For as long as there have been pregnant women, there has
been unsolicited and often ridiculous pregnancy advice. Bystanders have all
manner of opinions about a pregnant woman's body and what she does with it. It
almost feels like carrying a child in utero means no more "regular life."
That's why it's so refreshing to run across moms like Lizzy
Tomber, who saw no reason to give up her love for Acroyoga just because of her
baby bump. Acroyoga had been a huge part of Lizzy and her husband's life together,
as you can see from one of their more unconventional wedding
"I started doing yoga while I was in high school," Tomber
recalls. "My mom and I would take different classes at the community college
near our house, so one year we signed up for yoga and I loved it. I had done acrobatics, gymnastics and circus classes as a young
child but then forgot about that world until I was 25 and a friend invited me
to an Acroyoga class. I immediately loved the practice that combines the fun
and power of acrobatics with the mindfulness and thoughtful movement of yoga."
Tomber says she was surrounded by encouragement throughout
her pregnancy, and no one advised her to stop her practice. "Some people asked
about how I was modifying my practice for pregnancy but for the most part,
everyone was really encouraging. My husband is also my acrobatics partner and
so we both were committed to keeping our baby safe while we continued teaching
acrobatics. We stuck to poses and moves that I've done hundreds of times and
know really well. I stopped training some more advanced moves and avoided
trying anything new. The other thing that helped is that we are really
calibrated. We know exactly how to get in and out of poses and after six years
working together, I know how my husband is going to catch me."
Tomber and her husband, Josh Young (founder of
Acropedia.org) met in an Acroyoga class and are full-time Acroyoga teachers.
When she became pregnant, they stopped doing moves that would directly impact
her belly, but she wasn't about to give it up.
"I love that the practice encourages students to listen to
their body and push only to a place of feeling
good, not past it," she says. Such an important part of caring for your
body—pregnant or not.
"What I love about Acroyoga is that it teaches me how I can
support others, how I can trust my partner, and how to find a playful joy in
Even after baby David was born in February, Lizzy and Josh
found a way to include him in their practice. "Technically, he has been doing
acrobatics since before he was born. He's just holding up his own neck, so
we're not rushing it but would of course love for him to grow up doing
Tomber does acknowledge that Acroyoga might not be the best
activity for some expectant moms, but she does believe it helped her recover
quickly from her C-section.
"I think women should do whatever is right for
them in pregnancy and for some people that is resting," Tomber says. "I
actually slept a bunch in my first trimester because my body was exhausted.
While doctors say it's important to be healthy and active, I also think it's
important to listen to your body and rest when you need it."