Written by Celia Brisa
BA, BHlth Sc. T.C.M/Acupuncture, Conscious Pregnancy facilitator, Kundalini Yoga teacher.
Celia lives in the Southern Highlands with her husband and two young children. She is passionate about the empowerment of women in pregnancy and birth and assists women to achieve this through prenatal yoga, meditation and acupuncture.
Pregnancy is perhaps, for many women, the first time they start to look deeper inside themselves. Of course this is initiated by the magic of conception and having a growing life within, but as the baby grows so does the inner life of the mother.
This is a time to seize like no other! A time to investigate the power of the mind-body connection. Yoga and meditation are the ideal choice of ‘exercise’ or activity during pregnancy.
Conscious Pregnancy Yoga
Conscious Pregnancy Yoga is perfectly designed to support you on this precious journey of awareness and transformation. The physical focus of Conscious Pregnancy yoga works to:
- Stretch your body and support your relaxation
- Enhance your breathing (the lungs and diaphragm are essential for birthing)
- Align your body to handle the shifts of weight of your belly and breasts
- Strengthen the pelvic floor and prepare the perineum
A typical yoga session will cover Mind, Body, and Breath
We begin with opening, stretching and strengthening movements which prepare us to then focus on breathing exercises, leading us to a mediation.
The very special aspect of a Conscious Pregnancy Yoga is the preparation of the MIND for connection with ourselves, our growing baby and for birth.
These mediations are often active, involving a movement that forces the Mind to remain neutral and to keep going despite the sensations. This replicates the sensations/challenges of contractions and allows the mother to practice moving though such a challenge many, many times before the birth of her child.
Such practice allows the nervous system to strengthen, moves the woman through her fears of the unknown, or any other worries for the past or present. The Mind becomes more clear, and more focused.
I couldn’t handle being in the bath more than a couple of hours. So by 10am I think I was wanting out. I was assisted out of the bath and slowly made my way to a bedroom. I settled in at the end of the bed leaning over it and also used an ottoman and small mattress. I used lots of active techniques to bring bub down and out. I was well and truly bringing Zachary down and pushing. It was incredibly hard work. I don’t think I could think of anything else in my life that compares to the work that is involved in birth. It blew my mind. It was painful, but also strong and hard. The rest periods were calm.
I worked hard pushing for a couple of hours and had many moments of wanting to just stop and go to bed. I wanted out. During the contractions I would be resting and breathing gently. Then through contractions and pushing I was applying the long, numerical breathing technique. It helped I’m sure of it. I had minimal room to panic and had something to concentrate on that I’m sure helped me birth Zac. He entered earthside at 12:45pm on Monday the 30th November. I was partly in shock at what I had just done and was mesmerised with my beautiful son, Zachary. He had arrived and it was a brilliant moment. I had birthed him naturally and he was healthy, strong and beautiful.
After having some time with him and doing the routine checks I then went over to the hospital for some more checks and then to theatre due to tearing. During this whole process the Calmbirth breathing techniques came in very handy also. It was painful being assessed by the doctors before the decision was made to go to theatre. It was also nerve wracking and uncomfortable spending two and half hours in theatre being repaired. I used the Calmbirth breathing techniques through all of this and, again, it helped me be in a more calm, relaxed and focussed state. I believe it also helped ease the pain.
Other meditations use chanting which is a beautiful way to create a coziness for mother and child. The mother chants to herself and to her baby within, creating a joyful connection and oneness with the reassuring rhythm of the mantra.
Chanting too of course uses our lungs, benefiting our breathing and ability to strengthen our lung capacity for birthing. Long deep breathing, silent mantra and third -eye point focus are our main tools in Conscious Pregnancy Yoga that a woman can take into her labor.
These give incredible focus, mental harmony, and stimulate the pituitary gland, the master gland of birthing.
Yoga during pregnancy is an incredible time to transform your radiance, develop a healthy life-style and uplift your consciousness. Come into your own power and confidence. Go deeply into this journey of awareness and transformation that pregnancy provides.
We can approach pregnancy as a time to prepare, to train, as we would for a marathon, a mountain trek or any other test of endurance and internal strength of spirit.
We can never know exactly how our children’s births will be, just as we never know what the conditions or weather will be like on that run or trek.
What we do know is that we can arrive as prepared as possible, as willing as possible, as conscious as possible for this amazing gift of giving LIFE.
Celia is available at “Calmbirth” in the Southern Highlands for prenatal yoga/meditation:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays private sessions or small groups. Packages are available for weekly or fortnightly acupuncture and yoga throughout your pregnancy.
Contact Celia Brisa: 0403022310