Pelvic Girdle Pain In Pregnancy

Pelvic Girdle Pain In Pregnancy

PGP – How YogaBirth Can Help

By Lolly Stirk

Pelvic girdle pain, which affects one in 5 pregnant women, is an umbrella term for pain in the hips, symphysis pubis, (at the front of the pelvis), sacro-iliac joints, (at the back of the pelvis), in the little tailbone, (coccyx), in the lower back and even down the inner thighs.

Hormones do the job of loosening the ligaments and soft tissue which hold the pelvis together, to help accommodate the baby and ultimately let the baby pass through the bony structure of the pelvis and soft tissue of the pelvic floor.

If there are imbalances, poor posture, or old injury sites which were managing fine before the softening takes place, this loosening of the structure can increase the effect and cause the pain. Not to mention the additional weight which adds to the problem.

PGP can be devastating physically and emotionally but information and help is at hand to help you manage this difficult situation. There is a very comprehensive website to turn to for sound advice.

Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

How YogaBirth can help with Pelvic Girdle Pain

Our YogaBirth teachers are trained to help you manage this pain. We will do all we can to help you join in, and not feel isolated which is one of the sad results of this syndrome.

Coming up and down to the floor is difficult with PGP so we offer you a chair or ball in class so that you can feel supported and join in with all the breathing and upper body stretches.

Gym balls or stability balls to sit on can be so useful as they give you support as well as a sense of freedom when properly used.

In the standing poses, we will be encouraging you to keep your postures small, with narrow spaces between your feet and to draw up strength and stability from the ground.

Through the breath work we will be working with you, in simple postures, using mini movements to manage and realign your body with gravity and build strength.

The Ayurvedic medicine take…

Ayurvedic medicine has such a clever take on any discomfort caused through pregnancy. Rather than blame the pregnancy or the baby for the difficulty or pain, we are encouraged to be grateful that your weakness is being highlighted so that you can do something about it and not have it reoccur in further pregnancies or old age. Lovely!

If you’d like to enquire about training with YogaBirth, email us by clicking the button below.

Maternal Mental Health

Maternal Mental Health

Maternal Mental Health

By Natalie Meddings

October sees a huge focus on maternal mental health, something we at YogaBirth are very passionate about raising awareness of. For new mums, a mixture of hormone fluctuations and sleep deprivation can leave you feeling far from yourself, but please don’t worry. As Natalie Meddings writes, motherhood is a quest, not a test.

In the first days with a new baby, there’s a tonne of adjustment to make. You’ll feel joy, but also exhaustion, probably a bit of overwhelm at times too. It’s all normal. The problem is it might not feel normal.

‘I was shocked by how winded I felt in those first weeks with my baby, ‘ says Sian. ‘Some days I felt knocked for six and my main problem was worrying that I shouldn’t be feeling that way. When you’re pregnant and all excited about having a baby, that’s not how you imagine it. And it’s certainly not what you see…out in the world, on tv, or even when you go to meet-ups with other mums. It looks like it should all be lovely, or like everyone else seems to be coping and together. When I found myself feeling completely done in, in tears with tiredness or whatever, I’d think ‘is this normal?’ Why aren’t I coping?’ You can really convince yourself that everyone else is finding it breeze when of course they’re not. But how are you supposed to know what is normal? How do you gauge it?’

First Time Mums

If you’ve not had a baby before, feeling under confident is natural. It’s also necessary. When we are unsure, we are awake – vigilant and sensitive. This is exactly how your baby needs you to be: listening well, responding instinctively, free and open to learn how they tick and who they are.

What they don’t need is you to be wracked with self-doubt. It may be common for a mother to think being in her pyjamas all day is wrong; or that if feeding is fraught, she is failing; or that her baby should be sleeping at specific time. But it doesn’t mean that worrying is warranted. No mother should feel she is getting it wrong. Yet experts and baby ‘manuals’ can make you feel like you are, like there is a right way to ‘run’ your baby and that it’s your job to nail it.

postnatal yoga

Let the feelings pass

Anxiety is expensive. Insecurity saps energy so take a moment to consider if any self-blame or shame (yes, mothers really are made to feel this) you are feeling is valid or useful. When a spasm of doubt strikes and you find yourself questioning yourself or wondering if there’s a better way your baby could be – consider if that imagined ideal bears any connection to your baby, or the relationship you are building with them.

Instead have a cup of tea, a bit of a cry, or if you can, a nap with your baby. Let the feeling pass, because all those ‘shoulds’ you’ve got washing around can do serious damage to your instinct. It’ll have been obvious within minutes that your baby is utterly unique so why would one-size-fits-all advice from a self-appointed childcare guru or an NCT whatsapp group be of any use?

postnatal yoga

Motherhood isn’t a test

Motherhood isn’t a test – it’s a quest. Some days are satisfying, some suffocating. Sometimes you’ll feel frazzled, at others euphoric. This is the territory so give yourself a break. I’ve yet to see a mother and baby not find equilibrium in their own good time.

