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Teacher of the month - Gill Bann

When I gave birth to my own flesh and blood 25 years ago, I was scared and not in control, I felt a lack of  grounding. I wanted a water birth but the only pool in those days was the local swimming  pool ! I thought there must be a better way of having this amazing experience.

I've been a swimming teacher for many moons now in Northern Ireland and I regularly practice yoga and passionate about both. On qualifying as a yoga teacher in 2014, I set about combining both loves that led me to the family of Birthlight. This was a real light-bulb moment in my life.

I had the great privilege  of training with Françoise Freedman who inspired me to follow a path in Aqua Natal and combine this knowledge to my other classes.

I opened classes at my local leisure centre and forged links with the midwives units and Maternity Services in Northern Ireland. I have given Classes to the Midwives and physiotherapy units so they get a first hand positive experience and through this have had several pregnant midwives attend classes.  I am passionate about getting Aqua Natal yoga to the masses over here. My goal is to reach out to all Mums from all areas and working with the Council, Sure Start and private pools this is a slow process but hopefully one day will give as easy access as on mainland U.K. Even though I am not unique to the Emerald Isle, I do feel a bit of pioneer over here.

I also run Baby Bubbles classes for 0-36 months in these I  get the opportunity to close my Mums bodies in their fourth trimester whilst  learning great techniques for Mums and Dads enjoying fun times with there little ones.

Exploring the translation of asana practice to water I find fascinating and I  continually learn in both mediums. Classical stances create additional resistance in the application of stretches, rotation, bends and twists. The practices I've learnt from Birthlight flow in the medium of water like dance and when the body core becomes the centre of gravity these poses take on an altogether different quality. I feel privileged to be giving my mums this tool kit of support with breath awareness and stronger bodies which will help them throughout life and more importantly to help relax body mind and spirit in water.

Every days a school day thank you Birthlight.

Namaste Gill

Gill Bann
Birthlight Aquanatal Yoga teacher