I was sat in a café the other day with my friend, Helen, she is 12 weeks pregnant and was asking me why I teach Antenatal Yoga, (Pregnancy Yoga and Postnatal Yoga). She also wanted to know what benefits she would achieve if she attended one of my classes.
I explained that I had very complicated pregnancies and had to be consulted led, which involved numerous appointments, scans and stress. I also experienced a lot of pelvic pain. My first child was stillborn and with my second they did no know if he would survive the full pregnancy. I was always worried he may die at any point.
I bought a book by Francoise Freedman, the founder of Birthlight and used it to teach myself pregnancy yoga. I practised it every day when I was pregnant for the third time and found the exercises really helpful with keeping calm, building my strength so I could have an active birth and using the breath practices during my labour, to reduce medical intervention. In the end I had to be induced but I had a completely different birth experience from my first and second pregnancies; I had no need for pain relief, I felt calm and in control.
I explained to Helen that I believe a lot of women do not realise they can help themselves to achieve an active, calm, healthy pregnancy/ birth and can use Yoga to do so. I wanted to help other ladies achieve a birth they wished for by practising Antenatal yoga and giving them the right tools to do so hence why I became a teacher.
Three years ago I trained with Bahia Yoga School in Nottingham to become a Yoga Alliance Teacher and then trained with Françoise Freedman from Birthlight, a friendly charity and teacher-training organisation focusing on the holistic approach to pregnancy, birth and babyhood. The charity uses body-based practices inspired from yoga and traditional modes of parenting supported by scientific research and in depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology. It is also accredited by the Royal College of Midwives.
I now teach classes in Burton Joyce, Southwell and Sherwood, have a look at my website www.yoganatal.co.uk for a timetable. I have a great time helping ladies and their partners prepare for their birth. It’s a great experience as I see the ladies develop their yoga practice, become more strong, calm and flexible. I always get a text or email from my students letting me know when one of them has had their baby. It’s great hearing their birth experience. Then I see the ladies again in the postnatal classes. Most of my students have never done Yoga before and a number of them are second or third time Mums looking for a bit of ‘Me Time’ and an opportunity to chat with other Mums to Be.