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Om Yoga Blog
Om Yoga Blog
Experience Om Yoga and be encouraged to deepen the awareness of the body, mind and spirit bringing forth your highest qualities. Be Inspired to live daily in a way that promotes peace, mindfulness, humility and growth.
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11:32 am

Prenatal Yoga Q&A with Kiesha Battles

prenatal yoga

What is Prenatal Yoga?

We provide a supportive environment for women to practice yoga postures and breathwork specifically designed to create space for the baby and to ease and manage discomforts associated with pregnancy. 

How can yoga benefit my pregnancy?
Prenatal yoga offers many benefits for expecting mothers and their new babies. Practicing yoga during pregnancy has been proven to help prepare the body for childbirth. There are also a number of emotional and spiritual benefits. Physically, prenatal yoga strengthens the muscles used in childbirth, enhances flexibility, increases circulation, reduces lower back discomfort and swelling around sensitive joints, alleviates nausea and other common pregnancy discomforts. Spiritually, the intentional breathing, meditation and inward reflection of yoga provides a deeper sense of awareness of oneself during pregnancy and can nourish the mind and soul. It also aids emotionally, while in preparing to welcome a new baby into the world. 

When can should I practice Prenatal Yoga?
Prenatal classes are highly recomended for women in all stages of pregnancy. After birth, with your doctor's consent you should be ready to resume gentle yoga exercises to restore body tone, strength and flexibility. We recommend starting with our Yoga Basics and Slow Flow classes.

Can I still take a non-Prenatal Yoga classes?
Expecting mothers with a regular yoga practice prior to pregnancy can continue practicing. Inform the instructor that you are expecting and share any concerns/information you would like to share. The instructor can provide specific modifications as needed. 

When are classes held?
Prenatal Yoga - Saturdays at 11am-12pm. 

What should I bring to class?
Bring your yoga mat and water. Small blanket and/or pillow optional. We have blocks, straps at the studio and we also rent mats and sell water. 


Om Yoga 

About the instructor:

Kiesha is a Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. She has been teaching yoga in studios, gyms, spas, churches, classrooms, and more in the Charlotte and surrounding area since 2011. She completed her 200 hour training through Kristin Kaoverri's Subtle Yoga and Personal Transformation Program (2012). She also holds certifications in Kids yoga through the Grounded Kids Program (2013) and Prenatal yoga through Enlightened Yoga (2014). Kiesha has a background teaching Power, Vinyasa, Deep Stretch, Restorative, Prenatal, and Kids yoga. Her studio resume includes teaching at Gotta Yoga, Okra, Yes 2 Yoga, Mint Hill Yoga, KadiFit and her classes at the YMCAs are highly popular. She has created yoga programming for senior, kids summer camps, elementary and middle schools, and more. In addition to yoga, Kiesha formerly has over 15 years of corporate experience in business with an expertise in project management, IT audit, and training and development. Kiesha holds a Masters of Asian Studies focused on religion and philosophy. It was during her academic studies where she encountered Iyengar Yoga and has been practicing for over 10 years. Kiesha's style is traditional yet contemporary blending breath connection, alignment, hands-on assists and providing options for all levels. She's currently continuing her Hatha Yoga studies with Maya Breuer, Senior Kripalu teacher and Prenatal studies with Amani Murray, RPYT.

Kiesha Battles

4:18 pm

Yoga Becomes the Alternative to Traditional Fitness


The Proof Is In The Numbers: Folks in the South Are Turning To Yoga For Wellness, Fitness, And A Break From Modern Day Life.

