Anna King Shahab spoke with us recently about her experience of yoga during her two pregnancies. She says she benefited tremendously from Natal Yoga in two main ways: throughout her pregnancy and during labour.
Anna says yoga was great for maintaining flexibility and keeping her fitness up. Her usual exercise is running, but that had to stop in the later stages of her pregnancy, and she replaced it with lots of walking and weekly natal yoga classes with Roselle.
Anna says that yoga was very good for keeping her muscles toned, which she felt was important for her health, and also helped her during labour.
Anna learnt a technique from Roselle called vocal toning which she used during the first labour and humming and breathing during the second. These techniques assisted in easing her way through contractions and avoid dwelling on the pain. She says that during labour you do whatever comes to mind – so the techniques she learnt from Roselle were available to her. She had straightforward labours in both cases and says that yoga helped her give birth without any medication for pain relief.
The simple breathing techniques she learnt from yoga really helped her to manage. She did not get any breathing lessons in antenatal classes and most people she knows did not either. Yogic breathing is different to the type used for contractions – it is more general and can be used at any time during the pregnancy or labour. It is very good for relaxation.
Anna is sure that yoga helped with her recovery, particularly after the second pregnancy which was really quick. During her second pregnancy she had her appendix out and says that Roselle’s yoga classes got her back on track and kept away any negative states. Yoga helped her regain strength and flexibility.
Bonding with the Baby
Yoga also helped her bond with her baby, especially the second time around when she was more familiar with the practices and a bit more relaxed about the whole event.
Anna Recommends Yoga
Anna recommends Roselle’s classes to all her pregnant friends and says:
“you can’t overestimate how beneficial it is”
She adds that yoga was most helpful in keeping stress levels down and keeping her feeling confident. She believes many women go into labour not feeling very confident, especially the first time around. Roselle’s classes helped her to relax, be at ease and know that it is possible to give birth without pain relief.
The best preparation for labour is pre-natal yoga
Ashram Yoga’s Natal Yoga teacher training course is designed for yoga teachers and midwives to help share the benefits of Natal Yoga with friends, family and clients.