Feature on Jane Austin : Preparing for birth — and everything after — at prenatal yoga
by Sarah Feldberg
in San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com)
“Wherever she is in the nineish-month journey, this is the safest of places for a woman going through pregnancy. It’s a room where no topic is off limits and the weirdest complaint will be met with a knowing nod and a suggestion for acupuncture, wrist guards, pregnancy tea or that couch trick…
For about 90 minutes at a time, Austin is yogi, therapist, confidant and comedian, a sympathetic ear and knowledgeable voice who approaches the uncomfortable truths of pregnancy and motherhood with straightforwardness, humor and practical advice.”
How to Trust Your Instincts with Jane Austin (interviewed by Heather Grzych)
Lately I’ve been talking with a lot of people who work in fertility, prenatal, labor and postpartum care because my book “The Ayurvedic Guide to Fertility” just launched. I had been wanting to speak with Jane Austin for a while because she’s been teaching prenatal yoga to thousands of women and their partners for thirty years at one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest and oldest yoga studios. We tried to get her on a panel I moderated last month, but we couldn’t get the schedules to sync up, so we decided to do a one-on-one interview together.
I knew of Jane from when I used to live in the trendy Mission District in San Francisco before I was a mother, back when I was basically Mark Zuckerberg’s neighbor! I used to take yoga classes at Yoga Tree Valencia Street, where she taught, and see all the baby strollers parked outside the studio as I was waiting for her Postnatal + Baby Yoga class to end. It was a mysterious world of breastfeeding, diapers and tiny shoes, into which I felt like I was getting a sneak peek.
Pre and Postnatal Yoga and the Secret Magic of Your Pelvic Floor, with Jane Austin
On and Off Your Mat Yoga Podcast
Listen on Apple Podcasts
For our 32nd episode, I sat down with Jane Austin. Since Jane is San Francisco based pre and post natal yoga teacher, I’ve never personally taken class with her, but I’ve heard numbers of fellow teachers raving about her, her classes and her trainings. When I saw she was also leading workshops on the pelvic floor, I thought we could make a great episode that anybody could relate to, mom to be or not.
5 BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS OF THIS EPISODE
1. Yoga gives you an opportunity to shift form all the external chatter (from what people think you should be doing) to the internal experience. When you understand that what you’re experiencing is true for you, you can learn how to trust yourself.
2. When you listen to your own truth, you will make choices and decision for yourself (and your baby) that are going to be appropriate. And what’s true for one women is not true for an other. You know your body better than anybody else.
3. You don’t HAVE to go to a class to practice yoga. Roll out your mat and just commit to doing any amount everyday. Rolling out your mat is a way to set an intention to do some self-care.
4. Holding Mula Bandha for a long time without releasing can be very detrimental for your health.
5. Embracing yourself and loving yourself is the first step to reconnect to your pelvic floor. Then, when we have a relationship to it, visualizing muscle function, will create more activation and more receptivity.
QUESTIONS JANE ANSWERED DURING THE EPISODE :
Can you tell us about yourself, your yoga journey, and why you chose to dedicate yourself to pre and post natal yoga.
What are the needs of pregnant women when it comes to yoga? And what are the benefits they get out of it?
How important is the power of the group and the community?
Do you have tips for self-care for newer and not so new moms out there?For teachers that teach regular class that are listening, what are some ways they can hold space or be supportive to a pregnant or postpartum mom coming to their regular class?
For teachers that are interested to train in pre and post natal but have reservations because they are not moms, have never been pregnant, what do you say to them?
Why is it important for you to teach about the wonders of the pelvic floor?
How does a strong pelvic floor helps us be more stable and more powerful?
What’s the link between the pelvic floor and our nervous system?
What’s the biggest obstacle when it comes to pelvic floor health?
Do you have an example of movement or breath technique that can help listeners to get started with building more awareness or vitality to the part of that body?
Bay Area Yoga Teacher Highlight: Jane Austin.
Name: Jane Austin.
Practice with me at:
Yoga Tree Valencia
Prenatal Yoga: MWF 10:35am – 12pm and Sat 9:30 – 10:55am, and Mom and Baby Yoga: MWF 12:05pm – 1:30pm.
And I host Women’s Retreats on pelvic floor health at 1440 Multiversity in the Santa Cruz Mountains, as well as weekend Prenatal Partners Birth Prep workshops at Yoga Tree Valencia.
I’ve been practicing yoga: Since 1990!
I’ve been teaching yoga: Since 1998, and also I’ve been a childbirth educator since 1990.
I teach: Yoga for women – pre and postnatal yoga, pelvic floor health.
My mantra these days: Always breathe.
A posture that has been resonating with me lately is: Trikonasana / Triangle Pose. This is a home pose for me. I can be in, discover new things and feel relatively comfortable.
How I like to practice yoga off the mat: Ahimsa with myself and with others to be a kinder and more present person.
My sign: I’m an Aries Sun, Taurus Moon and Leo Ascending.
The last book I read was: Yoni Shakti is always on my bedside table. This book by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli is one I always go back to as a resource and inspiration.
My favorite local juice/tea spot: I miss the old Samovar in the Castro, but I do like Beloved Cafe now on 24th near Mission.
I go for a nourishing meal to: K’s Kitchen in my neighborhood with my family.
What’s on your yoga playlist right now: Eternal Om. And the sound of my own breath – Ujjayi.
A few of my favorite yoga teachers are: Kate Holcombe, Janet Macleod, Tony Briggs and Ann Austin.
