When my life started towards the path of teaching and sharing yoga, I knew that I wanted to teach prenatal yoga. I believe that people at all ages and stages of life should experience the benefits of what yoga has to offer. I also knew I wanted to surround myself with beautiful women in the midst of one of the most amazing experiences of their lives.
In fact, I think I was aware long before I began teaching yoga. I felt it during the birth of my first child. I have gone through the labor process twice. Three times if you count my own entry into this world. Unfortunately, I don’t have any recollection of that particular journey. Can you imagine if we could remember that rollercoaster ride?
I found the entire birthing journey to be an unbelievably empowering and enlightening experience. I truly believe that every woman should be given a superhero cape after giving birth.
Growing a human being is right up there with the ability to fly or become invisible. I am convinced that one of the most amazing things is that our bodies already know how to do all of this. Even if we don’t fully understand or fear the process, our bodies take over. They are capable of growing a being, a soul. And, these incredible bodies of ours already understand the process of bringing that soul into this world. If that doesn’t deserve a cape, I don’t know what does.
I am the type of person who needs all of the information. So, as I was preparing for the birth of my children, I took every class available. I read all the books. I found the class that had the most impact on my birth experience was my weekly yoga class.
During labor, as each sensation grew stronger, I knew that I needed to stay calm. With each surge, I closed my eyes and focused on my breath. It was the one thing I knew I could control. I could keep myself relaxed, calm, and in the moment by slowing down and guiding each inhale and each exhale.
Later, I realized that I wanted to be able to help other women with this revelation. You can stay calm by controlling your breath? Who knew? I know it seems like such a simple, obvious thing. But when things get rough, you forget all about a little thing like breathing.
So, I signed up for the nearest prenatal yoga training as soon as I got my RYT (registered yoga teacher) certificate through Yoga Alliance. I was both thrilled and nervous. I would be leaving my babies for a week and my mother-in-law was coming to take over my role as Chief Play Officer, Chauffeur, Cook (and the countless other things a stay-at-home Mom does). Clearly, I was terrified.
My prenatal yoga teacher training was nothing short of amazing. I was surrounded by a beautiful group of strong women who supported each other fully. We shared laughter and tears. We learned to truly listen, see, and support the amazing women around us. It is a practice that is much needed in the journey through motherhood. I learned so much more than just yoga during the training. I also learned about myself as a person, about who I am as a Mother, a Daughter, a Woman, a Soul. And that I, as are all of us, am an ever-changing being.
I fully believe each woman’s passage through pregnancy, birth, and labor is radiant and unique. I am honored to be a small part of any woman’s journey into motherhood.
And if you need a hand, I am more than happy to help you tie on your cape.
By Jessica Llanas, RYT, RPYT and superhero mama of two. Find her Thursday evenings and some Saturday mornings teaching prenatal yoga at Enso.
I can't believe this day is here.
Today, our Enso-baby turned TWO.
I've seen this happen to other families, their babies learning to walk, talk, (talk back), and I never really imagined it would happen to us. But today is that day, two candles on the cake and a whole new level of awareness.
We jumped on Suite 10 when it unexpectedly became available, rather than operating out of our third floor location, as we had planned.
(Kind of like SURPRISE! TWINS!)
People often ask us how two women without children could possibly run a space like Enso. It's well-meaning, I'm sure, but I want to answer the way women with children answer. We just do it. We love what we do. We have the same ups and downs that new families do - moments when we are crying in the bathroom wondering if we will ever make it out of this stage, as well as moments in the sunshine, when everything seems to fall magically into place.
We live off of string cheese.
(And we're always finding Cheerios in things...).
We've done a lot this past year, so here are a few of our highlights:
- Added several childbirth education classes
- Boosted our postpartum offerings (adding sign language, pediatric CPR, and Mama Yoga)
- Branched out into the world of henna!
- Completed our first Mom & Me Yoga teacher training
- Held our first Artist's Bazaar
We now have 25 different instructors at Enso, consignment artists, supportive mamas who assist with hosting and marketing, and countless families who have benefited from our services.
While some months have been harder than others, we are thrilled (and sometimes surprised) that we're still growing. Thank you for sharing your most important times with us - your laughter and tears, your feedback and heart-felt endorsements. We couldn't do what we do without your support.
We know you are stretched thin, your time, your patience. But in the moments when you see something we've shared, when you cross paths with a lost-looking mama or pregnant woman, when you visit with your care provider, we appreciate you speaking your voice on our behalf. Whether that is sharing a post on Facebook, inviting a friend to Meet the Doulas, or educating your provider about what we do. THANK YOU.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.