I had a planned C-section due to my baby being breech so I’m not able to offer much in the way of comment on how yoga helped me through birth itself. That said - I was really nervous before the section - Kit was my first and much longed for baby and I’d never had major surgery before so the heart rate was pumping quite a bit from the moment we got to hospital. I would definitely say that focussing on deep breathing and the techniques I learned in yoga really helped me through aspects like having the spinal block and then, when the surgeons had to have a proper rummage to get him out!
Where yoga really helped me was with anxiety throughout my pregnancy. The connection I developed through yoga with my body and my baby helped me to enjoy my pregnancy despite the anxiety.
Our baby was conceived through IVF after years and years of fertility treatment. I was completely overjoyed to be pregnant and completely terrified at the same time that I would lose him.
I’ve also always been physically active, playing hockey and tennis and running, but when I got pregnant I stopped every physical activity I did for fear of having a miscarriage. I started pregnancy yoga at about 21 weeks and loved it from the start. I had been holding a lot of tension in my body and felt fragile and protective of my stomach. I was worried about every twinge but at the same time wanted to do some exercise. Tessa showed me that although pregnant, my body was safely capable of moving and stretching. I felt great in the class and for days after. I did my last class only a couple of days before I had him.
Importantly, it calmed my mind which was often full of anxious noise and I found the studio a really lovely space to just focus on me and baby. He seemed to enjoy it too and would always give me a prod and a kick especially during savasana which I found so reassuring. I had waited so long and been through so much just to be pregnant that I really wanted to enjoy it and yoga helped me to be able to do that.
Understanding the connection between deep controlled breathing and how I felt physically and mentally was a bit of a revelation too. I was honestly amazed by how much focussing on my breathing and following the guided breathing techniques Tessa taught us, made a difference to how I felt in my mind and my body. I came to realise that I was shallow breathing quite a lot due to the anxiety I was feeling.
Finally - Tessa was fab, for all the reasons set out above I was very nervous when I started the classes but I trusted in her knowledge and guidance straightaway. I would absolutely recommend pregnancy yoga with Tessa to anyone. As soon as we were ok to do so, Kit and I were straight back to the studio to do mummy and baby yoga with Tessa which we both love!