NISSWA — Emily Isackson had always been a runner, but when she got pregnant, she didn’t know what exercise was safe for the growing baby. So the Baxter resident turned to prenatal yoga, a specialized class for expecting moms.
Isackson was 14 weeks along last July when she took her first session with certified prenatal yoga instructor Dani Sutin of Nisswa Yoga.
“It’s designed for pregnant women, so I didn’t have to worry about what I can do. It’s modified for me,” Isackson said. “Once I did my first class, I kept going back because I was learning how to prep my body for labor, stretching, and toward the end, pain relief and relaxation.”
Isackson went back to the class last week, this time with baby Greta, who was born in December.
Greta laid giggling on a blanket at the head of her mom’s yoga mat as Isackson held a pose.
To the left of the pair was another mom and baby duo and four moms-to-be, each with bellies sticking out.
Sutin sat cross-legged on a blue mat in front of the class.
“How are we feeling today, ladies?” she asked.
“I’m waking up at night because of my back every 20 minutes,” said student Amy Ledin, who is at 35 weeks.
Her classmates could relate. Today, Sutin would help stretch those back muscles. First form, the child’s pose.
“Send any thoughts and lots of love to the child,” Sutin said softly to the group.
Dr. Alicia Prahm of Essentia Health recommends yoga to some of her patients.
She herself took a prenatal class in the Twin Cities when she was expecting,
“Exercise is generally recommended for a huge majority of pregnancies,” she said. “Yoga is a nice form of exercise in pregnancy. It’s reflective and a peaceful time. You spend time connecting with baby and enjoy being pregnant.”
That’s what Ledin likes about it.
The Crosslake resident started the class at 16 weeks.
“It’s relaxing and I’m able to focus my mind on other things besides pain,” she said. “It’s good to also get together with a group of people going through the same thing as you. I look forward to it. I get to focus on myself and baby.”
Prenatal yoga can either erase or dilute aches and pains that come along with pregnancy, Prahm said. It carefully stretches core muscle groups, centering around the lower back, hips, pelvis and legs.
Alicia Priglmeier of Brainerd was five months along in her third pregnancy when she joined the Nisswa class.
It helped with a lot of the lower back pain, she said.
Priglmeier gave birth to Izabella in October, using some of the positions she learned in class during labor.
Sutin was certified in prenatal yoga after getting pregnant. An avid yoga enthusiast, she didn’t want to stop the sport because she was expecting.
Since she couldn’t find any prenatal classes in the area, she followed along to some DVD sessions.
“After I had my son, I needed to do something,” she said. “(Prenatal yoga) moves with your belly. I wanted other women to experience it.”
So she started the business with partner Jennifer Smith, opening Nisswa Yoga in October, and temporarily operating out of the MN Surf Co building.
Since then, six moms have passed through her class and given birth. Four more moms-to-be are still on the yoga mats.
Next month, the studio will move to its own space in Nisswa Square.
“I want to help build a community between the moms,” Sutin said. “Just a place to go and forget about all and connect with the pregnancy.”
Prenatal yoga gave Isackson, a first-time mom, confidence.
“It mentally helped me prepare, to think I can do this,” she said.
Contact Nisswa Yoga
218-330-6083 or email email@example.com.
Find it on Facebook: “Nisswa Yoga”