May 6, 2007

Prenatal Yoga Center Starts a Blog

Hello World!

My name is Deb Flashenberg and I am the Director and Owner of the Prenatal Yoga Center. I thought I would start off by explaining my intention for this blog. I am here to talk about my experiences in the prenatal yoga community, the student’s experiences on and off the mat, life as a studio owner and doula and even my own journey to motherhood.

(To be honest, my husband, the guy who created this whole website, thought this would be a good idea. I have never even been on a blog before…so please bear with my rookie mistakes.)

I guess like Maria Von Trapp sang “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start!” I started taking yoga on and off for several years before I truly plunged into it. I had moved to New York to pursue a career in musical theater (hence the tribute above to The Sound of Music) and a choreographer used the Bikram yoga series as out warm-up for the rehearsal. A friend of mine then introduced me to the owner of the Bikram Yoga NYC studios and I started taking there regularly. About a year and a half later, I decided to get certified in Bikram Yoga. It didn’t take long for me to realize, that was not the style that I wanted to continue to teach.

After class one day, one of the teachers mentioned getting certified in prenatal yoga. That idea intrigued me. I started researching the best prenatal yoga teacher trainings. The one that looked the most thorough was at the Seattle Holistic Center with Colette Crawford. So, I packed up and headed out West. When I came back I started teaching prenatal yoga out of a small room in the Bikram NYC Studio on the Upper West Side. I started with 2 classes a week and the room fit only 6 students. (Amazingly enough, I still teach some of my original students. I was even the doula to one of them!) Anyway – by the time I was told that the small room I was renting was being transformed into a dressing room, I was up to 6 classes a week and squeezing 7 students in the miniscule room.

Well, the obvious choose for me was to rent a bigger space. I found a partner to go in on this adventure with me and within a few months the Prenatal Yoga Center was born! My business partner didn’t last long. Within the first year of opening the studio – she headed off to India. Luckily, I had the support of my husband and the inspiration of my students. The studio grew organically. I don’t have a business background – (I went to the Boston Conservatory and have a BA in Musical Theater!) but I believe in following common sense, respecting my students and teachers and offering the best possible service I can. I also think it helps that I truly stand behind what I teach.

It has now been over 6 years since I taught my first prenatal yoga class. In that time, I went on to become a certified doula through DONA and a certified Lamaze childbirth educator. Hopefully soon, I will be adding “new mother” to my evolution.

Running a business has its challenges, but it is completely worth it when I run into students at Fairway or anywhere on the street and they tell me that their births were empowering and fulfilling and that their classes at the studio added to that experience.

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