Way before I was pregnant, I promised myself that I’d be joining those cute mamas I see coming in and out of the yoga studio nestled within a cute alley entrance off Queen Street East in Leslieville. As soon as I hit week 9 and felt comfortable with resuming some form of workout, I got myself an annual unlimited membership at Toronto Yoga Mamas. I wish ALL you mamas have an opportunity to visit this studio because it is by far one of the best (and highly recommended) community I’ve ever been a part of.
This is not just a yoga studio but it is a place of gathering for expecting moms and moms to experience their pregnancy and motherhood journey together at every stage. From yoga, barre, wellness services, doula care, to educational workshops, Toronto Yoga Mamas offers physical and emotional support at every stage of your pregnancy.
I try my best to make it to prenatal yoga at least once or twice a week. With a super busy work schedule and quite frankly less energy, going once a week is already a win for me. And every time I leave the studio, I feel so much better and so glad I got myself out of bed on a weekend to join there other expecting moms in class.
I practiced hot yoga before I got pregnant and I will say that prenatal yoga is much more relaxed version (and rightfully so) but the instructors always give options to intensify or to dial down depending on your physical needs. They also offer non prenatal yoga classes which are suitable for all, so there are so many varieties for you to consider at this studio.
Don’t underestimate the power of breathing, especially when you’re pregnant. Not only does it prepare you for labor but I found breathing brought me more connected to my baby in the belly, ease pain in deep (deep) places, and also opening up my chest where recently seems to have barely any room left at all. I’ve also found myself out of breath doing the most mundane activities and taking dedicated time to devote to breathing is such a beautiful and healthy thing.
When you’re pregnant, there are ample of pains and aches to be experienced. Some come and go but some can last all throughout your pregnancy. I’ve shared openly on Instagram that I’ve battled with very uncomfortable tailbone pains since week 12. I was so shocked that the pains hit me so early. I had always thought pains won’t creep up until the belly is much bigger. But in my case, I guess the relaxin were already at play and ligaments were shifting and moving, creating some major issues for me even when I sat down for only 10 minutes at my desk. Going to prenatal yoga acted as a source of pain release and the stretching and opening up of the hips can also be a form of self massage therapy.
A Mom Community
Perhaps it may be a different case at other studios but I found it emotionally beneficial to meet other expecting moms who also attended these classes at Toronto Yoga Mamas.
Everything is new when you experience pregnancy for the first time and knowing that others are too, is such a sense of relief.
At the beginning of each class, we go around the room to introduce ourselves, share how far along we are and any specific pains, aches or feelings we are having. It’s just a few seconds around the horn but hearing that others are also loosing sleep, feeling exhausted or conversely having a great deal of energy, really helped with knowing that whatever I was experiencing is actually ‘normal’!
Did I mention that one of the most enjoyable things about this studio is the you need to bring NOTHING but yourself with you? Mats, props, tea, and water all all provided complimentary and that’s so lovely when baby brain has officially taken over your life!
In addition to yoga, there are also many other classes including barre which I would recommend if you want a great full body (particularly lower body) workout.
And lastly, doing a bit of shopping post workout is never a bad idea! Toronto Yoga Mamas has a boutique carrying an array of super cute baby items, mama spa favorites and recommended reads. Most of the items are locally sourced and made with quality, top notch materials. It’s hard not to get distracted by all the cuteness!
If you are expecting, in the postpartum period or thinking about motherhood, I highly recommend joining this community at Toronto Yoga Mamas. You will find so many resources and services suitable at all stages and I’d love to see you at one of the yoga classes!
This post was created in partnership with Toronto Yoga Mamas. All opinions and experiences are my own.