Crunch Yoga Mama - Prenatal Yoga

Sue Elkind
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Pregnancy/Postpartum

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This is the first prenatal workout that I have experienced. Iím not pregnant, but my sister is with her first baby and Iíve wanted to try prenatal workouts forever! So we did the workout together today. I was hoping it would be a very gentle, relaxing, yoga workout and thatís exactly what I got. It was pleasant, fun, and relaxing. Sue leads with several background instructors (all women of course) of various points in their pregnancies. I recognized Michelle Dozois as a background exerciser, she gave beginner modifications (she used a chair for the warrior poses; most of the women used a folded up blanket for various poses). The background was the Crunch set used in most, if not all, of the Crunch workouts. The music was a mix of very pleasant piano music.

The workout has already been broken down nicely, I just wanted to add that I think they chose good poses for a prenatal video. The poses were of course baby friendly (no inversions) and included a LOT of hip openers, including lots of time spent in downward dog and standing forward bend (and wide leg standing forward bend). There was also plenty of time spent on the floor for cat/cow, hamstring stretches, butterfly stretch, wide leg straddle, and, of course, kegels. Other moves included triangle, side angle pose, and standing side stretches. Sue did rotate from floor to standing a couple of times, but all of the transitions were slow moving and deliberate.

Again, since I havenít had any experience with other prenatal videos, I canít say how this one compares, but as it stands I would recommend this to others. I like it enough I would buy it for others as a gift. Just a very gentle, pleasant yoga workout with lots of hip openers for mothers to be. Grade A.

Instructor Comments:
Sue was a very enjoyable instructor. Unlike other Crunch videos (Iím particularly thinking of Sara Ivanhoe-ugh!) she is not perky, chatty, and does not have an annoying valley girl twang. She gave breathing techniques and moved slowly. She often pointed out modifications and reminded you to only do what feels comfortable. I havenít seen her in any other videos but I would buy her workouts again.

Emily B.


i have never been really into yoga, but this was just what the dr ordered when my belly started getting in the way of doing seated hamstring stretches. the first time i did the workout, i felt a huge difference in my hamstrings, low back, and even across my top/upper back. i didn't even know my upper back had gotten tight till i had finished the workout and had so much tension released. i love it.

there have been a couple mornings where i have had such low back pain that it hurts to move(this pregnancy--3rd--& the last one are boys, where i tend to carry very low, so i get a lot of low back pressure). after doing just the downward dog segment (one of my favorites) the pain is magically gone in less than 5 minutes.

my other favorite part is the hip openers--when i do that part at least 3x's per week i notice my knee isn't so high above the opposite foot. if i don't have time for the whole workout, i'll sometimes skip the breathing section and the relaxation at the end and i'm done within 25 minutes.

she mentions just going to the point where you are comfortable and on some of the poses to only go deeper "if there's room for your baby". the cueing is great too, making it easy for me to follow only by her voice instead of watching the tv screen the whole time. she always reminds you to turn your tailbone under or take arch out of your back just as i notice that my body is doing those things.

at nearly 27 weeks along, i am surprised i can still have some flexibility and not super tight hamstrings. last night i was able to touch my toes on both feet without any strain. glad i got this workout and that it doesn't take any equipment (just a folded blanket--i use a pillow), definitely a keeper, even after the baby's born.

here's a time breakdown of the different segments:

1. breathing (6:39)
2. downward facing dog (5:07)
3. half sun salutes (4:37)
4. standing poses (5:43)
5. squats & kegels (10:52)
6. twists(1:38) and final resting pose(3:22)

Instructor Comments:
the instructor is great, very calming and non-judgmental(ie. no holier than thou attitude or look how much more i can get into the stretch than you).



I am writing this review a couple of years late, as my daughter is approaching her 2nd birthday, but oh well. :-) I will say right up front that in general I am not a yoga person. Prior to getting this workout I had not found a single yoga workout I could enjoy. The spiritual aspects of many yoga workouts do not appeal to me. I decided late in my second trimester that I needed to at least try to find some yoga I could tolerate during my pregnancy to help maintain my flexibility and to help maintain a sense of balance with my ever-changing center of gravity. Crunch Yoga Mama fit the bill perfectly. The moms in this workout are at various stages of their pregnancy, and seem to take obvious joy in their changing bodies and their little workout buddies. The instructor was calming without the ultra-serene auras of other yoga instructors I had seen, including some other pregnancy yoga instructors. That always drove me nuts. Especially when I'm pregnant, I'm NEVER that serene. :-) The yoga poses were a challenge as my 3rd trimester progressed, but never felt overwhelming or unattainable. I enjoyed this workout so much, in fact, that I have since obtained all of Crunch's yoga workouts. They continue to be the only yoga that work for me. They aren't what I think of as "woo woo," at all. If I had to sum it up in 1 sentence, this and the other Crunch yoga workouts are excellent non-yoga-person yoga workouts.

Instructor Comments:
I really enjoyed this instructor. She was soothing without being annoying. She had a good sense of humor and was easy to work out with.



I would recommend this video for pregnant women who miss yoga. Most of my yoga tapes have positions that cannot be done in later pregnancy (cobras, etc.) but this one includes modifications of many of the usual poses - from sun salutes to triangle pose. There are great stretches included as well as yogi pushups and squats, making it a relaxing but energizing tape. I am very active and still teaching step at 30 weeks and wish I had found this tape earlier. I use it on my non-cardio or weight training days to relax and stretch out - just to do something ! I think it has helped me prevent the usual back pain associated with the extra weight in my abdomen.

From sitting stretches, back stretches on all fours, sun salutations, upward dog, standing poses, and those push ups and squats, and finally some more stretches, the tape takes not quite 45 minutes and will leave you, as I mentioned, feeling relaxed but energized.

There are women at all stages of (obvious) pregancy joining in the workout.

My only criticisms are that there is no (modified) ab work included and the tape will probably be of no value once I'm back on my feet, postnatal.

Instructor: Sue Elkind is 7 months pregnant in the video and is very soothing to listen too without being annoying ! The music is relaxing and the set basic (typical Crunch?).