Deb Flashenberg is the founder and director of the Prenatal Yoga Center, the first yoga center in NYC to focus solely on Moms and Moms to be. When Deb graduated with a degree in Musical Theater from the Boston Conservatory of Music, she never expected to develop such a passion for prenatal yoga. However, this is precisely where her journey took her. From singing and dancing on national tours to studying with the leading expert in prenatal yoga Colette Crawford. Fourteen years later, Deb’s success continues to blossom as the Prenatal Yoga Center is a thriving haven for new and expectant parents. She has created a community that empowers women with knowledge, teaching them about the different choices available to them during pregnancy, birth, and beyond. She has been featured in many wellness publications and has had the honor of being a presenter at the Yoga Journal Live NYC Conference. Deb is also the host of the podcast, Yoga | Birth | Babies. This accomplished leader is a proud Beyond mom to her son, Shay, and daughter, Sage.
What makes you a Beyond Mom?
I am always trying to find balance of motherhood, family and my business. And I feel quite fortunate that I truly love and believe in what I do. I think having a passion for what I do for a living is a good example for my kids to see that “mommy” works and her work is also her pleasure. As the founder and director of the Prenatal Yoga Center, I believe the work I do has an impact on people’s lives. I am hoping my children will see the value in their mother working, but not just doing the daily grind, but having realized a passion and pursued it as a career. I would love for my children to see that as an invitation for them to find their passion and create their life around it.
What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?
My patience has grown immensely – although I am still a work in progress. I started a conscious practice of pausing and taking a few breaths before reacting, which often times leads to a different, calmer reaction had I not taken a moment and deep breath. This ritual has truly helped me relate better to my 3 and 5 year old, who certainly like to experiment with pushing boundaries. I would also say this has been instrumental in relating to my husband, as well as making better business choices.
Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?
I started teaching prenatal yoga long before I became a mother. Much of my growth and success was based on the honesty and openness of my students and their willingness to really let me see them. I watched how they moved, I listened to what they needed and responded. To deepen my knowledge of birth and how I can best support the pregnant student and new mother, I became a labor support doula. Being present for the raw and emotional experience of birth revealed to me the vast difference and incredible similarities of how birth unfolds. The Prenatal Yoga Center and my path as a prenatal yoga teacher, labor support doula, Lamaze teacher and even as a mother came from the collaboration of working so closely with thousands and thousands of students.
What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?
My family and friends are my touchstone. My kids humble me and my husband grounds me. I also credit my lifetime of yoga teachers for guiding me through the years of my practice. When I am on the mat, I am my most authentic self and connected to who I am.
Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing?
For the past year I have been working on two new passion projects that have recently launched. I started a podcast called Yoga | Birth | Babies with my friend and colleague, Ursula Anderman producing. This platform has given me the opportunity to speak with some of the top authorities on pregnancy, birth and babies. My dream is that my podcast continues to grow! The other project is the Traveling Prenatal Yoga Center Teacher Training. My fellow teacher trainer, Caprice Abowitt and I created a very in depth training that can be taken on the road. We have successfully been teaching it in NYC for over 10 years, but it has been my dream to take it worldwide. Starting in the Fall of 2016, we did our first training in New Haven, CT then in the winter of 2017, Chester, NJ. We have now booked several other locations including Washington D.C this summer. I am looking forward to taking the Traveling Prenatal Yoga Center Teacher Training to as many communities as we can.
What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?
Self care. I feel off balance if I don’t get to practice yoga or go to the gym on a regular basis. On a daily basis, I take a few moments- and with two young kids- it is truly just moments, to close my eyes, connect to my body and breath before I start my day.
How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?
This question made me laugh a bit because my “Beyondness” is not reflected in being fashionably trendy. As a yoga teacher, I am in yoga clothes most of my days. I am either at the studio or teaching teacher trainees or on my way to the gym or yoga class. I try to capture my own style by adding a funky sweater, cool hat or cute boots to my yoga gear as I trek around the city. The rare occasions I am in “normal” clothes, I am pretty casual, jeans or cords and a sweater or tank top.
Favorite Local Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:
Anywhere my husband and I can go out for a date night while the kids are at home! I am not picky- it can be a movie, out for a drink or just dinner.
Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:
Red wine! Although I have been known to love a good cold rose on a hot summer evening.
Yoga and cardio (not at the same time!)