I found Tessa and her studio through social media and recommendations from friends. I’m terrible at stepping outside of my comfort zone and attending any kind of class alone, but I needn’t have worried. From the first class I attended Tessa’s calm and friendly attitude and easy going nature made me feel really relaxed.
I started yoga at 26 weeks pregnant. Before falling pregnant I had suffered with a bad back and my pregnancy brought back these issues with a vengeance. Each class made me concentrate on relaxing my body, especially my back and made me feel more and more connected to my baby. It was a chance for at least one hour in a busy week to take time for myself and concentrate fully on my growing bump. It actually made me think about and appreciate how amazing my body was to be growing a human! Not only did the yoga help with giving me time to think about my baby, it was also such a positive environment chatting to the other Mums to be and the life altering change we were all going through.
The flows we completed helped throughout my pregnancy and definitely helped through labour, especially as a first time Mum not knowing what to expect. But most importantly the breathing techniques were invaluable. I managed to stay at home controlling my contractions through breathing techniques alone, and was shocked to be told by the midwife when I finally got to the hospital that I was 8cm dilated. The power of breathing and focusing is definitely evident by that!
My labour progressed in the birth pool as I had hoped for but my baby decided she didn’t want to arrive, so a trip to the operating theatre and forceps was then required. Keeping calm and breathing through uncertain thoughts really did help keep an unpredicted situation from spiralling out of control. My daughter was born and the rush of love and emotion is like nothing I have ever felt before.
It might sound like a bold statement but I think learning a simple breathing technique is actually life changing. It helped me through all stages of labour, the sometimes stressful beginning of my breast feeding journey and continues to be useful for anything needs a calm head or a simple way to manage pain. I started yoga not really knowing if it was going to be for me, and now I don’t think I could stop. The mental as well as physical benefits are just incomparable to any other form of exercise I have done before.
I would and have recommended pregnancy yoga to any of my pregnant friends. My initial bad back ultimately provided me with a new positive outlook on pregnancy and birth, and of course the benefits of yoga, I just wish I had started earlier.