From the moment you even think about those two little lines on a pregnancy test, someone has probably started telling you about prenatal yoga.
With good reason! Prenatal – and postnatal – yoga are wonderful ways to support your pregnancy journey as your body, mind, and emotions expand.
What are pre-natal and post-natal yoga?
Prenatal yoga is a specialized form of yoga designed for expecting mamas. It usually focuses on gentle movements, deep breathing, and meditation techniques that are safe and beneficial for both you and your growing baby. Prenatal practices typically include modified poses to suit your changing body and relaxation techniques that aid in managing stress and anxiety.
Postnatal yoga, on the other hand, is tailored to help mamas regain their physical and mental strength after childbirth. These classes offer a gradual approach to rebuilding core strength, pelvis floor stability, improving flexibility, and nurturing a sense of inner calm.
Interested in trying prenatal yoga? Join our guest Allie Greer in-person or online! See her class schedule here.
You’re not alone.
At Body & Balance, we see a lot of mamas-to-be with similar kinds of discomfort and pain, often focused on their hips and low back. Prenatal yoga is a wonderful compliment to your regular chiropractic care as a way to connect with your body and your baby, manage stress and anxiety, and find community with other mamas.
Tips from Allie Greer
Yoga teacher and cranosacral therapist Allie Greer shared some of her favorite pre- and post-natal practices with us:
- Belly breath
- Supported backbend w a bolster
And especially while you’re healing post-natal, Allie recommends keeping your movement really simple.
In this episode you’ll hear about:
- Allie Greer, eRYT-500, pre- and post-natal yoga teacher and biodynamic craniosacral therapist
- The importance of strength and relaxation in trimesters 1-3
- How stagnation can turn into pain and discomfort in pregnancy
- How a prenatal yoga practice can help create space and prepare you mentally/emotionally for childbirth
- How postnatal yoga can support bringing you back into your body after the physically, mentally, and emotionally expansive experience of pregnancy and birth
- Allie’s favorite breathing practice for pregnant mamas-to-be
- In-person yoga vs at-home yoga
- A simple yoga technique to support connection to breath and body
- The one simple yoga pose to do pre- or post-natal
- The importance of having a postpartum community
- The “blueprint of health” in your system
About Allie Greer:
Allie is a Yoga Medicine Therapeutic specialist, an e-RYT-500, and biodynamic craniosacral therapist. She has specialties in biomechanics, pre- and post-natal yoga, Myofascial release, and subtle body dynamics. Allie teaches group yoga classes in the Boulder, Colorado area, plus specialized workshops, teacher trainings, and international retreats. She also sees clients one-on-one for therapeutic yoga and craniosacral therapy.
Listen to full episodes of The Trimester Bubble (formerly Balancing Holistic Mamas) on your favorite podcast player:
Resources in this Episode:
- Pain-Free Pregnancy registration
- Body & Balance website
- Allie’s website
- Allie’s Colorado prenatal classes
- Episode 1: Welcome to the Bubble
- Exercise During Pregnancy
- Prenatal and Pregnancy Nutritional Care
- Pelvis Floor Function & Chiropractic
- Boulder Locals: Join our free, in-person Pain-Free Pregnancy community each quarter. Register here!
- Body & Balance: New patients start here
- About Dr Elyssa and Dr Katherine
- Connect with Body & Balance on Instagram
- Connect with Body & Balance on Facebook
- Connect with Allie Geer on Instagram
- Enjoying the podcast? Be sure to subscribe and leave a review!
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers/listeners of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Elyssa Wright nor Body and Balance Chiropractic. LLC nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading, listening or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Full Episode Transcript
Dr. Elyssa 00:00
Welcome back to the trimester bubble! Today we’re going to be talking about all things prenatal and postpartum yoga. Things like what’s the difference between prenatal and postpartum yoga? And why would you want to continue on your yoga practice after you deliver your little one? Also, when’s the right time to get started? And we are thrilled to have one of my good friends ally gear with us today. She is a yoga medicine therapeutic specialist, a 500 hour experienced registered yoga teacher and a biodynamic cranial sacral therapist.
