Last week I introduced to you Margot, the Warrior Woman behind Root & Bloom Counseling. (Check it out right here!) There’s so much to Margot, I decided to share her work with Yoga Way to Birth in a separate post.
Margot is such a sweet, kind, and caring soul. I feel like the more you get to know her you can just sense the yogi in her – she has that peaceful, calm demeanor that I’ve found many yogi’s to possess.
Make sure to get to the end to see her yoga moves in my studio as well as some photos from the Yoga Way to Birth class that I photographed.
Margot’s Yoga Journey
Can you tell me more about your yoga journey? How/When did you first get into yoga?
Margot: My very first yoga class was in high school. I took a Bikram class, as a former dancer it came fairly naturally. In a lot of ways it felt like a very similar setting with mirrors in front of you doing different positions, with a teacher guiding you at the front of the room. But then when I was in college, I took another yoga class that was actually just called stretch & strength. It was the first time that I experienced movement in a way that was not about trying to do things perfectly or comparing yourself to others. The class was about moving in your body and moving in ways that felt therapeutic and supportive. It was incredibly freeing for me to experience movement in that way that was free of judgement and rigidness.
After I finished college at Whitman with a degree in Psychology, I wanted to travel the world and explore. I went to Costa Rica with my now husband to teach English. We lived there for nine months. At the end of our time there, we had a month long break. I noticed there was a yoga teacher training taking place, so I emailed them and asked if they offered scholarships. To my surprise, they wrote back and offered me a scholarship that would pay for 50% of the training. So I went!
The training was a month long intensive program, starting at 6am and finishing at 6pm – doing yoga all day long. It was definitely one of those experiences where the more you know, the more you don’t know. I kept thinking, “wow, there’s a whole lot about yoga that I had no idea about and I have so much more to learn. But I loved it, it was what catalyzed my love of teaching and sharing yoga and my belief in the healing powers of a yoga practice.
After that experience, I taught when and where I could. When we eventually moved back to Salem, so my husband could attend law school, I found a sweet little studio there and was teaching regularly while also going to work at a crisis center for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Yoga was always my anchor and got me through my Masters in Social Work program. Ever since Costa Rica, it’s been a part of my daily life.
What is Yoga Way to Birth?
Margot: Tina Lily, founded Yoga Way to Birth. She wanted to create a childbirth education class that was totally different than anything else that is offered out there that really invited the principles of yoga – body-centered, mindfulness based practice and pair it with childbirth education.
What is the structure of the Yoga Way to Birth classes?
Margot: It is recommended that the pregnant person comes with a partner, which doesn’t have to be their romantic partner – it can be a doula, a mom, or whomever they want to bring with them.
We have two class formats – a six class series or a weekend intensive. It’s recommended that people attend towards the end of their second trimester or anytime in their third trimester.
Every class contains a yoga practice in addition to working together in pairs, sharing together about how they’re feeling and connecting about what’s going on. It also contains some sort of labor rehearsal. So we ask them to do some sort of activity that’s going to invite them into their bodies and really consider what labor looks like.
They also get the Yoga Way to Birth guidebook when they take the class. The guidebook is broken down by class module.
How did you get involved with Yoga Way to Birth?
Margot: While pregnant with my first son, I took the Yoga Way to Birth class, which was my introduction to the mindfulness space paired with childbirth education. And what I loved about it was that it really prepared me for different parts of birth that I didn’t know I needed to be prepared for.
I am a Type A personality, so I read all the books, spent time learning all of the terminology and figured it all out from like an analytical side. But I hadn’t really considered the fact that you don’t give birth with your brain. You give birth with your body. So, if it offered opportunities to be in my body and interact with my body in a way I didn’t quite know I needed at the time. I encountered some of my fears, and how scared I was to give birth, as well as how scared I was to be a mom – and what that would mean for my life and how my life was about to change. That preparation was invaluable in the birth experience. Because in my first birth, nothing went the way it was planned.
I ended up being induced and needing an epidural, which was fine. But had I not done some of the preparation beforehand, I might have had some more grieving about how things went. But instead, I walked away feeling really empowered with how I did cope and manage in those moments.
Then, when I was pregnant with my second I started taking learning more about prenatal yoga. During that time, I became reacquainted with Tina who was my instructor when I took Yoga Way to Birth. She happened to be looking for new teachers and so they brought me on as an apprentice when my second son was about six months old. I spent a year apprenticing, shadowing, learning how they do it and eventually started teaching on my own.
Margot also just launched Next Wave Birth with Megan Peterson and Shana Celnicker-Chong. It is a prenatal and postpartum yoga teacher training that is gender inclusive, trauma informed and rooted in anti-oppressive work.
Where to find Margot & Yoga Way to Birth:
You can also find Margot teaching yoga classes at Yoga Pearl.
Want to read about more Women Warriors in our community? Check out these amazing women: