An uplifting prenatal yoga class that reinforces your inner resources and the innate wisdom of the body and mind to prepare for birthing and mothering whilst allowing you to flourish throughout your pregnancy too. A practice designed to strengthen and restore the body and soul. Yoga adapted for Pregnancy can transform your prenatal experience and subsequent Birth. Uncovering your inner strength and the knowledge you hold within to guide your baby in to this world with visualizations, breathing techniques and birthing positions for labour.
Why Yoga is essential for a comfortable, healthy and happy Pregnancy
Keeps the body supple and open
Maintains a strong and healthy spine
Boosts energy levels
Opens and builds strength in the pelvic floor
Helps to relieve symptomatic ailments associated with Pregnancy, such as lower back pain, sciatica, swollen joints (Oedema), indigestion, and constipation, PSD.
The benefits extend beyond the physical and can help to shape your pregnancy, your birth, feelings towards yourself, impending motherhood and beyond.
Helps you to overcome fears and generates positivity
Increases the opportunity for you to bond with your unborn baby
Provides a crucial network of expectant mothers to share experiences and to gain support and encouragement from one another.
My classes incorporate Yoga postures adapted for Pregnancy to keep the body healthy and optimally aligned throughout. We also explore breathing and relaxation techniques, positions for labouring in, partner work and music from all over the world to invigorate your body, mind and soul. The classes are fun and uplifting (an occasional funny walk and/or pelvic rolls do feature) to provide you with as many tools as possible to feel confident you can bring your baby in to this world. Feeling good about yourself and enjoying your pregnancy is as integral as preparing for birth and some of the Yogic practices you will develop will stay with you for life. This class supports and encourages an active pregnancy and birth.
Following the birth of my first daughter I went on to receive specialised training for Pregnancy Yoga (The Khalsa Way) with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, author of the Pregnancy book Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful and founder of Golden Bridge in Los Angeles in 2005. She inspired my belief that movement, music, dancing and Kriyas are key to feeling relaxed as well as focused during Pregnancy and in labour and birth. Her pioneering work and the practices of Kundalini Yoga are both powerful and unique. As well as completing further extensive training in Pregnancy Yoga at The Life Centre London with Uma Dinesmore-Tuli of The Sitaram Partnership the following year in 2006. Subsequently and ongoing I receive guidance and training from Judy Cameron at Yoga Birth. I have also had four children and experienced four very different births so I fully understand the power and beauty of practicing Yoga during your pregnancy and the importance of empowering the mother to give birth free from fear and with the awareness that she can bring her baby in to the world. Not every method works for every BODY so its about exploring and being open to new experiences.
Need to know
Mondays 6.30-7.40 pm
I have been teaching Pregnancy Yoga for over 13 years and have 3 little girls and a baby boy. Each birth being completely unique (epidural, water birth, home birth, back to back) so I am passionate about sharing how yoga and all it’s elements can help pregnancy, labour and birth. Not only will it make you feel good but you will hopefully feel that all your experiences are wonderful however they may come.
We will be covering general yoga specifically adapted to be safe during pregnancy that aims to keep you supple and healthy alongside relieving common ailments experienced during pregnancy. It will include exercises to help you build strength and stamina with an understanding of how this will help you during labour and birth too.
We will incorporate good positions and movements to do during labour and birth alongside breathing techniques to reduce anxiety and facilitate release during birth. There will be meditations and practices in mindfulness to help keep you present and in the moment. There are exercises you can practice and take home to share with your partner, as well as practices that will help you to explore your mind, help you build awareness and confidence in yourself and to feel and trust in your own ability to do amazing things.
Towards the end of each cycle I give all new students a Preparation for Pregnancy, Labour and Birth mini manual. It is a great companion to class, your labour and birth and highlights everything we do and talk about in class.
WHEN CAN I BEGIN
The class is suitable for all stages of pregnancy from 14 weeks onwards until birth (40+ Weeks). A weekly class all the way through (where possible) will help you feel good, relax and prepare for your baby’s arrival. It is possible to join at any stage after 14 weeks I just ask that you advise me of any injuries or ailments associated with pregnancy or otherwise ahead of class and speak to your doctor or midwife before taking part in any physical activity. This is especially important if you are currently being treated or if you are under doctor or midwife supervision at the time of coming to class (breech baby, SPD, low lying placenta, varicose veins etc.) This way I can ensure the class is safe and beneficial for everyone. I have also included a little extra information on practicing yoga whilst pregnant and a little book list in case you are looking for some new inspiration. It is also very important that whomever you choose to practice Yoga with during your pregnancy that they are extensively trained specifically in this area and are registered and practicing yoga teachers. If you are unsure about what to expect in class you may find some of the testimonials helpful and please feel free to contact me with any questions at all prior to booking.
Please wear loose comfortable clothing (leggings/T-shirt etc), no shoes or socks needed. If you could also bring a yoga mat that would be great (a small cushion and light weight blanket are also useful for seated poses and relaxation too.) I have some spare mats but not enough for the whole class.