To find out more about YogaBirth’s postnatal classes, head to our postnatal classes page.

YogaBirth Teacher Training – Pregnancy Yoga – A Journal – Part 1

YogaBirth Teacher Training – Pregnancy Yoga – A Journal – Part 1

YogaBirth Teacher Training – Pregnancy Yoga – A Journal – Part 1

By Marcela de León Pérez

YogaBirth Teacher Training – May 2021

Back in May this year, we began our latest pregnancy yoga teacher training course with a wonderful group of women including Doulas, midwives and yoga teachers who are now deep into their journey to becoming teachers of our specialised Scaravelli inspired yoga for birth.

One of the students, Marcela de León Pérez, has begun writing a journal to document her experience of the yoga teacher training we offer. You can find her @mamagiveslight on Instagram. Grab a cuppa and whether you’re interested in signing up to our yoga teacher training or just finding out more about how our yoga teachers learn everything they know in order to deliver your favourite yoga classes, settle down and enjoy!

YogaBirth Teacher Training - Pregnancy Yoga Kneeling


We have only done the intro of this YogaBirth course yesterday and I can already feel that it will have a huge impact on my life. Not only when I teach Yoga, but also when I do my own Yoga practice.

I have been attending some Scaravelli inspired classes with Judy Cameron and Peter Blackaby, and I love the awareness that it is bringing into my own Yoga practice. I continue to have a daily practice of mainly Vinyasa flow classes, and I feel that this Scaravelli inspired way of teaching and learning will enrich my practice so much.


We have now completed the first weekend of the YogaBirth course. I love the fact that we are a small group, there are a variety of professions with many midwives in the group, which is fascinating. The course is so rich in information and the tutors are very experienced.

I am starting to understand better why there is so much focus on Scaravelli style of Yoga in the YogaBirth course. The importance of slowing down, connecting and having the time to truly benefit from the yoga practice.
I’ve been really enjoying having a weekly Scaravelli inspired class added to my week’s practice. I have mainly been attending Judy Cameron’s and Peter Blackaby’s classes, I can’t wait to practice with other teachers too.

YogaBirth Teacher Training - Pregnancy Yoga Relaxation


I have lately been reflecting on why this work that we do as YogaBirth teachers is so important. When people understand childbirth and are prepared for any eventualities that their journey might bring, they act from a place of knowledge, not from a place of fear.

I keep thinking about all the information on the female pelvis and its anatomy and its importance for pregnancy and childbirth. When I watched Jill Miller’s presentation on the female pelvis, I realised how much attention to detail is passed on to YogaBirth trainee teachers.

I am fascinated by the questions that Jill raised. When teaching a class and any pose, ask yourself: what is her pelvis doing now? How is this asana influencing its position?

This course is really broadening my perspective of teaching pregnancy yoga, and understanding that there is much more in a YogaBirth class apart from the yoga poses.


This weekend I attended the annual YogaBirth CPD. It was the first time that I practised and studied with Anne-Marie Zulkahari and with Gary Carter. Gary’s anatomy session was so interesting and as always, I feel so blown away by how incredibly complex and efficient the human body is. The body is intelligent and if we train it and treat it with compassion, it will respond happily.

Anne-Marie’s yoga session was beautiful and I recognised a lot of the elements that other Scaravelli teachers focus on: The importance of the feet and setting up a good foundation from the ground up, the lengthening of the spine, and the influence of gravity in everything that we do. This is ever so relevant for pregnancy and childbirth and something that I can also recognise in the YogaBirth classes.


I keep reflecting about how long I’ve wanted to do this YogaBirth course. Since 2017 I have been eager and curious to do it, but for various reasons it had not been possible. A silver lining of this Covid pandemic is that it has opened a whole new world of opportunities when it comes to teaching and learning. I find the Zoom format works so well and the dynamism that it brings to a small group of trainees is excellent. We have opportunities to get to know each other even though we are scattered all around the UK. Of course it would be so much nicer to be in the same room and share a chat and a cuppa, but given the global situation, this format works so well. I am very grateful to be able to be part of this cohort of students and I feel that I will learn not only from my tutors, but from each one of the students as well. We all bring our own professional and life experiences and this is making the course so rich and interactive.


By now I have been able to sit in at three YogaBirth classes with different teachers: Judy Cameron, Lolly Stirk and Lauren Irving. It has been so lovely to observe how even though each teacher has her own personal teaching style, professional background and level of yoga practice, they all share the same principles and focus when teaching their classes.

The focus on the feet, the breath, the spine and gravity really reflect why these classes have their roots deeply embedded in Vanda Scaravelli’s style of yoga. This approach makes yoga so much more accessible to pregnant women.

