I am beyond grateful for a wonderful doula , a wonderful midwife, and a great birth class, but I have told anyone and everyone that your yoga class was really the key to my positive experience with pregnancy and delivery. My husband and I are not "relaxed" or "peaceful" people and my son is so laid back and easy. I realize that mostly it is just him, but I have to give some credit to the way yoga kept me calm and provided stress relief during pregnancy. Alison, Evanston

Positive Thinking

I have to say, that yoga absolutely made a huge difference in my delivery.  Mindful breathing practice really paid off and ESPECIALLY the work on mantras and positive thinking.  In the end, I didn't despair when the OB came in the room and I kinda knew they were considering a c-section.   I didn't let myself feel defeated and I gave it my all.  And I did it!  Pre-yoga me might have just resigned herself to the c-section for fear of getting her hopes up and not succeeding.  Your classes, in combination with the Bradley classes we took really prepared my body and mind. Marie, Chicago

Deep Inner Focus

SEVERAL times during laboring and during the placement of my epidural I was asked if I took yoga :)  They said I had great focus, great breathing and knew how to preserve my energy.  It's kind of amazing what you become capable of doing during labor!  I found myself in a very very deep inner focus.  It didn't matter what I was physically looking at, my mind was incredibly focused on the peaks and valleys of my contractions.  Shaundra, Skokie

Breathing is Key

Breathing was HUGE... you can't hyperventilate, so I focused on breathing in as many seconds as I exhaled.  That reaaaaallly worked!  My prelabor advice to the ladies in class is to WALK WALK WALK, bounce on a birthing ball and WALK.  I put off the epidural for another 2 hours once I reached 5cm so I could walk more and I think it was a good choice.  During contractions I did hip circles, which was hard to get myself to do but I noticed I progressed faster when I did that. Elena, Chicago

Yogi for Life

I want to thank you for all the support with Yoga in my pregnancy. I started taking your classes in November and enjoyed every class more and more. I think you are a fantastic instructor and appreciate the difference you made in my life. Yoga really, really made a difference for me. I think that I will continue a yoga practice in my life. Meredith, Kenilworth

Back Pain Relief

I really enjoyed Lela's classes and I think they were very helpful throughout my pregnancy. I highly recommend her as a yoga instructor. Lela is very attentive to her students and is always trying to help you. As an example, I had a lot of back pain during my pregnancy and Lela would research and bring different exercises to help me ease the pain. She truly enjoys what she does. She is very serious about her practice and is always looking for suggestions to improve. I would not hesitate in having her coming to my home to teach yoga. Annabel, Wilmette

Easy Recovery

My recovery went well, too. I think the yoga class helped most of it. I really look forward to going back to one of your classes, either the regular yoga or Mom & baby one. Your yoga class was one of the most anticipated activites during my pregnancy. I had such a fun and peaceful time there. Thanks again for your wonderful class!! Meg, Evanston

Staying Calm Through the Unexpected

I have to say though, that all of my yoga through you and the practice at home helped me tremendously. I was able to focus energy where it needed to be as well as breathe and remain totally calm and focused when things really felt out of my control. I used my mantra throughout initial stages of labor through contractions and though my c-section, which honestly was so scary and something I did not want to do.  Thank you for everything. We are beyond happy. Mary, Evanston

Relaxation Practice

Your class helped me so much! Especially all the breathing practices. I actually think the most important posture for me was the relaxation at the end of each class.  And when I was on bed rest I spent a lot of time practicing my breathing. I got through a 15 minute long contraction (thanks, Pitocin) simply by focusing on my breath. Tara, Morton Grove

Meditative Awareness

One of the things I enjoyed most during my pregnancy was Lela's weekly prenatal yoga class. Through the performance of the yoga postures that we practiced, I developed a greater awareness of my body, and felt even more connected to my baby. Personally, the ultimate relaxation I experienced during the closing meditation, was by far, my favorite part of the class. I will surely return, once baby #2 is on the way. Ali, Winnetka

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Additional Resources

Videos for home practice

Prenatal and postpartum classes for streaming or download.

Recovering from a traumatic birth?

Lela Beem specializes in helping women recover from difficult birth and postpartum experiences, even decades later. Learn more about her Somatic Experiencing practice here.

Are you experiencing anxiety and/or depression?

Contact Beyond the Baby Blues, a support group for prenatal and postpartum moms in Evanston, led by therapists. Lela teaches yoga for some of these groups.

Looking for a healthcare provider recommendation?

Check our this list of trust community providers.  You can also email for personalized suggestions.