I’m often asked to describe the difference between Prenatal Yoga and Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth?
Perhaps it’s two titles to describe the same thing. Perhaps it’s a way of defining two very different experiences. Both kinds of classes have so much to offer you in your pregnancy. Today I’d like to share why I call what I’m teaching Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth.
For almost two decades, I have been teaching yoga to women during their birthing years. In this time, I’ve attended dozens of births and sat with hundreds of women listening to their stories and feeling into their experiences of birth.
I found that in this time, so much of my early understanding of what is considered to be appropriate to share with women in the context of a pregnancy friendly yoga class was being stripped and dissolved.
To truly honour the needs of these generous women, who continue to share their insights and heart-felt desires with me, I came to the realisation that I needed to do two things.
Firstly I needed to reach deeply inward to consider the application of the fundamental tenants of Yogic philosophy – reframe my relationship with my own practice and what I was offering to women.
Secondly, create a new approach to yoga that was based on cultivating a suite of rich and luscious womanly practices, rather than the process of stripping out and modification of standard asanas.
In heeding the humbling lessons of birth, I feel liberated from the binds of offering women “continuity in their known practice”. A kind of prenatal yoga that relies upon a heavily modified classic hatha yoga class.
So liberated, mamashanti’s Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth will immerse you in a way of yoga that is without uncompromising:
Entirely and lovingly devoted to honouring your unique transition from maiden to mother.
Made abundant with exquisitely feminine practices.
A flowing and potent practice created by intricately entwining breath and movement.
Simply, a new paradigm in birth preparation.
In each class we explore the significant role specialised Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth can play to help you to actively and consciously engage with the birth your child.
Specialised Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth taught by a qualified and experienced yoga teacher is all about consciously integrating ways of moving and breathing to help you “lean into” the intensity of labour. These practices are augmented with deep-guided relaxation, enriched with reassuring imagery to build confidence in yourself, your child and your birth process.
All, this is done by integrating contemporary understanding of nervous system regulation into our practices.
Developing compassionate self-awareness - knowing when and how to either down-regulate your stress response from alert hyper-vigilance; or up-regulate from passive acquiescence. When you appreciate your child is inheriting their nervous system from you; that your capacity to regulate your nervous system is one of the primary influences of birth - to self regulate for calm, centred and assertive awareness is it's own imperative.
Regular, deep dives into Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth will help you:
Take this suite of contemporary active birth practices from learned technique into the realm of instinct and intuition.
Create profound body-felt confidence in your own boundless birthing potential.
Habituate your capacity to positively work with the intensity of birthing your child.
Contribute to a positive experience of childbirth.
It’s going to be slower, softer and there will be a whole lot of time spent in practices that will intentionally encourage you to feel inward - this is the embodied language of birth. Birth is, after all an entirely sensory experience.
These days, I am offering Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth in the context of a six week course. A layered, delicious, immersive practice that's held within the safe container of a fully a structured course. Breathe for Birth is the seamless integration of my signature Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth with inspiring and on-point childbirth education. It's all about consciously connecting with your child; learning practical ways to move and breathe - to lean into the intensity of childbirth; to birth with dignity and grace in any setting.
Join me in your own exploration of Letting Go for Birth - Breathe for Birth Six Week Online Course
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