I consider myself a yogini...I love doing yoga! My husband, Joe, and I attended a yoga class last fall and we partake in yoga about 3 to 5 nights a week (our two cats enjoy this). My sister, Andrea, and I took a PiYo (pilates and yoga) class this spring which I really enjoyed and learned how to integrate toning techiques into my yoga routine.
The other evening, I tried out a yoga dvd called "ZenMama with Rainbeau Mars: Prenatal Yoga Workout". It was very informative and fun; Rainbeau's calmingly sunny personality and words will most certainly guide the expectant mother to a strong and centered body and mind. You will work through a sequence of postures that are not only designed to keep you happy in the moment, but also to prepare you for the experience of giving birth. Since your yoga practice during this special time will need to be adjusted depending on which trimester you are in, Rainbeau works with two assistants. Together, the three of them demonstrate how each posture should be practiced according to where you are in your pregnancy.
In Aviva Jill Romm's book, "The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, and Other Holistic Choices" on page 105 she describes "The Elevator Exercise" for she states, "Another pelvic exercise is often called the 'elevator' by midwives and childbirth educators. The basic imagery is that your yoni (vagina) is an elevator shaft and you are raising an imaginary elevator from the ground floor (your vaginal opening) to the fourth floor (high inside) using just your muscles. You do this slowly floor by floor, then release slowly, floor by floor. You can also release your muscles to the basement by letting them get super relaxed, an excellent practice for totally releasing your muscles to birth your baby when she or he is crowning (the head is showing and aobut to be born)." Rainbeau Mars in ZenMama demonstrates this elevator exercise in this dvd which I found very helpful. I love the way Rainbeau says that "you are making room for you baby" while moving into different postures (Aviva in "The Natural Pregnancy Book" also discusses how important it is to have movement and describes a several essential yoga postures on pages 98-102). In ZenMama, I was surprised with how many yoga postures Rainbeau demonstrated that I have used in my yoga classes; like downward facing dog...Rainbeau does a fabulous job of reminding mothers to caress and express love to their babies while performing yoga.