Four years ago, I attended my first class at Flow Yoga. I had attended a few yoga classes before, but now I was walking into a Pre-Natal Yoga class, four months pregnant and self-conscious of my barely-there bump. The sleepless newborn nights and the toddler days are now behind me and I am continually in disbelief that I am a mother to a preschooler. Yet, I vividly recall that first class that I attended, even though at the time, I had no inkling about how my life was going to change — one yoga class at a time.
As I entered the second trimester of my pregnancy and the first trimester symptoms began to subside, my midwives recommended that I begin to exercise regularly for the remainder of my pregnancy. Since I have never been athletically-inclined nor did I have a workout regime, they recommended pre-natal yoga as a gentle alternative. After searching for “pre-natal yoga in Ashburn” on Google, I found Flow Yoga and made plans to attend my first class. Although I had tried yoga classes in the past and never stuck with it, I decided to commit to trying yoga classes for a month.
Walking into my first class, I was apprehensive, but immediately felt welcomed by the instructor, Lisa, as well as the other students. There was another woman who was also attending her first class and due around the same time as me, which put me at ease. During that first class, we sat in a circle introducing ourselves, offering names and due dates, as well as answering the question that the instructor had posed for the day. Over the course of the next several months, we would share our hopes, fears, anxieties, and birth plans. I was surprised to learn that one of the mothers in the room was due within days. I clearly recall sharing our birth wishes for her during my first class. That first day, I could not imagine I would still be coming to the class just days before giving birth. But I remember the wishes shared with me during my last class, just three days before my due date.
I surprised myself with how much I ended up enjoying yoga. I ended up trying Flow Chill with Chris O. and I do not think I have ever felt as relaxed as I did after that class. I began attending Pre-Natal Yoga and Flow Chill weekly, along with Slow Flow, Yin, and Restorative as my schedule allowed. I learned to take it slow, use a lot of props, and be okay with doing something different than the other students in the class. Although Slow Flow eventually became too fast for me, I appreciated how Flow Chill, Yin, and Restorative incorporated longer poses, giving me ample time to get myself and my props situated. The classes also helped me relax, alleviating some of the stress of pregnancy and anxiety of becoming a first-time mom. While all the instructors at Flow were wonderful and accommodating, I developed a relationship with Chris, who still holds a special place in my heart. She did a wonderful job accommodating my growing bump as well as the unique aches and pains of my pregnancy. I was also deeply touched by the support that I received from the other students in the class. To this day, I laugh about how Baby Girl would remain still during the entire class until Chris inevitably prompted us to find stillness and quiet, at which point, she would begin kicking up a storm.
Time is a funny thing — it moves both too fast and too slow. It seemed that suddenly, I was attending my last Pre-Natal Yoga class, receiving my birth wishes, and was saddened that this phase was coming to an end. I had found in the Pre-Natal class. I still relish the time of support and friendships, two of which have endured off the mat, into the ups and downs of the first year of motherhood, and beyond. It has been a joy and privilege to see our daughters grow up together. I cherish the community of Flow Yoga and was blessed to have them on my journey into motherhood and in my growing love for yoga.
— Amanda Kennon