Birthlight’s first Baby Yoga Teacher
From Stockbroker to Baby Yoga
Following a career as a Japanese stockbroker, I became Birthlight’s first Baby Yoga tutor over 20 years ago. I qualified with the British Wheel, then trained with Dr Robin Monro’s Yoga Biomedical Trust, soon rising to senior therapist. Yoga is my passion and through Birthlight I was able to introduce Birthlight’s pioneering practices to a national network of childcare providers.
While a therapist with the Yoga Biomedical Trust in London, I trained under Dr Françoise Freedman as a Pregnancy Yoga and Baby Yoga Teacher. My first pregnancy and birth in 1998 was joyful thanks to Francoise’s guidance and then, a few years later I had twins at 42 weeks using the very techniques I had been teaching. Today I deliver Birthlight’s blended courses which span Pregnancy Yoga through to Toddler Yoga on both land and in water.
Birthlight’s practices and principles can be a lifesaver
It is a beautiful yet rare occasion when a mother can enjoy Yoga Nidra in Shavasana with her baby. But adapted postures alongside baby are equally valuable: side-lying, sitting, or standing and swaying are the most common positions for practising relaxation for the pair, while Birthlight circles create the environment for calm connections. And those who care for babies will find that they can more readily transfer the skill of releasing tension ‘off the mat’ if they attend a Birthlight class regularly. Whether waiting at the checkout with a hungry baby or dealing with a tired toddler in the cereal aisle, the Yoga-based tools from the Birthlight repertoire can be a lifesaver for remaining calm and dealing with everyday stressful situations.
Nurturing Baby Massage, Baby Yoga and Toddler Yoga teachers who have entered the discipline from the child development route often enjoy the advantage of understanding how to calm the infant. Whatever the prior experience of a Birthlight teacher, it will help have a creative approach and a range of tools up your sleeve. Birthlight teachers are well aware of the symbiotic nature of the dyadic relationship. We know that whether baby-led or parent-led, it is the dyadic relationship, the united internal rhythms of the pair, that will reap the rewards.
Birthlight changed my life
In 1977 my life changed when a Yoga Nidra experience sparked a connection deep within me. Over 40 years later the science is still catching up to the secrets of Yoga relaxation practices. Whether we follow the popular Polyvagal Theory and how it parallels the Gunas, or read research on electroencephalography (EEG) which measures the changing brain waves, we now have an insight into the physiology of what’s happening when we apply simple practices.
Scientifically they can be referred to as top-down or bottom-up, but as teachers we can label them as making a wish, setting an intention or humming the beehive or a sonic massage version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. We teach and it works!
Want to understand more?
If you’d like to be signposted to the evidence-based theories, share parent-baby calming techniques and equip yourself with some easy ways to give your families the relaxation experience, here are some useful links.