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Yoga in pregnancy is very special. As a former nurse-midwife I can see how beneficial yoga is for pregnant women.
Yoga is very powerful, it works on the body, mind and spirit, partially at an unconscious level. There are many obvious changes in the pregnant woman, but the growth of her emotional, mental and spiritual health is less obvious. The rapid changes in the physical body encourage the woman to be aware of her own body at a level perhaps not explored before. Yoga practice can lead to recognising “minor” problems of pregnancy at an early stage so that they can be reduced or managed before they can develop further. Also the practice can reassure her that all is well. Acknowledgement of herself as a powerful creative woman can have a profound effect, not just for the birth but for her life.
My teacher, Brenda Steele in Fort Worth, Texas USA invited me to train as a teacher in 1993. By this time I had been practising for 10 years. This was an 18-month intensive full time course after which I was granted permission to teach. In 1995 I was considering moving back to the U.K., and, inspired by my teacher, I applied to and was accepted for further training with the British Wheel of Yoga.
The BWY is the governing body for Yoga in the U.K. The BWY is an internationally recognised organisation that also runs Yoga training programs, 500 class hours. I graduated in the U.K. in 2000, immediately starting the Yoga in Pregnancy certification course, a 12 month post–graduate program covering the more subtle aspects of yoga, which only intensive study over a considerable period of time can reveal.
Continued professional development is required for continued licence.
I have been teaching yoga in pregnancy continuously since then, thoroughly enjoying watching my clients bloom in pregnancy and in yoga awareness.
Midwives who have referred clients to me say that they have noticed that yoga makes a difference to women both in their labour and birth experience and in the post-natal period, regardless of how they give birth.