And a prenatal teacher was born
I am not a mother. I am a proud Auntie to a tinker of a toddler but I have no first-hand experience of wanting to get pregnant; of the joy, nerves and nausea of those first 12 weeks; of giving up control of your physical body to the ever-expanding bump, and the mobility reduced final weeks; and finally, of the pain, strength, and empowerment of labour and the pure joy and love of holding your baby for the first time.
I would like children one day but the opportunity (and the stork) has yet to present itself. I used to have a mild phobia of childbirth and would watch One Born Every Minute clutching a cushion in disbelief and I actually pulled a whitey during the rather graphic crowning scene in Knocked Up! Why then, you may ask, do I teach mums-to-be prenatal yoga and study textbooks like Birthing from Within for pleasure, interest and ongoing learning?
Because during my time in India I had the opportunity to undertake an 85 hour certified course in prenatal yoga and it shattered my pre-set illusions and misconceptions about childbirth. Our group of goddesses (fellow teachers) bonded with each other as women, discovered different cultural approaches to childbirth, and developed a heart-centred, therapeutic approach to teaching yoga.
From a physiological perspective, it is important to understand the changes to a woman’s body during pregnancy and as she exercises. During my training, we wore ‘bumps’ weighing through the 9 month range so that we could personally experience the demands of asanas such as Warrior 1 and transitioning from floor to standing – something I’d recommend to all Partners of mums-to-be! We also considered what pregnancy means from an emotional and spiritual perspective – what it means to create life and give birth – it’s a rite of passage, a transformational moment in a woman’s life.
As a woman exploring childbirth I connected to myself on a deeper level, and as a yoga teacher I developed a softer, more holistic teaching style which I use across all my yoga classes (pregnancy or not). Yoga is a tool for calming the mind, reducing pain, bringing focus to the present moment and connecting to your true self. It’s an honour to support mums-to-be each week, to share and learn from their experiences, and to provide them with some much needed rest and relaxation as they progress through their own individual journey.
Om Shanti x
Body and Bump Benefits:
- Group sessions provide mums-to-be with a community of, and connection to other mums-to-be;
- Uninterrupted relaxation time to connect with your own body and baby;
- A tailored and safe yoga environment to enable you to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility;
- Learn to connect with your breath to help to calm the mind and reduce anxiety during pregnancy and labour;
- Develop a greater awareness of your body’s limits to create balance and trust in your own body;
- Strengthen your mind and build will power and confidence;
- Learn techniques to help ease insomnia and sleeping problems;
- Balance hormones;
- Reduce fear;
- Explore birthing positions and breathing practices;
- Develop mindfulness skills which can reduce the risk of postnatal depression.