Category Archives for Prenatal Yoga

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga and FAQs

Yoga: Ideal Prenatal Exercise and More

prenatal moms stretch in yoga classYoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm.

Yoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm.

As a physical practice, yoga during pregnancy builds strength, endurance, and flexibility. Asana practice, what we know as yoga poses, improves circulation, combats fatigue, and reduces tension and stiffness in muscles and joints.

prenatal moms in yoga classAs a mental discipline, yoga cultivates focus and emotional stability. Breathing exercises during prenatal yoga help mom relax deeply and connect with baby.

Prenatal yoga celebrates the mom and baby connection and the beauty and power of your changing body.

“Yoga was enormously helpful to me during my own pregnancy and I still feel that my regular practice was the most important preparation that I did for childbirth.”  – Jen

New Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal and postnatal classes only.

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “exercising at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week can benefit your health during pregnancy in the following ways:

  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
  • Increases your energy
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves your posture
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor.”

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

According to the Mayo Clinic, “[r]esearch suggests that prenatal yoga can:
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
  • Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath

Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.”

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20;  Good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $17 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $170.
    Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
New Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal and postnatal classes only; within 30 days of purchase.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 5-8 consecutive classes for $18 per class. For example, 5 classes is $90. See series listings for dates offered.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. Twice weekly attendance costs less than $10 per visit with membership.
    • A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.
    • Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
    • Members are also eligible for 10% discount off registration in children’s or family yoga series or prenatal workshops.
  • All prices at include 5.75% fitness tax.

prenatal yoga at Realignment StudioYoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm. A our prenatal yoga class might involve:

  • Breathing. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
  • Stretching. You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion while standing, sitting or lying on the ground.
  • Strength Work and Dynamic Movement. Moms in prenatal yoga are working to maintain fitness for a comfortable pregnancy as well as train for the endurance event that is labor and birth. Holding your bodyweight in postures while working against gravity is a great way to build strength. We’ll also do pregnancy appropriate vinyasa, moving with breath, to build fitness.
  • prenatal moms in savasanaCool down and relaxation. Every prenatal yoga class sets aside time for conscious relaxation. You’ll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.
Category: prenatal yoga

Our pregnancy yoga classes are held at Realignment Studio, 641 Pennsylvania Ave SE, lower level.  The studio is within one block of the Eastern Market metro stop and convenient to many bus routes along Pennsylvania Ave SE and 8th Street SE. Read more about locations.

Category: prenatal yoga

Students should wear comfortable clothing for movement that is not too stretchy and be prepared to practice in bare feet. Our venues have yoga mats to share, but carrying your own may be preferable. We have all the other props you might for exercises during class. Please bring a water bottle and you may wish to bring a small towel or cloth to cover your eyes during relaxation.

Category: prenatal yoga

Absolutely. Our classes are all levels, with variations offered for newer or more experienced students. We have plenty of props and adaptations ideas for moms who are not super flexible and offer postures and exercises specifically tailored to pregnancy and beginning students. All students should be cleared for exercise by their healthcare provider.

Category: prenatal yoga

Prenatal Yoga Class - Teacher AdjustmentAn in-person prenatal yoga class with a qualified instructor offers benefits you simply cannot reap on your own in front of a dvd or streaming video. Personalized sequencing, a watchful eye for alignment corrections, and customized adjustments complement camaraderie of a group class. Breathing Space prenatal instructors are also knowledgeable about birth, babies, and resources in Washington DC.

Category: prenatal yoga

Pregnant moms are welcome anytime and we often have moms in class who are anywhere from a few weeks along to counting down the days to to baby. During your first trimester, you may find you prefer your regular yoga class or fitness routine or that are too tired/uncomfortable for exercise. Consequently, we start seeing moms most often during the 2nd trimester, because they start feeling better or because the growing belly and pregnancy discomforts compel them to seek us out. We also have moms who start class in their final month. It’s never too early or too late.

Category: prenatal yoga
Prenatal Yoga Class - Balance Pose

Prenatal yoga classes focus on the fundamentals because so many women start yoga for the first time during pregnancy. We work to build flexibility, strength and fitness through modified postures and movements designed for pregnancy. We focus on exercises that might address common pregnancy discomforts and prepare for the endurance event moms are training for: birth.

More experienced yogis who take care to adjusting for their changing bodies may try to keep up their non-prenatal weekly class well into pregnancy. That’s fine, but I still recommend adding prenatal yoga to your routine.