Today’s fast paced generation thrives on instant gratification, pressure to be productive, and drive for perfection. For years the same mentality applied to fitness: We looked to programs that got us looking good in the same amount of time it takes to drive through the car wash. However, a new approach is spreading through the Fort Mill area as we recognize the need for something more. We are looking for an outlet that offers total mind and body wellness when we put on our workout gear. For this reason many of us are grabbing our yoga mat rather than running shoes when we head out. Yoga has been around for centuries and practiced by many, but according to Google, “The ancient art is experiencing a renaissance, with an estimated 12 million Americans now practicing yoga, double the number of just five years ago." So, why is yoga becoming the answer for so many? Because, when you come to a yoga studio it's like coming home: you kick off your shoes, put on something comfortable, and let the day go. This is a welcome change for those of us who used to drag ourselves to a gym where we would encounter fluorescent lighting, the sound of weights thumping into the floor, and the wait for our favorite machine. Now, we can just roll out our mat and breathe. In addition to the inviting atmosphere, we can find a class and routine that matches exactly what we need. Whether you want to trim and tone up for bikini season with a power class, detox with a hot practice, or just get started in a basic class, you can find exactly what you need any day of the week. Om Yoga, in Baxter Village, offers 8 different styles of practice throughout the week to choose from. Within each class further modifications, and physical adjustments are offered by each teacher to make the practice custom fit for you. It's as though each time you walk in you are getting personalized session. Furthermore, when you practice at OM, you feel like you are out with friends. You end up taking class with the same people and building a camaraderie that is both motivating and fun. Often times, people leave in groups to catch up over coffee after class. On Wednesdays, clients can even bring a friend for free! In addition to the overall wellness gained from yoga, practicing the physical postures conditions the body in a healthy way. Each pose uses only one’s own body weight as resistance without any unnecessary damage to the joints and bones. Unlike many popular exercise fads, yoga, safely tones the body while increasing bone density, blood circulation, and detoxification. Whether individuals are seeking an alternative fitness program, a way to manage stress, or a practice that increases mind and body wellness, yoga is the ancient secret that is resurfacing as the modern approach.

OM Yoga, in Fort Mill, offers a variety of yoga classes led by a highly respected team of teachers who are dedicated to inspire, challenge and help students reach their individual goals and desires through their practice.  The relaxing ambiance and non- competitive environment provide a sanctuary from the daily pressures of a busy life. Whether the individual has been practicing for years or just starting out, he or she will find their niche at OM. If you would like more information on the benefits of yoga, or would like to plan your first visit at OM please visit our website at or call us at (803) 396-0493.

By Anastacia Ike-foreman

5:52 am

Men and Yoga: Obstacles to Hitting the Mat?

Guys often don't give yoga that important first shot. So what's the biggest obstacle to getting a man to take his first class?

What's the biggest obstacle to getting a dude to hit the mat?

