Shelley AJ Jones (she/her/hers) is a certified prenatal yoga teacher, mama of two, Ph.D., E-RYT 500, RPYT, and YACEP. She has been a dedicated student of yoga since 2005 who has been teaching alignment-based and vinyasa yoga since 2009 and prenatal yoga since 2010. She leads weekly yoga classes and teacher trainings online and in the Columbia, SC area.

In her words

In her students’ words

One of my passions is making education accessible—whether as a literature professor through University of South Carolina’s Palmetto College, the online and distance education arm of the University, or through the yoga space. I hadn’t originally imagined an interactive yoga space for all things yoga—not solely prenatal and postnatal yoga—but the COVID-19 crisis has revealed how important connection, even virtually, can be.

Five years into my yoga practice and a year into teaching yoga, I got pregnant. Beyond Skittles (my first child’s nickname to this day), I had an immediate craving to be around other pregnant people. So, I thought, I’ll teach prenatal yoga. What a gift to share the journey with people on the same path. But I was unable to practice in-studio during my very challenging second pregnancy. I had a self-led home practice, but it wasn’t the same. Pregnancy and postpartum offer so many challenges to making it into a studio—time, health, and taking care of little ones. What if I could bring the studio to you?

My original goal of expanding into the online space for birthing persons has grown further during this crisis point. Birth & Beyond Yoga aims to make yoga accessible to any who are not ready or cannot return to an in-person space and those who simply prefer online instruction.

All classes are all levels; brand-new beginners welcome.

All classes are live online via Zoom; practice where you feel comfortable while in a live online community.

All classes are sliding-scale; pay what feels right for you.

I credit yoga with helping to make my transitions from pregnancy through birth and into parenthood easeful, though not easy. Now I share the gift of yoga with my two kids, while realizing the power of my own personal practice in supporting me as a mother. In addition to my adult classes and teacher trainings, including prenatal and postnatal classes and workshops, I love to teach kids’ yoga. I am forever a student and consistently strive to learn evidence-based methods for meeting my students’ needs. I have trained in prenatal yoga and pre- and postnatal Ayurveda with Brooks Haislip, Jessica Jennings, and Cate Stillman. My most recent training was an 85-hour prenatal certification with Deb Flashenberg and Caprice Abowitt of the Prenatal Yoga Center in New York City and a follow-up postnatal course also with Deb Flashenberg.

When I’m not on my mat, I am the mother to two amazing kiddos, partner to a wonderfully supportive husband, and professor whose field is British Romantic literature. With my background in literature, I am drawn to the metaphorical qualities of the poses, how they reveal the body, slow the mind, and move my life. In addition to empowering and supporting pregnant people through birth and beyond, I find it a privilege to introduce people to the mat, encourage living your yoga, savor the moments we breathe and move together in my regular weekly class offerings, and train other teachers to share their love of yoga.

And I can’t wait to learn with you.

“Her nickname is ‘Sneaky Shelley’ not just because she makes even basic poses challenging, but also because she inspires me to do more than I thought I was capable of.” ~ A.C.

“You are one of my calm and peaceful places in this crazy [COVID-19] storm.” ~ L.J.

“I am so thankful for Shelley’s prenatal series. At a time when I didn’t trust my body or my practice, Shelley was there to be a gentle guide throughout the process. She understands the mental and physical struggles of pregnancy. I’m grateful I could remain active as long as I did in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. She gave me the confidence to remain strong and steady while everything else was changing at its own speed.” ~ J.N., first-time parent

“Thank you for helping me through this last pregnancy. I attribute my ‘bounce back’ and mental sanity to you.” ~ C.G., parent of two

“During pregnancy while practicing with Shelley, I felt more calm and confident in my mental state and more connected with my baby. I was aware of what sensations were taking place in my body day-to-day. I was able to move and stay active throughout my pregnancy and yoga was a huge part of physically feeling good!

Prenatal yoga prepared me physically for birth in many ways; it allowed me to adapt to birthing positions that felt strong during labor. Practicing yoga throughout my pregnancy also helped me mentally prepare for the intense experience of giving birth. I was able to call on sensations, sayings, and visualizations from class with Shelley during moments of physical endurance and remain calm. Prenatal yoga taught me that being flexible in mind and body are great things to carry into motherhood because there are sooo many things you cannot control.” ~ M.F., mom of two

“If you are pregnant or know someone who is, please consider taking prenatal with Shelley! She really knows her stuff and has a huge passion for helping pregnant people find some inner peace. I’m 6 months postpartum and I still take her class from time to time. So for those of you who already have a little one, she can help you find and feel like you physically again too.” ~ S.C., first-time parent

“Shelley has such a wealth of knowledge to share about the pelvic floor and what it means for us who are looking to become mothers one day! It’s so helpful to have her as a resource as she can help give you direction and answer questions about what you’re feeling and why. I highly recommend her pre and postnatal classes as well as doing a private session with her to better understand how my body acts and reacts to the ebb and flow every month.” ~S.N.

“During pregnancy while practicing with Shelley, I felt more calm and confident in my mental state and more connected with my baby.”

~ M.F., parent of two

birth & beyond yoga | support through birth and beyond | contact@birthandbeyondyoga.com |

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