Birthlight perinatal yoga in Cyprus

In 2013 I moved to Cyprus from the UK. I decided to leave my busy London life to focus full time on offering shiatsu and teaching yoga in Nicosia. It didn’t take long before people started enquiring into pregnancy yoga classes, and it wasn’t long after that that I realised that to offer a class that addressed a pregnant woman’s needs, I would need to enrol in a perinatal teacher training.

I love the Birthlight approach, and a lot of it really compliments my shiatsu work. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (the basis of Shiatsu) a huge importance is placed on the well being of the mother and keeping Qi (lifeforce energy) harmoniously flowing throughout the body. Disharmonies in the flow of Qi manifest as physical and emotional imbalances. The birthlight approach seemed to me to be a very complimentary to Shiatsu. Along side the techniques I learnt in my training, I add meridian stretches, Qi strengthening exercises, pressure points and self shiatsu to alleviate tension, tightness and pregnancy related complaints.

With a caesarean rate that is one of the highest in the world, and a lack of recognition for the midwifery profession, there is a real need for empowering, educational and active pregnancy and birth preparation classes in Cyprus. With the Birthlight training I really feel as if I have something significant to offer here.

And women are really starting to look for it. My pregnancy yoga classes are getting more and more popular, and I have had a good number of women who have decided to take their mats into the clinics, get on all fours and start “oohing” and “ahhing” and golden thread breathing. It’s fantastic to hear about how these techniques really are helping the women in my community to feel ready, to feel prepared, and feel in control of their labouring experiences.

I soon noticed that many of the women that had joined me for pregnancy yoga where keen to continue coming to classes post birth. I started some mum & baby classes, but again I increasingly felt I needed to understand and address the needs of the postnatal body at a deeper level. I decided to take the next step with Birthlight and completed the postnatal training.

I’m very glad that I took the time between the two courses to allow myself to get really comfortable and confident with the prenatal curriculum before switching gears to postnatal yoga, and I am very happy to be offering this all to the families of Cyprus.

Emma Michael
Birthlight Perinatal Yoga teacher
www.thecentre.com.cy




 

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