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More and more mothers-to-be are turning to Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa's gentle asana practice to prepare emotionally and physically for labor.

By Samantha Dunn

During the final meditation Gurmukh asks everyone to wrap their arms around their bellies. They chant sat nam, which means "truth is my identity," 11 times. Then each lays upon her mat, relaxing and closing her eyes as the sound of Gurmukh striking the gong washes over them. At the end of class the women are quick to share their testimonials of the impact yoga has had on them. "I first came to class at three months, and it changed my life," says Dana Williams, just weeks from delivering."

"The people here have been a blessing. And my whole vision of who I am as a mother blossomed," adds Dawn Law, who says she was the first among her friends to become pregnant and felt a little adrift. "The yoga has created some much-needed space in my body."

Missing from class today is Gentry, for good reason: She "graduated" June 14. After 28 hours of labor, without the aid of anesthesia but with moaning and groaning, daughter Halle arrived. Says Gentry: "This is an experience that shaped our souls and will be with us forever."

Samantha Dunn is a freelance writer in Malibu, California, whose work appears in Shape, InStyle, Women's Sports+Fitness, and Bikini. She's the author of Failing Paris (Toby Press, U.K.), a novel. To order Gurmukh Khalsa's video, Baby & Mom Yoga, call 877-236-9642, or visit www.gurmukh.com.

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