I am writing this blog to share my passion to work with perinatal women. I started studying yoga therapy because it helped connect to my inner wisdom and I wanted others to access it too. I did much of my yoga therapy education during my first pregnancy. The important portion of the coursework was the nine-month-long practicum and it so happened that I got pregnant at the same time. Pregnancy and yoga therapy supported each other. Pregnancy made me slow down, do only what my body was capable of and yoga therapy helped me have an empowered pregnancy. What does ’empowerment’ mean? I define it as the ability to know what is right for me, the ability to make my own decisions and own my pregnancy.
This is definitely a transformation that happened during pregnancy. I started off the practicum with so much uncertainty (finishing all requirements on time) and the pregnancy with so many questions. Did I mention it was my first pregnancy? I wanted to do everything to have a natural birth to set the baby off healthy but it seemed so daunting. Pregnancy is a wide spectrum of symptoms. I was tracking my pregnancy with apps, read some birth books, hired a doula, transferred to the birth center, picked my midwives’ brain at each visit and took hypnobirthing classes. Although they all helped get some familiarity, the true transformation happened from the yoga therapy practice which kept involving my whole self not just my intellectual mental body. I noticed it a few times during the pregnancy when choices were presented to me, even though I had no familiarity with the situation, I could make my decisions myself instead of asking the healthcare providers for their input. That’s because one’s inner consciousness knows whats right for the unique being each of us is and the signals come through the body, breath, and an inner knowing. Yoga therapy helps us access it.
I realized this transformation had happened in me after birth when my friend and I were exchanging birth stories. She let her healthcare team make decisions for her but later when we discussed, she was obviously not peaceful about her decisions because they are not her own. That’s when I realized that moms need support to help access their inner strength. They don’t need to have an MD in Obstetrics to know what is happening in their body. Why is accessing this power important? There are several reasons but the key ones that stand out to me are:
- Given the spectrum of normal pregnancy, doctors know the choices for each condition but don’t know what’s right for you (the mom) from among those choices. Your inner wise self is screaming when it hears the choice but most of us don’t pay attention
- You, the mom owns the pregnancy, the birth process, and its outcome. When one does that, the quality of acceptance of each birth as it manifested develops. I have experienced that myself when I first baby was stillborn. I was able to come to an acceptance of his death in two days without blaming myself or my support team. Not only for an extreme case of death but many moms aspire to have natural birth only to get surprised by interventions that they were dreading.
Once I found this passion, I took some time studying prenatal yoga teacher training. Now, grounded in my experience, I combine my safety knowledge of prenatal yoga and my training as a yoga therapist in facilitating one-one yoga therapy sessions.