Hi, I’m Dr. Elyssa and welcome back to the trimester bubble. I’m a chiropractor and dynamic body balancing facilitator at body and balanced chiropractic. We support mamas mamas to be and babies by helping them live their best lives. Here on the podcast, we bring you educational content for the pregnancy journey and guests specialists to support the beautiful time of pregnancy. We know that this is often a confusing and lonely time and all of us here at the trimester bubble. Want to support you on your journey that is mama hood and raising little ones.
If you’re local to the Boulder, Colorado area, I’d love to invite you to our free pain free pregnancy class that meets in person at community roots midwife collective. We discuss why pain is common and pregnancy but not normal. And what you can do at home to have a pain free pregnancy. Plus, meet other moms and build your community. If you want more information and to sign up, head over to our website, www dot body imbalanced chiropractic.com and click schedule online and select classes and support groups. If you liked this episode, feel free to share that link with your friends. It would mean so much to us. Today. We have a guest joining us.
Our guest is Allie Geer, so stick with us until the end so you can learn all about her offerings. Allie is a yoga medicine therapeutic specialist, a 500 hour experienced registered yoga teacher and a biodynamic cranial sacral therapist. She has specialties in biomechanics, pre and postnatal yoga, myofascial release and subtle body dynamics. She teaches group yoga classes in the boulder area, specialized workshops, teacher trainings, international retreats, and she sees clients one on one for therapeutic yoga and cranial sacral therapy. I am so excited to have her with us today. She is a wealth of knowledge. And I can’t wait for all of you to hear what she has to share from the bubble. All right, let’s get chatting with Allie.
Dr Katherine 2:59
Thanks again Allie, for joining us today on the trimestre bubble. Do you mind just starting out by talking a little bit about who you are, what you do, who you’d like to work with?
Allie Geer 3:11
Sure. My name is Allie Geer and I live in Boulder and I’m a Yoga medicine therapeutic specialist as well as a pre and postnatal specialist.
I love working with all types of bodies, shapes, sizes, genders. I love working with everyone. My specialty though does lie and self myofascial release, cranial sacral therapy as well as pre and postnatal yoga.
Dr Katherine 3:43
Awesome. Yeah, that’s kind of how we got connected with through the prenatal yoga worlds.
Do you mind talking a little bit about just prenatal yoga and then how that differs from postnatal yoga?
Allie Geer 4:00
Sure, yeah. So prenatal yoga is what the practice that we do. Before having before giving birth. Prenatal yoga is really a practice specialized to hold space for women and hold this container of women to come in and to feel supported throughout their journey in pregnancy. And that could be from the first trimester to the second to the third or even pre trimester. When you’re even thinking about conceiving, it could also be a really warm, sacred space to be held even when you’re even thinking about getting pregnant. So prenatal yoga is really specialized to support a woman and her journey through pregnancy and support, you know the preparation that it takes mentally, physically, spiritually, mentally. And this journey of transitioning to motherhood.
Dr Katherine 5:02
Yeah, absolutely that that sounds really, really special and so important during a women’s journey. I’m kind of a physical person. And so especially with chiropractic care, a lot of our prenatal care is for mom, for them preparing for birth, and making sure that they’re comfortable during their pregnancy. Do you have any specific goals with prenatal yoga that you’d like to focus on? Any areas of the body that you tried to build up? Anything like that?
Allie Geer 5:37
Yeah, so great question. So and a prenatal class, I would say there’s especially the way that I teach it, there’s always like a big portion of the class that’s built in for creating strength, specifically in the in the pelvis, and hips, the strength and the arms. All these things as well as as deep inner core strength stability work, to really support the body as the baby begins to grow, and the weight of belly gets a little bit more compressive on the spine often.
So a lot of the way that I teach prenatal is to build strength as well as releasing tension. So every prenatal class in the way that I teach, it incorporates some level of self myofascial release. And so we use specialized balls to kind of help help with blood flow, circulation, reduce tension, unwind.
Any stagnation that’s sitting in the body during pregnancy stagnation is really common. Anytime we’re sitting in a in a position longer than normal, it gets even intensified during pregnancy. And so the movement is really such an incredible key to releasing stagnation, which what we know can turn into pain and discomfort in the body. The movement that we do help support that that myofascial release that we do help support that. And then the strength work that we do also helps to stabilize some of the smaller muscles in the body that take a lot of tax, you know, as the baby starts to grow as the uterus starts to expand as our ligaments start to expand.
