Private Yoga Instruction
My Pregnancy Story
I am so excited to share with you my prenatal perspective. I have been practicing yoga seriously for 8 years and for the last 4 years I've taught movie stars, pop stars and all sorts of fancy people that paid me to keep them looking “Hollywood ready.” As a teacher I developed yoga sets that sculpted the body and cleared the mind. My “skinny-girl flow” with a booty lift was a favorite of my clients. Yoga had clearly brought a whole new dimension to my life and I loved both my practice and my clients.
Then I got pregnant and everything changed. Since yoga was such a foundational part of my life I knew that I didn't want to give up on it just because a baby was on the way. As a matter of fact I knew that if I didn't abandon my yoga practice during my pregnancy that it wouldn't abandon me during the magical months to come.
I started a renewed yoga practice beginning with the early days of my pregnancy and stuck with it until the day I delivered Ava. Being a conscientious yoga teacher, I approached my practice as if I was training for a long and drawn-out labor. Having heard stories of 30 hour labors gave me plenty of motivation to be ready for whatever was to come.
I knew that my body needed to change to welcome Ava into this world, but I didn't want to put on needless “pregnancy pounds” that would be difficult to shed afterward. So I embarked on a journey learning everything I could about yoga practice and nutrition for a mother to be.
Discovering my path
The first thing my clients and friends asked when I got pregnant was if I was going to make a prenatal video to help other women. While the idea sounded like something I might enjoy doing I really didn't know if I was ready to undertake a project like this. I had never been pregnant before let alone taught what it is like to be pregnant while doing yoga! So I decided to investigate what “prenatal” yoga looked like in my community.
It was an interesting journey. The prenatal yoga classes that I attended seemed more like a social hour. They didn't challenge me to adapt to the changes that were taking place in my body nor did they help me relax. I would leave these classes feeling frustrated because I knew that there was no way I was going to avoid that dreaded pregnancy weight with what was being sold as "prenatal fitness"
I then decided to go to my normal class but would often burn out after 45 minutes and had to make constant modifications. Because I teach yoga, I was able to push my edge safely and I was confident enough to give myself permission to lay on my back when I knew I was done. So I knew then that I needed to use my gifts and knowledge to see me through to the birth of baby. I learned how and when to push myself and when to take time off, to modify poses or stop using them all together...and I learned about the importance of patience and love.
Whatever I was doing worked because I only put on 25 pounds, delivered at home, was in labor for 4 hours and pushed my daughter out in ten minutes. I attribute all of it to practicing yoga throughout my pregnancy.
Sharing my path
Happily I am now pregnant a second time and am excited to share all that I've learned about this thing we call prenatal yoga. I am practicing at home and tailoring my sessions to give baby and me exactly what we need to grow and progress together.
I've decided to record it all and draw from my own daily practice to put together a Prenatal Vinyasa flow program. The program contains three full body workouts designed to be used throughout your pregnancy. I found with my own practice that the biggest variable on the day to day was my energy level. To address this I have developed a 20 min set a 40 min set and an hour set for you to choose depending on the needs and demands of your body on a day-to-day basis.
Jessica's Prental Vinyasa Flow DVD is out 2013!!
We Heart Yoga: Prenatal Vinyasa Flow
Jessica James offers a unique prenatal yoga program that is designed with you in mind! Known in Hollywood as the “celebrity's secret weapon,” Jessica is a celebrated yoga teacher with students that include Jessica Alba and Kate Beckinsale. In this program Jessica brings you her experience as a yoga teacher and she does so with a twist...she is 7 months pregnant with her second child, so she knows exactly what you are going through!
Many prenatal yoga DVD's are soothing and gentle, but they really don't meet the needs of the pregnant woman who is serious about working with her body. Every pregnant women is concerned about weight gain and knows that labor and delivery are just around the corner, so Jessica has designed these workouts to get you in “pregnancy shape” and keep you there! Jessica's workouts are fun and energetic and you will be challenged in a way that you’ve never been before.
In this program you will find a no-nonsense, yet easy to follow series designed for yoga mom's to be. Whether you are a beginner or a devoted yoga practitioner, this program offers the challenge and support you need to keep you healthy and strong. Since energy and strength levels will vary during your pregnancy, this program includes 3 complete yoga sequences from which to choose.
3 complete yoga sequences to choose from:
#1- A 20 min cardio set to burn calories and simple stretches when time is limited or your energy is low.
#2- A 40 min set focused on getting you ready for all of the changes that your body goes through during pregnancy using poses of stabilization and breath work.
#3- A 60 min full body set to strengthen the lower back and shoulders which is needed to support the additional weight gained during pregnancy. This segment concludes with deep and relaxing stretches and a simple guided meditation that sends light and love to your baby.
• 5 minute guided labor preparation meditation
Yoga Modification Basics
Okay, so here's the deal. Before you begin or continue any exercise during pregnancy, check with your doctor. I know you hear that at the beginning of every exercise program, but it really is important. Your body is going to undergo some serious change in these next nine months and you want to discover everything you can about things that might keep your yoga practice from going full steam ahead. So see your physician and tell him/her about this amazing yoga practice that you are about to embark on and honestly seek their advice.
Here are some of the things I learned in my last pregnancy and hope will be a blessing to you!
First Trimester:-Practice as much as you are able! If nausea and tiredness show up on any give day, recognize them as signs that your baby needs lots of attention today, love yourself and be confident that your second trimester will be different!
-If you pike or jump, skip it for now and just step forward and back
-Stop twisting. I stopped around the end of my first trimester, if you listen to your body you will know when it is time. It can stop proper circulation to the fetus if you twist to extremes.
-Skip shoulder stands. Keep the heart and lungs open instead.
-No need for "breath of fire" or any breath work besides long deep ujaii breath. You and your baby need the oxygen and it brings an incredible sense of relaxation and well-being.
Second Trimester:-Stop abdominal work. Yay! Your core needs to expand now so enjoy laying off the crunches.
-Once the baby's head is down you want to keep it there, so skip inversions unless of course you are encouraging your baby to turn.
-Gentle stretching feels so good right now because a hormone called elastin has kicked in encouraging your body to open and make room for passage of the baby. But be careful not to overdue it, the last thing you want is to have something pulled for your labor.
Third Trimester:-Skip the deep back bends. You could accidentally disconnect your placenta from the uterine wall. Remember, after your beautiful baby is born your whole yoga practice will embrace you with open arms...for now, love-love-love!
Remember that it is your responsibility to protect yourself through out your pregnancy. We want healthy mommies and healthy babies so if you have a competitive drive or a desire to be perfect now is the time to enjoy letting that go. What matters most is that you show up on your mat and breath.