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Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth

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Here is a contribution from Belinda about how she can - through yoga - help you towards a better, more supple and relaxed pregnancy and birth.  What Belinda doesn't know about the pelvis and it's protection during pregnancy is not worth knowing!!  

THE POWER OF YOGA – by Belinda Staplehurst  Birthlight yoga teacher since 2003 and Birthlight tutor
 
The pregnancy yoga classes I run are a beautiful complement to Victoria’s hypnobirthing sessions. Many of the women I have taught over the years have used both yoga and hypnobirthing together to great effect.
 
During regular practice of yoga whilst pregnant we develop body awareness – of our habits of breathing, moving and our posture, as well as habits in our thoughts and feelings. Once we are aware of these we can if start to gently guide them in a positive direction through yoga practice and can then bring them into our daily lives as well as to help with labour and birth and then on to the postnatal period.  The classes are very informal and also fun – we share a lot of laughter!
 
To give you a flavour of a typical session this is what we have been doing this week: we always start by introducing ourselves to the others so that each woman is welcomed into the circle (group sizes average 12 for the evening classes, usually fewer on the daytime session); we lay down on our side with lots of cushions to do some gentle chest opening movements to promote better breathing, moving into cat ( all four’s position) in between sides. Then we did some more cat movements to release the spine and to give the pelvis a break from carrying the baby’s weight. In between movements we had a chance to do some mini relaxations to absorb the benefits of the practices and to cultivate this habit of relaxing whenever wherever.
 
Then we came to standing in our special way to avoid any strain on the pelvis, enjoying some standing stretches with soft knees and extended arms. All lovely to stretch the spine and gently work the abdominal muscles. We then came to the wall leaning into it to stretch the calf muscles and then stretching up towards the wall as if climbing a ladder and shimmying down to release between each of the stretches. All movements are accompanied by the breath – so important for our wellbeing and that of our baby.
 
We then placed the back to the wall and did some pelvic tilts to bring the awareness to our postures and to gently stretch the back muscles – so lovely to do if you can’t lie on your back any more!
This was followed by some pelvic floor practices – these have been specially designed by Birthlight to promote awareness of all the individual muscles in the pelvic floor and their elasticity which combines release and tone – a great preparation for birth.
We always have a relaxation at the end of the practice – most of us lying comfortably on the floor and this is the part that the women seem to enjoy the most!! It’s time for you to let go and share some special moments with your baby.
 
You don’t need to have any prior experience of yoga before attending these sessions, just a regular commitment to attending as the effect is cumulative.
 
The next block of classes starts from w/c 27th October and costs £55 for the 7 sessions within the block. Classes run Mondays and Wednesdays 6.30-8pm at Spencer Yard, Leamington CV31 3SY and Tuesdays 10.30-12noon at Stonemonkey yoga studio and cafe, Leamington CV32 5RN. Mother and baby yoga classes are also available for mothers with babies from newborn up to crawling.
Come and join us. You need to be 14 weeks+ to start and you can book your space now by going to my websitewww.yogaworks.me.uk
and following my on-line booking link https://www.bookmyclass.co.uk/yogaworks/?FID=1
 

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