The ancient practice of yoga goes back over 2,000 years. In the US, it often is packaged as a physical practice to help the body. But in reality, there is no tidy way to separate the physical body from the more subtle aspects of the self: breath, energy, mental state, etc.
The simplest example is the impact of stress: when a stressor enters our life, it creates a cascade of hormonal and physiological changes. We often breathe more shallowly and rapidly, this in turns signals to our nervous system that there is a potential danger and we may need to “fight or flee”, in response the blood rushes away from our vital organs and out to our arms and legs so we can get away from danger fast. It’s a beautiful mechanism to help preserve our life if we get in peril, but is meant to only be a short-term state for our being. The impact though, is on every layer of our self: physical, mental, emotional, etc. Each action and interaction has an impact on our state of “multi-dimensional beingness”!
In a yoga class, even if you think you are only toning your physical body, we are working on our whole beings.
In yogic philosophy, there are considered 8 limbs of yoga, or areas of focus and tenets of the practice: yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Without going into too much detail, you can see that the practice of asana – the physical postures – is only one of the 8 limbs of yoga….it is just one aspect of our practice. The word asana can be translated as “to sit in the seat of the self”. My goal for our practice together is that you find ease and clarity in all layers of your self, not just your physical body!
In Erica’s classes, other aspects of the eight limbs are often woven in, for a more well-rounded practice that addresses the whole multi-dimensional being and honors the roots of yoga.
In this practice, we welcome the being into movement in a thoughtful and deliberate way. With this intentionality, the body often finds the intelligence and space it needs to begin letting go of old patterns that may be inhibiting your whole being’s freedom.
Class is often playful and incorporates traditional yoga as well as conditioning moves from somatics, physical therapy, feldenkrais, and strength training.
Pregnancy is a time of rapid change and transition. Every layer of our self is transforming! Staying grounded, open, and strong can help you embrace and celebrate this transition. Prenatal yoga is a powerful way to support a woman’s body and mind in this sacred journey. Erica has over 150 hours of prenatal training with Jane Austin and Barrett Reinhorn. She also has studied anatomy and therapeutics extensively to help support women through this special time. Last but not least, she is a mama herself!!
Prenatal yoga can help you:
- Help relieve common aches and pains that can accompany pregnancy
- Prepare for childbirth mentally and physically
- Develop focus
- Maintain posture and pelvic floor function
- Find breath and space in your body as baby grows
- Keep your body and mind strong yet supple and open
- Develop community by meeting other mamas to be
- Prepare your body for motherhood
When you are pregnant, nearly all of the focus is on your pregnancy. And when your baby is born, there is so much focus on your baby. Post-birth, the new mom is often left without a lot of resources to process and integrate so many new changes herself. This happens as she heals from birth in a state of sleep deprivation and sometimes isolation. The physical body can also feel strained as it learns the mechanics of baby holding, feeding, etc. The benefits of a yoga practice post-birth can be so profound in helping new moms find ease and vibrancy in their journey, whether it’s a first-time or repeat mom!
Postnatal yoga can help you:
- Support your body during the physical and hormonal changes and healing following birth
- Restore posture and pelvic floor function
- Alleviate aches and pains that the repetitive motions of new motherhood can bring, such as tight shoulders and neck from holding your baby to backache and tight hamstrings from weak abdominals and sitting too much.
- Connect with your baby as you learn how to stretch and move together!!
- Restore and renew your being even during times of sporadic sleep
- Find some time for you! So much of the postpartum period is about baby, this time can be about recharging you so you can continue to be a strong mama for your babe.
- Meet other new mamas and babies.
Erica’s postnatal classes weave in traditional yoga as well as therapeutic conditioning movements rooted in physical therapy, strength training, somatics and feldenkrais. We focus mostly on what you need as a mama, and you attend to your baby in the room whenever he/she needs your focus for a few minutes. At the end of class, we do some baby yoga so your little one can also feel the benefits of practice as he/she gets used to being in their new little body!