  • David Romanelli: The biggest obstacle is a dude feeling incompetent or intimidated by the learning curve. I have that issue with golf. I'm afraid to start golfing because it seems like such a steep, long learning curve. But yoga is different because you can have an epic experience your very first class. I remember one time Bryan Kest said he feels sorry for flexible people...because the tight people get the biggest high, the greatest release.
  • Bryan Kest: Them understanding just how important stretching is and what a great workout yoga can be.
  • Brock Cahill: Dudes' biggest obstacles to getting into practice are the stereotypes. As far as I am concerned, yoga is for everybody. There are so many blockages where people think... Yoga? That's for _____. Bullshit. Yoga is the catalyst toward becoming your most complete self, and living up to your fullest potential. Who doesn't want to do that? Well, I guess the peeps that find an excuse not to practice!
  • David Regelin: I think that most dudes approach yoga as they would a sport. You choose a sport based on your aptitude. Tall guys play basketball, burly guys play football, fast runners play soccer etc. So if you aren't flexible and have poor balance, you might think yoga is not for you because you won't start off with any competitive advantage. But that's exactly why it is for you. You become flexible, balanced and strong as you practice. And you learn to be efficient. You actually learn a method by which you learn to engage/release muscles at will. You also start to gain control of your mind by controlling your breath. Also If you show up to a yoga class as you would a sport, to compete, you're gonna be schooled by a bunch of women who have been doing it for years. You're gonna be the worst player on the field. So you have to be clear about your reasons for showing up. If you woke up one morning and couldn't turn your head in a certain direction, or couldn't straighten your arm all the way, you would be concerned. You would seek help (or suffer, or try to ignore it depending on who you are). The stiffness you take for granted as being part of life is not actually. If you don't use it, you lose it. Yoga is a way to reclaim the range and ease you were designed to have. If your body is an instrument, or a machine, yoga is an excellent way to tune it. I can now do postures that I used to see people doing and wonder why on earth they would want to. It happened gradually. I don't think the average person needs to go as far as I have with it. I sometimes get negative reactions from people when I practice outside -- in the form of gawking and snickering. Especially when i put my leg behind my head or do a deep backwards bend, it looks to some like a freakish contortion routine. When you develop something over many years as I have, you gain "extra"-ordinary abilities, but that takes time. You don't become a monkey overnight.
  • David Swenson: Don't worry what other people think! Get out there and have your own experience. If you then decide it is not for you, then great; but don't let some other person's opinion be the deciding factor of your trying something new.
  • Michael Taylor: What if I'm no good at it? I'll look dumb! I won't be the winner! Well, it's true, you might not be the winner. But riding the perpetual motion machine (sorry, elliptical trainer) and lifting heavy objects repeatedly aren't exactly the coolest things in the world -- they're just familiar. And interestingly enough, if we ease off on winning and looking so accomplished all the time, we may wind up accomplishing even greater things with far less effort. Yoga has a way of strengthening our abilities across our whole lives. It's well worth putting aside a little control and giving yourself a shot.
  • Derek Beres: Men find it challenging to sit in a studio full of women that are way more flexible and stronger than they are, in ways that they never even think of strength. Yoga is very yin -- the strength comes from a certain sense of softness that develops over time. It has nothing to do with large muscles; in fact, a healthy yogi's body has a little bit of love around the midsection. Asanas help the yogi become anatomically correct, not absurdly muscular. The inner strength is more important than any outward signs.
  • Sam Chase: Well, here I can only speak for myself, but I know in the beginning I just felt totally incompetent. Here I was in my first yoga class, being asked to use my body in a way I never had, to breathe in a way I never did, and to focus my mind in a way I wasn't used to. To top it all off, I was supposed to do it while listening to a bunch of sanskrit chanting. That's a pretty high bar for a lot of people--men or women. Everyone around me seemed to know exactly what was going on, and I couldn't tell my utkatasana from a hole in the ground. That first class takes a lot of courage and a lot of humility for anyone, but I walked away feeling so good I thought, "I have to figure out what the heck is going on here."
  • Rusty Wells: A big obstacle is that many guys initially tend to think that yoga won't be challenging enough for them. Pro-athletes have long discovered that yoga provides the platform for endurance, concentration and fortitude.
  • Vinnie Marino: Guys assume yoga will be a waste of their time and not produce results.
  • Noah Mazé: Yoga, at least how it is practiced in contemporary times, is more feminine encoded. It is about listening to your body and heart, moving in the natural cycles of your breath, to the inner experience of fulfillment. Identity, when it is feminine encoded, is self generated and comes from the inside out. An example is that girls become women from the natural cycles of their own biology. For beings overly encoded feminine, it is a natural thing to "listen to your breath, move with your breath, feel your heart," etc. Yoga from the inside-out is more feminine encoded. In this way, there is no goal as an outer object.The masculine code is to go outside to then receive the reflection back as the experience of identity. Men don't make themselves, as women do; we need other men. Competition, war, games with a goal, coaches and mentors, are all ways that we direct energy out to then receive back our self image. In yoga, we pursue and practice poses that have classical forms. This gives us objects to aspire to, to extend out into to receive back the image of oneself. Yoga from the outside-in is more masculine encoded. In this way, there is a goal; the successful attainment/performance of the form. Yoga moves us in both directions; inside-out AND outside-in. We all have masculine and feminine code, and gender is a slight preference of code in one direction. We all need both strategies, and yoga teaches us how to do both skillfully, even the strategy that feels less 'natural'. 

Jason Wachob, a Curator and one of the founders of MindBodyGreen, has a goal to make wellness and yoga accessible. After years of successfully trading equities on Wall Street, and traveling around the country running a national organic cookie company, Jason was told that he required back surgery. He opted for yoga instead of surgery and is now completely healed. Jason is a contributor to The Huffington Post and has been featured in the The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has a BA in History from Columbia University, where he played Varsity Basketball for four years. Jason lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife.