Empowering birthlight yoga

I feel deeply blessed to be a woman and to have experienced the sacred times of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.  My experience has been one of joy and wonder and I put much of that down to my Birthlight yoga practices and I’m deeply grateful for my perinatal and post-natal teacher training.

Before being pregnant I had a strong and structured yoga practice so I was interested to see how I would incorporate my knowledge of pregnancy yoga – experientially rather than just intellectually.  I thought that I might be resistant to giving up what I had practiced for so long.  However, the Birthlight pregnancy yoga practices were exactly what my body wanted, and my strong practice felt instinctively wrong.  My body craved a softer more feminine practice and I went with the flow of what I needed each day.  I opened and let go - physically, mentally and spiritually.  I felt free and joyful.  I embraced deep relaxations, mudra’s, mantra, micro-movements and pranayama and my practice felt much richer and more expansive.

I felt radiant through pregnancy and my energy was well managed with relaxations and pranayama during the day and I’m sure the fluid asana helped to prevent backache, which I’m normally prone to.  Everything that I had learnt on the perinatal training course, and meeting so many inspiring women, also opened the option of a homebirth to me.  This and the yoga practices gave me the resources I needed to trust in my body and give birth to my son at home.  

My labour was the most empowering experience imaginable, and more than I could have hoped for.  I felt truly centered throughout the experience and every part of my being was completely focused on birthing my son. The labour circuits and changing position frequently kept me focused, as did hakini mudra between contractions.  Before pregnancy I had never practiced the golden thread breath and preferred ujjayi breathing.  I practiced the golden thread breath daily in pregnancy and found it helpful for releasing, but it really came into it’s own in labour.  It felt like such a natural breath and allowed me to release with each contraction and to manage the intensity.

Before pregnancy I was also fearful that I would be too inhibited to make a noise in labour.  I’ve always been so controlled and contained!  Knowing that wouldn’t be helpful I embraced the practice of ‘oh’s, ah’s om’s and ma’s’.  During labour I truly found my primal voice making wonderfully deep sounds that I’ve never made before and birthed my son chanting ma whilst opening to the help of the universal mother.  (I’m pretty sure the midwife through I was shouting for my mum!).  My labour lasted 8 hours and my pain relief was yoga - the golden tread breath and the use of sound.  It was an experience beyond anything I could have hoped for or imagined and I felt so empowered and elated.

Since the birth of my beautiful boy, Miles, I’ve been practicing postnatal practices. The week after labour it felt so nourishing to just lye on the floor in an aligned position and practice post-natal breathing. I felt like my pelvis and spine and been completely rearranged and lying flat and breathing felt so deeply nourishing – to relieve aches and keep me grounded and centered. I also felt that my body was so open and exposed and like I was learning to walk for the first time in my new body.  Again the practices have been deeply nourishing for closing my body and bringing awareness to my new post-natal structure and how I can support myself.

I had no understanding of how much my body would ache as a new mother and how little sleep was in store!  The postnatal practices are such a savior in a sometimes chaotic day, allowing me a little time to re-connect with myself, re-build and ease tension in my body and increase my energy.  They also further build my connection with my son and allow me to relax with him and together we can share the joy of yoga.  

I feel I want to shout from the rooftops about my experience so that other women can feel equally empowered in pregnancy, childbirth and as a new mother.  The Birthlight practices and the work that all Birthlight teachers are doing is so powerful and my experience has given me even more conviction to want to spread the message far and wide to women everywhere.

Julia Alderman

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