Birth Story – Janine and Cara

Birth Story – Janine and Cara

YogaBirth love a birth story

We love the birth stories sent to us from our many pregnancy yoga teachers via the mums that attend their classes and although the births can vary, one things is always the same – the mums are always so complementary about how our yoga classes contributed to their positive birth experiences.

Here’s a beautiful story sent to us by yoga teacher Louisa Aldridge.

“Hi Louisa,

Here is my birthing story from over 4 years ago. I still remember you very fondly, and as someone who gave me the assurance I needed at that time.

What really helped that I took from the yoga classes with you were the different breathing techniques at various stages of the birth.

It’s very reassuring to be in the throws of labour and feel confident as I controlled my breathing and had something to focus on, so my body was left to do what it knew how to do.

You really helped me hang onto my goal of a homebirth, and connected me with your friend, a private midwife (Kemi) to talk to. Her advice to listen to my body and trust my instincts was the assurance I needed.


At this point I was 14 days over due with my 2nd child, and was being pressured by the hospital to come in and be induced. I ask them to give me the weekend to buy myself some more time.

On the Saturday I went to the swimming pool. Holding onto the side I just floated, stomach side down and I could feel her in my belly turn and adjust. On Sunday morning at 6am I started with contractions.

I paced round the bedroom for an hour before my husband woke up wondering what I was doing.

He quickly sprung into action, and ran downstairs to start filling the birthing pool. Our toddler woke up and was put in front of the telly till granny could arrive. The midwife was called, but it was changeover time and there was some confusion about who to ring.

A quick birth

He (my husband) was busy running up and down the stairs whilst I just keep pacing the floor in the bedroom.

He brought me up a chocolate chip tracker bar to help keep up my energy, and I said “Really? Quick put down some towels!”

I was on all fours, and every time I had a contraction I coughed, and a bit more of the head appeared. Out she came at 8:40am, and my husband handed her to me.

All this before the midwifes had a chance to arrive!

It was fab! Not too painful and just the 3 of us for 5 minutes.

Perfect really. And an hour later, we were all together in the kitchen eating croissants and jam.

Thanks for helping to make this the birthing story that happened. I’ll always be grateful.

Janine and Cara.”

Janine and Cara

How can I find out more?

If you’re pregnant and would like us to support you physically and mentally as you prepare for your birth, find your nearest YogaBirth Pregnancy Yoga teacher here

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

YogaBirth Teacher Training and beyond

YogaBirth Teacher Training and beyond

With Yogabirth’s next Yoga Teacher Training course just around the corner, we wanted to bring you an insight into who we are and why we feel so much passion in empowering women in all things pregnancy, birth and motherhood so very much. Pregnancy, birth and motherhood are massive life milestones. Each woman’s motherhood journey is as unique as she/they is/are. At YogaBirth we are all about supporting each woman on their personal journey. Their vision, their desires, dilemmas, challenges and choices.

We have been beavering away since 2001 accompanying and empowering people. It’s our passion, our purpose and we are experts at what we do.

YogaBirth student concentration

Who we are

YogaBirth is a professional organisation of highly experienced yoga teachers and birth “educators”. Our unique body of work is dedicated to the childbearing year. We fly the Gold Standard in our work and take what we do very seriously. Our teachers are the most highly trained pregnancy and postnatal yoga professionals in the UK. Our 300 hour teacher training is the longest and most in – depth training of its kind. It is accredited and endorsed by The Royal College of Midwives. We are hugely proud of it and of the extraordinary teachers who have been borne from it.

Through our exceptional classes women:


  • Feel confident in their choices and what feels right for them
  • Grow trust in their body’s wisdom, in its power and in themselves
  • Are flexible, stronger and more resilient in meeting labour, in birth and in their mothering
  • Feel calmer, more at ease and comfortable during pregnancy and after birth
  • Gather knowledge; know their options, their rights
  • Are informed to make the choices that are right for them
  • Find support; meet other women, make friends, share experiences
  • Feel empowered and powerful during pregnancy, birth and into motherhood
  • Celebrate their unique and personal journey
  • Take time to connect with their growing baby
  • Approach labour with peace of mind
  • Value themselves as people and as parents.
  • Know that they can show up vulnerable and will find a non-judging, caring space.
Student YogaBirth Teachers

The YogaBirth Way

YogaBirth are passionate and excited about all things around pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Every person is unique and special, and each pregnancy and birth is just as unique. We are committed to being in service to women during their very personal journey and in the choices they make during their pregnancy and their birth. We believe every woman has the right to choose what will create a positive experience for her. Making this very special milestone time, personal and growthful.
Over the past 20 years we have evolved a specialised yoga – based approach, that blends expert birth knowledge and practical information to enhance and support pregnancy, labour and birth. A powerful unique fusion of movement, postures, breathwork, support and practical knowledge for the childbearing year ….and much, much, more.

