Giving birth is one of the most physical things a woman will ever do. It’s been said that the same amount of energy needed to run a marathon is needed for labour. Just as we would not run a marathon without preparation, we should not go into labour without preparing physically for it. The physical poses (asanas) can help build strength and stamina, as well as opening and softening the body.
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose) is a challenging pose which strengthens the whole body and opens the hips and upper body, helping to relieve backaches and sciatica during pregnancy and also improving balance. The pose also cultivates feelings of self-confidence and courage.
Meditation and breathing techniques improve our ability to relax and remove stress; activating the parasympathetic nervous system which is so important during birth, as we are then flooded with our natural pain relieving hormones, endorphins. When there is no stress in the birthing body, birth can progress smoothly and oxytocin flows freely. It is the concoction of good hormones that enables women to have pleasant, sometimes ecstatic births.
I have birthed two babies using drugs in an attempt to relieve the intense pain of contractions … and nothing I was offered provided any relief. I then chose to learn yoga and meditation to help prepare for the birth of my third. His natural, drug free birth was the easiest!
I’m passionate about holding a safe and sacred space for women, where they can learn how to cultivate and trust their physical and mental strength, endurance and focus, ultimately empowering them to approach their birth with confidence and joy. In an environment that nurtures the nurturer, pregnancy yoga classes can give you the energy to enjoy your pregnancy, build a deeper intimacy with your unborn baby, your body and spirit.
Yoga teaches a mother to listen to the needs of her body and to trust the wisdom of her body and baby. Getting intimate with her body will enable a woman to rely more on this intuitive wisdom and less on rational thinking, which can interfere with the flow of birth.
By uniting the body, mind and spirit, yoga can help a mother to be fully present in each moment, however that moment is unfolding, and to allow the miracle of birth to move through her. When a woman gives birth with feelings of joy and empowerment, she is able to transition into motherhood and face all the challenges a new baby and parenting can bring with more confidence and self-assurance.
Being fully present is at the heart of yoga practice.