So all these things can be really helpful in supporting throughout the entire journey of pregnancy. And so every single class that I teach really has a strong focus on all of those things. Then what’s cool about it is, you know, I teach in person, and then I offer that same class online. And so we begin every session with a chance for everyone to speak and to build community.
So we talk about what’s going on in your body, if there’s any, you know, requests that they might have, that they really want me to focus on, for example, say they’re going through a period of calf cramps, right? And so I’ll incorporate things that are going to really help support releasing that tension and unwinding any of that stagnation that they might be experiencing. I would say the most common, most common thing that I get is pelvis and hips. Those are usually the biggest ones. And that’s often when I also refer out to you guys.
Dr Katherine 8:21
Yeah, I was just thinking that I was like, huh, that seems to be the biggest complaint with our pregnancy, new patients is sacral, pain, hip pain, just everything low back and pelvis, for sure.
That all sounds really, really exciting and perfect. And like, you have that mind body connection that you tried to introduce at the beginning of all your classes. Do you mind talking a little bit about how postpartum yoga yoga differs from prenatal yoga?
Allie Geer 8:55
Yeah, so and, and prenatal yoga, we’re really thinking about how to create space for both mom and baby during pregnancy. I would say that’s the biggest, biggest idea when it comes to prenatal and also preparing emotionally, and mentally through breath, work and different things that we can do in the yoga practice.
And then the difference is with postpartum, we’re really thinking about how to come back into the body and how to close space. So in prenatal we’re creating space with postnatal, we’re thinking about how to really create that closing and coming back into center and the body, especially after coming into a quite expansive experience through labor. Does that help answer your question?
Dr Katherine 9:43
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, are there any specific kind of physical changes that you implement during your sessions? Any different poses or does it kind of a good translation from pre to post?
Allie Geer 10:00
Yeah, so and postpartum, I think a big thing that we want to focus back in on is how to come back into center. And so, you know, a very common symptom during pregnancy is diathesis wreck die. And it’s a normal occurrence that happens in every pregnancy. Really kind of coming back into the breath and how and learning techniques and skills, how to draw back into center in a skillful way, is really important, especially as you start to take on additional exercises that you may have done pre pregnancy or in your first trimester that you haven’t done in a while.
So this whole idea of coming back into center coming back into connection with the core, and that’s not just the abdominal core, it’s the it’s the pelvic core, it’s the pelvic floor, it’s the spine. So all of these areas that kind of pull you back into center, are really important places to learn how to work through to gather strength and resiliency back into those spaces.
Dr Katherine 11:07
Yeah, it’s so important to build your body back up after birth, that starts with breathing properly, making sure everything’s released and balanced. And, as you said, building that strength back up. Absolutely. So when you see moms throughout their pregnancy, do you have any advice for them to keep their good yoga active habits going through postpartum?
Allie Geer 11:34
Mm hmm. Yeah. So one breath that I really like to work with it’s a it’s a transverse abdominal breath. The transverse abdominals kind of are the deepest layer of the abdominal core. And so we’re learning how to use your breath, specifically through the exhalation to draw in, really it, the idea of the transverse abdominals is to hold the abdominal contents. And so using that with an exhale, breath, so those are the abdominals that you’re not necessarily going to work when I’m doing a crunch or set up. This is abdominal muscle that I’m only really working through that exhalation breath.
And the good news is, is it safe, all the way through pregnancy, and it’s safe almost immediately after you give birth. So it’s this whole idea that as you exhale, you just imagine that you’re drawing the belly and everything’s coming into center, at the same time, the spine staying nice and lengthened. And so feeling that whole connection of coming in is really helpful throughout the entire pregnancy, because during pregnancy, it can help to eliminate the severity of the Diocese, this direct dye, and then postpartum, it can encourage this drawing back into center to reestablish the connection to the linea alba, of the Diocese, rec dye. So it can be really, really helpful to do. And it can be done anytime.
So there’s really no contraindication to that. So that would be like the biggest thing that I really guide in queue and the prenatal space that will take you right into postnatal, and you can start doing that almost immediately.
Dr Katherine 13:15
Okay, yeah, no, that sounds great. Is this something that women can come to you to learn how to do properly? Or is this something that they can learn at home?
