Jeanne B.

Every week, I look forward to my prenatal yoga time with Ash. She is an absolutely wonderful teacher and she sets such an empowering, loving, supportive tone to each and every class. She always infuses each session with an intention, a piece of wisdom, or a quote/thought and it’s a powerful way to connect to our bodies, movement, our babies, and the world around us. So thankful I found Ash! 5/5 stars for class every single time.

Anna C.

I absolutely love Ma Yoga! I’ve been taking the prenatal classes since my second trimester and it has made my pregnancy a dream. I really enjoy getting to connect with other mom’s who are going through similar experiences at the beginning of each class and my body has never felt better.

When I first started I had terrible sciatica pain and could barely bend at all, but Ashley was so incredibly helpful with modifications and stretches that released my hamstrings, and before I knew it the pain was completely gone and my body still feels amazing, even now at 38 weeks! I truly look forward to Mondays at 8am with Ashley. Her classes are so healing and truly set the tone for the entire week.

I also take Friday class with Kathy and I love her as well. I am so grateful to have found these classes and I know they are a big reason why I’ve felt so strong and confident throughout this pregnancy. I highly recommend!! It’s a 5/5 experience for sure.

Amanda B.

Enjoyed Heather Kampf’s Friday class! Heather demonstrates poses so that it is easy to follow her instructions; she also checks closely to see that I am in the correct position on the mat to receive the maximum benefit for my body. Stretching, flexibility, and balance are all benefits of Yoga that are emphasized in this class. Easy to see that Heather enjoys teaching her love of Yoga to others!!

Donna C.