Nurse turned yoga teacher Sandi Hoover, BSN, RYT 500, RPYT, is a mother of three. She specializes in pre and postnatal yoga and owns The Family Tree Yoga and Massage with her husband, Zachary Hoover. She is the creator of Roots Prenatal™ Yoga and offers classes, workshops and teacher trainings through her Registered Prenatal Yoga School.
A note from Sandi about yoga and why I began Roots Prenatal™ Yoga:
I’m often asked how I made my way to yoga as a profession. I first found yoga as a means for stress relief in my life. In 2000 I was a one of the youngest on staff as a Nursing Supervisor on an Oncology floor at a local hospital. Between balancing patient care and hospital bureaucracy I found myself with anxiety, insomnia and neck/back pain. I turned to yoga for some help. Little did I know it would lead me down a pathway to my sacred livelihood.
I found my first encounter with yoga to be very humbling. I took a class at a YMCA with an instructor that didn’t demonstrate the poses and only called out the poses in a language I didn’t understand (Sanskrit). Although self-conscious and feeling challenged about not knowing what I was doing, I recognized a small glimpse of feeling better in my body and went back the next day to experience more. This class had a different teacher that set up each pose with explanations of how to get into the pose and where I should feel the pose. At the end I was guided to one of the calmest states I had felt in a very long time. I was hooked and began taking classes as often as I could.
I was asked to become a teacher for the YMCA and a local yoga studio. I took my first yoga teacher training in 2001 with Baron Baptiste and began teaching yoga. Although I knew I had still so much to learn teaching was fun and felt very natural to me.
I became pregnant with my first baby in 2007. I was happy to still teach yoga, but began to question my personal practice and taking regular yoga classes. There were no prenatal yoga classes anywhere near Des Moines and my own yoga teacher at that time wasn’t comfortable guiding me. There seemed to be so many poses that I often wondered, “Should I be doing this? Is this safe for me? For my baby?” I found myself sitting out of most of class and it didn’t feel very beneficial or fun to continue going to classes. I ended up setting aside yoga for the duration of that pregnancy. Looking back I believe if I had a class like Roots Prenatal Yoga to attend it would have greatly helped with the anxiety I felt about becoming a mom, the backaches I suffered and even having a C-section birth.
￼I felt so strongly about the need to have prenatal yoga available to women in Central Iowa that I took Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training in 2008 with Robin Sale. It was a very healing experience and I knew it would be a cornerstone to how I could positively impact pregnancy and birth in Iowa. Women were thrilled! For me personally having the knowledge of safe prenatal stretches and poses really brought deeper and more significant connection to each of my two subsequent pregnancies. Because of my prenatal yoga practice and healthy eating my third pregnancy was a time in my life where I felt beautiful, confident and connected with my baby, my community and my life.
Through all of these experiences it was becoming more and more evident that my true calling was teaching specifically to pre/postnatal women. I have developed Roots Prenatal™ Yoga Classes to offer yoga, streching and community as part of a healthy, inspirational pregnancy. Every pregnant woman wishes for the “ideal pregnancy”. While that is never a guarantee, feeling better in her body, adding to her knowledge and feeling supported is what women can expect who take Roots Prenatal Yoga classes.
I took what I had learned from each of my teacher trainings and many years of experience teaching yoga to open The Family Tree Yoga and Massage with my husband soon after the birth of our second child in 2008. It was both the hardest I had ever worked and the happiest I’d ever been at work. Thirsty for more knowledge I went on to take Teacher Training with James Miller in 2010. I completed my 500 hour teacher training in January 2014.
I wanted to share my love of teaching Roots Prenatal Yoga with other women who wanted to share yoga with expectant mamas. I began Roots Prenatal Yoga School and received accreditation from Yoga Alliance in 2012. It’s been a joy to share what I love to do!
I feel so blessed by this journey and hope to share yoga with you soon. With care,