When my life started towards the path of teaching and sharing yoga, I knew that I wanted to teach prenatal yoga. I believe that people at all ages and stages of life should experience the benefits of what yoga has to offer. I also knew I wanted to surround myself with beautiful women in the midst of one of the most amazing experiences of their lives.
In fact, I think I was aware long before I began teaching yoga. I felt it during the birth of my first child. I have gone through the labor process twice. Three times if you count my own entry into this world. Unfortunately, I don’t have any recollection of that particular journey. Can you imagine if we could remember that rollercoaster ride?
I found the entire birthing journey to be an unbelievably empowering and enlightening experience. I truly believe that every woman should be given a superhero cape after giving birth.
Growing a human being is right up there with the ability to fly or become invisible. I am convinced that one of the most amazing things is that our bodies already know how to do all of this. Even if we don’t fully understand or fear the process, our bodies take over. They are capable of growing a being, a soul. And, these incredible bodies of ours already understand the process of bringing that soul into this world. If that doesn’t deserve a cape, I don’t know what does.
I am the type of person who needs all of the information. So, as I was preparing for the birth of my children, I took every class available. I read all the books. I found the class that had the most impact on my birth experience was my weekly yoga class.
During labor, as each sensation grew stronger, I knew that I needed to stay calm. With each surge, I closed my eyes and focused on my breath. It was the one thing I knew I could control. I could keep myself relaxed, calm, and in the moment by slowing down and guiding each inhale and each exhale.
Later, I realized that I wanted to be able to help other women with this revelation. You can stay calm by controlling your breath? Who knew? I know it seems like such a simple, obvious thing. But when things get rough, you forget all about a little thing like breathing.
So, I signed up for the nearest prenatal yoga training as soon as I got my RYT (registered yoga teacher) certificate through Yoga Alliance. I was both thrilled and nervous. I would be leaving my babies for a week and my mother-in-law was coming to take over my role as Chief Play Officer, Chauffeur, Cook (and the countless other things a stay-at-home Mom does). Clearly, I was terrified.
My prenatal yoga teacher training was nothing short of amazing. I was surrounded by a beautiful group of strong women who supported each other fully. We shared laughter and tears. We learned to truly listen, see, and support the amazing women around us. It is a practice that is much needed in the journey through motherhood. I learned so much more than just yoga during the training. I also learned about myself as a person, about who I am as a Mother, a Daughter, a Woman, a Soul. And that I, as are all of us, am an ever-changing being.
I fully believe each woman’s passage through pregnancy, birth, and labor is radiant and unique. I am honored to be a small part of any woman’s journey into motherhood.
And if you need a hand, I am more than happy to help you tie on your cape.
By Jessica Llanas, RYT, RPYT and superhero mama of two. Find her Thursday evenings and some Saturday mornings teaching prenatal yoga at Enso.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.