Crunch Yoga Mama - Prenatal Yoga
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Welcome to CRUNCH Fitness!
Expand your mind along with your body. During pregnancy is an incredible time to practice yoga to keep your body healthy, your mind stress-free, and to connect to your growing baby. This gentle and effective program is designed to keep you toned as well as get you ready for the big day. Appropriate for any trimester, you'll move through a series of poses that focus on breathing as well as strengthening and stretching muscles that will prepare you for the challenge of labor and birth. Yoga can also improve your circulation and digestion plus relieve common tensions related to pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a beautiful time to enjoy, and yoga can help you make the most of it.
The CRUNCH Philosophy:
The CRUNCH fitness program welcomes people from all walks of life regardless of shape, size or ability. We created a workout environment that not competitive or judgmental. Enjoy these favorite classes with imaginative instructors in an atmosphere that makes working out fun.
Meet the instructor:
Sue Elkind, Los Angeles. Yoga instructor, and new mom. Fitness philosophy: live fully, laugh fully, and love fully. Pregnancy can be such an amazing time if you can slow down and enjoy the process. Favorite splurge food: vegan chocolate chips cookies when not pregnant; when pregnant... the REAL thing!!
Top customer reviews
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Before pregnancy I did a lot of high intensity work outs like running, and Turbo Fire. To me this is more of a meditation than a workout, but it's a good thing. I feel like it really helps stretch my back and clear my mind to help with stress.
Some reviews said you spend a lot of time in downward dog, but I've done other yoga workouts that have you in this pose much longer and more often. I wouldn't worry too much about it. There is a good mix of gentle poses.
I like the fact that there are lots of modifications for people that aren't that flexible and that the focus is on making room for baby to be comfortable and to get ready for labor.
The only kind of bad thing was the transition between poses, but like any at home work out DVD you can learn the routine pretty quick which makes the transitions easier each time you play it.
Initially, I rented this video through Amazon Instant Video, and then my boyfriend purchased the DVD for me.
I'm now at about 32 weeks and about a month ago started experiencing severe pain in my left hip, which I suspect was due to the fact that the increased baby weight and relaxation of ligaments knocked something out of joint. I went to the chiropractor twice in one week, but the best adjustment to fix the problem would normally involve lying on my stomach, which I can't do at this point. Posters to an online discussion board indicated they'd found yoga to be incredibly helpful for managing hip pain.
I've been doing this yoga video every day for the past month. I do it first thing in the morning, and follow it up with a 20-30 minute soak in a warm tub to loosen the muscles in my hip joint. After about 7-10 days I found that my hip pain had begun to decrease. The pain I experienced made walking painful, and walking up stairs was excruciating, even if I supported myself using a handrail. Before the hip pain began to subside with the yoga I was walking with a very pronounced limp, and began to experience pain in my mid-back and right shoulder due to how my body was compensating for the extreme limp.
After about another week I was able to walk up stairs with minimal discomfort. Now, I can walk up stairs without any discomfort at all. My hip muscles are still a bit stiff from time to time, but I attribute this to the fact that my pelvis is 12mm shorter on the left side than on the right side, and the stiffness is about the same as I experienced when I was still running regularly. I've found that my posture has improved, especially below the waist, so that I have very little low back pain. Additionally, I've found that my stance has improved so that I my feet don't roll inward as much when I'm walking. My improved stance has decreased knee strain as well.
The only reason that I gave this video 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the instructor's commentary throughout the video. Some of the commentary is in regards to how our bodies change during pregnancy and how various poses can help with the resulting discomforts of those changes; this I found to be helpful and informative. Other commentary is more editorial ("Look down at your feet... I know, it's getting harder every day! or We gladly carry this extra baby weight around!) and gets on my nerves when I'm hearing it every day; admittedly, that has more to do with my own attitude than with the quality of the video.
An additional observation before I close this review: I wish that this video repeated some of the poses, especially the standing poses, because I don't always feel like I get the stretch I need in key areas of my hips; I can solve this by pausing the video to repeat the poses. If the poses were indeed repeated at least one additional time, then the video would probably be about an hour long instead of just under 45 minutes. When I do desire more time with specific poses I will switch to Desi Bartlett's yoga video mentioned at the beginning of the review. That video and those poses provide a yoga session with more repetition of poses and that is a bit more intense than this one.
UPDATE, January 5, 2013
I can't speak empirically as to how much impact this video had in helping ease my birthing experience, but I wanted to share a few (very general, relatively non-graphic) details about my birth experience and the use of this DVD.
I used this yoga routine right up until I gave birth, which happened about two weeks early. I was at work on Friday and my water broke the next morning while I was making breakfast. About two weeks prior to this, and during each of my weekly checkups I was about 2.5 cm dilated and my ob/gyn predicted I would likely not have to worry about going past my due date. This was my first child and I had heard in childbirth education classes that most women on average spend at least 16 hours in labor with their first child. My water broke at about 10:30 am and we were at the hospital within two hours. I was given a low dose of pitocin because I was barely having any contractions even though my water had broken.
Once the pitocin began to kick in, I was in labor for about eight hours, and in hard labor for only about 20 minutes before my daughter was born. At one point while I was pushing I reached down and was able to grab my own feet to assist in the pushing, instead of having my feet held for me. This blew the attending ob/gyn away, who said she'd never seen an eight and a half month pregnant woman do such a thing.
There are a myriad factors that come into play that have an impact on how long a woman will be in labor, especially with the first child. Although I don't have another personal birthing experience to compare it to, I do think that the yoga poses in this DVD made for a somewhat easier birthing experience than I would have otherwise had, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who was pregnant.
- I am a beginner and I found that I can follow the exercises without looking at the TV.
- When she says bend to the right she means your right so you can copy her easily as she bends to her left.
- There are about 6 women of all different body shapes behind the instructor which I like because I don't want to look at all slim, flexible women while I am getting bigger and bigger!
- A pleasant and friendly instructor with a nice voice (although her top gapes a little when she bends over in front of the camera. Nothing obscene in the slightest and when she is standing you would not think anything of it. It's just a little thing I noticed that I though was odd).
- The stretches are comfortable.
- Background music is pleasant and soft enough to go unnoticed
- The set is OK, modern, nothing special, nothing irritating to look at repeatedly.
- I do not find her phrases irritating even though she always tells you to look down at your belly, when I'd be happy to forget about my belly for a few minutes and simply be told to look down.
I enjoy doing the DVD but am going to buy another one as this one gets a bit boring because...
WHAT I DO NOT LIKE SO MUCH
- The actual stretches are really, really spaced out because the instructor talks in between them. She usually gives instructions for modifying the stretch and things like that but I think you spend half of the tape just standing waiting for the next stretch. I hold the stretch longer or do an extra set and make sure I have the remote close by and fast forward between each stretch. Yes, the inactive parts really are long enough that it is worth fast forwarding!
- The instructor LOVES downward facing dog pose. I'm sure it is great for "creating space for the baby" (her favorite phrase) but it gets really tedious to do the same pose over and over and over. Last night I found myself wincing every time she said to fold in half from standing or straighten your legs from being on all fours.
Ths is very gentle and the instructor is pleasant. I find it very easy and relaxing to switch on this DVD after a long day at work. I recomend the DVD but be aware that although it runs 45min, you can get it done in 30min if you fast forward the inactive parts between streches.
All the women in the DVD have late2nd/3rd trimester bellies. One participant even shows you how to modify each movement if you're less flexible or your belly is too big. I plan on using this every other day just to relax and stay flexible.