We are passionate about motherhood and love supporting the extraordinary work all mamas do. Continuity is vital. And so we offer a nourishing, inclusive and friendly continuation after birth for all mamas. YogaBirth teachers are the most highly trained pregnancy and postnatal yoga teachers in the UK . We take our passion very seriously and are dedicated to offering our clients so much more.

Teacher Training Student

What women are saying about us:

“Yoga is more than just the physical of getting women to use their bodies to open for birth. The practise engenders calm and going into and developing awareness of their own being…They are more likely to cope with labour and have normal births because they trust the birth process and more than ever trust themselves and their ability to go with the flow.”
Christine Grabowska, Midwife

“The support I got from being around other new mums was amazing; the yoga was relaxing, and I loved the talks.”

“The classes gave me the knowledge I needed to feel confident about my choices in labour & overcome my fears.”

“Yoga far exceeded my expectations! In it I found a nurturing and safe space to not only begin to grow in strength and confidence in my body again but also in my journey as a mother and woman.”

“I attended YogaBirth classes during my pregnancy and followed up with the post-pregnancy classes where I could bring my little boy. In both classes I felt safe to share my innermost worries and concerns and fantastic milestones in my little one’s development. The classes were always insightful and it was so good to get ideas from other mums. There is no judgement only support and discussions. The post-pregnancy classes were the highlight of my week. It was a little part of my Inner sanctuary and truly helped me through the harder days of being a new mum”.

“…when women have been practising yoga. They display an inner calmness, an acceptance of the process. They are working with their body & their baby. For me it’s an easy job to support these women as they require so little but positive intention, and the satisfaction afterward when they hold their newborn and recognise they did it themselves. Magic.”
Anna Nella, Midwife

A Special Kind of Yoga Teacher Training

Our training is the longest and most in depth training in the UK. No quick fix for us! It provides a level, depth and breadth of knowledge, experience and professionalism, rooted in the most current research and best practice.

We’re always on the look-out for talented individuals, inspired by the Yogabirth Way, to join our team. When you study with YogaBirth, you become part of our vibrant and inspirational community and sisterhood. In community we work together to offer the best possible service to the women in our classes and grow our knowledge base through our wonderful CPD events.

Developed over 25 years, our Teacher Training Courses are unique. Taught by highly specialised yoga teachers and childbirth educators. We train only a very select number of people every year. If you feel curious and called to find out more, please do get in touch. We are very friendly and love meeting like-minded souls. Our next training starts in May 2021 but never fear, we take applications up until the last minute – one of our most recent teachers applied just the week before the course began!

What people are saying about our training:

“The tutors where phenomenally inspiring.”

“The knowledge and wisdom we learned about the birth process and birth related topics was very comprehensive. Much, much, more than the Doula training or other workshops I have attended. I honestly feel that this wealth of teaching needs to be put into a book so that more people can access it.”

“…it really is a beautifully run and taught course.”

“Both students and tutors were all fantastic and there was a real sense of community, of wanting to support one another, appreciation of our different approaches etc. The tutors where phenomenally inspiring, thoughtful and sensitive to our needs. It really is a very special, magical course and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering learning to teach pregnancy yoga.”

“I felt constantly challenged, inspired and interested by the content we covered and the new skills we were taught. I loved the sense of achievement I took away from most weekends.”

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

Written by Ruth Polden
Co Director YogaBirth Training
Co Chair YogaBirth
Mother, Baker and Hiker
Ruth Polden
World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day – Meet Aiden

By Zilla Bowell

This is Aiden, my beautiful baby boy. He has fluffy reddish-blonde hair, blue eyes like me, and a very cheeky smile. He loves chewing his brown bunny, rolling all over the floor, reading stories with his sister, going to the park with his cousins, and being thrown in the air by his Daddy. Another fact about Aiden is that he has Down Syndrome. This is a part of him, but it doesn’t and won’t define him.

