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Birthlight teaching - on land and water

In October 2017, I participated in Francoise's aqua yoga course and felt the miracle of aqua yoga for the first time. After the training, I went back to home, and I immediately made an appointment with a student near to birth. I taught her some exercises to open her pelvis in the water, and some exercises to float and relax in preparation for her delivery. Every weekend after that, I arranged an aqua yoga class for my pregnant women. Most of women who come to class can't swim and are even afraid of water. First I take them to do some relaxing breathing and slowly release their body tension in the water, such as: stand with your back against the pool wall, breathe in and out, and slowly relax with the "ha" breath, at the same time, let the body sink, first let the chest into the water, slowly transition to the shoulder, and finally the mouth in the water bubble. Usually after a few breaths, most of women will adapt and relax, and then step by step from the back against the wall to the movement from the transition to leave the wall, with a floating bar. There will also be exercises for pregnant or postpartum women who can swim.

After attending Kirsteen's perinatal training in May, 2018, I set the course schedule as 2~3 lessons on land and 1 lesson on water  per week. The combination of land and water works well, and most mothers feel relaxed during pregnancy, relieved by classes and daily exercises, even if they feel a little sick. I divided the course into two parts: water and land. At the same time, according to the stage of pregnancy is divided into: pregnancy and pregnancy in the second and third trimester as well as the childbirth preparation class near the delivery, according to the postpartum stage is divided into: puerperium, near the delivery of the postpartum stage and the common postpartum stage. At present, most of my pregnant mothers have a natural birth, and postpartum rehabilitation is good, and together have become good friends with the other mothers of the class . I think it has to do with them practicing throughout their pregnancy, keeping their emotions up and building a good community.

Thanks to Francoise, the founder of birthlight, and Kirsteen, the tutor, for sharing such precious research results and experience with me. Thanks to Grace for bringing the course of birthlight to Chinese mothers. This is a job that brings a great sense of accomplishment, and I will keep doing it!

Letter poem about my growing baby

In 2018, a lovely life came to live inside me. The best I can think of for her is to create a womb spiral of joy for her. Nurturing a life is an amazing process. I enjoy each moment of doing yoga, swimming and breathing together with her.

Birthlight has helped me not to be affected by all kinds of voices around me. I am determined to do what I think is right in my heart. At about 12 weeks, when I was doing my breathing practice, I definitely felt it: yes, she was moving! For the first time, I felt fetal movement. And for most of the breathing practice that followed, she responded. At 18 weeks, I took her to the first Aquanatal Yoga: "baby, mommy is going to take you to swim." Then I took a few deep breaths, gave her some water massage, and we stretched, flowed, balanced, floated and rotated in the water together. In the butterfly pose, my world was suddenly quiet. It seemed that she could also hear and feel my deep and rhythmic breath, and our connection became closer. In the following weeks, I arranged two land yoga and one aqua yoga practices. This has helped me be vigorous as I grew bigger. I would like to thank my husband for his company and support during the whole pregnancy. In the final stage, when the due date was approaching, he accompanied me to participate in Kirsteen's postnatal training. These seven days will also plant a happy seed for our new small family. I look forward to seeing you, my little baby! I Love you.

Susu Shao

Adjusted breast stroke is part of Birthlight Aquanatal Yoga: practiced without kicks as a rhythmic hip opening movement it prevents back pain associated with conventional breast-stroke swimming during pregnancy and helps women deepen their breathing, exhaling  slowly in the water

It was a great pleasure to see Susu, short for MengSu Shao, again in Shanghai last week - this time looking resplendant in late pregnancy (37 weeks!) - she came to refresh the Birthlight postnatal training as she will soon be able to put it into practice herself and to attend our 3 CPDs- Birthlight Yoga for the prevention and repair of diastasis recti, a day studying the pelvic floor & Cesarean scar massage, and Postnatal Yoga beyond the first 3 months. Susu lives in Yixing a city 150km from Shanghai. Being accompanied by her husband this was the perfect moment to recap movements, positions and making sound for labour and birth with both Susu and her husband Xin Ji. They were very kind and agreed to us to taking photos while we practiced. Thank you so much Susu and Xin Ji and we send warm wishes for the birth and a blissful baby moon!

A birth rehearsal can be good for consolidating what the pregnant woman has already learned in class and introduces the birth partner to the moves and positions that they can be supportive in, reassuring and affirming for both of them


Explaining rolling the tailbone under in 'camel walk'


Finding asymmetrical positions to help open the mid pelvis


Slow light stroking can soothe the peripheral nerves during labour


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