A ritual I love: My morning pot of English Tea that my husband makes for me every day.
What I am letting go of this year: Self doubt.
What I am embracing this year: My family.
My website: janeaustinyoga.com.
My instagram: @janeaustinyoga.
Top Prenatal Classes in San Francisco – Review of Jane Austin
“women flock to her classes from across the bay area. she can easily pack a room full of expectant mamas at varying stages of pregnancy week after week. she is a mother, midwife, doula, educator and yoga teacher who is on a mission to guide mamas safely through pregnancy to birth with her yoga. meet jane austin (yes, that is her real name!).
jane austin has been teaching her pre + postnatal yoga classes at the yoga tree studio on valencia st in the mission for nearly a decade. she has grown a large and loyal following of moms who continue to return to her classes year upon year. jane has an energy and presence that draws you in. she is warm and nurturing yet also incredibly funny. she’s not afraid to share what is on her mind in class and she openly talks about the good, the bad and the ugly parts of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
what struck us the most after attending a series of her classes during our own pregnancies is how she genuinely cares about every single, soon-to-be mother in her class. she cares about how you are feeling, what you are experiencing in that moment and what your journey through pregnancy has been like up to that point. she starts each class with an opening circle (usually 25-30+ women) and invites every mama to introduce themselves to the group. she will go around the room offering sage advice, recommending herbal teas to reduce cramping and specific exercises to alleviate back pain. all of this before she even starts the yoga practice.
IF YOU WANT TO FEEL PART OF A MOVEMENT, A TRIBE, A COMMUNITY,
THEN THIS CLASS IS FOR YOU.
jane starts each class with a seated arm sequence. part arm strengthening to prepare you for life as a mother and part moving meditation. you move your arms in small circles for a good 5-10 mins until you feel like your arms might fall off! this is then followed by a gentle yoga flow practice with sequences like cat and cow stretch and modified sun salutations. overall, the class is designed to help create space in the ever-changing pregnant woman’s body, to soothe the aches and pains of pregnancy and motherhood, and to help prepare your mind, body and spirit for a natural birth.
jane’s prenatal class is offered every monday, wednesday and friday from 10.35am to 12noon. with additional classes on tuesday and thursday led by teachers jane herself has trained through her mama tree yoga training platform.
in addition to the prenatal class, jane also offers a mommy and baby class (pre-crawling babies) mwf from 12.15pm to 1.45pm, as well as partner yoga workshops throughout the year for expectant parents.
where: yoga tree on valencia st. (yoga tree have multiple locations in the bay area)
when: prenatal yoga is offered every monday, wednesday and friday with jane austin from 10.35am to 12noon.
additional classes: mom + baby with jane austin is offered every monday, wednesday and friday from 12.15pm to 1.45pm.
price: new clients can get an unlimited 2 week pass for only $25, otherwise one class drop in rate is $24, 10 class package is $190 and unlimited membership is $155. classes also available on classpass.
facilities: changing rooms are available and stroller parking.
need to bring: yoga mat, additional layers for when you are sat still to stay warm. mats, bolsters, blankets, blocks and straps are all provided by the studio.
mama tip: 1/2 a block down from the studio is a cute store called scarlet & sage herb co. where you can buy prenatal vitamins, organic body oils, pregnancy herbal teas and the herbs for a postpartum sitz bath.
and for those of you who might not live in the bay area or just can’t get to studio, then fret not! jane is now offering her classes online via udemy, amazon, movewith and yogavibes!
have you attended jane’s classes before? if so, leave us a comment below and let us know what you think!
keep moving, mamas!”
June 2019 in Moving Mama SF
Jane Austin’s 3 Self Care Tips for Mamas
Everyone one seems to be talking about “self-care.” That is easier said when done when you are a mama.
What many of us come to realize as we traverse the sometimes rocky path of motherhood, self-care often takes a back seat to the other concerns and responsibilities. Who has the time for self-care? I know it seems like a luxury, but it’s not— self-care is essential.
I have found that I have to prioritize it or it simply won’t happen. I find that when I care for myself, I am better equipped to care for others.
Here are three ways that we can start to incorporate self-care into our lives so that it sticks, and nourishes us daily:
June 2017 in Teach.Yoga
May 2016 in Elephant Journal
Jane Austin’s on Taking Time To Nourish Yourself
I started teaching yoga after the birth of my second child. What many of us come to realize as we traverse the sometimes rocky path of motherhood, self care often takes a back seat to the other concerns and responsibilities. As a mom, I found yoga to be an essential part of my self care. Honestly, it helps me to be a better mom. I find that when I care for myself, I am better equipped to care for others.
Jane Austin’s Top 5 Tips for Teaching Prenatal Yoga Featured on Yoga Tree blog.
Here are some tips to help you teach supportive classes and hold space for mamas whether you plan to become a prenatal yoga teacher, already teach prenatal (or postnatal/mom & baby yoga), or just want to add some more awareness in your classes for your students who come that are pregnant.
Jane Austin Featured as Small Business Owner of the Month with Jennifer Loomis Photography!
Jane Austin is is another rock star who I want to introduce on my monthly blog post featuring amazing women business owners who serve pregnant and postpartum women.
Jane Austin Talks to Gena Kirby of Progressive Parenting Radio
Jane on the benefits of yoga for women as they transition into motherhood.
Podcast at BlogTalkRadio.com.
Talking with Jane about the benefits of Prenatal Yoga
with Indianapolis Doulas
Self Care the Ultimate Mindful Mother’s Day Gift
Jane’s Tips Featured in Yoga Journal.