Aquanatal Yoga. Women’s Body Empowerment.
In the past year I had an amazing opportunity to expand my knowledge and become an Aquanatal Yoga Practitioner with Birthlight. Three years ago I became a teacher for baby and toddler swimming which I love and going down the antenatal route just felt right. I already enjoy practicing yoga and mindfulness and I wanted to help pregnant ladies feel calm, centred and powerful.
The course itself contained all the information needed to teach a class including yoga stretches, swimming and breath work while being in water. What I didn’t expect was the amount of technical information, showing the physical changes within a woman’s body, how to mentally prepare during pregnancy and birth preparation techniques. Even with it being a covid year, Birthlight had tailor made the course to be a mixture of live zoom sessions and a weekend of practical face to face pool time too, I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all and it was made interactive and fun! My most memorable part of training was day two of the pool session, we came together making a birthing tunnel with woggles and one at a time we smoothly glided through, face submerged with a long exhale to the point where you felt like you needed to take a breath of life but stayed gliding beyond that for a few extra seconds. For me it was an emotional release, the anxieties and worries of previous pregnancy and birth experiences I was able to finally let go. I never thought of the personal journey I would also go through.
Once I had completed the course I went on to gain further information and achieve the Aquanatal Yoga Diploma certificate. I began teaching very soon after and as my confidence grew and I knew I was heading down the right path, empowering these amazing women! What I enjoy the most about teaching Aquanatal Yoga is seeing the mums-to-be feeling relief in the stretches, mindful in their breathing and how it makes them feel, plus heavenly floating in a deep relaxation by the end. I encourage every session to be open and for the women to share their pregnancy journeys. I love seeing the friendships forming as they get to know each other. I feel like this is never just about delivering the class, its about building a community. After a year of separation let’s rebuild the village.
Coming up I will be attending the Yoga for Maternity course and I am super excited to get back into training and learning more about birth preparation. Having had two children myself and feeling ‘the fear’ in my first pregnancy I knew for my second labour I needed to be more prepared. I joined pregnancy yoga classes and wow it made such a difference, I breathed through the contractions and I listened to what my body needed, staying focused and in control. Knowing how I felt, I want to help ease the anxieties of other women too.
I was born to teach and I can’t wait to get my feet on the mat!
Aquanatal & Baby and Toddler Swimming Teacher
Victoria Howse teaches at Calm-a-baby in Peterborough, UK.