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Pregnancy yoga provides a safe and supportive context for pregnant women to come together – sharing in a practice designed to promote optimal health and wellness for both mom and growing baby.
These yoga classes are specifically designed to support a more comfortable and healthy pregnancy, and to prepare for labour with special practices of movement, breathing and meditative techniques. The practice of prenatal yoga will help you to meet the challenges and transformations of pregnancy and birth with strength, confidence and calm. These classes are for pregnant moms, however we also offer a one-time Saturday afternoon class for couples to prepare for labour together with movement and breathing. Clearlight Gerald (MA, E-RYT, RPYT) has special training and certification in teaching pregnancy yoga (completed at the Kripalu Center in 1999), and she has been teaching yoga for pregnancy and childbirth preparation for over 15 years. For complete rate and registration information, please visit our rates & registration page. You provided me with so many beautiful and useful tools to have the labour and delivery I always wanted to have.
I’ve had a lot of back pain this pregnancy, and am pleasantly surprised at how effective these classes have been in literally eliminating my discomfort. Clearlight Gerald, MA, E-RYT500, RPYT, founder and director of Yogaspace Studio, is a professional level certified Kripalu and Prenatal Yoga Teacher.
Clearlight began practicing yoga in 1991, and started teaching in 1999 after she completed her certification as a Kripalu Yoga Teacher and Pregnancy Yoga Teacher.
Clearlight brings skill and passion to her role as a specialist in teaching prenatal yoga and postnatal yoga, a path she chose after feeling profoundly inspired in the 1990s to bring yoga to pregnant and new mothers. She has been witness to the dramatic beneficial effects of yoga in her own life as a mother of two, and as experienced by so many other women during this time of transition.
Clearlight’s dynamic teaching style reflects the passion she has for her personal practice and her love of sharing yoga with others.
Finally, since the question does come up so frequently, it must be shared that Clearlight was named Clearlight at birth by her mom and dad, and that she feels a deep gratitude for this beautiful gift from her parents!
Since then, I remain a changed woman – the classes empowered and motivated me, and kept me grounded in one the most beautiful experiences of my life. I have truly loved and appreciated the classes you have guided – from early pregnancy all the way through to mom and baby yoga!
I’m not downplaying the intensity of my childbirth, because trust me, there were moments when I truly felt that I may not be able to continue, but having internal focus is one thing that allow me to get over the obstacles that I faced. Labour and delivery was a really beautiful experience because I was able to stay in the moment, get through the pushing effectively and feel strong while doing it, and get through the c-section which was ultimately necessary with a lot more calm composure than if I had not been breathing the 'ocean breath' the whole time. I am proud I never got the epidural even though it was not by choice… I am also proud that I labored standing up doing the yoga breathing as I had intended to do. I don't think that I could have had a natural birth without the preparation of the prenatal yoga class. I just wanted to thank you again for your prenatal yoga class and the couples' workshop that my husband and I attended. Despite a 40+ hour labour I managed to get through it without an epidural, thanks in great part to the breathing techniques and positions that we learned in class. A few years ago various events led me to choose a more spiritual path along which to travel through my life.
Yoga practice, as you understand and articulate it, as well as how you simply embody and enact it, brought me back to the quiet place within myself - even in a room of crying babies! We had a wonderful & natural birth experience, and our baby boy entered this world very peacefully.
We offer a variety of classes and workshops here at balance, for complete beginners through to advanced practitioners and everyone in between. For dates, times and booking information for upcoming classes and workshops please visit our Timetable. Whether this is your first lesson, or you are seeking a refresher after some time away from the mat, our classes and workshops for beginners are a great introduction to the benefits of yoga. Beginners Start up Courses & One Day Introductions introduce basic yoga postures and breathing techniques, as well as the principles of relaxation and meditation. Start Up+ is for those who wish for more time before making the transition to a Level 1 class.
These classes gradually introduce more challenging asanas, and open up opportunities to develop a deeper practice.
Ashtanga is a dynamic and strengthening form of yoga, and this class introduces the basic breathing techniques and poses that become the basis of the flowing Primary Series sequence. This class is for anyone looking for a focused, self aware practice whether they are aged 60 and over, or not.
