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One of the best things for your body throughout pregnancy is staying active. But, as I’m sure you know, this is no small feat! Not only is your body rapidly changing, but you’re also tired. Pregnancy may be exciting, but it’s certainly not easy, and the idea of adding in exercise is enough to inspire a three-hour nap. Finding the perfect prenatal yoga studio in Portland is your answer! While the activity adds in your much-needed exercise, it also works to ease the strain pregnancy puts on your body. Prenatal yoga is proven to improve mental health and sleep, decrease the pain that pregnancy puts on your body, and build up the strength your muscles need for childbirth.
At-home yoga has become a hit in recent years with access to the internet. However, there’s still something magical about heading into a yoga studio and meeting other women in this same season of life. Not only do yoga studios create an atmosphere that will help center you and take you away from the stresses of life, but they will also give you a chance to create some bonds that will last long after your baby is born. They say it takes a village, and I’d like to think a yoga studio is where you find it! As a maternity photographer, I talk to quite a few pregnant yogis. Here are some of the Portland prenatal yoga studios my clients have come to love.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists endorses yoga as a safe and effective form of exercise during pregnancy. While you may have to modify the moves, it is so beneficial to your mind and body. Prenatal yoga helps with flexibility, helps you learn to regulate breathing, and can also help with getting through emotional and mental changes that all pregnant women have at some point in their pregnancy.
It can help ease lower backaches, improve digestion (and, in some cases, help you avoid acid reflux!), and gives you a sense of connection with your baby. On top of all these awesome benefits, joining a yoga class can be beneficial because you’ll get to meet other mamas who are right there with you! Having a sense of community around you is so important (and I think often overlooked) when you are pregnant.
Ready Set Grow is a Northeast Portland studio centered around your growing body. The studio was started in 2019 by fellow mama Daniele Strawmyre. Since then, she has focused on building an inclusive environment that welcomes people both in the prenatal and postpartum phases. The studio offers dance, Pilates-based core classes, and yoga. Most instructors are happy to let you bring your children to class, meaning you don’t have to stress about leaving your baby with someone in those early postpartum months. The staff includes educators, lactation consultants, doulas, and parents. They limit class sizes so you can be sure you’re receiving the attention you need. Plus, they have a video library so you can access the power of the studio from the comfort of your home. Visit their website to learn more about their services.
The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center (or the BYMC for short) is a center that offers both in-person and on-demand yoga classes. The studio provides fantastic prenatal courses specifically designed to strengthen necessary muscles and increase flexibility. They also have a type designated to help your body recover after childbirth. The studio accepts every part of you. On top of its stellar courses, the studio goes out of its way to be an inclusive, accessible community. While you’ll fall in love with their prenatal classes, I’m optimistic you’ll continue returning to the lovely environment. If you would like to learn more, check out their website.
Yoga Refuge is a little oasis in the middle of a busy city. This Portland prenatal yoga studio is open and airy, with lush plants and polished floors. They believe in creating a space that welcomes positive energy and centers the mind. You’ll come in and feel the stress melt away! On top of private sessions and on-demand videos, the studio offers specialty yoga classes, including prenatal yoga. Instead of giving you an ordinary yoga course with general modifications, this class will focus on breath support and building your emotional and physical self. Their prenatal course is perfect for any point in pregnancy! Find out more on their website.
Carol Gray founded Mamaspace Yoga after realizing the benefits it had in her own life. Her first baby was occiput posterior, and the birth was traumatic. When pregnant with her second baby, she incorporated yoga poses to improve positioning, which worked! After that, she became a woman on a mission. Her entire Portland prenatal yoga studio is devoted to helping mothers at all stages, including preconception. The studio offers specialty classes such as fertility yoga, postpartum recovery, and late pregnancy yoga. You’ll feel equipped to give birth by that last trimester. And once your baby comes, you’ll love their postpartum on-demand videos. These stop at any point so you can take care of your little one before returning to your mat. Check out their website to find out more.
Xenana is a spa devoted to pampering. Whether you want a prenatal massage, a holistic facial, or a great stretch, this Portland prenatal yoga studio has options. The studio has a rich video library filled with classes of all forms. Additionally, they offer a variety of yoga classes designed for all levels and life stages. Their gentle classes include yin and restorative yoga, where you will work on strengthening different poses for longer durations. Their slow flow is a fantastic way to work on using breathwork to power you through your practice. And their meditation will let you destress and find your center. The studio is also devoted to making yoga accessible to all, offering a sliding scale so that a lack of funds won’t stop you from practicing. You can learn more about the spa and studio on their website.
Brave Birth is a prenatal yoga studio devoted to helping expecting families across Portland, Vancouver, and the surrounding areas. The center can match you with a doula, provide helpful birthing classes, or assist you the first night you bring home your baby. While all these services are serious life-savers, I love their prenatal yoga classes. Jen Reed, the center’s doula, leads these classes. She instructs her students from inside Modo Yoga in Southeast Portland. Her classes incorporate breathwork, pelvic floor strengthening, and mental visualization. Attending these courses, you’ll connect with others while preparing your body for its birthing journey. Find out more on their website.
During pregnancy, your body has a lot to prepare. One of the best ways you can help it is by regularly incorporating a yoga practice. By choosing one of the above-listed Portland prenatal yoga studios, you will feel strengthened and empowered to face all that lies ahead.
Once you find your yoga studio, it’s time to book a photographer! I positively love getting to use my camera to capture the ins and outs of motherhood. I’m here for everything from your growing belly to your baby’s first birthday! Contact me today so we can begin to book your session.
For more Portland motherhood content, check out the blog links below!