Allie Geer 13:26
Yeah, I think you can do a little bit of both, I think you can come to my classes, you can, we can work online, we can work over the phone, there’s lots of different ways to do that. And also, it’s just simply like, learning how to work with your breath. It’s learning how to tune in and to feel into the way that your body’s breathing on your inhale and exhale.
And so there’s lots of different techniques and tools that we could, you know, even do together here on this space, just to kind of learn how to negotiate that connection into center. One of my favorite ways, postpartum-ly, is taking something as simple as a scarf, and tying it around the waist so that as you exhale, you find that tie, which helps to draw and to center. So that can be a really nice technique is just to take a simple scarf or a strap and tie it around the waist. And as you exhale, just pulling everything in getting that idea of drawing into the midline of the body.
Dr Katherine 14:24
That’s a really good visual for our listeners. Definitely. And then do you have a top three things that women can do at home to keep their yoga practice alive? When they’re at home with their newborn? They don’t feel like going out there just adapting to their new rule.
Allie Geer 14:44
Yeah, I think really, it just depends on how much time do you have right so postpartum, like it goes by really fast, especially that first month, right after giving birth. There’s a lot of time that you’re going to be nursing you’re going to be in awkward positions in your body. So finding a few moments where you can just you know, lay over a pillow or bolster so that your shoulders are draping back to really help support, you know, the postural tendencies that are common postpartum. Something as simple as that and just connecting into your breath and really finding time to be supported.
And to be and your breath can be very helpful. And that could be, you know, as much as two or three minutes, the belly breath that we that I talked about with that, you know, tendency to kind of draw in on that exhale, hug and on the exhale that can be done at any time. Simple cat cow movements can also be really helpful, I would say just the the biggest thing with movement, postpartum is really kind of listening to your body on this one.
You know, if you are still currently like bleeding during that fourth trimester, you probably want to keep the movement really simple. And maybe you’re just going to do some hip circles, or maybe you’re just going to do some really gentle movement just to keep that blood flow and circulation going. Or as I recommended, just a gentle like back supported back then to open the shoulders, the chest, and the packs, and simple breath exercises, all those things can be really, really helpful.
Then once bleeding has stopped and you get start to get permission from your medical practitioner, that exercise can be started again. And then coming to a postpartum class can be really helpful, you can bring your baby usually, and it’s a really welcoming space to be amongst other moms or you can feed you can nurse you have lots of space, the baby can be crying, the baby can be sleeping, there’s just it’s just a time for moms to connect.
I really think that that’s one of the biggest, important factors for pre and postnatal is this idea of community. It’s really what we need to be supported as mothers and to be supported and this new journey, this new experience that we’re going to be in in life and to kind of have, you know, a village that’s going to be there with you that’s going through the same things that you can talk to, that you can lean into is so profound and so helpful. And that’s even, in my opinion, more important than than the physical movement.
Dr Katherine 17:26
Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. I think, um, Boulder has has such a great community that we’re starting to build back up after COVID. When we think about postpartum, you know, some people are like, Oh, six weeks, but it’s actually so so much longer than that. We think about how long a woman is pregnant up to 42 weeks, or sometimes even longer. You should have all that time and more after delivery to recover and to build that community back up.
Allie Geer 17:58
Yeah, and there’s, there’s no rush, you know, I think that there’s, you know, in our society, there’s such a, there’s such a misalignment with that, you know, like, Okay, gotta get back to work. Gotta get back to the, you know, pre pre prenatal, but the pre baby body and all that stuff. But the thing is, is that your body has forever change, like, it’s not ever going to be the same as it was prior to having children. And so it’s really like, coming back into this new idea, this new way of how your body is experiencing life and how we can grow from that.
Because it’s different. Everything has changed. Everything’s different now. And so finding a supportive community that can be with you as well can be so helpful.
Dr Katherine 18:46
Oh, I can only imagine. Absolutely.
Thank you so much for talking about the yoga practice and everything you do with moms and Boulder. But I know you have a lot of other tools that you have, besides traditional yoga. Do you mind talking about some of those?
Allie Geer 19:07
Yeah, so I’m, I’m a biodynamic cranial sacral therapist. And so that’s really a practice that is informing so much of how I practice right now and and a lot of this is most it’s all one on one work. So it’s a hands on bodywork approach that is quite a gentle approach, and yet so potent because really, what we’re doing is we’re listening for the health of the system, and the health of the system is kind of underneath all those other layers, right?