These classes are suitable for expectant mums at least 13 weeks into their pregnancy, no previous experience of yoga is required. A gentle monthly class suitable for beginners and those who, for whatever reason, want to practice at a slower pace. This class incorporates the use of a yoga swing to support the body with the help of gravity, so poses can be achieved with less effort and strain, enabling students to explore poses to a deeper level than they might normally be able to achieve. These individual yoga lessons are tailored to your particular needs, whether you are new to yoga, looking to refine your practice or are seeking a remedial program to aid recovery from an injury or ailment. Previous experience in yoga is absolutely not necessary, many women come as complete beginners to yoga.
During this time Clearlight has had the privilege of teaching several thousand expectant and new mothers in both her pregnancy yoga and mom and baby yoga classes.
I really appreciate the knowledge you bring, giving us exercises that feel both safe and challenging – and above all have made a world of difference in how I feel in my body. These classes are the only time in the week where I can focus on just me and this pregnancy - what a gift!
Clearlight currently teaches classes and workshops at Yogaspace in Kripalu Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga, Childbirth Preparation for Couples and Mom & Baby Yoga.
As a result of following her heart, she has had the privilege of teaching several thousand expectant and new mothers in her pregnancy yoga, and in her mom and baby yoga classes.
She continues to offer an inspiring context in which women can connect more deeply to the wisdom, balance, and joyfulness that they bring with them into parenthood.
Her yoga teaching balances an emphasis on safety and strength with the importance of discovering how the practice of yoga can bring a greater sense of wholeness and balance to every aspect of one's life. During labour, I thought of you and tried to hear the calmness of your soothing voice to keep me going – it worked. Aside from the very fact that I have my beautiful Marcus, you made one of my biggest dreams come true in being able to have such a beautiful birthing experience. I really credit the breathing and vocal toning techniques with getting me through those last hard hours of labor without intervention. My husband, Ryan, and I rushed to hospital last Tuesday morning just in time for her delivery. I found your website by chance and it led me to discover many of the elements that helped prepare me psychologically, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually for pregnancy, give birth, and motherhood. The focus and sense of peace was something that developed after meeting you and starting the yoga course. The nurses and doctor's kept telling me I was breathing really well and doing really well throughout.
I got to know my body even better during the courses and I trusted it when I was in labour and afterward.

Focusing on my voice and keeping it low helped me to think of something other than the pain. Ivy Rebecca came roaring into the world (and thankfully not in the car) Tuesday at 8:58 am. The meditations were especially helpful and your voice came to me many times when I was scared. Our daughter Eleanor was born on December 16 at the Jewish General, and without my yoga practice I'm sure it would have been a very different and much less satisfying birth experience! In turn, being able to cope with the pain without an epidural actually allowed me to avoid a c-section in the end. You helped me to reconceptualize what it means to walk the path in a daily way when daily meditation, regular journaling and quiet reflection are no longer a realistic expectation. Alongside our regular programme we hold specialist classes for mums and babies, runners and cyclists, aerial yoga and more. These classes will set you up for a great and rewarding practice and are open to men and women of all ages and fitness levels.
It is suitable for anyone who would like to start practising yoga or who wants to continue with their yoga at their own pace.
Incorporating specially tailored postures and breathing techniques, these classes encourage relaxation, strengthen and tone the body, and help to build confidence as your body changes. It is advised not to participate in the class if you have a history of repeated miscarriage. If you underwent a caesarean section you must have a 6 week check from your GP before attending.
As well as improving alignment, stamina and flexibility, the class includes simple mindfulness and relaxation practices to re-balance the body.
By practising slowly but deeply (poses can be held for up to 5 minutes) Yin targets the deeper connective tissues in the body. These workshop focus on strengthening and stretching core muscles used by these and many other sports, helping to counter and remediate injuries.
