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.
'Pregnancy Yoga aims to help women give birth
naturally and joyfully, without undue strain, resistance or fear.
It aims to help them to feel fit and strong, and well
Dr Francoise Freedman ( Birthlight)
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
HYPNO YOGA - FOR A NURTURING PREGNANCY
This intimate, supportive class is a unique amalgam of
hypno-therapeutic techniques, Yoga breathing and "Flowing Yoga".
It will deeply nourish the pregnant mother and baby during the
journey of pregnancy and birth. These empowering and nurturing
practices will help the mother to be to feel more focused,
confident and calm.
Each class will begin with fun, flowing Yoga practices
(asanas) which will help to melt physical tensions, allowing
the birthing muscles to be relaxed, as nature intended. Gentle
Yoga sequences will also promote the flow of more vital energy
around the mother and baby.
Yoga breathing (pranayama) is also taught as it is a
powerful key to relaxation. These gentle but profound breathing
practices will help to soothe the nervous systems of both mother
and baby, promoting a more tranquil journey through pregnancy and
Hypno-therapeutic practices (deep relaxation,
self-hypnosis and visualisations) will be the core focus and
support of the class. These practices will enhance the pregnant
mother's ability to create a space of comfort for herself and
Hormonal changes during pregnancy and birth make women
more naturally receptive to self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis is a
completely natural state of absorption or focussed attention. It
opens the mother to the transformative power of creative
visualisations, new perspectives and positive change. Everyone
responds uniquely to hypnosis, but most women describe the
experience as deeply relaxing and nurturing.
It is important to be assured that during self-hypnosis
and deep relaxation the mother will be totally in control and
actively engaged at all time.
Research has shown that this use of self-hypnosis reduces
the length of time for active labour for first-time mothers
and significantly reduces the need for pain relief. It also
promotes more spontaneous deliveries and reduces the incidence
of post- natal depression. Anxieties and fears from past birth
trauma can also be positively addressed and overcome. Hypno-Yoga
is a wonderful innovative way to promote a more natural,
positive birth experience.
'Hypnosis is the only no- risk painkiller'. (Dr Anna Zohrabian and Dr Rumi Peynovska)
Benefits of Hypno Yoga for birth
Provides more confidence to have a positive
Can help to clear trauma around previous
negative birth experiences.
Self-hypnosis teaches the art of entering a
state of calm relaxation.
Prepares mind and body by using personal
visualisations to aid labour and delivery.
Increases the ability to relax mentally and
Can shorten labour times.
Promotes a calmer, more accepting and empowered
Reduces incidence of post-natal depression.
Helps to promote bonding.
Encourages a calmer, better adjusted baby,
who feeds and sleeps better.
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
2005, as well as an IAIM (international Association of Infant
Massage) Instructor since 2009. She is also a Childbirth
Preparation educator and Hypno Yoga for Birth teacher.
Photographed and filmed at Santosha Yoga studio, Lisburn
Video by Dog Kennel Productions