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  • United Kingdom

Despatches from Birthlight teachers around the world

Lockdown has meant different things in different countries but for us all it has meant change and no travel. As countries in Europe are beginning to cautiously relax the restrictions it remains far from clear when face to face Yoga teaching will be able to resume. Pregnant women are considered at higher risk from Covid-19 as some Well Woman students may also be for a variety of reasons and families with new babies will most likely be amongst the last in the population to venture out to group classes when they reopen eventually.  So here we've compiled a tour of some Birthlight teachers  from around the globe with each teacher's class details - Birthlight  practices crossing languages and cultures across digital space!

We have enjoyed reading how so many of you are supporting women, babies and their families online. A common thread is how, though far from ideal, online classes offer support and provide social connection that really helps promote relaxation and to release stress - vital ingredients of our group classes especially, apart from all the benefits of yoga practice. There’s also been ‘interesting moments’ in homes during classes and the bliss of doing shavasana without having to go home afterwards! However, for all our colleagues usually working in water there’s very little opportunity to move classes online in the same way as land classes. Amongst our members, friends and colleagues  we have a great number of midwives, nurses, doctors and obstetricians working on the frontline. We all know from experience personal and professional that the smallest practices can make a big difference to how we feel and how our days go. So we hope that you all manage to find time to nourish yourselves too as well as those you care for face to face or online.

We are busy making a new platform for Birthlight training online with  support and CPDs for teachers and we look forward to sharing it in the coming weeks. In the meantime we’d still like to collect more stories of your online teaching experiences so do send them in to [email protected].

As I sign off to help with my daughter’s school work I leave you with a lovely piece of feedback from a new mum from one of Alex Carter’s classes in Reading.

With all good wishes to you all,

Kirsteen
Birthlight Tutor & Co-ordinator for Birthlight Land based training courses


"Hi Alex, I hope you and your family are keeping well.

I just thought I would let you know that I had my little boy, Austin, last Friday at 40 +2 weeks.

The labour and birth were all that I could have hoped for and never thought would actually happen! I ‘breathed him out’ exactly as you taught us and was even picturing your demonstration with the pelvis as I was having the contractions and pushing!! I had more confidence to ask to move in to positions that would help and gave birth on all fours like you suggested.

I had an awful time having my first baby and really believe attending your classes made the world of difference so thank you!

I’m looking forward to coming to mother and baby yoga as soon as this is all over.

Thank you so much Lizzie x"


 

Anne in Yorkshire, UK

"I miss meeting the new babies, baking cakes and making the new mums a cuppa after relaxation. But I am grateful that I have found a way to stay connected and for the groups to continue to connect to each other.  I am also reaching women in areas of the country where there haven’t been physical classes available and at least now they can enjoy a weekly class and meet other pregnant or postnatal mums."

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Bernadette in London, UK

"I am a great believer in silver linings -even if they are not immediately visible. And one of the massive ones for me is how I have been able to reconnect with some women, who I have not shared yoga with for a few years now, and who are taking part in the sessions again."

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Elena in Moscow, Russia

"I am really happy to help my students - future and new mothers in this not easy time. For most of them online classes is not just about yoga but time when they can meet each other and have a little bit chat together."

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Kasia in Amsterdam, Netherlands

"YouTube is way more weird at the start cause there is no way to see students, or to ask their inputs at the start.. But here the advantage is that those classes can be recorded in good quality and then students can practice whenever they want and as often they want. So this way we are reaching more mamas out there."

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Martine in the Netherlands

"I even do the partner workshop online. In these times it is important to encourage the pregnant ladies (and partners), to stay positive and most important to trust their body."

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Nima in Tehran, Iran

"Interestingly though, many midwives also tuned in regularly claiming it helped them a lot coping with the situation as some of them had to accompany Mums to the high-risk hospitals as a doula. Also I had some men joining in as apparently everyone can find something useful in our gentle and relaxing prenatal yoga exercises."

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Penny in Hertfordshire, UK

"It has been wonderful to connect still with all the clients and after the pregnancy classes finish there is the option to stay online and chat to try to offer that additional support.  I love watching the ladies embracing Shavasana at the end with even one lady lying in her bed!"

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Sally in London, UK

"Anyway, I just wanted to say it can be done and it can be done with integrity.  Your acknowledgement and trust in us as teachers is testimony to your high standards of training… 9 years on and I’m still in love with teaching baby yoga!"

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Sally in Cambridge, UK

My first online class was a really positive experience, it was fun to connect and more interaction was possible than I had expected. Once I started to master the technical aspects, I began to relax and the natural rhythm of my teaching felt familiar and comfortable.  I have also offered these classes to baby swimmers to keep connected and active while the pools are closed."

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Tatiana in Russia

"It extends the concept of a group in my mind. Still I can communicate with ladies during practice, adjust and see what they are doing. It is easier to be informed about their state after classes, as they can send me a message in whatsapp group at any moment. This also gives a feeling that we are in connection and in a women's circle of support."

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Vikki in the UK

"Continuing to offer Birthlight pregnancy yoga practices at this time is so incredibly important to bring these women back to their bodies, to their babies growing inside them, to feeling into their breath and their experience within their changing body in this moment, to feel strong, connected and grounded."

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