Getting to know Samantha Heckert Fischette
Meet Samantha Heckert Fischette. Mama, wife, and yoga instructor whose favorite days are when she and her family can be together (a rarity with varying work schedules) exploring our beautiful East End.
Samantha began practicing yoga in 2006, and in 2012 she completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu Center. When Sam began teaching yoga four years ago, she says she noticed that during pregnancy women turned to yoga as an alternate form of exercise. Her interest was peaked, she began researching and learning more about prenatal yoga so she could safely teach these women yet still give them a fun and challenging class.
Once Samantha became pregnant herself, she “realized how important it is physically, mentally, and emotionally to continue practicing yoga throughout pregnancy and after birth”. Prenatally, in addition to teaching 6 plus classes a week, she practiced when she felt up to it, and continued all the way until 38 weeks! She was forgiving of herself as her body was growing, But, she notes that throughout her pregnancy there were moments her emotions ran high, and she became easily overwhelmed during her pregnancy (like most of us). She says “yoga gave me the opportunity to slow down and let myself feel ALL the emotions without judging myself.” Samantha says that yoga helped her get centered throughout her pregnancy. She was aware of her body, following its lead on what felt good during the pregnancy. She feels that the core strength she had from her practiced helped her body support her beautiful, growing belly.
During her birth, Samantha knows that her practice helped with her breathing and postures. As her birth unfolded, and, like most women who are experiencing trying births, she had moments of panic. But, through her practice she was able to “escape” the reality and tap into her mental and emotional strength to birth her babe.
Returning to her practice postpartum was slow, she gave herself the time to heal and “ease” into motherhood. She started working her practice in (15 or so minutes a day) around 4 weeks, and was surprised at how quickly her strength has returned. She says she still struggles with finding time and energy for regular practice. (She’s just like you and me! Struggling to find time for herself.) But, she began some gentle stretches and modified strength building poses and very gradually added more challenging poses and sequences to help her feel strong again. The biggest benefit she sees postpartum is reclaiming her (new and improved) body. “Pregnancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding were/are so physically demanding that she often felt disconnected and even frustrated with herself when nursing wasn’t easy or when the baby needed to be held 24 hours a day.” Her practice allowed her the space to feel that frustration, but also to re-center herself.
Samantha encourages all expecting and new moms to:
Be honest about how you’re feeling.
Ask for help when you need it, take a break, go shopping alone! Or stay home if you need to.
Be gentle with yourself.
Give yourself (and your husband, and your baby, and baby’s siblings) time to adjust and settle.