#fitforlife: post-partum yoga at mind the mat

I like being active but would never describe myself as athletic; sports and weight lifting intimidate me. I’ve practiced yoga for 10+ years though and regularly enjoy pilates, dance, walking and hiking – these are my kind of workouts so I was excited to try a class at Mind the Mat. I had a baby 8.5 months ago and was thrilled to see so many prenatal and post-partum yoga and pilates classes on their schedule. I decided to sign up for the Post-partum Core Yoga class taught by Sara, one of Mind the Mat’s lovely owners, on Thursday night.

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After Oliver was born, the weight itself came off pretty quickly but my body is still a bit out of whack from the pregnancy and post-partum experience. Nine months of weakened ab muscles during pregnancy has left me, almost nine months after giving birth, with ab muscles that still feel like they’re just hanging out there, I have not regained much strength in that area. And, almost nine months of breast feeding and carrying around a babe have resulted in tight and hunched over shoulders and an aching back.

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Just one post-partum core yoga class left me feeling like everything had been put back in place. I was standing up straighter, my shoulders didn’t feel hunched over anymore and my abs felt stronger than they had since before I became pregnant and I felt these effects for a few days after the class. The class felt like physical therapy so I was not surprised when Sara told me that, Megan, her co-owner has a physical therapy background and, together, they have designed all of their programs.

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The other thing I loved about the class is the encouraged sense of community within the group. Since everyone has young children, you instantly have something in common with all the women in the class. We practiced with our yoga mats facing each other, introduced ourselves, partnered up for exercises and talked about our current triumphs throughout our practice and, afterward, I ended up sticking around for about half an hour chatting with Sara, who has a three year old, and the other moms in the class. I will definitely be back and look forward to trying the other post-partum classes at Mind the Mat!

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