Moving forward and continued services

It’s been quite some time since I’ve dusted off my keyboard and blogged for Shining Light. I wanted to update you on my classes and the studio itself. Since moving out of the Lawrenceville studio and into my home studio in Brighton Heights, classes have been small, but going well.

The schedule has been pared down to Confident Birthing on the first and second Saturday of the month, Breastfeeding Essentials and Infant Care each on a Wednesday evening and Prenatal Yoga on Thursday evenings and Saturday morning. The NOURISH your Pregnancy package is also available to provide you with complete preparation for birth. Spaces are available in all classes. Do sign up and join me in this intimate group setting or schedule a private, one-on-one childbirth class.

I have a small handful of doula clients with whom my partner Amanda and I are working. We have room in our schedule for more doula clients too.

The Lamaze Educator training is coming up on July 14-16 as well. So, for those who wish to teach childbirth education or further their careers in the field of pregnancy and childbirth, this is a great opportunity.

I’ve also been recently quoted in two articles on Romper, How Having A Traumatic Birth Affects Your Body and How Does A “Natural” Birth Affect Baby Later In Life? There’s Not A Clear Answer. So, I’ve been a busy bee recently.

I’ve expanded a bit and teach an All Levels Yoga class at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater in the Strip on Tuesdays 6:30-7:30. I honestly love this class. It’s reminded me of my origins as a yoga teacher.

Starting March 31, I will be teaching at Vital Glow Yoga in Bellevue on Fridays. Prenatal Yoga at 9:30 am and Mommy & Me Yoga at 11:00 am.

April 9 is Restore Your Pelvic Floor and May 21 is Accommodating a Pregnant Woman in your Regular Yoga Class. Both workshops are at South Hills Power Flow in Dormont.

I am in process of looking for a new location for Shining Light as well as working on a new website. I’ll keep you posted as to my progress. Hopefully there will be good news to share soon.

So please do join me for classes and do spread the word. Thank you.

Love and Light,


The end of an era, closure, restructuring and policies.

Important information regarding Shining Light’s closure and restructuring

My students ~
It is with a heavy heart that I write this email to you all. I have some important news regarding Shining Light. If you are not already aware, due to continued increases in rent and a major shift in my personal life, Shining Light will be closing our doors in Lawrenceville, effective 10/31/16. As of 11/1/16, all classes will run out of my home studio in Brighton Heights (15212). 
Please see below for details regarding classes. Registration is open for all classes and workshops. 
In Jan 2017, the class schedule will again expand  in a format and location(s) yet to be determined.
Thank you for your understand and your compassion during this challenging time. I look forward to continuing to serve you in the coming years.
With Love,
Important Information – Yoga class packages
If you have yoga class packages still with classes left on them that will expire after 10/31/16, you will need this important information. If you wish to know how many classes you have left, please login to your Mindbody account for Shining Light.
I would strongly encourage you to use your classes during October to get the most out of your class packages.
As of 11/1/16, there will be a limited class schedule hosted out of my home studio in
Brighton Heights (Northside). The address will be provided to you, should you choose to attend classes at the home studio. Preregistration is required to attend all classes at my home studio. You will be able to register through the MindBody software or over the phone.
The class schedule from Nov 1 – Dec 17 will be:
  • Prenatal Yoga – Thursdays 6:30-8:00 (no class on Thanksgiving)
  • Prenatal Yoga – Saturdays 10:00-11:30 (no class Thanksgiving weekend)
  • Mommy & Me Yoga – Tuesdays 10:00-11:00 am
All yoga class packages will expire on Dec 18, 2016
If you cannot make the scheduled classes, I will be happy to convert the classes to private classes at a discounted cost of $50 per private session. (Private yoga is regularly $70 per session.) In other words, you will receive an account credit for the amount you have not yet used on your yoga class package and that will be applied to the private session. If your balance is less than $50, you would owe the difference.
All account credits will expire Jan 31, 2017
Private sessions will be hosted at my home studio and scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
Important Information – Confident Birthing, Breastfeeding Essentials, Infant Care
All classes, Confident Birthing, Breastfeeding Essentials and Infant Care which are scheduled prior to 10/31/16 will run at the Lawrenceville location.
Confident Birthing: 
  • Wednesdays, 11/2 – 11/23, 6:00 – 9:00 pm (home studio)
  • Saturdays, 11/19 & 12/3, 1:00 – 6:00 pm (home studio)
Breastfeeding Essentials
  •  Wed, 10/12, 6:00 – 8:30 pm (Lawrenceville)
    Sat, 10/29, 2:00 – 4:30 pm (Lawrenceville)
  • Wed 11/30, 6:00 – 8:30 pm (home studio)
Infant Care:
  •  Wed, 10/26, 6;00-8:30 pm (Lawrenceville)
  • Sat, 11/5, 2:00-4:30 pm (home studio)
  • Wed, 12/7, 6:00 – 8:30 pm (home studio)
You may register for classes through the website, with the MindBody software.

How do I know if I need pain medication in labor?

One of the most common questions I hear from my Confident Birthing students is:

I’m planning on a natural birth. But, what I want to know is, how do I know if I’ve reached my limit? How do I know if I need pain medication, an epidural, or if I can push through without?

My answer is twofold.

[Read more…]

Back pain relief for pregnancy with Spand-Ice

Spand ice, pregnancy belly wrapWe will have a new product for you to test after all of our Prenatal Yoga classes this week. It’s  a great wrap for back pain relief.