Powerful all fours


Jill Miller’s YogaBirth class at the past teacher training weekend was beautiful. The more YogaBirth classes I attend, the more I realise that it is about quality rather than quantity of yoga poses. The classes are so carefully designed so that the students can spend sufficient time in each pose, getting familiar with how it feels in their own body, exploring and bringing the attention inwards and into their breath.

The classes focus so deeply on helping women prepare for birth gradually, by weekly drawing in concepts, ideas, facts and resources that they might find useful. But most importantly, women learn to familiarise themselves with this ‘being rather than doing’ state which is so important and fundamental during pregnancy, and particularly late pregnancy, labour and childbirth.

In a fast paced culture and life, it can be challenging for most women to get into this state of being, and by weekly attending these YogaBirth classes they slowly start going into this place of calm where there is not much to do apart from relax, breathe and be in the present moment.


I could listen to Lolly Stirk talk all day! She just gave us a beautiful session about the roots and the history of YogaBirth and the relevance of the work that we do as YogaBirth teachers. YogaBirth as an organisation has its core values deeply embedded in supporting women during the childbearing years through yoga and education, by empowering them to trust their bodies and being familiar with their choices. It has made me reflect so much on why this gentle, softer kind of yoga is so relevant. This work that we do is to encourage strength in a supple way, without forcing but by trusting the body and the incredible physiological processes that occur during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatally. We are teaching a type of yoga that is much more appropriate for the female body, particularly during pregnancy.


Today we had one of our teaching practice sessions. Only two months have passed and I already feel that this course is positively influencing the way in which I teach my yoga classes. I have been teaching prenatal yoga classes for four years and even though I have the confidence and fluidity to teach a class, there is so much more that I am learning and really looking forward to sharing when I can teach my own YogaBirth classes after graduating from the course. The focus on slowing down isn’t only for the students, but for me as a teacher as well. To choose my words carefully and give the students spaces to rest and silences to enjoy.

I feel that I am learning so much from my fellow students and I really enjoy being taught by them in these teaching practices and to get familiar with each of their own personal styles of teaching.

If you’d like to enquire about training with YogaBirth, email us by clicking the button below.

Welcome to YogaBirth

Welcome to YogaBirth

A warm welcome to YogaBirth

By Amanda Edwards
Co-chair from 2016 ~ current

Becoming an Active Birth Teacher

I live in a wonderful village in the South of England which has quite a close knit community. When I first moved here my children were barely out of nappies, and on arrival I did my training to be an Active Birth Teacher before becoming a founder member of YogaBirth. Now 25yrs later and I still live in the same village, my children are now adults and many of the young mums who I taught when I first qualified are now mothers of young adults too. I often see these young adults and teenagers around the village, and I feel honored to have played some part in their birth into this world.

Supporting new mums during pregnancy

I started my journey in supporting parents in their pregnancies and births when I was still a young mum myself. Now I have the privilege of being more of a grandmother figure to the young parents who come to me during their pregnancies, and some may ask me to be a doula at the birth. I have supported many different births and have had the joy of being present at many beginnings of life.

Amanda Edwards
Postnatal Group
Postnatal Mum Baby

YogaBirth Roots

I have many amazing women and men to thank for the incredible career I have in supporting parents in their journey of pregnancy and birth.  If you read the history of YogaBirth on Our Roots page you will see what a rich history we have, and all the women and men who are instrumental in my training are mentioned there.

The women I trained with are mostly still teaching and for the past 25 years we have met at our annual study weekend to laugh and to share, to stretch with our yoga, and to listen to inspiring speakers and midwives on many different subjects pertaining to the work we do. That initial group of teachers started out with young children, and often babes in arms, and now so many of us are grandmothers watching the younger newly qualified teachers who join us, with their young children, knowing that they have joined an organisation that will nourish them as a community with life long friendships of support to be made. Those that decide to do our training and join the YogaBirth organisation are joining a community of like-minded individuals and the opportunity to have a career that will support them to meet the many beautiful, and sometimes challenging, stories of pregnancy and birth that they will encounter along the way.

The YogaBirth Sisterhood

YogaBirth is run very much as a sisterhood and community, with members being consulted on most decisions and the opportunity for anyone to step into a role on the committee. I have been Co Chair for the past 4 years now along with Ruth Polden. Together we have a vision of taking YogaBirth into new areas of growth, opening to a wider range of communities, and initiating awareness around all issues of pregnancy and birth through the work we do.

We have always required our members to do CPD and we want to share these events with other people involved in the birth world, which also enables collaboration with other individuals who aren’t necessarily YogaBirth members. You can get an idea of the quality of some of our events on our Development page.