And so when we listen to the health of the system, it’s this intuitive flow within the body that really can help support and sustain whenever there’s issues going on, whether it’s mental physical, whether it’s something like hip pain or insomnia chronic acute pain, all of these things that are kind of sitting on the surface, the cranial sacral can kind of go under those layers, and pull up the blueprint of health in our system. And that’s really this intelligence that is always there. It’s there when we’re an embryo, right.
And so when we can work with the craniosacral rhythm, we can help to start to unwind. Anything that’s going on in the body, it can be helpful for both mom and baby to have cranial work done, because it can really bring things into alignment and to sync synchronicity between the mom and baby can help support bonding as well. And it can, it can just be incredibly supportive and nourishing, for anything that might be going on pre prenatal or postnatal. So I love this work.
And I’m just I’m so thrilled to be offering this to my clients, in addition to yoga therapeutics, right, so one on one work that I do is really biomechanic base, but also kind of bringing in some of these subtle body practices breath, meditation, myofascial release, really, really made to work with what’s going on, specifically in a person’s body. So this one on one work is really one of my specialties. And I absolutely adore the group work that I do. And it’s so important for me to be in community and I also feel like the one on one work can be so profound, and working with anything that might be coming up in the system.
Dr Katherine 21:39
Ya know, you threw out some amazing phrases you said health of the system, the flowing and blueprints of the body and I completely agree I’ve seen cranial sacral work just be a little bit of an additive to some treatments that we provide. Also, it can just be that missing piece to getting people to feeling much, much better than when they came in. And yeah, I love it. I love receiving it. I love using it in the office. And it sounds like you’re doing great work with that.
Allie Geer 22:13
Also, yeah, it’s like once you get the note like so the cranial work is really, you know, built around balancing the nervous system. And once the nervous systems online, then all other systems can be supported as well. And so the cranial work for me has is has totally been the missing link and what I do yoga therapeutically.
Dr Katherine 22:36
So absolutely, yeah. Yeah, yeah. And then just to kind of wrap up our interview, what would you say is the seed of health that you want to plant with our listeners?
Allie Geer 22:49
I would, I would say, listening to your body, right? Taking those moments to pause and to breathe into your body and listen right deeply listen to both you and your baby. Your baby has such an intelligence that’s so inherently there. And giving yourself that space to get quiet and be supported by both the energetic field around you as well as the two of you can be so helpful. So I feel like that would be a nice seeds to plant.
Dr Katherine 23:20
Yeah, listening to your body. Very, very important and great advice. Is there anything else that you want to share with our listeners or anything that I want to talk about?
Allie Geer 23:33
Yeah, I do. I’m starting a new postpartum class, beginning the first week of September. So that’s happening locally here in Boulder. I regularly teach a prenatal class. And I’m already adding this additional offering on a regular basis now, so I’m super excited. And this is all at una vita, which is in nyloc, Colorado. So it’s a really lovely space that’s support like built to support women and their experience through childbirth. So I’m really excited this, this for this new offering and happy to be supported by you all as well.
Dr Katherine 24:10
Okay, yeah. And you said that was beginning the first week of September.
Allie Geer 24:15
Correct. So I believe our first class is Tuesday, September 5 at 1115. And then I teach prenatal every Monday evening at 530 as well.
Dr Katherine 24:24
Okay. Yeah, that is awesome. Thank you again, Allie, for joining us. And we are very, very excited to share all your knowledge and your offerings. So thank you again.
Allie Geer 24:36
Yeah, thank you for having me and I appreciate your support
Dr Elyssa 24:48
Thank you so much for joining us on The Trimester Bubble today! We so appreciate your support. If you know another mama or a mama-to-be who could use the information in this episode, please share the link with them.
Thank you again to Allie for joining us today. If you’re local to the area, be sure to check out her classes including her new postpartum class that begins Tuesday, September 5 at 11:15am. And also her regular prenatal class that’s every Monday at 5:30pm.
Check out the show notes for more details on how to join her. We also love hearing from you so please send us a message and let us know any thoughts or questions about this episode. I’m Dr. Elyssa with the trimester bubble. We’ll see you soon!