FREE Prenatal & Post-pregnancy Health Expert Forum This Weekend!

If you read Megan’s post We Can Do Better last week, you know that we need to change the way we take care of women during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. For that reason, Mind the Mat is hosting a FREE Expert Forum called M-Power to Empower at our Del Ray location this Saturday from 2:30-4:30pm. That big capital M stands for MOM and remember the old adage: “if mom isn’t happy, no one is.”

 Post-pregnancy fitness 

There are so many ways to support moms during pregnancy and after birth that we almost never hear about. Some of the clients who come to my prenatal and post-pregnancy classes were born in Africa, Asia, India, South and Central America, where many of these practices are still alive and well, and they talk to me about the difference in care here in the United States. For example, did you know that it takes a woman forty days to fully recover from birth, physically (both internally and externally), hormonally, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Traditions from all over the world acknowledge and respect this. In the first forty days after birth, mothers get massaged, fed bone broth soup daily, go through a full body cleanse regimen with special herbs, take herbal baths, and are wrapped periodically to help their joints and internal organs come back into place and stabilize. During this time, mom’s job is to rest, feed, and bond with her baby.

Cupping during an acupuncture treatment

In many other countries, this kind of care happens when a woman has a healthy, unmedicated birth. What if she has had a C-section? What if her abdominals have separated and she has diastasis recti? What if she is depressed and anxious? Wouldn’t it make sense that she would need even more time to recover and extra care?

Taking pulses during acupuncture treatment

The truth is that the way a woman is cared for during and after pregnancy will effect how she bonds with her baby, as well as her overall health in the short term and in the long term as she ages and goes through menopause. At Mind the Mat’s Free Expert Forum this Saturday, top professionals in the fields of chiropractic, physical therapy, doula work, acupuncture, holistic obstetrics, and naturopathic medicine will share what they know about taking care of women. You will learn about concepts and practices that you may never have heard of before. Did you know, for example, that endometriosis can be successfully addressed through physical therapy and visceral manipulation, that vaginal steaming can remedy fibroids, or that acupuncture is one of the most effective treatments for hormonal imbalance and infertility issues?


Who will be there to answer your questions? These five experts!


Dr. Adrino Flevotomos, Chiropractor

Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN

Dr. Elizabeth Polis, Physical Therapist

Njemile Carol Jones, Licensed Acupuncturist

Stuart Saltzman, RN and Complementary Medicine Practitioner


  • The latest from Sara
co-owner, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500 | Mind the Mat
Sara VanderGoot, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500, is Co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates and Yoga and Director of Mind the Mat Yoga Alliance certified teacher training program. Sara is an experienced Registered Yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. She studied Interdisciplinary Yoga with Don and Amba Stapleton in Nosara, Costa Rica and at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Sara is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, licensed by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Sara has been practicing massage therapy, including specialties Prenatal Massage, Postpartum Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Thai Yoga Massage, in Del Ray, Alexandria for over 15 years and a yoga instructor for 7 years. At Mind the Mat she specializes in Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Core Yoga, Mommy and Me Core Yoga, Partners Yoga, and Hot Flow Yoga. Sara frequently acts as a birth companion for many of her clients, doing massage and yoga during labor and delivery to facilitate comfort during both medicated and unmedicated births. Before becoming a massage therapist and yoga instructor, she was a lawyer in the Washington D.C. area and found that the healing practices of massage and yoga brought a balance to her life that she had been searching for.

Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.

Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.     

2214 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


1 Comment

  1. Avatar Emily O Kimm says:

    I LOVE that you are providing this workshop! So great! I have to admit, though, I bristled a bit at the “full 40 days to recover.” I am going on my 40th *month* post-first childbirth and have not fully recovered. I have been breastfeeding and had a second child since, which certainly add up against “bouncing back,” but I have a birth injury that has persisted since 2016. I am doing yoga and PT which helps but the issue cannot fully resolve until I stop breastfeeding my second and the relaxin hormone can recede. That I know what’s happening makes it (a little) less frustrating and a lot more empowering. Which is why your workshop is so great! Awareness is key! BUT: Please set realistic expectations so women 1) know what to expect (what does “full recovery” mean? Weight loss? A return to pre-pregnancy athletic ability?) and, more crucially, 2) ensure women don’t feel like failures for feeling less than fully put back together a mere 40 days after having their insides rearranged due to childbirth. The latter is just fodder for postpartum anxiety.

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