The Power of Yoga
I took my first yoga class when I was 19 years old, but If you’d told me then that I’d be teaching yoga in my thirties I’d have struggled with the idea! My yoga journey has been a very subtle process of undoing, letting go and finding stillness, and it’s shaped my life profoundly.
What I find most amazing about yoga is that it starts out, at least for me, as being this thing you do for an hour or so, once a week until, at some point, you start to feel something from your practice. I distinctly remember a moment in class when I experienced a feeling of inner space expanding between my shoulders, it felt really extraordinary at the time. For others it might be the feeling of relaxation, the quiet, the feeling of being present, the sense of well-being after class, or simply being able to touch your toes for the first time.
Whatever the hook is for you, once you’ve felt it, your relationship with yoga starts to change, and your practice starts to grow. You start going to more classes, exploring different styles, practicing at home. There is this subtle transformation where yoga ceases to be just what you do on your mat. It starts to seep into your daily life; be it physically, when you find yourself standing at the bus stop practicing mountain pose, or more spiritually, influencing your relationship with the world around you. When you practice present movement and awareness of your breath, relaxation and becoming still, your nervous system starts to change. Yoga now becomes this incredible way of life that has the potential to support you, shaping the choices you make – simply because you are more present. Your responses to stress (be it work, relationships, life in general) now come from a conscious place, rather than from old habits, or rigid ways of thinking. As a result life opens out and you have more options.
This is what I love about yoga and why I think it so beautifully supports a woman throughout her pregnancy, birth and post-natal experience. Being pregnant can be a stressful experience. It’s hard not to fret about the many ‘what ifs’ and unknowns that are part of the journey- not to mention the huge changes your body goes through and the impact that this can have on you emotionally. And yet there is a space where you can re-connect back to your body at a time when you may feel it’s completely out of your control, or maybe even just accept those feelings. How amazing that your mind can find stillness when it’s never felt so overwhelmed with thoughts, and you can create space and comfort in your body throughout the various stages of pregnancy as it grows and nurtures your baby.
I have two children and only gave birth to my second 3 months ago. I was blown away with how my practice supported me through my labour. Simply paying attention to my breathing, staying present to my sensations and having the confidence to listen to my body, and move and make sounds without any inhibitions made my experience a very empowering one. Becoming a LushTums teacher has shown me that it doesn’t matter what the outcome of your birth experience is; whether it’s a planned C –section, home birth or anything in-between. What is important is that you feel informed about your choices, supported, safe and listened to; that you have the tools to manage your anxieties and find comfort in your body.
My LushTums training has added more depth to my teaching career as I can now apply yoga to pregnant women in a very safe and tailored way. Yoga and pregnancy/birth dovetail each other beautifully, and for me it’s been such an inspiration to train in this specific field, having been fortunate enough to have experienced its benefits during my own birth experiences. There are many reasons why I feel moved and inspired to work with pregnant women. My love of women, birth, yoga, the body, connecting, community, are to name but a few. I still find it hard to comprehend the profoundness of becoming a mother, it’s off the scale as far as human experiences go. So I feel very privileged to be in a position where I can support another woman through a part of this very special journey.
I do hope to see you in class soon!
Helen Eadie, LushTums Brighton & Hove Teacher
Aside from yoga, Helen loves hanging out with family and friends who bring her so much laughter and happiness, being outside in nature whenever she can, swimming in the sea, long walks, travel and eating and cooking delicious food.