The pregnancy yoga classes should really be called ‘pregnancy and birth and having a laugh’ classes. We start every session with a chance to share news and stories and discuss any problems or issues. Someone might have back ache having spent too long on their feet at work the day before or be feeling anxious about an aspect of the labour. My prepared class plan is usually out the window by the end of our chat and I mentally redesign the class to address the issues that have come up.
A moment or two to pause and bring ourselves into the present, letting go of the past and thoughts of the future, trying to learn to exist in the here and now. A great lesson for labour when just being with the breath is the best thing you can do. A fabulous lesson for life, particularly with children when impermanence is truly the nature of all things!
We breathe deep breaths and let the tension leave the body. Sitting or lying comfortably we bring energy and oxygen into the body and to the unborn baby. Focus on the breath is a major part of each session. Some weeks we think about the pelvic floor and the breath, letting go of these muscles as we exhale in preparation for the birth. (Come to the post natal classes to reclaim the pelvic floor!) Other weeks we try ways to maximise the exhalation and practise using it as an antidote for birth pains. Relaxing and letting go with the exhalation is the key!
We use simple yoga asanas and focus on posture to maintain good alignment in the pelvis. This usually solves a multitude of aches and pains and helps the baby to get itself into a good position for birth. A thought or two on contractions and a cat pose to help you stay calm and centred. Lot’s of positions for your birth…little ideas and thoughts here and there. Something will be useful and stick in your mind and come to you when you feel like you need to try something different.
Perhaps a few gentle pregnant sun salutes to get the energy moving and some massage practise with homework to take home to hubby. Yes,of course you should expect lots of massage while you are pregnant and if you manage to come to the birth rehearsal workshops too, we can show him other ways to get involved and what to expect before, during and after the birth. All very relaxed, informal and friendly with plenty of cake and time to lie down! But that’s another story….back to the weekly class…
We finish the sessions with a long lie down, tucked up under your blanket with pillows under your knee. Comfy and warm we think about the breath again, the baby listening to your slow relaxed heart beat, relaxes with you. Visualisation for the birth to keep your mind focused while your body relaxes and you let go, giving in to the power of the instinctive brain and the birthing woman within you. With every birth there is both a baby and a new mother born.