Today I welcome in to the World, Birth Yoga i-D!
To those of you that are not pregnant, don’t have children, are a man, a woman, a ‘they’, are not planning to make a baby or are trying to start a family… read on… Why? Because there is a story in everything that we can all find some point of interest within. General Classes this week will draw from my new offering this week, as I translate the root of what this is all about. This root is finding autonomy, connection and equality.
NEW! Bristol offering…
As a mother of two children aged 7 and 4, and having been a Yogini for 18 years and having become a Yoga Teacher for the past 5, I have finally developed the next branch on my tree of life, that I have named Birth Yoga i-D.
I live in the city of Bristol and it is here that I will begin offering these nourishing birthing, raising, and victory parent yoga classes, that through a practice of Hatha Yoga Fusion, aim to create a ritual of good health in body, mind and spirit that will liberate and radicalise the experience of pregnancy and parenting, naturally.
“As with all lives, there are many other stories hidden behind this superficial account. It has not been easy, but somehow the practice of Yoga has always dematerialised the concepts of ‘easy’ and ‘difficult’. It’s the only thing that makes sense.” - Wendy Teasdil.
I trained with the wonderfully empowering Wendy Teasdil, as my teacher for the last 5 years, she enlightens the practices of Hatha Yoga and its ability for transformation at all stages of life. Through her deep wisdom of life as a practice, of the power of breath and her embodiment of traditional Hatha Yoga practices, that fuse her individual slant on technique and anatomy, Wendys teaching has taught me how to develop autonomy in the body that is rooted from the Muladhara Chakra. I would like to honour Wendy for her lifetime of experiences and profound knowledge, inspirations and techniques that continue to ignite my connection with Yoga that these classes will translate from my own direct experience, to share with you, women, parents and children, in todays world.
Wendy began her yoga practice with pranayama in 1979 and went on to study Iyengar Yoga in India with BKS Iyengar himself, the precision and attention to detail of which underpins her practice to this day. Through breath, sound using mantra, asana and relaxation techniques, that fuse together like a dream-catching web and simultaneously develop strength in women, she has taught me technique that is informed from her in-depth yogic history and study, yet from her development of a softer, more fluid and sutler development of yoga practice that builds women up with vitality from the inside out.
“The pregnancy brought with it an irresistible inner urge to spiral, to move from one posture to another with fluidity and grace, incorporating the transition as much as the action into the whole. There was clearly influence from the Chi’gung there, but it was not something outwardly learned so much as something inside wanting to break free.” - Wendy Teasdil.
These yogic practices and offerings come directly from the life experiences she has sustained, through her time walking through Tibet, living in Nepal, training with BKS Iyengar and then transforming these masculine practices and traditions to feminine offerings, suitable for the female form, our wider pelvises and the emotional stability needed, through most importantly having had 3 of her own children and knowing what is needed when being a pregnant woman and becoming a parent in this world!
Wendy, having gone on to publish two books: Yoga for Pregnancy and Walking to the Mountain as well as DVDs for pregnancy and childbirth, the teaching I offer you come from a very well informed place. Wendy has shown me how to integrate pelvic floor awareness with yoga practice and how to encourage the development of autonomy and confidence in practice. Having also tragically lost one of her grown up daughters to a tragic death of recreational use of ketamine in recent years, Wendy has shown to demonstrate this practice of yoga through her life, her strength, her beliefs and her insane ability to assimilate and empathise with life challenges, the body and awareness of this precious gift to be here and now.
Without this radical, compassionate and anarchist approach to yoga in general that I also wish to continue translating, we could be seeing Yoga moving in a superficial direction, away from its traditions and transformations that is needed to keep yoga suitable, nourishing and alive in these disconnected times that we find ourselves within. With thanks to Wendy for her ability to see the world through honest and awakening eyes, to radiate love and the possibiltles of our experiences, however they come, to transform us in to better, more liberated, fearless beings.
With gratitude to Wendy, I share her wisdom through my own translation of these practices and from my direct experience as a Yoga Teacher, Mother of two, as a Co-Parent and as a Woman in todays world. These practices will aim to expand connection on every level.
Birth Yoga i-D will grow, as the women coming to classes grow and birth babies, opening up the practices to the children that arrive and the partners that too, can welcome Yoga on every level.
“Bhairava is the one who creates, sustains and dissolves the three stages of life, fearlessly.”
