* Yoga With Gill * *
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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 Nidra).

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 their labour.'
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 Preparation educator.
Pregnancy yoga helps to:-

Relieve stress and anxiety
Boost energy
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