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Photos courtesy of Kristin Taylor
“When my mom practiced yoga, life was
sweeter,” she said. “It made a huge impact
on her, which made a huge impact on
me. … I never heard anyone say that they
would have been better served by parents
who were less present and more anxious.”
But it’s not only the physical practice
of yoga itself that benefits new parents or
mothers-to-be; the community that yoga
class creates has a positive impact as well.
“Studies that show that when expectant
mamas have supportive community
— church, a knitting group, yoga — their
post-partum outcomes are greatly improved,
regardless of socioeconomic
class,” Mitchell said.
One of the most rewarding parts of
Mitchell’s job is when she sees “multiplegeneration
friendships” that formed in
class: mothers whose children now play
with each other.
“I’ll sometimes run into groups of moms
who were in my class who now are walking
around with kids in strollers, kids playing
together,” she said. “It’s the most rewarding
thing. It’s really beautiful. I’m so very
Students have taken the initiative to get
to know one another over the years, but
one recent student stands out: Woodside
resident Kristin Taylor, who started the
Yoga Mamas potluck group.
Taylor started going to Mitchell’s prenatal
yoga class “pretty much as soon as I found
out I was pregnant,” she said — at around
the sixth to eighth week of her pregnancy.
Around week 20, Taylor realized that she
didn’t have friends who would have kids
around the same time as her. She wanted
a community of mothers who would be going
through the same things at the same
time she was.
She asked Mitchell if she could make an
announcement to see if any of her classmates
wanted to go out to eat after class,
and Mitchell gladly granted her permission.
The first time, five or six women went to
Tacuba, a nearby Mexican restaurant. From
there, it evolved into larger, more regular
meetups, usually potlucks hosted at various
women’s apartments. They’ve gotten
together at Astoria Bier and Cheese and
had an impromptu picnic in Astoria Park.
Now, most group members have babies;
Taylor’s own son, Theo, is several months
old. New members — both new mothers
and moms-to-be — have connected with
the group via The Yoga Room. And now,
Taylor goes to another class at the studio:
the Mommy & Baby class. (There’s also a
Mommy & Toddler class for when kids get
a bit older.)
“I strongly encourage anyone and everyone
to go to prenatal yoga,” Taylor said.
“It was nine months of practicing how to
give birth and it was so helpful to me when
I was actually in labor; I called up so many
things from that class, like breathing and
Taylor said that anyone who wants to join
her Yoga Mamas potluck group can go to
one of Mitchell’s classes and ask Mitchell
to connect them.
THE YOGA ROOM
38-01 35TH AVE., ASTORIA
Photos by Carey MacArthur (careymacarthur.com)
Kristin Taylor’s son Theo at the Mommy & Baby
class at The Yoga Room