YogaBirth pregnancy yoga classes lovingly support women through the joy and effort of labour and birthing, and the incredible journey of the birth of a mother
Your response is probably many questions and a colourful spectrum of emotions…happiness, excitement, anxiety and even fear. What will the experience of pregnancy, labour and birth look and feel like for me? Will everything be ok? Will I bond and love my baby? How will my body change and will being a mother change my relationships?
One of the things that I love about teaching YogaBirth prenatal yoga is the transformation of women as they settle week by week into the class. Early days some women are quite nervous, and as the weeks go by I see them with their eyes closed, following their breath during a posture – deeply present and connected to their body and their growing baby. A transformation starts to blossom, a quiet confidence begins to grow. Slowly they are able to accept their fears and look forward to excitement and joy in the effort of the journey.
When I was pregnant, I remember that my attention was constantly drawn to my baby. Some women might be hoping for a connection to their baby. But whether it is their first class, or yoga is already part of their life, the gaze begins to turns inward and they begin to build a connection to their changing body and the growing baby in their Uterus. They begin to develop a deeper awareness and start to develop trust in their innate ability to birth.
What is Scaravelli Yoga?
‘You have to learn how to listen to your body, going with it and not against it, avoiding all effort or strain…. You will be amazed to discover that, if you are kind to your body, it will respond in an incredible way’… Vanda Scaravelli
Vanda Scaravelli studied with many teachers including B.K Iyengar, and her yoga evolved through many years of self-practice, and is beautifully explained in her book ‘Awakening the Spine’. Scaravelli yoga is deeply intuitive yoga, rooted in the practice of connection with gravity to the earth, to gain support and stability.
It hinges around practising full awareness of the breath, experiencing an expanding and lengthening of the spine to the flow of the breath, creating freedom and lightness of movement. There is a wonderful strength in its gentleness, which the body responds to with a deep release.
Breath and movement synchronise. As a slow wave of breath creates space flowing up and down the spine, like the ebb and flow of waves on the shore…like night and day…the changing seasons, growing this new mother’s connection to Mother Earth.
Why Scaravelli yoga works so well during pregnancy?
Where does awareness begin? How do we learn to look inside and connect with our body? Like new life, it starts with the breath. By simple watching and staying with the breath, we become present, and begin to relax.
As the breath slows a physiological change takes place with the activation of the Parasympathetic Nervous system. Hormones release, relaxing mind and body, reducing anxiety and even strengthening the Immune System.
In YogaBirth classes, postures are adapted for pregnancy, and women are encouraged to listen to their body. Movements are connected to strengthen, making space for the baby. We explain and practise postures and movement for the optimal birthing position of the baby, encouraging women to be mindful of the movement of their body.
In a YogaBirth class
At the start of my classes we have a chat, and each mother takes a turn to share. They are encouraged to share how they feel, ask questions about appointments, or ask others for advice, sometimes even shedding a few tears, particularly through Covid-19. Last Monday one woman who had joined the week before, said that after the class she felt in a place she hadn’t experienced before – deep relaxation. She articulated so well. “That’s the feeling I want to take into labour and birth!” We know that the shy hormones of birth flow best when the body and mind are relaxed, helping labour to progress, and this practise throughout pregnancy strengthens that response.
The benefits of a YogaBirth practise during pregnancy is perhaps deepening awareness, a growing understanding and confidence in the body, the breath and the mind. Letting go of self-doubt and judgement of how birth should be brings freedom through this regular practise, which can lead to an acceptance of her individual body and her needs during labour and birth. The tools that she has practised through YogaBirth yoga naturally become a part of her labour.
Birth is so different for every woman, there is no right way or right choices to make. For each woman, feeling safe is subjective; she is unique, her baby is unique and so it follows that her birth will be unique….
YogaBirth pre and postnatal Teacher
Baby massage and Yoga Teacher