General Benefits of Belly Dance with Michelle Maniaci:
Pre/Postnatal classes with Michelle integrate belly dance & yoga as a moderate intensity form of exercise that is designed according to American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology guidelines.
Explore moving your body in a supportive atmosphere. 
Tone pelvic and core muscles with proper recruitment patterns to promote a healthy back & functioning of abdomino-pelvic organs, and joint integrity of spine and pelvis.
Improve posture.
Women learn how to trim waist, burn fat, & recover from childbirth in a fun & safe way.
Improve awareness of abdominal/pelvic muscles and respiratory muscles and how they function according to evidence based exercise and movement science based principles.
Learn to move your body with fluidity and ease.
Improve circulation.
Learn to consciously relax and activate specific muscle groups to prevent common musculoskeletal complaints during pregnancy such as low back pain, shoulder tension, & calf cramping.
Increase breathing capacity, rib cage mobility, and lung capacity.
Learn to move efficiently while breathing diaphragmatically.
Move body to different rhythms.
Gain awareness of body from the inside out.
Learn to quiet the mind, let go of fear, tension, & anxiety.
Strengthen inner peace, joy, and serenity, reducing the effects of stress.
Condition the mind to focus on moment to moment awareness which deepens self awareness.
Improve self esteem.
Feel empowered.
Focus on positive thoughts and feelings.
Improve body image.
Promotes creative self expression.
Reinforce life goals.
Women learn visualization techniques which promote healthy physical and mental states.
Connect to your sensuality, femininity, and grace.

Birthdance Physical Benefits for Pregnancy, Labor, and Postpartum
Improves mental & physical health of both mother & baby.
Lowers stress and anxiety & improves mood and overall psychological health.
Women relax deeply both mentally and physically.
Learn ways to soften and activate specific muscles the body naturally uses for labor/delivery.
Women tone muscles that over lengthen during pregnancy.

Pregnant women socialize with other pregnant women and new mothers, creating a circle of support and community.

Women gain awareness of their body.

Woman improve posture, gain awareness of healthy posture, core stability, and breath.

Women gain awareness of respiratory and pelvic/abdominal muscles used during childbirth.

Women learn how to move using their respiratory muscles to create ease of movement during daily activities.

Women improve circulation.

Increase breathing capacity, rib cage mobility, and space for stomach to function optimally. Prevent gas & constipation.

Women feel energized.
Reduces symptoms of fatigue.
Women learn to breathe diaphragmatically which is natural and promotes a calmer state of being.

Postpartum dance-yoga exercise promotes increased self acceptance of changes in body from pregnancy & childbirth, reduces depressive symptoms & stabilizes mood.  Excellent form of therapy in conjunction with other traditional treatments for postpartum depression, anxiety, & ADD/ADHD.

Birthdance Mental Benefits

Women learn to quiet the mind, to facilitate inner peace, joy, and serenity, reducing the effects of negative stress and emotions.

Condition the mind to focus on moment to moment awareness which deepens self awareness.  This is a great tool for motherhood.

Trains the mind to focus on positive thoughts and feelings which directly impact a woman’s physical and emotional state in a positive way.

Improve body image.

Improve self esteem.

Promotes creative self expression.

Women cultivate and practice the art of listening.

Women learn visualization techniques and practice positive declarations which promote healthy physical and mental state for mom to be, and baby.

Women learn to consciously activate specific muscle groups while simultaneously turning off muscles in preparation for labor, which is especially empowering to first time mothers to be.

Calming for the mind.

Women train mind to recognize tense muscles and to consciously relax them throughout their daily life.

Women feel empowered and amazed of what their bodies are capable of doing during pregnancy.

Women reinforce healthy mindset/attitude about their bodies.

Women discover through trial and error which movements resonate with feeling relaxed to allow subconscious mind to adopt these movements into their labor and childbirth as desired.
Energetically, increases the mobility of a woman’s heart center allowing her to feel love and gratitude in her heart.

Benefits for fetus/baby
Women pause to gain increased awareness of noticing how baby feels.

Women connect to baby and gain an increased awareness of their growing fetus.

Belly dance movements are nurturing for baby.

Mothers to be massage their babies/bellies at the end of class which promotes sleep, along with all the other massage benefits.

Babies at 20 weeks and beyond enjoy the relaxing and uplifting music played during class, which has been found to calm and relax newborns when hearing the same song from when in utero.

Belly dance movements and yoga postures promote optimal position of baby in uterus/pelvis during pregnancy.
When mom is happy, baby is happy, so dance-yoga exercise all promote optimal health for baby with benefits to last a lifetime for baby (in one study, children of exercisers perform better on academic tests than on mothers who did not exercise).   

Benefits of Nurturing Moves Method of Belly Dance
written by Michelle Maniaci, PT, RYT, CIIM