Thursday, 5 May 2016


"The process of birth is not a Hollywood script with harp music, diaphanous robes, and sweetly smiling cherubim. It is work made of muscle, sinew, sweat, blood, and love. By toning the body, mind, and spirit, yoga can help a mother be present for the miracle of birth."  - Yoga Journal

A good Pregnancy Yoga class needs the following ingredients:

1) First and foremost the teacher must be highly qualified and experienced. I am shocked at the advice some students have been given. Don't be shy about asking a teacher about their qualification/professional affiliation - and then check it out online. Iyengar yoga teachers will have done 4 years of yoga under the guidance of a more senior teacher in order to obtain even the most basic Iyengar qualification. They also undergo annual professional development and assessment to ensure their teaching is current, appropriate and safe! 

2) The yoga is varied. It will strengthen your body and mind to prepare both for the arduous nature of labour and delivery. You wouldn't run a marathon without training for it. Labour is (possibly) the most physical thing you will ever do. Holding poses a little longer, with your thighs aching, you will be guided through breathing and feel better prepared to tackle what lies ahead. It also helps you to enjoy a pregnancy with minimal discomfort.

3) You will learn to breathe. There are different breaths to aid the different stages of labour. I cannot express how crucial the breathing is. If you cultivate a strong practise the breathing and movements will kick in automatically. My preparation helped me move with the energy during labour, using it, rather than fighting it. 

4) To give you confidence. It is common to feel unprepared and fearful at the beginning of a pregnancy. We feel we should somehow know how to do it, and yet, in this first-world that we live in, we are so far removed from our instincts that we lack faith in ourselves. Prenatal yoga should weave together mind, body and spirit, giving you an insight and awareness that provides confidence in yourself.

5) Shared information and experiences happen naturally, as women meet and chat with one another, bonded by this experience. Some women find it difficult - how pregnancy changes their body - and talking things over with others can reduce anxiety and stress.

6) At the core of all yoga is acceptance and surrender. Prenatal yoga will not guarantee you the birth you want, but it will grant you the grace of acceptance and surrender. You cannot control certain events in life, but you can be in control of how you react and respond.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga:

Boosts circulation - less likely to suffer from varicose veins
Relieves aches and pains - including back pain
Reduces fluid retention
Strengthens abdominal and pelvic floor muscles - helping you get back into shape afterwards
Lowers stress
Reduces inflammation
Eases depression
Increases stamina, strength & flexibility of muscles needed for childbirth
Improves sleep
Decreases nausea

Experts agree on some general rules for practising yoga during pregnancy:
If you have never practiced yoga or have practiced very little before your pregnancy, you should practice only prenatal yoga while pregnant.
If you already had a strong yoga practice before your pregnancy, you may be able to continue a fairly vigorous practice - with modifications - after your first trimester.
During the first trimester both beginning and experienced yogis should only do a gentle practice or none at all, as the fetus is still implanting and the risk of miscarriage is highest.

The prenatal yoga class is a time for women to prepare themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. It is a time to hear positive labour stories, to know you can feel empowered, to learn tools to help you achieve a positive birthing experience.

Pregnancy yoga class

6.45 - 7.45pm

19th May 2016 


Great Dunmow Primary School

The entrance is on Stortford Rd, Dunmow CM6 1DN (beside the lay-by near Tesco) (map)

Phone Sarah on 07427 596961 or 
email with any questions, or to book a place


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