Movement and positions like those taught in yoga have been passed down for centuries to help women prepare for birth. Many women are now using Yoga in conjunction with HypnoBirthing to strengthen their bodies and increase their physical and mental stamina. The combination of HypnoBirthing and Yoga during pregnancy prepares a woman both physical and mentally for the process of birth to move through her.
Many women start their love of yoga during pregnancy. The postures feel very natural and offer relief from many pregnancy related aches and pain. It is often very apparent to me as a teacher, the strength women can gain during their pregnancy. Women who have started with no experience have amazed me with the courage at attempting balancing postures at 38 weeks. When the body is put under stress in a strenuous yoga posture, women learn to notice that whenever discomfort surfaces, the breath becomes quicker, sharper and less fluid. This is a direct response to stress and is a great awareness tool to prepare for birth. Rather than running away from discomfort, yoga teaches us how to relax into it and surrender to the pose. Just like we need to surrender to the birthing process. Through breathing properly women are able to stay calm and in control, this gives great them power.
Yoga postures (asanas) help tone the muscles that are used for birthing and awaken vital energy within the body. We cannot predict which journey a birth will take and we cannot control Mother Nature’s plan, but by being physically strong and learning correct breathing techniques a woman can control what happens on the inside and stay calm and focussed. When the mind is at ease the body is able to work smoothly the way nature intended and suffering does not need to play a part. Accepting our birth experience, just as we accept a yoga pose, we can trust, relax and surrender. Yoga and HypnoBirthing fully support the birthing woman.
Pregnancy yoga classes offer a safe space for women to share their concerns in a warm, supportive environment, where they can confide in each other about challenges that can rise during pregnancy. Classes allow a unique opportunity for self nurturing, promoting physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing for both mother and baby. It also provides a valuable quiet space in which to bond and communicate with the unborn baby.
All classes end in Svasana, a 15 minute relaxation which is probably the most important part of any good yoga class when we make room for the stillness that is already within us, under all of the layers of busy-ness. In that place of stillness there is great strength and power, it is the part of you that already knows how to have a baby. Find your stillness. Trust in the ancient practice of yoga. Trust your body. Trust your baby.
"When the intelligence of the body is awakened through the practice of yoga, it will guide the woman throughout the pregnancy, making her feel perhaps more in touch with herself than ever before. She is then taken closer to her own nature and ready to flow with the moment of birth when it begins" - Frederick Leboyer