Off The Mat: Roberta Kelinson

This is a monthly series featuring a student, teacher, and/or business owner committed to wellness in a positive, forward-thinking capacity. May 2023’s profile is Quad Cities area instructor Roberta Kelinson.

Title: Owner and Prenatal and Gentle Yoga Teacher at Born to Breathe
Teaching credentials: E-500hr RYT & RPYT (registered prenatal yoga advanced trained)
Pronouns: she/her

Q&A with Roberta Kelinson

What’s a non-yoga fun fact about you?
I have owned 5 horses and I love to ride as much as possible.

How did you get introduced to yoga?
I received a medical diagnosis which landed me on steroids for a year. With that came poor body image messages from myself. I opened my email one day to see a local yoga studio was offering a unique summer class consisting of cardio, strength, & yoga. So I signed up immediately. I fell in love with the class. But most importantly, I fell in love with yoga.

What’s your favorite yoga class/service service you offer?
I love teaching yoga to those who wish to move more slowly & intentionally, but my heart & soul’s work is empowering women in their pregnancy, labor, birth journey and beyond. I also instruct postpartum, mom and baby, and mom and toddler yoga.

What would you say to someone who isn’t sure if the yoga you teach is right for them?
Come try a class and then make your decision as to whether or not it
is beneficial!

What classes/services do you offer and how are they different?
I offer gentle yoga in my home to 4 ladies who have been students for a very long time. When one of our local studio’s closed, and the pandemic made in-studio classes a temporary “no no”; these ladies Zoomed with me for 18 months before joining me in my home. We meet twice a week for a variety of gentle yoga, vin-yin yoga, kundalini moving meditations, and intentional somatic movement.

I also instruct an 89-year-old woman at her home once a week. We do chair classes to help her remain strong, balanced, & flexible.

My prenatal yoga classes keep women strong and flexible, and I am trained to know how to keep them & their baby safe in all the movements we do. Another key to prenatal yoga classes are community building & support from this community. I assist them into new and strange sensations in their bodies ~ similar to the new & strange sensations they will feel in labor & birth. We work on the “Umbrella” breath (or diaphragmatic breath), which is a powerful tool for them not only in their birth journey but for life.

Before their babies are due to arrive I offer a special workshop called Baby Ready. In this workshop I instruct them on important movements to take during labor & birth. After babies are born, they also have options with me for Postpartum Recovery Movements, Mom & Baby & after that Mom & Toddler!

Which class would you recommend to someone with no yoga experience?
I would definitely recommend my in home class or some private classes for a
beginner. Gentle yoga can be customized to meet the needs of a brand new yogi.

What draws students to your classes?
Because I am gentle, kind, educated, advanced training, but more importantly it is my incessant caring of them through their journeys.

What is a favorite “client transformation” story? 
This is a hard one because I have seen so many transformations in the 12 years I have been teaching. If I had to choose just one, I would say it was a prenatal student who had very little “on the mat experience”. She was reluctant at first but with time fell in love with the entire process of exploring her internal & external body movements, how they helped her feel stronger, balanced, aligned, and more prepared for her upcoming birth. She began as reluctant and left as a confident woman who found trust in herself & her body.

What is an event to look forward to from you?
I have a Baby Ready Workshop coming up in early June. I also have a unique collaboration with a 3-time former prenatal student who opened up her own business in our local area. It is a Baby Boutique! I will be offering yoga to prenatal or postnatal women on the back deck which overlooks the Mississippi River between Iowa & Illinois. Then, she will offer a discount in her store for each session. I have a Postpartum workshop which is going to be held in August, & Mom & Baby or Toddler classes scheduled through the rest of 2023! I am much busier now than I ever thought I would be when I embarked on this journey.

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