For women from 14 to 40 weeks
Gill's aim is that women can feel more comfortable in
their pregnancies and more calm and confident about birth.
Being pregnant can be like a rollercoaster ride for a woman due
to the hormonal, mental, emotional and physical changes.
Her holistic Pregnancy Yoga classes provide a supportive,
friendly environment where common problems can be shared and
addressed within the Yoga practice, and women can discuss
problems and support each other.
Once described by a former student as, 'a youth club for
pregnant women' the classes last for one and a half hours
and are a blend of fun, traditional Yoga, rhythmical movement,
voicework , Pranayama (Breathwork) and deep relaxation
Yoga practices are carefully adapted for mums to be with
injuries and medical conditions.
Pranayama ( Breathwork) is taught as it promotes inner
calm, for mother and baby, increases vitality and can help to
increase the baby's oxygen supply. It is a very effective way
of also helping to control anxiety and insomnia. Practising
Yogic breathing) in pregnancy is necessary for it to become
instinctive during the birth process.
Time is always made for deep relaxation (Yoga Nidra) a
nurturing opportunity for women to let go of any fear or
anxiety in their pregnancy, so they can connect with a deeper
more intuitive side of themselves. It is a great way of
developing the bond with her baby/ babies. It promotes the
attitude of witnessing which is vital during childbirth as it
breaks the mother's identification with bodily pain.
Practical Birthing positions, tips and breathing
are taught when the woman feels ready. This embodied knowledge
can be transferred to use during birth and labour.
'Yoga is an excellent exercise during pregnancy. It is
very gentle, and done at a pace that suits the pregnant woman. It
takes into account her changing shape and I think it teaches her
to relax. We are also beginning to see a move away from
technological childbirth to more natural childbirth again and
women are trying to prepare themselves to give birth with the
minimum of intervention if they can, and that involves preparing
themselves physically and mentally during their pregnancy for
Breedagh Hughes, Royal College of Midwives (In interview
on UTV Live, following filming and interview with Gill Henderson
and her class on 6 September 2004)
Gill has pioneered Pregnancy Yoga in Northern Ireland ,
since introducing it in 2003. Many women have returned to her
classes with fourth and fifth pregnancies ranging in age
from 17 years old to 47 and from all walks of life.
She is a very experienced Perinatal Yoga teacher having trained
at Birthlight with Dr Francoise Freedman and Uma Dinsmore Tuli,
in 2003, in Postnatal and Baby Yoga and Smart Toddler Yoga since
2006, as well as an IAIM (international Association of Infant
Massage) Instructor since 2009. She is also a Childbirth
|Pregnancy yoga helps to:-
Relieve stress and anxiety
Encourage restful sleep and calmness
Make space physically and mentally for
the growing baby/ babies
Promote bonding with the baby/ babies through
visualisation and breathwork
Relieve minor ailments and back pain
Helps keep the body toned, supple and strong
Relieve pain during childbirth
Provide a warmly supportive class where
mums to be can connect with each other