YogaBirth Sisterhood

YogaBirth Teacher Training

If you would like a rewarding career in supporting pregnancy and the wonder of birth please look at our Teacher Training Course. Do send us an email – we are a friendly group and we would love to hear from you and answer your questions. Or you may be interested in coming to one of our CPD events. We would love to welcome you and to learn from you as well. Let us share and exchange our skills and knowledge so we can all support those going through pregnancy in a loving and wholesome way as in The YogaBirth Way.

I love the work I do. It has brought so much to me and still continues to do so. I chose a training that not only gave me a strong and solid foundation to build on, but one that constantly evolves and grows. I love my changing role from being a young mum amongst other young mums to being more of an elder now. My work and me have grown and evolved together and I love seeing our new students qualify and start their own path, which can be a long and rewarding one if they so choose.

Come and join us and have the support of our community as you make a valuable difference to the world of Pregnancy and Birth and Beyond.

Teaching Pregnancy Yoga online

Teaching Pregnancy Yoga online

How I have adapted and can reach a wider audience from home

By Claire Whitman

Adapting to pregnancy yoga online

What an extraordinary year it has been, we have all had to adapt and change the way we do things and in many ways it has been good for us to really think about how we live our lives, especially in relation to work.

For me personally, if you had asked me a year and a half ago if it was possible to teach yoga remotely I would have been very doubtful. The thing I enjoy most about being a yoga teacher is getting to know my students, and have a personal connection with them. I prefer teaching smaller, longer classes which allow time for talk, and gives people time and space to really open up and share. However, I have been amazed at how well I have been able to adapt my teaching online, in fact for pregnancy and postnatal classes there are huge benefits.

Claire Whitman Yoga

My first Pregnancy Yoga online class!

My first Zoom class, back in mid March 2020 was just pre-lockdown with a women called Jo, who was actually in early labour at home. She was one of my regular pregnancy students, who had come back to my classes at Triyoga Ealing for her second child and was having a home birth. She contacted me and asked if we could do a private class, as her baby was due and she was feeling apprehensive about the birth. I knew that I had to be able to carry on teaching the many women who attended my pregnancy classes particularly, as they were all understandably feeling very anxious about COVID and going to hospital to have antenatal appointments, not to mention giving birth, many for the first time. Everything was so unknown. I therefore set up a Zoom account and offered Jo a free class, as she was my Zoom ‘guinea-pig ‘and I had never taught like that before.

We spent 2 hours together, and it was a revelation, I really felt like I was in Jo’s kitchen with her and soon forgot that we were online. She had time to discuss her fears, which we resolved and then did a lovely, nourishing pregnancy yoga practice, very much tailored to help her body and mind relax before giving birth. I was pretty sure that Jo was in early labour, she looked rather glazed when I put her into relaxation at the end! I did suggest that she called her mother who was on standby. The next morning I received a text saying that she had given birth, very positively, later that night and she was Adapting to online pregnancy yoga over the moon with joy.

Adapting my classes

That first Zoom class was a wonderful beginning to a new way of teaching for me, and meant I could quickly adapt to being able to continue to teach online.

My online pregnancy classes are still a place where women can share and connect, not only with me but with each other. Depending on the size of the class I adapt to what works best. When the class is 12 women or less, I give each woman a chance to introduce herself and update the class on how she is feeling week to week. For larger classes this is not possible, so I will talk about different pregnancy or birth related issues.

Sometimes a new mother comes back with her baby, to tell her birth story which is wonderful for the other women to hear and ask her questions. I always talk to anyone new to the class, as even joining a class online can feel intimidating for some. I try to create an intimate, safe space, where everyone feels comfortable, and included.

I feel very strongly that there is too much unnecessary fear around birth, and want women to feel well prepared and relaxed when they go into labour. The more they understand about the birth process, and what to expect the less fearful they will be; for women to feel safe and secure.

Claire Whitman Yoga

Postnatal yoga online classes

For postnatal yoga classes, teaching online has been a huge bonus, for as any woman with a newborn knows, getting ready and out of the house can be really difficult. Being able to do yoga from home is perfect, with or without your baby present. The added bonus is that the babies can be muted, so if they are crying, or you need to stop and feed them or change a nappy no one else will hear, and you can turn your camera off but still be able to watch, learn and listen to the class. Some women have told me that these postnatal classes have been a lifeline in the early, often lonely days of parenting, when lockdown has made it very difficult to meet other new mums.

I am now back teaching some classes in person, which is lovely but feel the online classes are here to stay and are bigger in numbers than any studio classes I have taught before. I have women who can now join my classes from anywhere, and that has been so positive as we can reach a wider audience, all over the world! I too enjoy teaching from my own home, and not having to travel so much…..and the most wonderful thing is how I can still create that important sense of connection and support, through the airwaves.

How can I find out more?

Find out more about Claire’s yoga classes, head to