The more I witness my fellow women directly apply Yoga-Based Birth Skills to their birth experiences, the more I am convinced that Yoga and Birth are deeply and instinctively related to one another.

A match made in samadhi (Yoga’s version of heaven)!  A type of flow state where you feel at one with existence.

What Yogis seek and what many a unmedicated laboring mother feels as she brings new life into this world.

Let’s start with the very word: YOGA

The sanskrit word Yoga means “to yoke” or join together.  Part of “Yoga” practice for an expectant mother is the act of joining together what you have learned (a process in it self), your particular birth environment, your personal support system, your medical team and your ACTUAL DIRECT experience into a skillful arrangement that will be of most benefit to you personally and will set you on a path towards a calm focused birth experience.

The purpose of this Blog (The Whole Way) is to address all of the key elements that I feel will directly affect your choices and convince you that it is in your control to take charge of your Birth Experience.

Through my writing and my classes I provide the Three Essential Tools—Yoga, Education and Support at Three Essential Times—while pregnant, during Birth and after the baby is born.

I am starting with these topics but I will reserve the right to add more as I go.

  • Science of Yoga
  • Labor Pain Management
  • Removal of Fear
  • Birthing Instincts
  • Childbirth/Human Physiology
  • Birth in America Today
  • Yoga-Based Birth Skills

And in case you are wondering these are the Seven Yoga-Based Birth Skills: Movement, Breath, Vocalization, Visualization, Meditation, Mantra (Key Words), and Discipline. I consider an understanding of the Sutras to be the rich gooey center. I am always more at ease when I not only know what, I also know why.

Yoga is a practice that demands discipline and the skills that it teaches will stand you in good stead during the birth of your child. Make no mistake...

Natural, normal, non-medicalized, physiological birth as practiced in a hospital setting will demand focus, determination, discipline, and perseverance.

Over the years I have had several yoga students who had precipitous births and were unable to make it to the hospital...and whether is was on her living room rug, the parking lot at McDonald's or the side of the road...they all said the same thing.

I was scared but I felt this huge wave of calmness come over me, I took my time, but somehow I just knew what was right and what to do. It was just the easiest and simplest thing.

Your body, your Autonomic Nervous System, and the Birth Hormones take over and run the show that Nature has carefully crafted and designed. Samadhi. 

In a hospital setting it is more of a battle against the machines...

All the discipline of Yoga seeks is an effort to make you master of your domain, instead of a slave to the crowd of voices in your head. This path takes time, dedication and practice but it totally worth the effort you expend.

A calm clear head, a focused mind, a relaxed body, right knowledge...so that you can know what is really true, remove fear, and make empowered decisions from there.

Imagine the benefits as you prepare yourself this way during your pregnancy, use these skills during birth, and continue to use them as life skills as a Parent. 

 "Pregnancy and childbirth, however you get there, is one of the few adventures you will ever embark on that when you finally get to the finish line, you've only just begun." (Randi H. Epstein, Get Me Out, pg. 249)

You will need to start your practice well before your birthing day and you will need to stick with it.

The birth experience should be awe-inspiring, fulfilling… the starting point of a incredible journey for mother, baby and the rest of the family.  I strongly believe that adding prenatal yoga and a doula to any birth vision can ensure calm focused outcomes for all involved, no matter the circumstance.

Expectant women, their birth partners and their babies DESERVE and have a RIGHT to this type of support, help, and respect, it is a scandal that most American women do not.

 

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