Jennifer Wolfe is a Registered Yoga Alliance Vinyasa and Prenatal Yoga instructor, Certified Master Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapist, Certified Doula, Childbirth Educator, Reiki master and a Mom! We sat down with Jennifer and asked her six questions about herself, business and life.
1. Please tell our readers about yourself!
Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga was born in 2000 after the birth of my daughter Sydney. I found yoga in 1996 and began teaching shortly after. However, when I found out I was pregnant a couple years later, my body was craving the same flowing practice I had been doing before pregnancy but I found that most prenatal yoga did not give pregnant women the option for vinyasa (flow) yoga. So, I became a doula and developed Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga for women who want to continue vinyasa style yoga safely while pregnant. Right away I realized the demand for this style of yoga was very high. I grew from one to ten full classes a week in the first year. A couple years later, I opened Dolphin Yoga & Doula Center which was dedicated to pregnant and postpartum women's fitness and education.
2. What did you do before Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga?
I started my career as a Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, vinyasa yoga teacher and a doula. I am a Master Hypnotherapist and teach Childbirth Hypnosis and Pain Management at the Palo Alto School of Hypnotherapy in addition to running Jennifer Wolfe Yoga and Dolphin Doula.
3. Tell us about your other business – Dolphin Doula.
Dolphin Doula offers a unique experience for pregnant women to get in touch with their bodies and learn about their individual potential for coping with and enjoying their pregnancy, childbirth and transition to motherhood.
As a doula, I have attended over 400 births and more than 10,000 hours of labor. At Dolphin Doula I train and certify doulas and childbirth hypnotherapists and, along with my partners (Tracy Stettner and Melissa Edling), run two doula groups who service women and families in the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
4. What have been some of your greatest successes? Greatest challenges?
I made my first DVD due to students requests – to be able to practice at home. However, when I put the DVD on Amazon.com I received an outpouring of positive feedback that wasn’t expected. In the first year it shot up to the second best selling prenatal yoga DVD on Amazon.com and was positively reviewed in The New York Times. The success of the DVD's eventually brought me my most rewarding work, which is the creation of my teacher training program and traveling to other countries to train yoga teachers in my prenatal style. The people I have met and lives I have touched and been touched by have been life changing for me and I feel blessed every day to get to do the work I do.
My greatest challenges have been in juggling doula work and teaching. Doula work is so rewarding yet unpredictable, and at the peak of my doula career I had 10 to 12 births a month. I could be gone, for a birth, anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days! The choice for me to cut down to only a few births a year was difficult for me but the only way I could travel and grow Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga to where it is today. I continue, however, to be able to provide doula services by training doulas, thereby spreading my techniques and unique style through my students.
5. For mom-to-be’s out there, what is your advice (or tips) for having a healthy, active, stress-free pregnancy?
My advice to pregnant moms is to stay active! It is so easy to use the "condition" of pregnancy as a reason to let yourself discontinue any physical activity. They often think they are just too tired or weak to exercise. The truth is that in my experience working with thousands of pregnant women, those who do at least 15 minutes of exercise a day will feel more energetic, have less fatigue and feel stronger. They also tend to eat healthier because they notice how good it feels when they are taking care of their bodies and their babies.
The other advice I would give is to take care of how you are sitting especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. Avoid chairs that have you in a reclining position rounding your back. This position might feel restful in the moment but will encourage improper positioning for your baby potentially leading to longer more uncomfortable labors. For more information about baby positions visit www.spinningbabies.com.
6. What’s next for Jennifer Wolfe Yoga? Any big plans for 2011 or 2012?
2012 Promises to be an exceptional year for Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga. We are kicking off our 85-hour Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in October of this year and taking it international in early 2012. We are planning more trips to South America and the Far East as well as expanding our U.S. and North American presence. Additionally, for the first time, we are bringing doula trainings outside of the U.S., helping to establish doulas in places where there were none or few before.
As a special thank you from Jennifer Wolfe and Lullabelly, we are offering a 20% discount on the Complete Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga 2DVD set.
Please visit http://www.jenniferwolfeyoga.com/discount.html