We're thrilled to announce the launch of our long-awaited PREGNANCY YOGA WORKSHOP with Atma Omeara!
This two-day training will take place at Good Vibrations Health Sanctuary in Johannesburg, Gauteng on 16 & 17 September and at The Zen Studio in Cape Town, Western Cape on 14 & 15 October.
It will cover all the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of pregnancy yoga, and act as a Module 1 training for those who would like to teach pregnancy yoga.
Contact [email protected] for more information and bookings.
Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training
“Moving from struggle to grace sums up the experience of childbirth. If we’re lucky, we can go from a body racked with pain to the miracle of birth in just a few hours. For all our medical advances, this miracle has never been diminished. The staggering reality that we mortals can actually accomplish the act of human creation leaves us changed forever. It’s a miracle that we honour with a yearly celebration until we die.” - Arianna Huffington
Why teach pregnancy yoga?
First and foremost, you become a birthing educator and so much more. The value you add to the experience of a first-time mother is beyond question.
All the benefits of yoga are amplified on all levels, transforming fear and apprehension into confidence and joyful anticipation. Beyond this, as a yoga teacher you are given the tools to expand your career in a beautiful and community-conscious way. Offering pre-natal, post-natal and mother and baby classes includes mums to be in your conscious service.
As you know, there are many yoga styles, each with its own merit. In this pregnancy yoga training, the emphasis falls on Kundalini yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan). This style focuses on a total body-mind-spirit approach to helping women birth consciously and well.
As a teacher, you will educate and support in a safe and uplifting environment. The rhythmic patterns of breath and motion will focus on the mother’s pelvis and growing baby, rocking and stretching gently to calm the mother and nourish the baby. While the exercises (Kriyas) strengthen and tone the muscles and joints and balance all the body systems (including the nerves, hormones, respiratory, etc.), meditation and mantra (chanting) take care of the mother’s mental and emotional being. Breath, movement, meditation, mantra and dance all contribute towards conscious birthing and parenting.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many changes, creating both mental and physical stress. Attending ante-natal classes gives mums-to-be the tools to transition into motherhood with confidence.
Let’s look at these body-mind-spirit aspects separately.
- Preparation for labour through regular, gentle exercise. Toning and strengthening of muscle groups - especially biceps, hips and pelvis.
- Relief from common pregnancy complaints.
- Priming of the body for birth.
- Stimulation of endorphins (natural painkillers).
- Easing of stiffness. Stiff muscles lose their elasticity. They shrink, and the natural range of movement becomes restricted. Tension is bound up in the musculature, which can in turn drain the energy.
- Strengthening of muscles. Back pain during pregnancy is often caused by poor tone in the buttock muscles, which support the back.
- Easing of heartburn, pain in hip joints, and leg cramps.
- Improving circulation. Blood circulation depends on muscles, indirectly affecting circulation to baby in the womb. Problems with poor circulation can cause varicose veins, hemorrhoids and fluid retention. Also helps with low blood pressure problems.
- Improvement in appetite, digestion and sleep.
- Instilling familiarity and confidence for ‘the big event’.
- Teaching the body to surrender to its own capacity through gentle stretching and strengthening.
- Strengthening and conditioning the lungs through conscious breathing.
Pranayam - or breathing - is a vital tool both during pregnancy and birthing. It’s very simple - the breath follows a basic rhythm that centres the mind, calms the emotions and relaxes the body. Its repetition takes you to a state of peace. When you breathe long and deep, you can automatically change your emotional and mental state to be more relaxed. The same applies during birthing. Long, deep breathing is the most natural, simple and effective way to breathe. When contractions become stronger and more intense, the breath will regulate itself, become faster and move higher up into the chest. A relaxed breath leads to a relaxed mind. When you breathe long and deep, you automatically change your emotional and mental state to be more relaxed. You become clearer in thinking and more objective about your personal situation. You maintain your energy levels. Correct breathing is one reason we remain positive in the midst of life’s changes and challenges. During birthing, breathing regulates stronger contractions. A woman’s relationship with breath is key to gentle birthing.
Practising breathing techniques can make a huge difference to a mother’s overall experience, for its effect on total physical, mental and emotional health. Steady, natural breathing for birthing is not a distraction, but an aid for increased energy, focus and body awareness.
- Since our hormones are controlled by our emotions, Kundalini yoga in particular is excellent for stimulating and balancing our endocrine system. The end result is in preparing the new mum to connect with the life growing within her. In a class situation, she’ll also have the opportunity to connect with other mums, and even mums and dads together!
- Pregnancy yoga is a great natural way of generating emotional calm and control. The positive mental attitude developed in class can help significantly when interpreting and dealing with pain.
- In Kundalini yoga, the belief is that after the 120th day (or end of the first trimester), the soul enters the baby in utero.
- During pregnancy, the doors of the subconscious mind become more open, and the mother-to-be experiences many new thoughts and feelings. She often becomes more sensitive, aware and emotional.
- Before 120 days, when the soul has not yet entered the fetus, it is not influenced by the electromagnetic field of Earth - the fetus is a free agent!
- After 120 days and until the umbilical cord is cut, all the experiences of the woman become the foundation of the subconscious mind of the child. When a woman changes her beliefs, thought patterns and habits, this automatically passes on to the child. Everything is adjusted within the mother’s being. In this way the karmic imprint on the child’s subtle body can be erased.
- During the 120 days after conception, a woman can accept or reject the responsibility to bear the child. It’s during this time span that she can decide to abort or not.
- It is highly recommended that a woman meditate often when pregnant. If she meditates before the 120th day and creates harmony within herself, it is possible that a more developed soul can incarnate. When she meditates after the 120th day, it affects the karmic state of the child. This also holds true for a couple even before conception.
- By meditating together, they’re merging their energy fields and preparing for a conscious conception. After birth, when the umbilical cord is cut, the physical and auric separation between mother and child begins. It’ll take the child and mother about three years to rebuild independent auras.
- It is through the advancement and spiritual harmony of women that the human race can be uplifted.
ABOUT ATMA O’MEARA
Atma’s Yoga journey began almost 5 decades ago. From valuable foundations with Sivananda and Iyengar yoga, Atma taught Hatha yoga in Cape Town for many years before “Coming home” to Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She “mothered” the yoga, both in her own studio and other venues.
In 2006, she moved to Barrydale in the Little Karoo where she Built Little Samadhi Karoo Retreat, which she runs both as a Retreat and a B&B.
Atma is a Level 1 teacher trainer and a Kundalini Pregnancy Yoga teacher trainer. She holds Level 2 Kundalini Yoga certification.
Over the years she has held numerous retreats and workshops. She is a certified Health Coach (IIN), and a Kahuna Bodywork therapist (Level 4)