Yoga is Sanskrit for Yoke meaning to unite and during pregnancy a baby is united with their mother emotionally, physically and mentally, in all that the mother does, thinks and feels.
Through-out her pregnancy, the mother becomes absorbed into her body, becoming highly sensitive to the rapid changes taking place to her body as she instinctively tunes into the different sensations within her body feeling each twist, turn and hiccup of her growing baby. She lives and breathes with her baby being present with her baby through her mind, body and spirit.
So rather than referring to a practice of yoga for our pregnancy, I like to think of it as The Yoga (union) of pregnancy – the connection of mother and baby through the mind, body and breath, because that is exactly what pregnancy is right – a union.
I was first introduced to Prenatal Yoga when I was expecting my first daughter over thirteen years ago. I now have three children.
It was when I was in the early stages of my third pregnancy that all the lessons I had learnt on the Yoga mat came into practice. Aged thirty nine years old, living in Thailand at the time, I was considered a high risk due to my age, plus I had recently been diagnosed with a low lying placenta, it was blocking the entrance to my cervix and I was told the chances of having a natural birth was slim. However I was determined to have a natural active birth and to breathe my baby out.
Returning home from my doctor’s appointment, I uncurled my Yoga mat; rested in a supported restorative pose Supta Baddha Konasana, wrapped my arms around my bump, and cried.
This is where my practice of yoga truly began.
Letting go of any expectations, I put aside the physical form of the asanas (poses), meditated upon my breath, sent positive thoughts to my growing baby, and visualized the birth I wanted.
I listened to my intuition, heeded to the wisdom of my body and focused on connecting with my growing baby through my yoga practice.
It was by uniting with my growing baby through my mind, body and breath that I experienced the true essence of Prenatal Yoga and this book was born.
Absorbed in the rhythm of my body I spiralled my pelvis. I intuitively moved my body to its innate calling. I walked, I lunged, I squatted and I leaned. I breathed and I danced. I was in control, confident and felt empowered to give birth. I trusted my body and I trusted my baby to know what to do.
Since there was no doctor present and I was unable to communicate with the foreign midwives I had too!
On all fours roaring like a lion I felt my baby move down the birth canal and I used my breath to breathe my baby out.
Evi was born into the arms of my husband.
I believe giving birth can be a spiritual experience if we can learn to listen to our instincts, trust, have faith and surrender to the occasion, and the practice of yoga and meditation during our pregnancy can help us to do this.