I just finished my first 3 classes to a small group of pregnant women. And I would love to share with you this new experience.
Firstly I would give a few advices as it has been hard for me to find good material to study about I would recommend a few books in the end.
Yoga for pregnancy and birth is a great goal and I guess business but is not a solution to pick up a few months before giving birth. I would say it is like a gift to receive during pregnancy (specially first pregnancy) as breath awareness and some yoga postures are important during the work to give birth. Indeed my first lesson focus on breath and body awareness, my second and third on the postures which can be helpful to prepare the body and during the delivery. In the end I would say 3 lessons of 1 hour and half can be useful for exercices and postures basis in order to know them and pratice home, can be helpful to find your posture if you decide to give birth naturally and to bring into your delivery a stronger breath and some yogic elements to your delivery room and that it. If you need more (because of past tragic experience of yoga or of delivery, because of hard baby posture or any complication, because you are afraid of or completely new to give birth) I would suggest to you a yoga meeting every 2 weeks for 6 months.
In the end aiming at giving birth is nice to prepare (get a toolkit and be happy) but nothing is more useful that to let go during the delivery your basic instinct.
Some people need yoga because they lost their body and mental balance. So the first easy thing to communicate to pregnant women is to educate their breath with a simple body scan you can check with them a breath dynamics. I personnaly use body scan technics from a medic called Bohle (yogatherapy). It consists of using hands on the side of your upper body to understand that breath is or is not regolar. That breath is a sound and a home which is a doorgate to a mindful life. Taking care of our breath, educating or reeducating our inhalation and exhalation is a good job to do while waiting for our baby. Breath awareness bring to body awareness for exemple. At the end of the first lesson women would get a new breath/body awareness and some advises how to use breath during delivery.
Some others come to yoga for the discipline of asana and the body discovery while practicing unusual postures. For the second lesson I taught some of the relaxing postures recommended for pregnant women in any books: for lower back pain release (cat pose…), for pelvic gym (chair agint wall, use of bandas…), heart burn and indigestion pain (stik pose, body side awareness…), ankle strenghtening (warming up on feet and massage) and the most important resting postures.
Lastly some people discover with yoga a natural way of life, a yogic lifestyle on and off the mat. Bringing all your knowledge about yoga into your delivery room is not easy specially if you have opted for an assisted delivery for any reason you have decided. Last lesson (open to future fathers) focus on compassion practice and emergency or instinctive postures (in case of natural birth preparation). I am 37 years old and in the last 15 years I have assisted many friends and students a small time before and after the birth. I Noticed that something was lacking for and from women, from their partner and family: family compassion practicing and woman instinct valorization. In order to bring mindfulness to my students of the pregnancy yoga course, I like to speak to the male partner to stimolate his protective attitude towards his female partner. Male usually need to see/listen to (more than to feel) so I introduce them to some simple postures to assist their partner to memorize in order to understand how the baby is positioned. Checking the position of the baby (normal birth position or any others) the man is aware of the engagement of his baby and can help to keep a natural position or to bring back his baby in a normal birth position. Last important thing about baby positioning but not least is to let understand if baby is arriving from left or to the right side. Lastly the most interesting thing about body awareness is to bring mindfulness and instinct to rise. As I use to say to stop your mind, to shut up the dancing monkey, feel free to practice a simple Come back to your breath exercize. Feel instead of think. Inhale I am here alive and exhale Let go what is useless. While giving birth you will need a few things, a few thoughts to do what you have to do, so train to be grateful for who you are and let go what is useless. Last lesson finish with chanting as it could be helpful to use it while giving birth.
This course has been done for the first time in Sohum yoga shala in Antibes. Copyright free with permission of Benedetta Spada mentoning your source.
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