Prenatal yoga classes are available on campus for expecting mothers and fathers.
The class emphasizes the methodical inhales, exhales, meditation, relaxation and strong mental process of traditional yoga practice as directed by the instructor.
According to www.babycenter.com prenatal yoga is beneficial because it helps expecting mothers learn to breathe deeply and relax.
This will aid in the physical demands of labor, birth and motherhood.
Kimber Larsen, a yoga instructor and expecting mother of 8 months, said there is more to this class than traditional yoga.
“This class helps mothers to appreciate the amazing transformation they are going through as their bodies develop in the process of preparing to give birth and bring life,” Larsen said.
Larsen said another purpose of this class is to help the expecting mother make a mental and spiritual connection with her child before it is born.
“We begin and end class with deep meditation,” Larsen said. “We start with one hand on our heart and the other on our stomach. Through this meditation process we are able to make both a mental as well as a spiritual connection with our child.”
Larsen said the hands on the chest and stomach represent the love from the mother’s heart connecting to the unborn child.
“It gives you the opportunity to send positive energy to your baby, your love and excitement for their arrival,” Larsen said.
Michael Larsen, a sophomore studying electrical engineering and Kimber Larsen’s husband, assists his wife in directing the class.
He said helping his wife instruct this course has helped him connect with his wife and their unborn child.
“In the beginning of her pregnancy, I didn’t feel quite as connected to our child because it is in her,” Michael Larsen said. “Later in the pregnancy, I started to recognize that we are going to have another member of our family, together.”
Michael Larsen said that instructing this class with his wife has helped him build an appreciation for the pregnancy process that his wife is experiencing.
“She is carrying the weight of the child every day,” Michael Larsen said. “My biggest role is making sure I am there for my spouse. During the delivery she will do all of the work, but through helping her instruct this class, I can be a sport to her in the preparation process and also in the delivery.”
Expecting cole Cami Bohn, a senior studying physics education, and DJ Bohn, a junior studying electrical engineering, are 15 weeks into her pregnancy.
Both agree that this course has unified them as an expecting cole.
“This is our third time attending this class,” Cami Bohn said. “It has united us both, it is good for the baby and it gives us the opportunity to exercise and prepare together.”
DJ Bohn said attending prenatal yoga has tested his flexibility and physical strength more than he expected.
“This is our first child,” DJ Bohn said. “This class has helped put into perspective that we are actually going to be providing for and nurturing a child soon.”
Kimber Larsen said the most important principle and truth that she wants expecting mothers to take away from this class is confidence in themselves and in their body.
“One of the worst things a mother can do for their child is be stressed and create a negative environment for the baby to grow and develop in,” Kimber Larsen said. “We encourage the pull of positive energy and help mothers possess that so their babies will have happy and positive environments to grow and develop in.”
Kimber Larsen said expecting mothers who participate in prenatal yoga strengthen their bodies and are more prepared to bring their children into the world.
“Because we have physically prepared our bodies through breathing practices, through the opening of the hips, the strengthening of the legs, we develop a confidence in our bodies and in our own ability and strength,” Kimber Larsen said. “We aren’t frightened about delivering.”
Kimber Larsen encouraged mothers in the prenatal and postnatal stages of motherhood to participate in yoga.
“Know that your body is stronger than you think it is,” Kimber Larsen said. “We all have mental barriers, but we can work through them with meditation. When you open your mind and begin to realize the strength of your body, you are capable of so much more.”
Prenatal yoga classes are held Tuesdays and Thursday from 8:00-9:00 p.m. in the Hart 141.