The Prenatal Yoga Center provides expectant parents the chance to tap into their minds, spirit and bodies through carefully designed and safety-minded yoga classes. Classes are aimed at alleviating the all-too-common aches and uncomfortable twinges of pregnancy. Plus childbirthing tips and education are incorporated into the center’s onsite classes. The center also offers new mom and breastfeeding support groups and its new podcast, Yoga|Birth|Babies is quite popular.
The Prenatal Yoga Center will be at the New York Baby Show on May 20 and 21, at Pier 94.
The nation’s largest show for expectant and new families, the New York Baby Show is a wonderful family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler. From top products to trusted parenting experts, the New York Baby Show welcomes thousands of expectant and new parents from New York City, the Tri-State area, and beyond!
Tickets to the New York Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.
To learn more about the Prenatal Yoga Center, we spoke with Deb Flashenberg, the Center’s owner and director.
For someone unfamiliar with the Prenatal Yoga Center, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
Pregnancy is a unique and wondrous time in life. At Prenatal Yoga Center (PYC), we aim to help parents and babies openly explore the mind, body, and spirit. We have a three-pronged approach to our teaching and our classes. First, we address the aches and pains of pregnancy so students feel better each day and build confidence in their pregnant body. We foster a supportive community of friendship. And lastly, we integrate childbirth education into our classes helping our students be prepared and empowered for labor, delivery, and motherhood.
Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?
Since the inception of PYC in 2002, we have been a full-service resource center for families in our community. I had the intention of making yoga classes that address the pregnant women and new mothers need’s on three levels, the physical, emotional, and spiritual. Keeping with our core values, we continue to add services and classes that inspire learning, education, and support our community.
It has always been part of the original vision that PYC be more than a yoga studio where students pop in and out just for a yoga class. I wanted community to play a prominent part in the concept. Pregnancy and motherhood can feel very isolating, especially in a place like NYC where many of us are transplants and do not have family around. PYC has developed into a true community of support. Throughout the years, we have added New Mom Support Groups, Breastfeeding Support Groups and several other classes that give the women an opportunity to connect and a place to go when they simply needed a reason to leave their apartment.
What are the most popular and/or newest services from the Prenatal Yoga Center?
The newest service we’re offering at PYC is my podcast Yoga | Birth | Babies. It’s been out for just over a year and has garnered tremendous support from the community. I’ve had the good fortune of speaking with some of the most influential birth workers in the world. They all offer their own specialties and points of view but share a common goal. The desire for women to have a positive birth experience on her terms and a supported journey through motherhood.
Our 90 minute Prenatal Yoga Class which we offer 7 days a week continues to be the most popular offering on the schedule.
What sets the Prenatal Yoga Center apart in the maternity yoga marketplace?
I believe the uniqueness of PYC lies in our approach to prenatal yoga. The PYC methodology is based on honoring the physiological and anatomical changes while still aiming to offer a safe and challenging class. Birth for many women carries strong physical sensations. I want the students to safely experience discomfort through some of the asanas to build their toolkit of pain management. It is easy to sit and discuss coping skills in a birthing class or with your partner but, I believe it is more effective to put them to use in a practical setting. Women have the chance to see how it feels to depend on their breath or focus on a mantra to get through a challenging pose. Or, they may discover they gravitate towards movement or making opens sounds to find relief. Even if a student has already decided she will be using pain medication, there is still the likelihood she will encounter uncomfortable contractions until she receives her epidural. Our classes help the expectant mother build her tolerance to strong sensations and raise the threshold for reacting to mental or physical discomfort.
Additionally, we have a very unique body of teachers at PYC. They’ve all completed the PYC Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training which has a very heavy childbirth education component and many of them continue their studies becoming childbirth educators and labor support doulas. This strong background of scientific knowledge allows the teachers to naturally interweave childbirth education themes into the prenatal yoga classes, a major part of the PYC methodology. We believe the more education the community has, the easier it is to make informed decisions and not decisions made from fear or pressure.
What can parents expect from the Prenatal Yoga Center at the New York Baby Show?
I am looking forward to being involved in the New York Family Baby Show again! I’m returning for the third year to be on a panel discussion talking about pregnancy, birth and motherhood. This year, we are also going to be releasing a special episode of Yoga | Birth | Babies featuring Lance Somerfeld, co-founder of NYC Dads Group who is also involved in the New York Family Baby Show.
To learn more about the Prenatal Yoga Center, check out prenatalyogacenter.com.