The breath-exercises, concentration, and therapeutic work we do is not typical of a non-prenatal asana or vinyasa class. Also, the pregnancy-customized postures you learn can be incorporated into your non-prenatal yoga classes when the group instruction isn’t appropriate for you.

What worked for me (Jen) was continuing my one regular weekly class (with self-modifications as my belly grew) and one prenatal class for pregnancy and birth specific techniques and  to be in community with expecting moms. 

Category: prenatal yoga

How to Drop-in to Prenatal, Postnatal or Baby Classes

Baby & Me Yoga ClassOur public weekly Prenatal Yoga and Baby & Me Yoga classes welcome drop-in students. Classes can be reserved one at a time or using a multi-class pass.

New Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal and postnatal classes only.

Please set up an online account and pay for your drop-in class in advance. Our registration site is mobile friendly and accepts drop-in payments right up until class starts. Most of our class venues do not have a receptionist so it’s a great help to the instructor if you take care of this yourself in advance, but if you don’t manage that, come anyway. Please note that instructors do not accept cash.

No single class drop-ins to any class for children/teens from crawling or older. Kids and family classes require series registration.

Kids & Family Winter Schedule Preview Classes

During our Winter Solstice Open House from December 19-21, join us  for any of our usual weekend schedule classes for $15 per class in advance ($20 in person, makeup credits and class passes accepted). Great opportunity for new students to try a class before registering for the January session.


  • Tot Yoga - class for baby and toddler crawling to 2, with parents9:30 am – Little Families Yoga (ages 2-4 years) with Amalie – This class is for yogis ages 4 and younger with a parent or other favorite grown-up. Join us for toddler-friendly yoga poses songs, stories, games and relaxation for the whole family. The majority of activities will be focused toward almost-2- to 4-year-olds and their parents, but younger siblings are welcome and will be included in the fun. No yoga experience is required. Registration for this series is by child. Siblings may register at a discount. No charge for non-walkers younger than 1 year.
  • 10:30 am – Family Yoga (normally Kids Yoga ages 5-8) with Amalie – Families with children ages 4 and older are encouraged to join us for age-appropriate yoga poses, breathing exercises, songs, movement games and relaxation, with an emphasis on interactive and partner activities for kids and adults to do together. Parents should plan fully participate in class, but no yoga experience is required. Yoga mats are used in this class so feel free to bring your own or borrow one from us. (Note: Our 10:30 am class is usually for children ages 5-8 without their parents, but we are inviting parents to join in for this special class.)


  • 8:45 am – Prenatal Yoga with Jen – In this all-level class, expecting moms will cultivate the flexibility, concentration and strength needed during the transformative time of pregnancy and childbirth. Enjoy the community of other expecting mothers while we practice modified Hatha Yoga postures, breath work, vocal toning and meditation. No previous yoga experience necessary.
  • 10:15 am – Little Families Yoga – Toddler (walking-3 years) with Jen – In this class for families of toddlers, we’ll do poses, songs, and games while little ones explore new movement and social skills. Parents fully participate in class but no yoga experience or yoga mat is required. Simply wear comfortable clothes and be prepared to move. Best for walkers through 3 year old preschoolers. Crawlers are welcome to join in for half price, contact us about registering at a discount. No charge for pre-crawling younger siblings.


More Flexible Adult Yoga

Updated: May 15, 2014

Adult Classes – Commit or Keep Your Options Open

With the debut of our new registration system, all adult classes, including prenatal, will offer a partial registration class bundle. We still have full session registration and we also have a monthly membership. What are your options?

  • Session Registration – $14 per class, total cost depends on length of session
    Commit to your practice! Attend the same class each week, but feel free to make up classes you must miss in any other appropriate class, including our children and family classes.
  • 5-Class Bundle – $17 per class, total $85, expires at the end of the current session
    Attend any class on our adult schedule – Hatha Basics, All Levels, Gentle, Open Flow or  Prenatal Yoga – over the course of the session.
  • Single Class Drop-in – $18 per class in advance, $20 cash in person
  • Weekly Class Member –  $12 per class, total $54/month
    Attend any one class per week with an auto-renewing membership each month, 3 month minimum commitment.

FAQ: Where Else Can I Find Yoga on the Hill or Yoga for Children?

No class schedule can accommodate everyone (practical reality) and no one teacher or class is right for every student (this is actually a good thing). Thankfully, we living in a community with a wealth of yoga opportunities for all ages of student.

