Pregnancy Yoga and Childbirth Preparation
Conscious Change and Serving the Next Generation
by Kashi Richardson
Pregnancy Yoga is a vital niche in bringing about the conscious change towards peace that we are all seeking. Yoga not only offers the very best and much needed support to women during pregnancy and childbirth, but it also nurtures the unborn children, giving them the optimum environment from which to emerge and become our future society.
In the years of providing classes for pregnant women, I am always astounded by how much they just need to rest, relax and tune in. Their lives are so busy juggling careers and families that they rarely get a chance to acknowledge and honour the miracle that is happening inside them. Just by becoming quiet, many of them are moved to tears in their very first savasana! There is perhaps no other event that so profoundly changes a woman’s life as having a baby. She is being asked to put another person’s needs ahead of her own, the self sacrifice of the karma yogi. The internal focus and awareness developed through yoga allows her to process her feelings so she can make the transformation smoothly and be ready.
In our modern technological world, pregnancy and birth are seen largely as medical events to be measured, charted and analyzed. What is often missing is an emphasis on the body’s inherent wisdom to grow a baby, give birth to it and nurture it. The yoga postures create balance as well as strength and endurance and help to relieve many common issues. But mainly they help a woman gain confidence in her body and the faith that she was designed for this purpose and has the ability to do it. Then like the generations of women who have gone before, pregnancy and birth can be appreciated as natural occurrences.
An immense capacity for concentration and forbearance are required for labour and childbirth, and preparation is essential. Yoga emphasizes experiential knowledge as opposed to reading about it. Every week we practice the breathing exercises, we make the low vibrations of vocal sounds, we push and blow, we get in touch with the pelvic floor. We practice relaxing and letting go, and surrendering to the immense power of birth. We listen within to the baby and tune in to our own intuitive knowing. These tools will serve her during the hours required to give birth. They will also serve her during the many years of mothering ahead.
Connection and Support
As a woman’s body changes, becoming fuller and heavier from week to week, she thrives on being in the presence of other women to share and affirm her experience. Feelings of isolation fall away. Body image issues are processed so she can feel the beauty of a blossoming belly and the sense of purpose in caring for this child. Her heart opens as she accepts herself, appreciates her own mother, and feels connection with all mothers of all time. She even feels the Divine mother manifest through her making it all possible.
There is no other intimacy quite like that shared by a pregnant woman and the child inside her womb. All the benefits of yoga that she receives pass on to her baby, uplifting the consciousness and well-being of them both. It sets the tone for the positive choices she makes in raising her child and will contribute to making the world a better place, one child at a time.
Expand and adapt your current yoga teaching skills and knowledge to serve the needs of pregnant women. Join us at the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga for
Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training
April 29 – May 2, 2011