Prenatal Yoga in PDX: Part Support Group, Part Ideal Birth Prep

What to expect from yoga when you're expecting

By Allison Jones January 7, 2015

Image: Diego Cervo

Looking for a prenatal class that will help you stay strong, balanced, and informed throughout your pregnancy? Certified Athletic Trainer and yoga instructor Sally Hoesing taps into nearly a decade of birth support as a registered nurse in her new weekend prenatal yoga class at downtown Portland's Julie Lawrence Yoga Center

Here, she shares her approach to yoga for expecting mothers, including the inside scoop on how certain poses can alleviate nausea, fatigue, back pain, and prenatal anxiety.

Hoesing discovered Iyengar yoga while working with athletic teams at the University of Iowa as a part of her degree in sports medicine and athletic training. She realized that much of the rehabilitation work she was doing with her student athletes was very similar to the yoga poses she was practicing. Upon moving to Portland and graduating nursing school, Housing worked at the Family Birth Center at PeaceHealth Southwest Washington.

"Teaching prenatal yoga feels like I’ve married both of my degrees together," shares Hoesing. "While working at the hospital I noticed that some women were fearful—they had expressions similar to a deer in the headlights. They would ask, 'What is happening to me?' When I left the birth center I still wanted to help moms so I thought I would use yoga to help them learn about their bodies and feel strong and confident about their abilities before labor started."

In the new prenatal class at the Iyengar-focused Julie Lawrence Yoga Center, Hoesing weaves together traditional yoga poses that can help alleviate nausea, fatigue, upper and lower back pain with childbirth education and preparation, including talks about postpartum depression, the anatomy of the pelvic floor (and why Kegel’s aren’t actually for everybody). Each class is tailored to what the participating mothers-to-be are going through, modifying along the way: "Every woman, every pregnancy is different. I need to be quick to adjust poses or suggest alternates for those who have specific issues that need to be supported."

The class also offers women a chance to meet others going through the same journey while strengthening their bodies. "It’s like a support group!" she shares. "Moms I taught two summers ago are still getting together, but now with their babies/toddlers."

The prenatal yoga class meets at the Julie Lawrence Yoga Center (1020 SW Taylor St., Suite 780) on Sunday mornings from 11:00 am to noon—and parking is free downtown during that window! Interested students can register for a 6 or 12 week “term”, or drop in as is convenient—classes cost $15 for a drop-in, $10 a class for a six- or 12-week series. Call 503-227-5524 for more details. According to Hoesing, "No yoga experience is required and you can start any time during your pregnancy. The beauty of yoga is that even if there are poses that no longer work, there is still something you can do!" 

Looking for prenatal classes in your part of town? Check out Zenana Spa and Wellness Center on SE Clinton, The Bhaktishop on SE Division, Yoga Shala on N Williams, Mandala Yoga on SE Belmont, and Yoga Pearl on NW Davis. 

Filed under
Show Comments