Hi, I’m Jessica Jennings, the founder of Ma Yoga for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond. I started teaching Prenatal Yoga in 2001, but I didn’t fall in love with it for a while.
My prenatal training had a lot of do’s and don’ts – mostly don’ts.
It seemed to me that my pregnant students could do a lot, but there was so much fear and pregnancy exercise.
And they needed to stay strong so they could carry baby – inside and out.
I also saw a transformation happening in my mamas, from anxious and overwhelmed to powerful Mama Bear.
And started thinking: how does this happen for some, and not others?
I realized it was about getting just a little of the right kind of guidance, support, and inspiration to become the “Ma” we want to be.
It was exploring our possibilities together at every step, making space in body, mind and heart for this new being within us.
This is what I see as the opportunity that pregnancy offers: to step in to our nurturing energy, wisdom, and power – together.
My New Mom Challenges
When I became pregnant, I was teaching prenatal yoga three times a week almost an hour away in traffic.
I felt so lucky to be part of a community of mamas, and to be able to relieve my own aches and pains, de-stress, and enjoy this exciting adventure with my “Mama Circle”.
But when I became a mom, I felt depleted and isolated.
It was too hard to get all the way across the city with my baby to see my mom friends from prenatal yoga.
Plus, my body didn’t feel like mine and I didn’t have a strong enough home practice to really break out of my patterns to heal.
I realized that if it was hard for me, a prenatal yoga teacher, then clearly it’s not enough to provide prenatal yoga classes that help moms-to-be get out of pain, relieve stress and prepare for labor.
It’s vital to provide yoga, education and community for the entire journey to motherhood and long beyond, especially postpartum.
My Dream of Providing Yoga for Pregnancy and Postpartum for Mamas Everywhere is Born
In 2009, I founded Ma Yoga for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond, a unique method of prenatal yoga and postpartum recovery that combined my Kinesiology background with the opportunity that prenatal yoga brings.
My vision: a “Mama Circle” in every neighborhood in the country.
More than 18,000 women received support, guidance and inspiration in our ten Mama Circles – prenatal yoga and mom and baby yoga classes in Southern California at non-studio locations like toddler music centers and Ob/Gyn offices.
And then… Covid happened and we went virtual.
Suddenly, moms and moms-to-be everywhere had the chance to hop in to an expert-taught, personalized class right from the living room.
People joined us from every state in the US – and beyond!
My vision for a “Mama Circle” in every neighborhood was manifesting in a way I had never imagined.
It was the same with our teacher trainees – Ma Yoga for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond is also an internationally-registered RPYT online prenatal yoga school, and suddenly I was able to train yoga teachers all over the world to start their own Mama Circles.
And we’re still growing…
Women need support during pregnancy and postpartum more than ever. One out of three women say their birth was traumatic, and one out of seven experiences some level of depression before or after birth. Yoga has been shown to reduce depression in pregnant women in many studies.
Find out more about the benefits of prenatal yoga and what makes Ma Yoga different by joining us for a free online prenatal yoga or postpartum yoga class!
Jessica Jennings, MS
Ma Yoga® Founder