Brainy Bunch’s Executive Summary

Our names are Karla and Ashwara and we are called the Brainy Bunch for our knowledge and creativity! Our goal is to help mothers have a comfortable experience while doing yoga and relieve discomforts in their body. We are excited to work with Austin Prenatal Yoga to ensure that mothers are doing yoga without discomforts and pain.

Pregnant mothers do yoga to relieve stress and tension in their body. We understand that when a mother is pregnant, their center of gravity changes making yoga difficult for them to perform many of the stretches and activities that yoga contains. We are hoping that the outcome of our project will help these women overcome the challenges, by making efficient modifications to increase their strength and endurance of muscles for childbirth.

For our final solution, we are going to create a cushion block. This cushion block will have three distinctive layers, memory foam, a soft cushion, and plywood. After the cushion is created, we will cover the block with a soft red fabric making it more appealing to the eye. Our block gives support and comfort to the knees and wrist that a hard block would not achieve.

Women already have pain and discomforts from a baby growing inside of them. This is specifically helps pregnant women because they have extra body weight pushing on to their knees and wrists, causing them to have pain and not doing the pose correctly. Cat cow is one of the most important poses in yoga and puts pressure on the wrists and knees.This block will specifically help pregnant women because in cat cow gravity is pulling down more them more than the person practicing yoga is used to. If I was a pregnant women, I would want to use a cushion block and not a pillow because I would be unsure if the pillow is steady and is comfortable. Most pillow when pressed with pressure goes down immediately.

We arrived to this solution by researching yoga materials already created and with the help from Ms. Lisa Young, the Austin Prenatal Yoga founder, we came up with our prop. Ms.Young told us that they are currently using blankets as a separation from their knees and wrist from the wood floor. From this, we decided to create a comforting device so they can correctly do poses like “Cat Cow” and “Downward Dog” without feeling uncomfortable and “cheating” on the helpful poses.

We will make four cushion blocks in total. Two will be made out of a styrofoam type material and the other two will be made with a foam called Nu Foam as the second layers only. The styrofoam layer was added so that there is a comfortable amount of resistance to the block, allowing the mother to stay stable and balanced. On the other hand, the memory foam was added so that the mother can sink into the block according to her body, releasing extra tension on the joints. We will finish all four blocks on April 12th, 2017.

We will know if our solution works by testing the blocks out with actual pregnant women. When we check in with those using our design and they inform us that it does not provide the desired comfort, we will either have to switch out the memory foam with a different material, or the styrofoam layer with something with less resistance. By checking in, we plan on sending out a survey directly to the Austin Prenatal Yoga facility that will ask the mother to rate the prop on a 1-10 scale, 1 being not useful at all and 10 being it is a complete positive experience in use. By rating on the lower side, that would demonstrate that the mother is feeling tensions in the joints, knees and wrists. Once we receive that data, will make adjustments. We will also have Ms.Jardine our choir teacher, to try it out and hopefully other pregnant women at the Austin Prenatal Yoga studio for helpful feedback and to see if they feel more comfortable using them and if they support their knees and wrists.

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