A wonderful overview of our Mama Sana/Vibrant Women program written by PURE Action Community Programs Director and Volunteer Coordinator, Stephanie Jain.
Yoga Para Embarazadas
As an instructor for PURE Action, I have had the opportunity to share the benefits of yoga in a number of settings – health clinics, recovery centers, public libraries, affordable housing facilities, and most recently, birthing circles!
What’s a birthing circle? It is a community of mothers learning to care for themselves and their babies, while connecting to local resources. And Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman is a grassroots organization in Austin that facilitates birthing circles – free, bilingual educational programs for pre- and post-natal women of color. As part of the program, for 30 minutes every two weeks we take the time to strengthen and lengthen our muscles, to breathe “baby breaths,” and to navigate the many changes brought on by pregnancy and childbirth. It may not sound like much, but the impact is visible – at the end of class, no one is ready to leave.
How do we do it? We begin by placing one hand over the heart, the other with the baby. We breathe well and deeply, sensing this new life forming within. We then move, focusing either on stretching or strengthening the areas most needed for childbirth and motherhood: the hips, back, shoulders, and arms. We follow the movement with a fleeting moment of rest, of blissful quiet. Finally, we close our time together with gratitude and encouragement to continue practicing this yoga at home. Sometimes we even eat chocolate (dark, of course).
It has been a privilege to share movement and breath with these lovely women. The experience has challenged me to learn more about prenatal yoga and to improve my spoken Spanish. And I feel grateful to the leaders of Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman for their influential work in our community!
– Stephanie Jain
PURE Action Community Programs Director
*Since November 2016, PURE Action has offered prenatal yoga classes to the Mama Sana Vibrant Women community! This FREE class is bilingual and serves all participants in the birthing circle. Class is not open to the public and is intended for those who register by phone. Please call 512-710-5729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to the program’s continued success and to sharing future updates.*