Spand-Ice specializes in designing thermal therapy and compression clothing for back pain relief, inflammation and muscle soreness. They are currently designing a new maternity wrap version to help pregnant women get back pain treatment + support throughout their pregnancy.

The new maternity wrap uses hot or cold therapy into insulated pockets targeting the lower and mid back pain area. Two powermesh straps wrap around your belly (one under the bustline, the other under the belly) adding compression + support exactly where you need it.

There are a few, limited wraps available before they go into full production. If you are interested in purchasing one, please email Helen directly.

If you’d like to stay an extra few minutes after this week’s prenatal yoga classes, you are welcome to try on a wrap and see how it best suits you. This is only for classes 5/3 – 5/7

Why Self Advocacy is the Most Precious Gem You Can Possess

This is a guest post by Priya Amin, the founder of ROKI

I am a mom of two adorable, crazy boys, who light up my life and give me heartburn like you wouldn’t believe.  While I was pregnant with my first child, I had every intention of being the rockstar mom who could balance a hectic work schedule and being there for my son.  But after complications during delivery – my water breaking before contractions started, a negligent nurse ordering more pain meds before checking me which led to prolonged pushing and eventually having to use a vacuum assist to get my child out of me – once I held that little baby in my hands, my whole perspective on life changed, and I saw my career in a completely different light.  The first year of my sons life was hard – from having to recover from a difficult delivery, to having to drop him off at daycare at 12 weeks then travel for a whole week immediately after that, to crying every day at daycare drop off.  When I was contemplating cutting my schedule back at work, I was nervous about talking with my superiors about my decision, and with good reason.  I was basically given an “all or nothing” choice and decided to take “nothing” – i.e. staying home with my kids.  It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

Self Empowerment, Shining Light Prenatal Education, PittsburghFast forward four years, and after I successfully re-entered the workforce after being home with my kids and freelancing on the side, I realized I needed to have a conversation with my boss to cut my schedule back.  I definitely had flashbacks to my first professional conversation at my former company, but this time, I was prepared.  I had numerous conversations with other colleagues and moms beforehand, and I went into the conversation advocating for myself, my family and my need to balance both.  I was clear and honest about my goals and how I saw myself getting there.  And the most unbelievable thing happened – my boss agreed to cut me back to part time so I could spend more time with my family!  

I have to admit though – I haven’t always been a great self advocator, but I’m getting MUCH better at it.  That’s because I’ve realized over the years, after talking to countless other moms who desperately want to make changes in their lives, that women (including myself) DO NOT ASK FOR WHAT WE NEED.  We somehow are either waiting for permission to ask for what we need (until we’ve hit a wall, fallen ill, or our child is ill) or feel as though we don’t deserve what we are asking for.  We’ve been led to believe that what we really need for ourselves and our families to feel balanced, happy and productive should not be a priority, isn’t important or worse, is a liability.  I’m here to tell you that’s complete bullshit.

Self Advocacy is the Doorway to Empowerment

Asking for what you need, whether at work or in life in general, is the key to unlocking the power that’s always been within you.  Instead of waiting for others to give permission or read our minds (as I’ve done so many times in the past), self advocating allows us to put ourselves in the forefront, and get what we’ve needed for so long.

Self Advocacy Should Not Be a Solo Thing

How often have you heard “If you want something done, do it yourself”?  Sure, it’s true, but when advocating for yourself and what you need, it’s important to talk to the RIGHT people and get those people on your side.  Getting the right people to have your back boosts your confidence and helps you get even closer to reaching your goals.  I’ve found immeasurable support through my family, friends, coworkers, even online moms groups, who help support and uplift one another.  Don’t try to go at it alone, darling.

Self Advocacy Is Hard at First….But Not Impossible

Like all difficult things, self advocacy takes practice.  It also takes a plan.  I’ve found that the best conversations I’ve had to get what I need were not ones where I tried to bully or manipulate the other person (which I can’t do anyway) or even negotiate with them, it’s when I have a concrete goal in mind, and actionable steps to get there.  When I share those steps with the person in question and how they can help me reach my goal, that’s where I’ve found the most success.  With my first employer, I had the goal in mind of spending more time with my kids, but I was looking to my employer to provide me with the steps to get there.  The second time around though, I had my end goal in mind, which was to strike a better professional balance, but I also had the steps in mind (work from home, drop to part time, work only on specific projects) and laid them out in a way that mutually benefited us.  Not only did it show my boss I was organized about my plan, but that I had put a good amount of thought into it too.

No matter what challenge you’re facing, either personal or professional, advocating for yourself is the key to navigating the issue in the best way possible.  I spent most of my life being a pushover and waiting for others to tell me what to do or how to do it – when I began standing up for what I needed and believed in, I began seeing a unique power within me I didn’t realize I had.  I now am on a journey to empower other women, who either haven’t found ways to advocate for themselves or who need that tribe of women behind them to support them.  Try it out today, even if it’s something like telling your husband “I needs to take a nap, and you need to take care of the kids for 1 hour…” and comment below on the outcome!

Priya Amin is the founder of ROKI, an empowering and supportive online network for professional moms looking to leap to what’s next in life.  Priya has two boys, Ronin & Kirin, the inspiration behind the name ROKI.  In the past, Priya has been called an Ever Evolving Optimist.