After countless hours of research on and about this breed, here is my version of how this wonderful breed came to be.In the early 1800a€™s Scotsman Bruce McKinsey moved his family moved from the cold damp climates of Northern Scotland to the Grampian Hills of Central Scotland. Pregnancy is a time for moderation, so you are always encouraged to modify movements or to rest as necessary. I feel so much more relaxed and happy after the classes, I wouldn’t miss them for anything. We had a completely natural delivery with no epidural (but I can definitely understand why people get it). I, to this day, look back on that cold and snowy day in February 2007 with only utter satisfaction, elation and pride!!
All in all I had a short and incredibly intense labor and delivery with no Epidural, no medical interventions, no cuts and mainly no c-section - just like I hoped. My partner, my doula, my baby and myself worked together as a team and although you were not physically present you were part of the team as well. The yoga was amazing for helping to focus on the here and now during pregnancy (which wasn’t always easy) and to prepare for childbirth. The experience of labour and childbirth was one of the most special and exhilarating moments of my life, and I want to thank you for the important role that you played in that. Interestingly, the experience of motherhood has made staying grounded in my spirituality quite a challenge!
I can easily say I unconsciously went through every single one, and your 'you know you are breathing if you hear yourself breathing' was my mantra at various difficult moments. We also regularly invite respected and inspiring teachers from around the world to lead workshops. Advice and information are also provided on all stages of pregnancy, delivery and the post natal stage. For mum, the class will focus on gentle exercise to realign the spine and strengthen abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and also encourage relaxation. If any perinea sutures (tears) are in place it is advised to wait 3-4 weeks and for the wound to be comfortable before attending. Each monthly class focuses on different asana, mainly around the spine, lower back and hips, joints commonly requiring extra care and attention.
Those with no previous experience are welcome to join, and existing yoga students who wish to focus on particular areas such as hips and backs will find it beneficial too. You have also made my pregnancies and my parenting experiences more comfortable and enjoyable. My husband Nitai also really appreciated the tools and positions we practiced in the workshop. I will be forever grateful for your gentle kindness and guidance throughout this journey that is only just the beginning.
After fighting traffic and detours we arrived at the hospital and Ivy was born 45 minutes later. Not in the big moments of tremendous gratitude, love and joy, but rather in the 'smaller' or more day-to-day moments that too often have been characterized by fear, doubt and self-criticism. It's proven to have a positive effect on muscle and joint stiffness, neck and back problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, shortness of breath and bad circulation.
After spending time together working the sheep in the fields and watching how McKinseya€™s dogs worked the livestock, Alexander eventually acquired a female Scottish Colley from Bruce and named her Flora. With much low groaning and focused breathing (and hand-holding from hubby), we had our healthy girl in, literally, no time at all.
I definitely used the breathing techniques and the analogy of moving with an ocean wave rather than against it, but even more than that I think it was an overall sense of peace from within, and a knowing that what I was experiencing was normal and natural. This class is also a great way to meet other mums, and tea and biscuits are provided at the end. Poses can be adapted to individual ability, using a chair, bolsters and blocks for support and balance if needed.
There isna€™t any information as to the demise of Alexander, but he was well into his 80's at this time. This pup would come to be known as "Jet", a black pup with a faint line of white up his face, a white chest and socks. Both theseA lines worked from the head and didn't have the a€?loose eyeda€? working style of the traditional Collies.If you look at the picture of the Basque Sheepherder, taken at the turn of the century, you can see the resemblance of our modern day McNab in the Black and white dog in the back on the right side. Among Scottish flocks he is the pride of Scottish owners, and is valued, both in the Old World and the New, as one of the best aids money can procure. Here even, in far California, there is one ranch, lying high on the breezy mountains and low in the grassy dells, that for years has relied upon the help given by imported collies and their offspring, and it is of the work these bright dogs do that this article is written.For the history of the collie one must look elsewhere than in a brief magazine sketch.
Many wise dogs have journeyed far by land and sea to race over the rugged hills after the nimble sheep, which in these mountain wilds give fleet defiance to the would-be-gatherer. No one but a real Scotch shepherd can train these dogs to the perfection they attain among Scottish flocks under constant supervision. Descended from long generations of workers the puppies take actively to business, and practice amusing tactics of herding on the farm poultry while still too young to be initiated into the graver cares of life; and at first sight of a band of sheep will usually make some move that denotes the shepherd strain. Literally is it true of the collie, Ye cannot serve two masters ; his allegiance must be given to but one, or the valuable animal becomes worthless for the work that nature and training have given him to do.
