Norwich Hypnobirthing Instructor and Baby Yoga Teacher Jackie Heffer-Cooke tells us in this insightful and beautifully written blog post Why Yoga Makes Me A Better Mum, Intertwined with a Reading of ‘Mother’s Breath’. A must-read for every Mum!
Why Yoga Makes me a Better Mum
Read ‘Mother’s Breath’ by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, every mother should. It made me feel happy. Inspired. Able to see the goodness and loving spirit in life – and giving life – and supporting life – in our babies and children.
Why I love Yoga?
“Those who are good but lacking peace can find that serenity’” (1)… For me personally, this is what yoga gives me every time I practise or teach it, and it is this that I want to be able to learn more about – how ‘to be’, and how to give.
Why Yoga Makes Me a Better Mum
“Ideally, indeed, the instinctive birthing breath does not need to be taught; in practice however, instinctive behaviour of any kind is very alien to many women. Our lives have become so far removed from what is natural and instinctive, that many people’s breath patterns (shallow, choppy, erratic) are inimical to health and wellbeing.” (2)
Having been through my first birth 8 years ago, when I was in a very very different career/ place/ positioning and having no tools at all to tap into on my birthing day, including hypnobirthing, I whole-heartedly believe this. This was me and my life 8 years ago… shallow, choppy, erractic. I am happy to say, it is not so now, although my learning’s continue every day, of every week, of every year. Yoga, Hypnobirthing, Massage, Mindfulness, Breathing and Relaxation techniques – these have all encouraged me tap into a more peaceful state of being, a more comfortable me, to be more of the person I want to be, a state of ‘is-ness’, appreciative of the world around me, to enjoy simplicity of life – painting a picture with my daughter, lapping up every blossom bloom and every smile from my kids, and making me therefore definably a better person, a better mum. But it is a continuous self-study to remind oneself of ‘how to be’.
I Want to Learn How to Breathe
Therefore as above, I recognise this request within myself as my own journey, and I often see it on the PQ forms that I give out in Hypnobirthing, Pregnancy Yoga and Baby Yoga. The book begins in chapter one discussing this concept. Why is it so important?
“When the mothers breath is short and panicked, the child within the womb experiences this. When the mothers breath is smooth and deep, the child experiences this too. When the child moves from the womb to the mothers arms, it is the mothers breath that carries the voice to soothe the child, and it is the mothers breath that carries the voice to warn the child of danger. The mothers breath is our intimate link to the source of all life, energy, comfort and protection. Pranayama is the key to open the door of conscious awareness of this link.” (3)
I want to soothe, I want to protect, I want to do it softly, naturally, I want to be a good mum.
Conceiving, growing your baby, birthing your baby – being a mother. These changes and feelings are so powerfully instinctive – it is a massive time of change, adjustment, identity shifting, transition, release from the ties of the rat-race – and a period of time which at first can feel like you have been literally knocked over by a hormonal boxing glove. But once acknowledged, and accepted, these instincts can become appreciated as the greatest gift one can ever be given. The largest and most real inner smile ever experienced.
Mothering: An important, idealistic, all encompassing, significant, simple, reason for life.
In my last year as a highly paid and fairly ‘powerful’ executive in 2004 – the mantra that kept me awake in a merry-go-round of stress and self-destruction was ‘stop the world I want to get off’. Having children enabled me to do just this 🙂
Women I personally see in Hypnobirthing, yoga and for massage, are often anxious, frightened of birth and even more terrified of what to do after the baby is born. As Dinsmore-Tuli says: ‘The Pranayama methods they learn in their yoga classes make it possible for them to enjoy their pregnancy, and to approach childbirth with a positive attitude which empowers them, whatever their experience of the birthing process. Following the birth of their baby, these same breathing practices help the mothers to relax and energise and relax into their new roles’ (4).
Labour and The Golden Thread
Dinsmore-Tuli tells us how she came across the golden thread. It is described within her actual birth story…. “and then (I) began to feel a cool breeze passing out through my lips, like a thin strand of golden silk. It was as if the breath was travelling out into the air in front of me, and disappearing into the painting on the opposite wall. The breathe seemed to breathe itself… as these long golden threads of breath continued the powerful sensations of the contractions became more and more bearable… I heard in my minds ear the words of my yoga teacher reminding me ‘the out breath is the antidote to pain’… at the end of the golden thread period, the energy in the room was entirely transformed. I was absolutely relaxed, totally focused and ready to birth a baby… our son was ready to be born.” (5)
The Mother’s Breath
Simply and perfectly put… “The primary intention in writing Mothers’ Breath was to take the essential light of conscious breath and awareness, which I experience as the heart of living yoga, and to shine that light where we need it most, out into the very dark corners of our lives, into the moments where we are faced with the biggest and hardest demands for transformation and change. Mothering gives women many moments like these. If just one of these moments, for just one mother, is made lighter by the presence of Mothers Breath, then my intention will have been realised.’ (6)
To book an an appointment with Norwich Hypnobirthing Practitioner Jackie Heffer-Cooke or to find out more about her Norwich Hypnobirthing Classes, Baby Yoga or Pregnancy Massage please click on the links provided, or contact us here or call our friendly Norwich reception team on .
(1) – Foreward
(2) – Foreward
(3) – pge 3
(4) – pge 5
(5) – pge 6
(6) – pge 148