Finding out about Aiden’s condition when I was 3 months pregnant, and confronting what that means for him, me, and my family, has been very difficult. Very simply though, I want my baby to be happy. And I will do everything I can to enable him to be.


What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal condition. 40,000 people in the UK live with it. And yet the care you receive when you are pregnant and you find out that your baby has it, or might have it, is poor, partial, and lacking many basic facts. I think this allows fear to take over, and I think that is partly why around 9 in 10 women in that position choose not to go ahead with their pregnancy.

21st March each year is World Down Syndrome Day, given that Down Syndrome means that a person has 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.

So what do I want you to be aware of, today? I would like you to be aware that if you are in the position of receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome for your baby, or a high chance screening result, there are organisations that you can speak to, to help you understand the condition, and what it could mean for you and your baby. The Down Syndrome Association and the Positive About Down Syndrome charity are two that I think are very good.

Second, that the life that you and your baby will have, will be as happy as you want to make it. Having a child with a learning disability and some degree of physical disability, because Down Syndrome is both, is sometimes different and sometimes absolutely the same. You just have a head start on knowing what some of your child’s challenges will be, whereas with a typical child you don’t.

Aiden, My Beautiful Boy

I fell in love with Aiden when he was born, and the immense amount of uncertainty and fear that had been weighing me down for months started to lift. His sister adores him and he brings joy to all of us. When I look at him and hold him I can’t imagine him not being here. He is my beautiful boy.

Fighting for the right opportunities and support for him takes energy, and it annoys me when some people don’t share my ambitions for him. Like enabling him to wean safely with the help of an adaptive highchair at the right time, just as you would wean a typical child at 6 months. Aiden has low muscle tone, which is a feature of his condition, meaning that at the moment his head and neck control will make it harder for him to sit in a standard highchair and enjoy meal times. He can and he will eat, he just needs a different chair for a while to support him to do so. He will develop stronger muscles, and we do therapeutic play to encourage that, with the help of a lovely physiotherapist who visits us. I will do all of that to ensure he can thrive, just as I do things to ensure my older typical child will thrive.

Aiden And Mum

His Name Is Aiden. Down Syndrome Doesn’t Define Him.

I am being deliberate with my language. This is because inclusion and inclusive language is also something I want you to be aware of. Aiden is not abnormal. He is not a Downs baby. He is not slow, weak, floppy, behind, delayed and dysmorphic. These are not words I want him to repeatedly hear and be defined by. And all of these words have been used repeatedly by people and medical professionals, directly or by inference, in his presence.

His name is Aiden. He has a disability. He has Down Syndrome. He will achieve what he wants to, and it will sometimes be in a longer timeframe than for a typical child. That is fine. Being careless with your language and identifying Aiden only by his condition fails to put him first, and fails to recognise his individuality. This makes me angry, just as you might be angry if someone picked a physical characteristic that you or your child have, and called you only according to that. Most people realise that inclusive and non offensive language is important to use when it comes to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and many other characteristics. But sometimes with disability people seem to be stuck in the dark ages, and this needs to change.

So please do talk to us, if you’re in a shop and you see my beautiful baby cackling in his pram. If you are an occupational therapist, a nurse, a pharmacist, a parent doing a drop off at nursery or school, at the swings in the playground, or checking Aiden’s heart in hospital. But please be mindful of your language, and know that Aiden can hear you and understand you too. Some of my friends with children with Down Syndrome have had people ignore them because they don’t know what to say, and I find that incredibly sad. What I want for my child is for him to be included, and to have every opportunity to thrive, and that starts from now.

YogaBirth Yoga With Caroline

Moving onto the positive! And the reason I was asked to write this. I have done yoga with Caroline during both my pregnancies and post-natally. All of the circumstances I’ve described have created a lot of anxiety for me, and yoga is the time and the place in the week where I can calm down, breathe, quiet my mind, and focus on my health and peace. I find it hard to do that some of the time, and the relaxation and discipline from a Zoom session on a Tuesday morning is something I really enjoy. I’m really looking forward to getting back in the studio too.