Our instructors teach in a variety of places:

  • jen and maya, double boatJen Mueller Yoga – Almost all of Jen’s classes are through Breathing Space right now, but you can check out her website or Facebook page.
  • Rebecca Gitter Yoga – Follow Rebecca on Facebook to stay up to date on her non-Breathing
    Space Family Yoga classes, including at Budding Yogis and Willow Street Yoga which are listed below. Rebecca teaches classes for mom & baby, toddlers, preschoolers, kids, tweens and yoga for special needs.
  • Most of Jessica LaGarde’s classes are taught through Breathing Space.  Keep an eye on the youth schedule at Joe’s Movement Emporium for baby and tots classes in Mt. Rainier, MD (classes break June-August). Jessica practices pre- and post-natal massage and private infant massage instruction in College Park, MD at Shine Massage & Wellness studio. Visit their website or email Jessica for more information or to schedule.

Other DC area Baby and Toddler Yoga Resources

  • Bluebird Sky Yoga – offers prenatal, postnatal, and kids programing (Brookland, DC)
  • Budding Yogis – offers baby, toddler, and kids yoga classes at Circle Yoga (Northwest DC near Chevy Chase, MD)
  • Honest Soul Yoga – offers a full family program, prenatal-teen (Alexandria, VA)
  • Lighthouse Yoga Center – offers prenatal, postnatal and early childhood classes (Petworth, DC)
  • Past Tense Studio – offers prenatal, postnatal classes and occasional kids series (Mt Pleasant, DC)
  • Simon Says Yoga – offers classes for children and families as well as summer camp. (Bethesda)
  • Sun & Moon Yoga – offers a variety of family programs (Arlington,  VA)
  • Tranquil Space – offers prenatal, mommy & me, as well as Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes (Dupont Circle, DC)
  • Willow Street Yoga – offers prenatal, baby, toddler, kids and teen classes (Takoma Park and Silver Spring, MD)
  • Yoga District – hosts prenatal, postnatal, and toddler classes out of their NW studio spaces (various)
  • YoKid – a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing yoga to all children (Arlington and DC area)

Yoga for Special Needs Children

  • Be Yoga – Krista offers Yoga for the Special ChildTM based out of northwest DC.
  • Budding Yogis – Director Linda Feldman offers private sessions for special needs students (Northwest DC near Chevy Chase, MD).
  • Conaboy & Associates – Offers baby, toddler and kids classes out of their occupational therapy practice. Classes are for both typically developing and special needs children. (Union Station)

Classes for Grownups? Studios and Instructors on Capitol Hill

yoga at washington monument

flickr user daveynin / CCLicense

Dedicated yoga studios:

Independent Instructors:

If you are a yoga instructor living on Capitol Hill, teach a public yoga class in the neighborhood, or teach children and family classes anywhere in the DC area, please email Jen: jenmuelleryoga [at] gmail [dot] com to have
your website listed above.

Yoga Weekend – Reflecting on Yoga During Pregnancy



My daughter attended all nine Anusara
Yoga Immersion Weekends – but only
one on the outside.

 First cold weather car ride on Flickr

Back in February at the same time we decided it was finally time to have a baby, I signed up for a nine month Anusara Immersion program.

For the past eight months, I spent one weekend a month practicing asana and exploring Anusara, Tantric, and other schools of yogic philosophy with an amazing group of yogis.  For eight months, they watched Maya grow.  This weekend, they met her.

I was just a few weeks pregnant when I wrote the following essay on the meaning of the first principle of Anusara yoga.

Opening to Grace

Right now, to me, opening to grace means relinquishing the illusion of control in order to surrender to the divine.

If proper Attitude is a balance between effort and surrender, my challenge is to let go of my effort drive.  The drive to do more, push harder, set more goals, make more plans, and take on more projects can have an addictive quality and interferes with balance.  Resolution, willpower, creativity, and enthusiasm, crowd out mindfulness, quiet, harmony, and acceptance.

It is my practice on the yoga mat that regularly reminds me to release and surrender, opening to grace and a balance of essential heart qualities.

My husband and I are expecting our first child in November.  Even the first few weeks of this pregnancy has broken down any illusion of my control over it. No amount of effort on my part ensures a happy outcome and healthy child. There is no perfect dose of vitamins, exercise, rest, or extensive research that guarantees a healthy delivery. In fact, indulging a desire to control every aspect of pregnancy is not only futile, it may be harmful as it will inevitably lead to frustration, worry and stress.  While I can be a partner in creating this new life, I am not in charge of it; it is the work of the divine. This pregnancy has driven home the undeniable truth that only in surrendering to the divine, can I truly become a partner in creation.

Over the next several months, I will work to balance effort with surrender both on and off the mat for, at this moment, that is what opening to grace means to me.