Yoga was enormously important to me during my own pregnancy and I still feel that my regular practice was the most important preparation that I did for childbirth.
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.
As 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 you changing body.
“Jen’s prenatal yoga class was a weekly treat for me during my pregnancy. After class I always felt stronger and more centered – better prepared for childbirth and parenthood. Before the prenatal course, I didn’t have much interest in yoga, but Jen’s course made me a believer. I look forward to continuing my yoga practice in the future.”
“I’ve been taking Jen Mueller’s prenatal yoga class at the Hill Center my entire 3rd trimester and it’s been heavenly. I leave class feeling great (and sleep better that night than any other night of the week.)”
Capitol Hill Prenatal Yoga Classes
Other Washington DC Area Pregnancy Yoga Classes
Books & Media
Weekly Public Classes for Adults
Tuesday & Thursday from 6:30-7:30 am
Capitol Hill Yoga
“Our open yoga classes are truly for students of all levels who have a basic knowledge of yoga principles and postures. The open classes build on principles learned in our Level 1 classes, combining asana instruction focused on body alignment with the practices of yogic breathing, meditation and relaxation. Modifications and enhancements will be offered for a fun and safe practice, empowering each individual to his or her most inspired and playful Self.”
Children derive many of the same benefits from yoga that adults do: increased strength and flexibility, improved body awareness, and relaxation.
In addition, a kids yoga class encourages children to move creatively in a noncompetitive environment while honoring each child’s unique expression of the poses and having fun.
Whether in a studio or at preschool, even the youngest children can enjoy yoga.
Itsy Bitsy Yoga® is a unique blend of yoga postures, child developmental movement, and parent/child bonding.
Classes are customized for three age groups, 3 weeks to pre-crawling (Babies), crawlers to 24 months (Tots), and 21 months to 4 years old (Tykes). Each class features dozens of child-oriented yoga poses, games, and songs that parents can enjoy with their children anytime. No yoga experience required for parent or child.
Itsy Bitsy Yoga was created by Helen Garabedian, an infant developmental movement educator, yoga teacher, and mother. Jen studied with Helen in 2008/9.
Yoga helps children and pre-teens learn techniques for concentrating, reducing stress, and connecting to their bodies in a loving way while having fun.
Classes incorporate age-appropriate poses, breathing, movement, games, music, and art. Classes often revolve around a philosophical or natural theme and always include some form of quiet relaxation.
Jen also teaches several classes each week at local early childhood centers and elementary schools. Contact Jen about setting up a class at your child’s school or other venue.
Celebrate that special day for your little yogi with a healthy, fun birthday party activity: a 45 minute class for up to 12 children (with parent or caregiver for children under 4) packed with dozens of yoga poses, songs, and activities. Contact Jen for details and rates.
Like so many, Jen first came to the yoga mat because of an injury, seeking nothing more than to feel better and balance her body for running. She comes back to the mat because yoga invites her to embrace her body and mind with all its imperfections and then to look beyond them to the greater Self.
Jen brings a sense of joy and playfulness to her classes – both the
adult and kids classes – and hopes to offer her students the sense of
freedom she finds in yoga. She founded Breathing Space to create hub for
family yoga on Capitol Hill and share her enthusiasm for age-
and developmentally-appropriate poses, games, and songs with yogis of
After thoroughly enjoying baby yoga classes with her daughter during
maternity leave and being unable to find an Itsy Bitsy class that fit
her schedule after going back to work, Jen stumbled on a listing for Itsy Bitsy Yoga facilitators training . . . and signed up.
Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY
200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY). She is also a
ChildLight Yoga trainer and licensed Yoga 4 Classrooms Professional Development Workshop trainer.
Off the Mat
Jen spent more than a decate as a nonprofit and environmental communications professional and has been living on Capitol Hill in Washington DC since 1999, which is also when she got properly fitted for running shoes for the first time since high school, dusted off her yoga mat, and started putting both to regular use. Jen is honored to be the mother of a 6 year old.
Whether structured as a parent-child activity or for preschoolers alone, yoga classes for 2 to 4 year old children combine toddler-friendly yoga poses with songs, stories, and games. These classes are engaging and fun, encouraging each child to embrace their own unique expression of yoga poses while supporting their development and growth.
Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes for Tykes are parent and child classes. Classses encourage social interaction, repetition, and play. Tykes also learn how to relieve frustration, improve motor skills, and increase attention span by actively following directions. Help your tyke build the foundation for a healthy and fit lifestyle while having fun!
Little Families class is structured like Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Tykes, but with younger siblings invited and included in the fun
Jen also teaches at local early childhood centers and preschools.
Contact Jen about setting up a class at your child’s school or other venue.
Recent hosts for Jen’s preschool yoga classes include:
Books for Kids
Every Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Tykes class incorporates storytime, featuring a book that illustrates yogic values or children’s physical and emotional awareness – peace, love, friendship, feelings, family, Zen, and yoga. Many of these books are appropriate to share with Babies and Tots as well. Check out my reading recommendations.
I wrote what is potentially a very controversial little blog post over at Care2 this week: Cat vs. Bird: Is it Time to Lock Up Fluffy to Protect Wildlife Diversity?
The post is a reaction to a New York Times article by a writer who lives in the "Bermuda Triangle for baby birds" (Takoma Park, MD) exploring the threat pet cats pose to birds when allowed to roam urban and suburban neighborhoods.
In researching the post, I discovered a number of sort-of surprising things: did you know that the U.S. is home to 1 out of 4 of the world's house cats?
Travel season is upon us, meaning lots of planes, trains, and
automobiles to recreation destinations near and far. And since
everyone’s eye is drawn to the bottom line in an uncertain economy,
it’s no small boon that going green may actually save you green on your
vacation . . .
. . . Continued at 5 tips for a greener vacation on the Examiner website where I made my debut this week as the DC Green Living Examiner.
WHAT IS A PUDDLE-JUMPER?
1. a light plane, esp. one traveling only short distances or making many stops.
[Origin: 1930-35; humorously so called because it is used on routes that include stopovers in small, insignificant places]” – Dictionary.com
“A”puddle jumper” is a small toy, featuring a propeller on the end of a stick. By rubbing your hands together around the stick and releasing the stick when the propeller reaches high speed, the puddle jumper can be launched into the air. An experienced puddle-jumper can control the direction, elevation, and distance of the flight and play catch with the device.” – Wikipedia
WHY PUDDLE JUMPING?
The image appeals to me for a number of reasons:
Jeff Galloway, the father of the run-walk marathon training method, recommends imagining a big rubber band that goes from the back of your shorts that you toss over other competitors as they pass you in a marathon. You use the imaginary tension to pull you forward in a race. I generally prefer to think being pulled by strings tied to the heart. The image helps me remember to focus on breathing, keep my shoulders back and relaxed and not lead with the chin when I run.
I decided to adopt the personal motto "When you are being pulled by the heartstrings, you’d better not let your hips get too far behind." during a run one day. Given the above image, it’s very practical running advice. But from a broader perspective, if your actions aren’t keeping up with your intentions, your life will become unbalanced quickly. If you’re being tugged at the heart strings, I guess you better get going so you don’t fall on your face.