Last month I embarked upon further Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga Mama, to learn about teaching pregnant women yoga. Originally, I chose this course so I could teach pregnant women confidently, rather than feeling afraid of them when they ask to be a part of a lesson. However, by the time this course came to a close, a whole new plethora of emotions and inspiration have been brought out in me and it has reaffirmed where I want to go with yoga and my own business.
The Yoga Mama course in itself is perfectly executed. Cherie (the Director) is hugely passionate and has gathered an excellent team around her to inform and direct her students from day one. The course developed such a broad knowledge and understanding of the incredible female body and its journey through pregnancy for me, that I now feel fully equipped to be pregnant myself! Physiotherapists, midwives, class observations and experienced yoga teachers filled our time, as well as our own very practical, hands on approach. In addition, I was lucky enough to be placed with a group of incredibly open, welcoming and gorgeous women, which definitely helped make this course the success it was. Yet, what surprised me most, was the way in which I felt as though I learnt and understood Yoga itself more. The giving nature of yoga was embodied in the women throughout this course, the importance of unity and the need to stay true to our own desires and dreams were paramount – and should always be.
As someone who was never one for publicising myself all over Facebook and Instagram, suddenly endeavouring to self-promote my business was a very strange and new step. I was worried about not staying true to my own ideals and beliefs, perhaps losing my identity within the realm of social media. About twice a month I seem to have a personal crisis about whether I have enough followers, should I be doing more handstands, should I pose in tiny shorts and a sports bra to try and entice more people to follow me? I have no issue with anyone who does choose to do any of these things but that isn’t me. So, if I did begin going down that route, I know I wouldn’t be as content with how I was portraying myself. Yoga Mama reconfirmed that you can be a successful female yogi and business woman without conforming to what you feel is ‘expected’ of you. For me, this was hugely important to have that reaffirmed and encouraged me to continue down the path I am attempting to take – sticking to my own genuine interests, beliefs and style.
On top of this self-approval (!), I began to think further about the importance of sisterhood and female unity within society. I do not consider myself a ‘hard-core’ feminist but I definitely appreciate and tried to advocate, more so as I have gotten older, the importance of female unity and equality throughout society. Pregnancy yoga hugely reaffirms that sentiment. During pregnancy it is important for women to feel safe, secure and supported by both women around them and their partners. A pregnancy yoga class should promote and encourage this feeling of community and love, allowing women to find a sanctuary in which they can relax, let go and allow themselves to learn and understand about their bodies at this incredible time.
All of these valuable lessons and general confirmations of what I myself believe Yoga is and does were completely priceless and I plan to push forward with this once-again realised self belief and message.
Yoga should promote unity. Yoga should promote support and community. Yoga should promote self belief and confidence. Yoga should teach you to appreciate whatever you have around you.
Oh, and women are frigging awesome.