Please note this is a weekly class that runs in blocks to manage bookings. Unfortunately missed classes cannot be carried over to the next cycle. If there are classes you know you cannot make in advance please get in touch before booking on through the website as it may be possible to modify. After booking and once a block is underway it's not possible to modify so please check dates carefully prior to booking. If you have questions or queries or if your baby is due within the block just let me know so we can adjust the cost accordingly. Booking in advance is essential to guarantee your place as class can be busy. If you book on but then find you can no longer make it to class a full refund will be made so long as I have 7 days notice in advance of the first class in each block.
There is also a group page on Facebook, which is private to the class only.
If you would like to join you can find the group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/blossomyoga/ after making a request I will be able to add you in.
The Discovery Centre, Jewry St, Winchester SO23 8SB
Preparations for a Safe and Happy Pregnancy Yoga Practice
Before practicing yoga for the first time ensure that you have your doctor or midwife’s approval. It is recommended to commence a yoga postures practice after 14 weeks, once you are in your 2nd trimester.
Always advise you yoga instructor of any medical conditions related or unrelated to your pregnancy prior to the start of class. At no time should you feel strain or discomfort during your practice. Always come down to all fours if you feel faint or dizzy and alert your teacher! Discontinue any pose if you feel faint, dizzy, light headed or nauseous
Listen to your own voice, how your baby feels is your best instruction as to what you can and can’t do. Rest whenever you need to.
Ensure that during your pregnancy you are eating little and often. Eating a light snack before and after class is recommended.
RELAX and approach your practice with compassion to yourself and to your baby.
Listen to your teacher before going in to and out of each posture, guidance will ensure that you are practicing safely and mindfully.
Do not overstretch! Ligaments and tendons have softened during pregnancy (due to the relaxin in your body) and if they are over stretched they will not go back, causing undue tension and discomfort in later years. Over stretching can also cause pelvic instability.
Do not hold your breath; this can restrict the flow of oxygen to your baby.
Avoid lying on your stomach.
Do not attempt deep twists. Allow space for your growing baby.
Avoid postures where you are sitting on your feet if you have varicose veins or swollen feet.
If you have high or low blood pressure ensure you come up slowly and mindfully from all head down poses.
Lying flat on your back, legs outstretched is not recommended past 26 weeks, prior to this legs may need to be bent with the support of a bolster behind the knees or a wedge under the right hip. Other modifications are available. Post 26 weeks you should lie on your left side or right side achieving optimum relaxation with the aid of supports. Post 34 weeks it recommended you lie on your left side to encourage OFP for birth.
Avoid deep squats if your baby is breech or posterior. Holding a deep squat post 36 weeks is not advisable unless you know your baby is in OFP for birth. Instead practice supported squats with a partner or with a chair/stool. Maintaining hips in line with or higher than the knees. A deep seated squat where hips are lower than the knees encourages your baby to descend deep in to the pelvis and engage for birth. Great if your baby is in a favourable position but not so great if they are not.
The most important thing is to listen to your body and your baby. What felt good one week may very well not feel good in the next. Always listen to the modifications and adjustments suggested and ensure you feel comfortable in each posture. This will ensure you can enjoy the most beneficial practice possible for you and your baby.
Recommended Book List for Pregnancy
Gentle Birth Method by Dr Gowri Motha Preparing your body for birth with a month by month programme to include diet and supplements (herbal/homeopathic), creative healing techniques, deep muscle relaxation, visualization and pelvic drainage massage. Designed to help you eliminate common pregnancy ailments, reduce fear and anxiety of labour, encourage your baby in to the best birthing position, increase likelihood of a shorter, intervention-free labour, prevent vaginal tearing, manage and control pain and contractions. •
Boutiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh Inspirational advice, supportive anecdotes and information about motherhood. The suggested exercises and meditations answer the needs of expectant and new mothers dealing with dramatic body changes and the emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy and parenting. •
Birthing From Within by Pam England & Rob Horowitz If you were looking for one book to cover all bases this would be your best bet and is truly inspiring! Beautifully written and easy to open at any page and start reading. Easy to gain and gather insightful information, tips and knowledge on how to approach and prepare for your labour and birth. The guidance offered in this book will help you to feel strong, confident and fearless, essential reading for every pregnant woman. Overcoming your fears, your perceptions of pain and one of the best sections on partners/husbands role in all of this I have ever found. •
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin The classic book on home birth! The first section details the experiences of parents and midwives during the birth experience. The second section is a technical manual for midwives, nurses, and doctors. Includes information on prenatal care and nutrition, labor, delivery-techniques, care of the new baby, and breast-feeding. •
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin “The inimitable Ina May Gaskin shares her birthing wisdom once again, this time explaining how she and her team of midwives have achieved such extraordinary success rates, and why the natural birthing process, when left to it’s own devices, can proceed so beautifully on it’s own. Required reading for any woman who wants to learn about her birthing option.” Hope Edelman.
For me this book more so than any other helped me understand the magical mystery tour of labour and birth. Hearing the birth stories of other women in this book is the most powerful gift in preparing for birth and labour. •
Birth Crisis by Sheila Kitzinger A book designed to help women come to terms with and heal traumatic births. •••