“Life moves through us simply and gracefully, when we allow it.” Dr. Sarah Buckley
the yoga of birth
The principles for yoga run parallel to the principles for birthing. Yoga requires cultivation of breath to illuminate the body’s health and senses; the practice of it brings peace and strength to the body and equanimity to the mind. It is through the preparation of gentle mindful movement we strengthen the legs to build stamina and power for the dance of labour and deepen our breath capacity with pranayama and mantra (sound). This approach organically trains the nervous system for dealing with stressful situations, intense bodily sensations and mental reactivity. This is a key principle for birthing, in practicing the tradition of yoga in pregnancy we find ourselves naturally embodying the necessary ingredients of centeredness of mind and body for birthing our babies. “Yoga literally means ‘to yoke,’ that is, to join yourself to the infinite. The essence of yoga is about relationship, and nowhere is this more true than during pregnancy, when your life is in every sense joined to your babies.” - Gurmuhk
How we are in relationship to ourselves
Meditation is the practice of noticing all that is arising in the moment; mindful awareness. Awareness of our physical body, observing the nature and behaviours of our mind and becoming aware of our surroundings just as they are and noticing how we habitually react to what we experience. This is extremely useful as how we are in practice with ourselves in meditation and yoga mirrors how we relate to ourselves in the natural yet altered state of consciousness in birth. Meditation allows us to experience all that is arising and practice staying anchored in our deepest presence that is naturally calm and spacious. By using breath as our focus for feeling sensations and surrendering to our experiences as they are, meditation and yoga practice becomes extremely effective in the intensity of labour, birth and the array of experiences parenting brings to us.
Yoga and birth aligned
Yoga for birth is an exploration of gentle yoga and dance movement, exploring qualities of qi and how energy naturally wants to move within the body and around the body. With a gentle focus on building strength in the legs and glutes as this is what carries us in pregnancy, and using fluid rhythmic movements to release tension and explore active birthing positions. Restorative yoga postures with bolsters and blankets allows the pregnant woman to find deep relaxation assisted by guided resting down practices and mantra. Each week we explore a different element (earth, water, air, fire) and how they relate to movement and birth and how we can use this in a practical day to day way.
Intimate class size
Our class sizes are small and allow time for one on one attention. This means hands on adjustments, time for exploring personal requests and even traditional Rebozo midwifery techniques to relieve aching hips in pregnancy and to align baby into optimal position for birth.
Your teacher is a birth professional
A doula is a non-medically trained support person or birthing companion. Our teacher Kahmen is an experienced doula with skill as a massage therapist, yoga and dance teacher and has supported women through all kinds of birthing situations. Her understanding of movement and the birthing process brings a very educational advantage to this series.
Can I still do other prenatal preparation?
Yoga for birthing is a great compliment alongside traditional childbirth education classes that you attend with your partner as well as other exercise regimes.
“Birth can be seen now, not as a procedure separate from the living of each day, but rather as a proceeding from the very roots of it. The greatest preparation that can be made for the birth of a child is to allow for the constant arising of birth in one's self. And this arising can take place only in a space that is clear and free of all expectation.” - Maria Rosenstone; excerpt from Frederick Leboyer's Inner Beauty, Inner Light - Yoga for Pregnant Women
Kahmen teaching Professional Brazilian Samba 7 months pregnant with first baby.
Kahmen currently teaches prenatal yoga for birth in two locations in Melbourne's west: