Prenatal Teacher Training weekend 2 recap

by  Andrea Dixon

This is always my favorite weekend of the prenatal teacher training, because our main focus is birth! Throughout the weekend we talked about birth from various perspectives – historical (what influences and developments have brought us to what we have today in the US), cultural (how we tend to view pregnancy and birth), medical (what options women have in childbirth), and of course what actually happens in a woman’s body during labor and birth. Throughout the weekend we return many times to the questions of: what does this mean for our pregnant students? how does this show up in a prenatal class? And – most importantly – how can we best support our pregnant yoga students to have the most embodied, powerful, and positive experience, regardless of what unfolds during her transition to motherhood?

One of the homework assignments was to interview 3 women about their birth stories, and students shared some of their findings on Friday night. It is always so powerful to hear how much women remember, what details they share and how impactful their birth experiences were, whether 4 months or 40 years has passed. No matter how your birth unfolds, it matters and affects you.

We focused on Tadasana and standing poses, and explored the approach of deeply connecting to gravity, which allows for freedom in the torso and spine, as taught by my teacher from long ago, Esther Meyers. We discussed what modifications might be needed for pregnant women and how to use blocks and the wall to support variations. We did one of my all-time favorite poses – half moon at the wall, yum! We also explored some ways to adapt Sun Salutations for pregnant women.

The trainees practice taught a class they planned around the theme of love and addressing back pain and shoulder opening, which was a lovely start to our day on Sunday. Every woman in this group is already a wonderful teacher, open to growing and learning.

Sara joined us to talk about the anatomy of breathing, birth, the hips and the back. She led our group in some exploratory breath experiences, and connected them to the anatomy of our breathing, always fun and enlightening. As a group we marveled (again) at how amazing and complex our bodies are, and particularly women’s as we give birth!

We had a great discussion about the Law of the Sphincters – it’s amazing, check it out if you haven’t heard of this! We practiced various ways to naturally and easily relax the mouth, throat and face (and how that ultimately helps relax the rest of our bodies as well). We covered cleansing and horse lips breaths, vocal toning, and lions’ breath.

The richness of discussions and the community amongst the students are such powerful parts of this training, and I’m so grateful for this wonderful group. They each bring unique life experiences, great questions, and an openness to new information and perspectives. We’re gearing up for a quick 2 weeks between Weekends 2 & 3, I’m excited for the next one!



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