Birthlight arrives in Kiev!

Birthlight is delighted to announce that its first course has just run in Kiev, Ukraine.

Twelve wonderful women attended for a double Perinatal Yoga Part 1 and Part 2 in mid November. The course was hosted by Natalia Konalova who attended the same training in Moscow earlier this year. It is hard now for Ukrainians to travel to Russia so Natalia showed great dedication and determination in enabling this course to happen in her country. The students were very appreciative that Birthlight had come to them and showed great enthusiasm throughout the training.
Helped by a fascinating array of interpreters I offered these women the principles and practices of Birthlight. They were very receptive and soon integrated the softer and joyful approach. One student commented she had never seen a yoga teacher smile and laugh before! I am happy to report she too was able to do her final assessment with a lovely smile and friendly manner. Another student who taught her usual pregnancy evening class during the training said that her own students had already noticed a difference in her, for the good too!

The visiting pregnant women that we practiced with also appreciated the Birthlight approach as some of the antenatal practices currently available can be a lot harsher with less attention to women’s state of mind and how it can affect their babies.

The class was held at Kiev yoga studio near the city centre. It’s a busy centre with classes at all time of the day and week. The yoga room was bright and airy, and as warm as we could have wanted. There was a snug cushion laden (apart from when we stole them!) tea room for the breaks where a lot of bonding between the women took place over the week. Green tea with plain biscuits dipped in honey seemed a firm favourite as a pick-me-up.

Daily lunch was also provided in a local café. It was meat free and very nutritious. It was three courses so relaxation and pranayama were definitely needed after lunch – we may just offer two courses next time!!

Natalia and her partner Sasha took great care of me. They met me at the airport to take me to the hotel. I quickly refreshed then we walked around central Kiev which is very old and intriguing, showing me to the yoga studio so I could get my bearings. We had a simple meal and a glass of beer which was very welcome after a long trip. I was also taken out during the week by some of the students for more sightseeing and visit to Kiev’s premier chocolate shop and café. On my last night Natalia and co took me to the famous Lavre monastery and caves – it was dark and foggy which made it even more mysterious. We then walked back along the Bridge of Love through the palace gardens to the city centre and on to a warming meal. They of course insisted on driving me to the airport even though it was early Sunday morning. What amazing hospitality, thank you so much!

In fact everyone I met was friendly and helpful. The students and interpreters on the course were so welcoming. Complete strangers too with just a few words of English were happy to stop and help me whenever I needed it. I felt completely safe and would encourage anyone who wishes to visit a beautiful city with friendly people to come to Kiev. We are already planning more Birthlight courses there so watch this space!

Belinda Staplehurst
Birthlight Tutor

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