The breeze is sweet with bloom, and the sunlight falls, a flood of golden glory, over the lavish green of April meadow, as we take the upward trail, a woodland path that rises steeply under the shadow of the Peak, giving but glimpses of the valley home below, and winding through still shadows in the absolute silence of Natures own domains.

Higher we go, and onward, past an old stone cabin, a picturesque bit of ruin in the lap of spring. As we come out from the woods with the Peak still above us, send a swift glance northward, where Sanhedrim and the northern mountains still are capped in glittering snow, rising sharply from green valleys to the sunny sky, their sparkling peaks the only hint of winter in all this summerland. Off he dashes up the hill, makes a wide circle past a dozen ewes, and as they bolt up hill heads them, turns, and deftly drives them down. Their lambs lie asleep in the warm sun or frolic together on the hillside, bright bits of movement white against the green.
A motion of the hand directs the alert dogs, and they join the two bands and send them steadily along the trail. Two ewes and a lamb go running to the side.Here, Pete!The dog dashes quickly across a little hill, the bright drops sparkling on his black coat as he passes the sheep and turns them. Circling in front again, the dog overtakes, turns them, follows, and turns again, and patiently works them along till his troublesome charges are safely among their fellows.
If sent to hurry the little flock, he dashes at the hindmost, barking his orders.Here the master whistles Fred to the right. Nothing is visible to him, but off scurries the obedient dog, barking frantically, circles, and stops. Off he dashes, perhaps fifty feet or so ahead, and dropping to the ground with nose between his paws, he waits till the flock is close upon him ; then he springs up and trots ahead again, and once more quietly waits their coming.Fred! The master walks away, and Fred, understanding perfectly that he must keep the flock, swiftly circles round them and brings them to a halt. Here, alone, he holds them, keeping them closely together while Peter and the master gather the other side of the hill, and return two hours later to find the sheep quietly grazing and Fred lying as quietly watching them.Two ewes wander a little too far. Scarcely rising to his feet, the dog slips quietly through the grass beside them, and they turn and slowly rejoin the band, cropping as they go. Fred trots quietly around his charges, sees that all are safe, then drops down again, watching them ceaselessly with shining eyes, and not a ewe or lamb is missing when the returning master adds his flock.Steadily we climb, through the golden afternoon. Occasionally shy deer peer through the brush, the warm air is sweet with the breath of bloom, and a distant eagle screams as he sweeps in stately circles over the Peak. The flocks number in the hundreds as we finally reach the summit, where we are met by the shepherd and Tweed, with another band. In go the dogs, and send the sheep briskly down the trail, while Peter, circling far behind of his own accord, often brings in a stray ewe that has slyly dropped out.Yonder is a place where the whole band broke away years ago, and never have forgotten it, but neither have the dogs. With a fierce challenge the collies vigorously meet the flying band, and force them back to the trail more roughly than we have seen them do yet, in punishment, perhaps, for their presumption and past sins.
She has bolted away several times, and given Peter much trouble to bring her in ; but his Scotch is up, as she dashes away again. He springs in before her, and with a dexterous hoist of his body sends her tumbling end over end, which is his own cure for these troublesome bolters, and was never known to fail.
As if shot from a cannon, the ewe bangs against him, and over goes Tweed, howling rolling over and over, down the steep hillside, all four feet kicking at once, in angry protest as they come uppermost ; and his chap-fallen expression, as he struggles to his feet and slinks away, shows that Tweed is both a sadder and a wiser dog. Though all are trained alike in a general way, two collies differ as widely in characteristic methods of work as two men,each possessing a distinct individuality of his own.Ah! After much hard running the flock is finally under control, but a bunch of lambs has become separated in the confusion, and after circling helplessly, stampedes in wild disorder.