I present Bhairava to you whose story formulated the 3 offerings I now bring to Bristol. I believe that it takes authenticity and courage to enter in to the world and to bring life in, then to sustain life is another step. It is possible with a deep awareness and application of these qualities to take responsibility for the way that we engage with each moment, fearlessly.
I believe that story telling has a wonderful place in the world to awaken in us hope, possibility and belief to what is available to us to access within ourselves. The story of bhairava teaches us, as a form of Shiva (consciousness) that went in to a destructive mode, that we can destroy the energies of anger, lust and greed and even time to find the divine within the self. We all, no matter where and what our life looks like, have the ability to be fearless. This deity protects us from those obstacles and welcomes fearlessness in to our practice.
Further to this, I am personally inspired to support the movement of Birth Justice and Social Activist Birth communities that are striving for global equality and rights in birthing. I am movitated to encourage women to trust they were born to birth, from the practice of women such as Ina May who informed by experience of birthing and finding power in it. I support the rise in medical advances that today can help bring babies in to the world through intervention, when needed, to allow for safe birth and all the midwifes that have trained hard to support women through this. I give continual thanks to the women that have fought for Womens rights! I have equal gratitude for the men that have begun to take time to journey in to knowing how to support women in these changing times, to support themselves and who strive for equality in relationships and the role of parenting.
Thanks to my friends, community, teachers and parents that have offered me their wisdom, demonstrated their understanding of life, death and re-birth, that has motivated me to study and create these offerings of Birth Yoga i-D.
Birth Yoga i-D
Birth Yoga i-D begins as a collective of classes on offer, that represent the 3 stages of life,
'Bha' Creation 'Ra' Sustenance 'Va' Destruction,
To support women, children and families entering in to birthing and caring for new life and life changes.
We will begin focusing on pregnancy at all stages and move in to offering some Birth Preparation Workshops for women and their birthing partners to attend and then 2 further classes will open up to you. I call all 3…
Birthing Yoga for all stages of Pregnancy
Raising Yoga for Mum & Baby
Victory Parent Yoga (open to mums and dads) with child
Growing a baby and caring for the mother to be and the baby inside is one stage, yet it continues on. We become mothers, the baby comes out in to the world and then the body works hard to sustain life on the outside. The mothers body also adjusts to the return back to its natural form, without a baby inside. Then from this non hurried place of restoration, we become parents, navigating the developmental stages of life. This pulls on our physical and ethereal beings, and offers love in direct parallels. This stage affects not just mother and baby, but partners of the child too. Birth Yoga i-D recognises this and supports the men and the women through this evolution, making time and space for connecting through movement, creativity and playfulness, as well as calling upon some of the yogic scriptures, stories and wisdom to support and recite teachings that are helpful to us and our perspective on arising challenges and changes in our new relationship with others and to ourselves, as we effort to stay centred and not loose the self and the love.
Birth stories - become life stories.
Growing, birthing and continuing to raise children, nurture relationships and stay connected to the self comes with highs and lows and good times and challenging times, and I am under no dissolution of that. It is from this knowing place, that I sit in the witness seat of awareness, as your teacher, a mother, a co-parent and a yogi, and offer the non-judgmental support and knowledge to you to simply take some time to reconnect with yourselves outside of the narrative that presents itself in your life and yet, with compassion and understanding for your body, life and experience as it is. Diversity and change are the benefits we can bring to the mat and in to life, to never need to hide, suppress or deny them as they are, is life’s greatest gift. With each breath, we have the capacity to embrace and face all, with fearlessness.
If you would like to read my Birth Stories, you can find them on the website www.yoga-id.co.uk/birth-yoga and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth - Ina May Gaskin
Birth Work as Care Work: Stories from Activist Birth Communities - Alana Apfel
Yoga for Pregnancy by Wendy Teasdil
Non Violent Communication: A language of Life - Marshall Rosenberg
‘Raising Boys’ and ‘Raising Girls’ - Steve Biddulph
See you in Class. All are available to drop in or book via move gb.
NEW! PREGNANCY HATHA FUSION - TUES 14:00-15:30 YOGASARA, BS6
HATHA FUSION - TUES PM 19:30-21:00 MATTER WHOLEFOODS BS5
MORNING HATHA FUSION - WED AM 10:00-11:30 YOGASARA, BS6