Last week I was invited along to a YogaBellies class by Silvia who is running the local franchise. I was delighted to be asked and jumped at the opportunity to unfurl my yoga mat and take some time out. I love yoga, and first connected with it in my student days long before I was aware of the positive impact that it could have on pregnancy, birth and babies. Yoga techniques helped me through all three of my pregnancies and also through childbirth so I have first-hand experience of just how beneficial it can be.
Silvia has a long term love for yoga and says that she “never realised quite how astounding its effects could be until her pregnancy. Yoga provided not only physical comfort, but also tremendous mental calm during an exciting and unique time”. Silvia is about to finish her 200 hour CYT (certified yoga teacher) training and says that she’s “very excited to be passing on her knowledge to women at all stages of life”. A fellow bibliophile and an enthusiastic yoga expert, I couldn’t wait to meet her and experience her class!
I arrived early to help set up and to find out a little more about the classes. It was clear that Silvia had done her research. I was joining a mum to be class and she knew when each expectant mother was due before they entered the room. This knowledge was used during the class to help to direct the participants to try poses that would compliment their growing bumps and ease the various strains that accompany different stages of pregnancy.
The YogaBellies class was split into five sections which flowed seamlessly into one another. First of all we all started by introducing ourselves. It was lovely to see other mums making immediate connections within the class through close due dates or similar situations where some had toddlers at home.
After that we moved into breathing techniques. The Golden Thread Breath was absolutely my friend during labour and I still use it now to relax, so it was encouraging to see that this was one of the first techniques that the class was introduced to.
Next came the stretches. Some were familiar, others, such as the Eagle Pose, I didn’t know but provided a lovely deep stretch across those tired back muscles. I recall how much I needed to stretch my back when I was pregnant, and postnatally that is important too when running around after little people and lifting a heavy toddler!
Next up was a relaxation session. This time gave mums the opportunity to connect with their unborn baby not to mention to have some comfortable chilled out time at the end of the day. Cushions and blankets were provided at the beginning of the session for this stage, so there was no disruption as we arranged ourselves comfortably on our mats, focusing on relaxing and breathing.
Finally, unlike many of the sessions that I attended when pregnant, came the social part. A time for a cup of tea and a snack whilst the mums got to know each other a little better. Being pregnant can seem daunting and lonely so this addition was something that I really liked and I could see that the mums were taking the opportunity to chat to those around them which was lovely.
Silvia says that she has one goal for her classes, and that is for “every woman (and baby!) to leave the class feeling better than they did when arriving. This can be on a physical or emotional level, as Yoga is about the harmony of body and mind”. I may be rocking a mum tum rather than a baby belly, but I have no doubt that Silvia will achieve this goal week on week. Next week I will think of them all, whilst I stretch out at home and they have another deeply relaxing and positive antenatal class.
This is a collaborative post, please see my disclosure page for more information.
Silvia currently runs two different classes, one is the antenatal class which I have reviewed above, and the other is a mum and baby class. All up to date information about availability of classes can be found through contacting Silvia directly (details below):
Further information about the company and nationwide classes can be found at the YogaBellies website here.