Caroline has been my teacher for a few years, and her incredibly relaxed and understanding presence has guided me through lots of these times. She was very helpful whilst I was preparing for a Caesarean birth, and the inclusivity I mentioned that I find important, she has always extended to me. I used breathing and hypnobirthing techniques during both of my births, that she taught me, to enable me to walk myself into an operating theatre and have surgery while conscious, to ensure the safe delivery of my babies.

On a physical level being a mum can be hard! You are always holding your baby, feeding them, burping them. Dealing with your body that has changed a lot, with posture that can be uncomfortable, and Caroline always tailors what our class wants to focus on that week, to tackle our aching shoulders, backs, pelvises – or whatever it might be. The women I’ve met during her classes are friends now as well, which is an extra bonus, and I can’t recommend the classes enough.

How can I find out more?

If you’d like to find out more about Down Syndrome and what it can mean for new parents, head to

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

Approaching Birth with Love

Approaching Birth with Love

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


I’m pregnant….!!!

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.

Approaching birth with love Connection to self through breath

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.

Powerful all fours

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.

Sharing experience

The benefits

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….

Tracey Luggeri holds prenatal yoga and postnatal yoga classes with baby massage, at ‘The Letchworth Centre for Healthy living’ between Hitchin and Letchworth in Hertfordshire.
Written by Tracey Luggeri
YogaBirth pre and postnatal Teacher
Baby massage and Yoga Teacher
Tracey Luggeri
Why YogaBirth postnatal yoga classes are so important

Why YogaBirth postnatal yoga classes are so important

Why is what we offer mothers in our postnatal yoga classes so important?

Having a baby is life changing – it is different to any other experience a person has. It is hard which is why it is life changing for both parents.  It gives you a new perspective of life and relationships and new ways of understanding yourself – having a baby teaches you a new way to be. But how women react and respond to this huge change in their lives can give rise to problems and it can also bring great joy and a more creative approach to life.

Mother baby bonding

Find your village in your postnatal yoga class

Running a postnatal class gives you an opportunity to see how the mother is responding to her baby and any issues she may be having, most commonly around feeding her baby. We are offering the women a support network – the village green. This can be where relationships between the women can develop and seeing other mums with their babies make women realise that what they are experiencing is normal.

These classes are for mothers and babies so there are certain practical as well as health and safety issues to consider.  The mother should feel that the baby is well accommodated for and that the class is ‘baby led’.  Easy access is essential as is a safe and clean environment for a new baby. We are creating a safe environment for women to come together as a group – where they will make life-long friendships.

postnatal comminity
postnatal yoga class

A baby led approach

As teachers, we will explain at the beginning of the class that it is ‘baby led’. Sometimes they will achieve everything – sometimes all they will do is feed their baby. But that is okay. It can be really helpful when you have someone coming back who’s done it all before as they reassure everyone that the class can be chaotic.

Postnatal yoga

The yoga element of the postnatal class in part is the bringing together of the women and breathing. Just being there is so important. If they actually manage to do some yoga, that is even better! Much of the work is about giving something back to the mother. It may be the first time she has done something for herself since having her baby. Observing how her body feels post birth. Noticing where the areas of tension are. Noticing the changes in her body post birth, her posture, her core strength and beginning to engage the pelvic floor for essential recovery. Also finding time to relax in the class – a moment of time out.

It is a challenging class to teach but incredibly satisfying as you truly are supporting the women at this transitional time in their lives. I incorporate baby massage in my classes which I think works very effectively. It is a good opportunity to get the mothers to bond with the baby and the feedback I get is that it is wonderful to do a class that is for the ‘mother and the baby’.

‘Reminder to focus on baby and on me. A nice balance of the two. A class that’s gentle enough post baby. Seeing some of the mums from pregnancy yoga/hearing about other mums experiences/challenges/solutions is so helpful.’

‘The postnatal baby massage and yoga class has been a great way to learn how to give my baby boy a relaxing massage, which he really enjoys, and to allow me to have some time out to focus on my body and post natal recovery- it’s lovely to be able to do something together which I feel really benefits both of us. The opportunity to chat to Annabel and the other ladies is also invaluable, and definitely helped to feel less isolated especially in the early pp stage. I really look forward to the classes.’

How can I find out more?

To find out about how to become a YogaBirth postnatal yoga teacher in your area, click the button below.

Written by Annabel Hargrave
Mother, Grandmother
YogaBirth pre and postnatal Teacher
Scaravelli Yoga Teacher
Annabel Hargrave