Through Prana Mama Yoga, my mission is to inspire you to experience the knowledge and wisdom of yoga so that you can live a life of purpose, good health and happiness, whichever stage of life you’re living.
Whether you’re a mum-to-be, a new mum or someone of any age who wants to improve your physical and mental well-being through the practice of yoga, I am passionate about helping you to achieve that.
One of my clients, Kathryn McIntosh, has been with me for a while now on the Prana Mama journey. We got to know each other through her business – @retreataberdeenshire – and a shared common passion for helping people feel better.
She initially came along to a number of my yoga workshops, and when she fell pregnant earlier this year, she also decided to take part in my pregnancy yoga classes.
Kathryn, whose business offers massage, reflexology and aromatherapy, enjoyed my style of pregnancy yoga so much, that she and her husband embarked on my HypnoBirthing course.
I caught up with Kathryn recently, just before she had her baby, to have a chat about her experiences of yoga practice with me.
How have my Pregnancy Yoga classes helped you to cope with pregnancy?
I found the classes to be a massive support mentally and emotionally, particularly in the early stages of my pregnancy. As an older mum, I was in a state of disbelief about my pregnancy initially, and frightened to get too excited in case something went wrong. Your class really helped me to get into that headspace that you’re pregnant and this is what’s happening. I also found it helped me to build a support network – spending time with other mums-to-be over the weeks progressively allayed my fears and strengthened my confidence.
The classes offer a holistic approach and consider the mind, body and emotions – rather than just coming from a medical perspective of scans, urine samples and blood tests!
Physically, in the later weeks the pregnancy yoga aided comfort, and helped me stay in tune with my ever-changing body. While I wanted to carry on exercising, the classes encouraged me to be gentle with my body, listening to it, rather than forcing it to do other things that perhaps I would have done.
Would you recommend my pregnancy yoga classes to anyone else? If so, why?
I would indeed, as the classes are beneficial regardless of whether you’ve practised yoga before or not. You have an intuitive sense of what everyone requires, and have the knack of making classes gentle enough for everyone, but also stronger yoga practitioners like myself can take a lot from them, such as calming the mind, and surrendering to what my body was telling me it needed.
You have also participated in my HypnoBirthing programme…
Yes, there’s so much to it, and you can pick out the bits that work for you. I’ve found the information to be really beneficial. . With a deeper understanding you can make more informed choices, which then eliminates a lot of the fear associated with having a baby.
Relaxation, visualisation, meditation – I was used to these practices, but HypnoBirthing offers these on a whole other level.
The programme also helped my husband John get involved with the pregnancy and bond with the baby.
Can you describe a typical HypnoBirthing session?
We really enjoyed having the sessions privately in our own home. It enabled myself and John to relax into the programme more readily. A typical session is a good balance between information, tailored to us as a couple and lots of lovely relaxation. Birth videos weren’t my thing, but I love them now! They have helped my husband become more aware of how natural birthing plays out rather than what’s portrayed on the TV and in the movies.
We had five sessions of around 2.5 hours each, which we spaced across six weeks or so. The downtime between the sessions gave us chance to process the information, practise what we were learning, ask relevant questions and address the pregnancy as it moved along. You did a good job of getting to know us and tailoring the course to suit us individually.
What have you taken from the programme? How do you foresee it having a positive effect on your experience of your baby’s birth?
I feel educated, more instinctual with my body, calmer about pregnancy and birth and in general. I find my head’s more able to let go of worrisome thoughts. I feel prepared, and having explored the various options, I can trust in how my baby’s birth will unfold.
While a natural birth is our goal, I’m also prepared and equipped for my birth to unfold in any direction, as I have learned lots of techniques I can draw on. I feel the education side of the programme has enabled me to make informed choices that’ll help me and the baby when the time comes.
I can trust the doctors and nurses because I have the information. It’s about bringing nature and medicine together in a really respectful way. Our midwives have been impressed with the preparation we’ve done.
Is there anything else you feel will help you as you embark on this new, exciting chapter in your life?
Yes, the relaxation and managing anxiety are tools for life, and I can take these forward. I now get so much more out of any type of relaxation and meditation practice. It’s also trickled into the work that I do, and our life as a family – we feel ready and empowered to start the next chapter in our own way.
Now John and I feel better able and more empowered to do what we feel is right. Having a baby is an individual experience, and HypnoBirthing embraces the unique circumstances of each family.
I feel confident and am excited for the birth!
I am so grateful for all the support and practical help I’ve gained from you Lis. I genuinely feel I could get in touch at any time! Your genuine passion for helping women to live their best life infuses every aspect of your interaction with us. Prana Mama Yoga is all about the sisterhood!
I am delighted to report that, since our chat, Kathryn and John welcomed baby daughter Flora into the world! My first HypnoBirthing baby was born on Wed 17th Oct at 3.30am, weighing 6lbs 8oz.
If you would like to know any more about how I can help you experience life to the full, please get in touch with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next block of HypnoBirthing starts in January ’19. Click here for more details.