Friday (June 21) marks international day of yoga. We chat to the woman on a mission to bring peace and relaxation to expectant mums.
Yoga has a number of health benefits from improving movement and flexibility to reducing stress and improving breathing.
Clare Maddalena, founder, director and senior yoga teacher, founded Lush Tums in Brighton when her son was born 13 years ago.
She has been a yoga teacher since 2004 and specialised in all things pregnancy, birth and women in 2007.
“Some women come for the exercise element as walking and yoga are the two main forms of exercise you can do when pregnant.
“Others come because they have fears or concerns about pregnancy and labour. And then some mums want to be able to meet others going through the same thing.
“It is about looking at your mind set, at mindfulness and relaxation, while also getting used to certain breathing techniques and movements to help with labour and birth.”
All of Lush Tums content has been developed by Clare and co-developed with a team of midwives and accredited by both FEDANT - the UK’s leading body for antenatal education, midwifery and doula services, and Yoga Alliance Professionals.
Classes last about 75 minutes and include breathing exercises, mediation, and stretches.
People can buy blocks of five or ten sessions that have to be used within six to 12 weeks, or you can just drop in as there are a number of classes across the city in a week.
As well as providing a relaxing space and support network, yoga classes while pregnant can help with a number of ailments including heartburn, sciatica and back pain.
Lush Tum classes first started in Brighton but now run all over the UK from Haywards Heath to Hastings, Worthing to Manchester.
“Every time I put on new training sessions I got so much interest, it has been amazing,” said Clare.
Services provided through Lush Tums include pregnancy yoga, antenatal education class, post natal yoga, women’s yoga which is for anyone who has a child , and classes aimed at children.
Clare can see the benefits of introducing yoga to children from a young age.
“WiggleBums (for preschoolers) and WiggleKids (for primary school children) are fun interactive and creative yoga classes using story and sensory play to teach the benefits of yoga, breathing and mindfulness.
“I feel like everything they do in the class provides them with tools for life either at a nursery or school setting, or independent class.
“It is also nice when the parents come to the class and it may be the only time in a week that they get 45 minutes to connect with their children.
“They act like they are there for their children but they get just as much out of it.
“Children are money boxes and what you put in when they are younger you will get out as they grow older.”
Lush Tums also have birth and post natal doula courses.
“It can give you confidence and reduce the chance of interventions by 60 per cent,” said Clare.
“We also provide support after the baby is born so when everyone goes back to normal and you are on your own there is someone to offer support.”
For the yoga classes pregnant women are advised not to attend until their second trimester, so from about 15-16 weeks due to feeling fatigued.
“But if you are someone who has always been active and mobile from dance, gymnastics or running you can in your first trimester just tell your yoga teacher,” said Claire.
For more information, visit www.lushtums.co.uk
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