Peter tries his wise best to work the foolish little things back, vainly attempting to head them off.but they jump over him, halfa-dozen in succession, ears and tails flapping wildly as they clear his broad back. While the master separates the sheep, let us sit on this sunny hillside and watch the collies as they circle round the running lambs. They never bark at them as they would at old sheep, but merely follow and slowly check them by degrees. The little things are both obstinate and foolish, and at first pay no attention to the quiet collies that trot patiently round and round, quietly gather them together, and at last stop their wilr1 run. Slowly, and with marvelous patience they are turned, jumping over each other, then over the dogs, and it seems a hopeless task even to attempt to take them the half-mile to the corral, but in a couple of hours time Fred and Peter come slowly up to the gate with them, not a lamb hurt or missing, and their first acquaintance made with these gentle protectors and friends. Peter is a favorite, bright even beyond the ordinary collie, his first appearance in the field showing a canine reason. Then he suddenly spied a huge rock; straight for it he went, and springing into sight upon its top, he stood a moment, one paw uplifted, ears up and nose a-quiver, a pretty picture, gave two quick glances, and was down and with the sheep again, and quietly drove them straight across the field to the hidden gate. Often, till he learned the hills, did he leave the sheep,, and on some high point literally take his bearings, to return to his charge and take them down the better way, justifying his masters assertion that surely the line between reason and instinct is closely drawn in the Scotch collie. He was a ready match for a certain obstinate old ram, that always fought the dogs and delayed their work ; till at last when sent for the flock Peter went first for this old enemy, and there, nose to nose, both heads bobbing excitedly, he would angrily bark and growl, till the conquered ram at last would make a sudden bolt, and the victorious Peter calmly gather in the flock.
A most conscientious dog, his work was done faithfully and well till years disabled him; but Fred, more alert to praise, did best were strangers present, when he abounded in bright ways and brilliant work, done with a comically conscious air of superior excellence.
The young man pondered a little, then to the country saddler he went and ordered made from his description little leather shoes.
He took to them kindly, like the wise dog he was, wore them gratefully, and after a long days run through flying seed, off would come the shoes, leaving his feet sound and well.
Meekly he would let his shoes be donned, regarding his master quizzically the while, and wear them complacently enough in view, but let him be sent for sheep a little out of sight, a little delay would be noticed, then out from behind some bushy clump or sheltering rock Fred would gayly emerge, with many gambols to divert the eye.
Clyde closely resembles Fred, whose days are past; and till the present puppy, tiny Tweed, grows to working age, Clyde is the mainstay of the gathering.
Help fulfills his name on other portions of the large range ; but either are true types of the working collie, willing and faithful helpers till years disable them. Either one is sent for sheep entirely out of sight in a large field, and patiently hunts till he finds them, then brings them in alone ; and Gyps mother, Bessie, brings in the entire flock from her owners small range just as readily as from the field. They brought with them their stock dogs, the Fox Shepard, the origin not known, but have survived in Scotland for centuries.
McNab returned to the Grampian Hills in Scotland for the sole purpose of getting some of the dogs he was used to working. He brought Peter back with him, leaving Fred to have his training completed, and he was later sent to America. These two dogs were bred to select Shepard females of the Spanish origin, which were brought to this country by the Basque sheepherders, and that cross was called the McNab Shepherds because Mr. He named this pup Jet he was black with a faint white line up his face, a white chest and a small amount of white on his feet. Some of these dogs will have a wider strip up the face (Bentley Stripe) and a ring around the neck, there are also instances of pups with brown on their face and legs but will still be mostly black. Alexander McNab and his family raised sheep in Scotland, but longed for a warmer climate and enticed by the news of the West, set out across the Atlantic to America.
McNab was not satisfied with the type of working dogs he found locally, and in 1885 he returned to Scotland for the sole purpose of importing the type of dog(s) he had been accustomed to working with.
It was said that these two male dogs were bred to female dogs of Spanish origin, which were brought to this country by the Basque sheep herders. I have searched (and continue to search) to find out the type of dog the Basque may have brought with them to California, and my findings were contradicting.

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