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Anna Shkulanova - my experience with birthlight

How it all started

After graduating from Moscow State University I worked for 13 years in financial analysis and planning in international companies Ernst & Young, Eastline, Legrand, Tato and Rosinter.

The birth of my first baby was life changing. 

I am a mum to two children, both home water births. Antony (2006) and Kirill (2009). 

Development and educational classes at home with the children (2006 – 2012). 

Instructor in birthlight baby swimming (2008).

Instructor in birthlight baby yoga (2012).

Infant Aquatics

Having become a mother in 2006, I became interested in early baby development, in child psychology and in baby swimming as an essential part of the harmonious growth of a child and a basis of trusting relationships between a parent and child.

After the first part of the birthlight Infant Aquatics Diploma in April 2008, I practiced in Turkey for several months. This was both interesting and demanding theoretically as well as providing the necessary practical experience.

Having achieved the Infant Aquatics Diploma in October 2008 I commenced birthlight individual classes in various swimming pools as well as group classes in a school swimming pool.

In July 2009 I joined the Birthlight Centre.  I enjoy every moment of my classes in the swimming pool. I love my job, sharing the success of the little swimmers  and parents.

After many years I have found myself and am ready to share my knowledge as a birthlight baby swimming instructor, a baby yoga instructor and as a amother of two lovely boys. My children love water and enjoy swimming. Birthlight as an ethos has strengthened our family, as parents we have learnt to understand and feel our children better.

Baby Yoga

I love everything connected with children and everything that interests my children. The important thing is not what we give to our children but How we do it. The birthlight approach has helped me in my life. “No matter how quick your child will learn to swim, the more important thing is How he will do it and how it will influence his whole life, his future”.

Children trust parents again thanks to birthlight (a reflection of ‘bonding’). They learn from us – the nearest and dearest people on earth.  Children always change us and teach us. Thanks to them we go forward, we need to grow with them, we need to develop ourselves, gain wisdom and experience.

Never get upset or irritated, learn to be more tolerant and become the psychologist of your own children. Learn the Art of Communication with your own kids as well as those that surround your children and family.

In search of new knowledge for myself and children, five years after the birth of my first baby, I decided to study again (being an analyst) this time in the birthlight baby yoga. I studied lots of materials on baby massage etc., allied to this sport activity is an essential part of my family’s life  …  swimming and movement are so linked together. The only barrier I felt was the fact that I did not have a yoga background….

I had doubts for a long time that I could go on this course without the yoga experience. The name of ‘Yoga’ for the baby and mother confused me. So for five years I just practiced the birthlight baby yoga techniques at home as I understood them, without understanding the yoga principles. I thought that you first needed to learn the basic yoga poses, get a firm understanding of what is yoga.  Going on the training course changed this and reassured me from the beginning, to now have an open mind and let other mums know not to hesitate to come, to make the start and train.

In my opinion these shared exercises are almost the only time in the first months after birth that the mother can get maximum enjoyment, without any feelings  that for a while instead of caring for the baby, she is caring for herself.  A happy Mummy and a happy baby - the spiral of happiness.  As a mother of two children, I could not initially accept the idea that it is necessary not only to establish a strong link between parent and child (bonding) but also to learn how to let go of the baby. For me this was the main new and very important learning point. I saw how it worked, as mummys relaxing (restored) were letting babies go (taught them to relax together). They were next to each other but at the same time on their own.

Just here and now!!!! (principle of yoga - be happy in your inner world and be happy towards your surroundings). This is so important in our life, which is so rushed and full of events. I wanted to go back in time and try to relive the moments with my newborn boys and try to imagine how it could all be different.

Liz successfully and very professionally managed to explain the principles of yoga at the level of mother and child. All ingeniously simple – movement (asanas), breathing (pranayamas) and relaxation. It’s no big deal.

I developed new awareness and want to share that information with young mothers, to help them to understand that they are one unity with their babies.  To  understand that baby yoga classes combined with postnatal recovery is very important for them, for their family and for harmony in their house.

Thanks Liz for those tips and teaching points for baby yoga teachers, which made us treat the demonstration dolls so carefully and gently as real babies.

Theory and practice was so naturally interlined, the training course was so close to real life. We (the participants) became close to each other. Thanks to ALL!  See you again, keep in touch at the training portal. Let’s share experience and gain new knowledge together with birthlight UK.

More pictures can be found on birthlight training Russia's photos on facebook

My baby yoga classes in Moscow

I am proud that following the Baby Yoga Level 1 course with Liz Doherty in Moscow (April 2012) I have already had the opportunity to share my knowledge with young mothers and see happy faces at our classes.

I see more and more mothers becoming interested in baby yoga. For some of them this is a new experience, especially those who don’t have a yoga background. We organized several free master classes as an introduction to birthlight.

After coming to my classes they realize that they cannot gain this experience at home.  My previous experience as an infant aquatics instructor helps me a lot.  We also move, play, communicate and relax together but on earth.

I am sure very soon not only will “new era” babies be born bur lots of “new era” mums will appear.

I am thankful to Françoise, Amanda and Liz for their knowledge, support and inspiration.

My life has changed significantly thanks to You !!!
And we have the same goal to move forward together with You!!!

Anna Shkulanova  Moscow

Anna is also a training co-ordinator for birthlight in Russia


Open air classes with MommyClub Moscow, Summer 2012 

Festival Park Baumana Moscow, July 2012          More photos