Saturday, September 5, 2009

Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

THE WORKOUT: Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga


WHO CAN DO THIS: Intermediate or advanced yogis who are pregnant or who are at least six to eight weeks past giving birth.

THE BREAKDOWN: I’m not pregnant and never have been, so obviously my expertise here is limited, at best. But I have ignored so many DVDs for pregnant women and mommies, I decided to check this one out. I liked the other Element DVD I've done, and certainly can image the benefits yoga can provide for a hard-working pregnant and postnatal body.

These two 30-minute practices, one for pre- and one for postnatal, are designed by New York yogi Elena Brower, mother of a toddler, who demonstrates a postnatal workout. The prenatal workout is demonstrated by Lucy Bivins in her third trimester. Hm, I should be so strong and flexible even without toting another person around on my midsection.

Neither of these is appropriate for a yoga novice. The flow segments move fairly quickly and with chair poses, sundry warriors, planks, sun salutations, pigeon poses, triangles, down dogs and down dog splits, both workouts pack plenty of stretch and toning into 30 minutes. They appear to me to be less modified for pregnant and postnatal bodies than designed to provide helpful stretching and strengthening for those times. (And certainly the poses are chosen for their appropriateness.) The postnatal workout includes attention to strengthening the pelvic floor.

Affirmations include a moment of gratitude to anyone who has made it possible for mommy to eke out a 30-minute workout. Having witnessed the challenges friends have faced caring for infants, I know that any me-time is valuable indeed for new mommies. The postnatal workout includes a little reminder that (and I paraphrase) a calm and happy mommy makes for a calm and happy family.

THE SWEAT FACTOR: Plenty of sweat.

BUT IS IT FUN? It’s pleasant.

WHEN IT'S OVER: I had been off my exercise program for about a week when I took this DVD on, doing one workout each on two consecutive days. On the third day, I was a little sore from butt to shoulders.

GEAR AND APPAREL: Nothin’ special.

FINAL WORD: A good one to keep you toned and bendy during pregnancy and beyond.

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Natalie said...

Hi can i ask you a question. I have never had a baby and not planning to have one but am looking for a dvd hopefully yoga to target pelvic floor. Would this Dvd be suitable or do u know of another one. Possibly not too long aswell. Thanx. Nat.

Sophie said...

Hi Natalie. Although I have not yet tried it, there is a DVD called Pilates for Better Sex that focuses on the pelvic floor and Kegel exercises and another called InControl: Pelvic Exercises for Women (I have not tried this one either).

If you try either of these, I would love to hear your impressions.

Anonymous said...

Sun salutations are obviously a huge part of yoga. But they can be modified to meet your physical needs. I found Leeann Carey has a free yoga video on this that your readers might like: