Pregnancy Yoga

Pregnancy yoga

Having fully appreciated the benefits of yoga and hypnobirthing the first time round with pregnancy it inspired me to want to train in both of these fields. So earlier on this year I had the pleasure of training with the amazing Uma Dinsmore-Tuli in pregnancy yoga. It was such an inspiring course especially when you’re in a  room of keen students some of which were pregnancy or there with their new babies breastfeeding whilst learning.

I do fully intend to share my learnings as a teacher once my second baby has arrived as I believe it compliments hypnobirthing so well. What it most certainly encouraged me to do was seek a great pregnancy yoga teacher for this pregnancy. I learnt quite quickly this pregnancy was going to be different to my first! My bump seems to be growing at the rate of knots.

My love of pregnancy yoga with my second pregnancy

With my first pregnancy my exercise regime didn’t change that much. I stopped doing any weights and around 8 months decided that I didn’t want to attend spinning classes anymore. But I carried on training, going to yoga and was in the gym the day before I went into labour. Fast forward 3 years and my gym sessions have changed.

Rather than hitting the gym or a spin class I do more yoga that anything now. Since falling pregnant I’ve found myself doing even more yoga. When I manage yoga 4/5 times a week I feel amazing. Unlike last week when life got in the way and I only managed it once! Life getting in the way really isn’t an excuse though as I know 10 minutes is better than nothing. Maybe I can blame Christmas sneaking up on me?!

I have continue to attend my regular class but unlike my first pregnancy I’ve become more limited with what I can do. Due to this ever growing bump! So I just have acceptance and do what I can and taking the alternatives offered to me. Admittedly I was a bit frustrated to begin with that I was more limited.

Being as active as possible that your pregnant body will allow during pregnancy is so important and will benefit you. Both pre and post-natally and not forgetting so much so during the labour. So to keep up my training is important to me. Yoga compliments pregnancy so well as encourages you to work your pelvic floor which is a must ladies! Keeping those core muscles strengthened to help you carry that growing bump and ease the back ache.

How I’ve found pregnancy yoga has benefited me

Attending pregnancy yoga classes is a breath of fresh air! Yippee I’m not the only one in the room with an ever growing bump. I’m not catching a glimpse of myself in a room full of mirrors. Importantly I came away feeling like I’d had a workout and stretched my sometimes aching body.

Training in pregnancy yoga has most certainly improved my discipline at home. Finding time to practice at home has become easier. I know that yoga is great regardless of your physical body mentally and physically. Being pregnant I find i’m more limited with the classes I can attend due to availability at times that work for me therefore forcing me to practice at home and it feels amazing.

I enjoy practising at home but its lovely being in a class as you get talking to the other expectant Mummas. Being with like-minded people who may be experiencing similar things that you are in pregnancy is reassuring. I’ve been able to share my hypnobirthing knowledge during classes too which has been wonderful.

I was keen to find a pregnancy yoga class that I still felt worked my body as my regular dynamic classes do. The classes I’ve attended have been fantastic. I’m lucky to have some great yoga teachers on my doorstep who have years of experience. With teaching hypnobirthing I have always said how it compliments yoga so well. I fundamentally believe these two practices work together in complete harmony. Its been great attending classes where teachers also understand the benefits of hypnobirthing and share that with the class attendees.

Being around positive vibes is good for your soul. I always come out of yoga beaming as I love the positive and noncompetitive environment. Pregnancy yoga leaves me feeling the same way. Being surrounded by women who are blessed to be pregnant is a lovely feeling.

Attending these classes has allowed me to be taught by fantastic teachers, Muriel Mueller and Nina Airey and be around like-minded people. Refreshing to be in a class of pregnant ladies who all support and reassure one another.

The benefits of yoga in pregnancy

I’d encourage anybody to attend yoga. Even if you’ve never done yoga before attending a pregnancy yoga class is suitable. Research suggests that practising yoga while pregnancy can help improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth.
  • Your body can feel more supported from yoga including helping ease any back pain you might be experiencing from carrying your baby bump around. Supporting the changes that are happening in a pregnant body
  • Helps tone the physical body, especially the pelvic floor, hip, and abdominal core muscles, in preparation for the birthing process
  • Works to connect with yoga methods around deep, mindful breathing which helps the body loosen and relax during labour
  • Women find they connect more with their baby when they attend a yoga class. They have that sense of relaxation and being present in that moment. Disconnecting from anything else going on in the outside world
  • Through stretching and toning your muscles yoga can help ease common pregnancy symptoms. These include back pain, nausea, insomnia, headaches, shortness of breath and carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga encourages healthy blood circulation throughout the body. Combined with the deep breathing it can bring much needed oxygen to your baby and to your own muscles
  • Babies love the Om’s encouraged in yoga classes – don’t be afraid to use your voice you’ll certainly need to find it as a Mum
  • It’s also a great way to meet other expectant Mums

When I’m not practising yoga….

I’m busy helping expectant parents achieve the best birth for them. I offer group and private hypnobirthing classes in Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London and Surrey.

I host Birth Preparation Workshops with the lovely Triona who runs YogaBellies Richmond. A great way for expectant parents to get a taster of hypnobirthing and pregnancy yoga.

So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – I’d love to hear from you.

Keep in touch

Follow me via my blog,  FacebookInstagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

Hypnobirthing classes in Twickenham pregnancy yoga

Birth Preparation Workshops

What is a Birth Preparation Workshop?

I host birth preparation workshops in conjunction with YogaBellies Richmond to help women and couples prepare for the birth of their baby. It is a nurturing, fun and informative 3 hours. We commence with an hours pregnancy yoga followed by two hour hypnobirthing workshop. Our intention is for people to feel relaxed and leave the workshop feeling more empowered and less anxious about birth.

A birth preparation workshop allows you to take time for relaxation. Allowing you to let go of any apprehensions and sharing your experiences with other new parents to be. It’s a nurturing workshop that allows you to relax, and take time for you and your baby. Allowing you the space to connect with the miracle growing inside you.

I enlighten attendees about the benefits of hypnobirthing. Educating on how if in the right environment we can encourage the birthing hormones. These hormones are so vital to encourage birth naturally and many of us are unaware of this. Inviting everybody to join in on relaxation and breathing techniques. We discuss any fears individuals may have and how hypnobirthing can help overcome those fears or anxieties.

Yoga compliments hypnobirthing as many of the beautiful poses are fantastic birthing positions. Opening up the pelvis so much more than lying on your back. They are open positions enabling a woman’s body to birth a baby more effectively and naturally. When a woman becomes more familiar with these positions during pregnancy hopefully they will come more naturally to take them up during labour.

Feedback received

The intention with the birth preparation workshop is for expectant parents to feel nourished and informed. I always encourage parents that even if they don’t go on to book a full KG hypnobirthing course to take away nuggets of info. Hopefully so that they are remembered when they go on to birth their baby. Be it how to encourage your birthing hormones, the breathing, keeping your jaw and face relaxed. If I can help somebody have the best birth for them then I’ve achieved what I set out to do.

A taste of the lovely feedback received from expectant Mum’s at the last workshop on the 10 June 2017 in Richmond, Surrey….

‘I thought the workshop was great and it has really inspired me not to be afraid or listen to negative stories!’

‘I really enjoyed it. Very informative.’

‘We’d both like to thank you for the workshop on Saturday – we both enjoyed it but more importantly found it positive and reassuring.’

‘Thanks again for such a great session.’

Many parents leave the session feeling inspired and do go on to book a full private or group course.

How often are the Birth Preparation Workshops held?

We aim to hold Birth Preparation Workshops every 2 months. We will be announcing a date very soon for a workshop for August 2017 in Richmond.

Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course? What to know more?

I offer hypnobirthing classes across Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.

Follow me via my blog,  Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

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Hypnobirthing Taster Sessions in Richmond

Want to know more about hypnobirthing before booking a course?

As a hypnobirthing practitioner I get asked lots of questions about hypnobirthing as you’d expect. When parents are expecting a baby there are a lot of things to consider financially. Parents can feel that to pay out for a hypnobirthing course is an additional unnecessary cost. For my partner and I it was money very well spent. It allowed us to have a relaxed birth that we felt in control of. I often reflect on it as an amazing experience. Hypnobirthing taster sessions can give you a flavour of hypnobirthing before paying out for a complete course.

The hypnobirthing course I offer is the Katherine Graves Hypnobirthing full antenatal package.  This is covered over 2 – 4 sessions with parents in the comfort of their own home. A one-to-one experience allowing you to ask questions and have my full support and attention. So although another expense to consider it gives you the time as parents to fully engage and not just rely on a book or an app you may purchase. Hypnobirthing is a lot more that just reading a book and hoping it will work.

Hypnobirthing taster sessions given expectant parents the opportunity to discover if hypnobirth is the birth they would like to experience. Of course it is what it says, a taster session. You won’t leave with all the tools and techniques we cover in a full course but with a good understanding.

Hypnobirthing taster sessions

I am delighted to work with YogaBellies Richmond offering hypnobirthing taster sessions as part of a pregnancy yoga and hypnobirthing workshop. These workshops are inclusive of Dad or birthing partner and run for a duration of 4 hours in Richmond, Surrey.  Starting with an hour of pregnancy yoga followed by a two hour hypnobirthing taster session. Refreshments and goodie bags included too.

The feedback we got from our first workshop that was held at Hamptons International in Richmond was fantastic. Parents left feeling excited and relaxed. Some were already very aware of what hypnobirthing was for others it opened their eyes to other options around birth.

It’s really rewarding for me when I can help an expectant mother who is very afraid of birth to actually see it in a whole different light. To actually say at the end of a session I’ve given her something to think about. Realising birth doesn’t have to be flat on your back, being immobile and monitored if you’re not considered to be at any risk.

The taster sessions really help Dad to get a better understanding of birth too.  For some Dads they have no knowledge on what to expect and are led by Mum. If Mum is fearful and has only spoken about the negatives and her fear Dad often follows suit. Lots of Dads really engage with the idea of water births. Once I explain how they can work as natural pain relief and the relaxation element of the water. Dads don’t want to see Mums in any discomfort so wants to work with her to achieve a better birth.

How often are the taster sessions held?

We are looking to hold taster sessions every 2-3 months. We will be announcing a date very soon for a workshop around May/June 2017 in Richmond.

Follow me via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where I will be sharing the next workshop dates.

Hypnobirthing course discounts

As a thank you parents who go on to book a private hypnobirthing course having attended the workshop I give a 10% discount of the course price.

Ready to book a hypnobirthing course? I’d would love hear from you so please do get in touch.

Ali x


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Hypnobirthing Classes in Richmond

Hypnobirthing & Yoga

As a Mum of a two year old I often find myself being asked for recommendations from fellow pregnant Mummies. I always recommend a hypnobirthing course and yoga. I fundamentally believe these two practices work together in complete harmony. Hypnobirthing Mumma offers hypnobirthing classes in Richmond and surrounding areas.

Many Mum’s find themselves starting pregnancy yoga courses when they are pregnant.  Some already practicing yogini’s others never taken a yoga class before. Either way I highly recommend it. It’s not only a lovely relaxing time for Mum and baby but a great way to meet other expectant Mums. As well as the relaxation you get the benefit from a workout, breath work and learning ideal birthing positions. Many Mums find they can really relax and connect with their baby during relaxation.

Hypnobirthing works in harmony with yoga as it focuses on relaxation, a calm mind and positivity. Working through any fears or anxiety Mum has about labour in order to prepare her for a birth she looks forward to. I found myself using my yoga breath during labour combined with the breathing I learned with hypnobirthing. I was able to focus my mind and be completely in the moment.

Benefits of hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing is inclusive of Dad and birthing partners. It allows them to fully understand the process off labour and what Mum is working through. They have a role during the whole process rather than feeling like a spare part which many Dads/birthing partners have encountered. Mum can be uninterrupted whilst trying to hypnobirth as they can act as the voice for Mum.  They can remind Mum of the anchors to bring her back in the moment found through affirmations, relaxation scripts, massage techniques and visualisation. Dads and birthing partners who participate in hypnobirthing classes who may have had hesitation beforehand are often very surprised at how beneficial they find it.

Mums who are relaxed through the birthing period tend to birth very calm babies.  They often won’t cry immediately and this calm demeanour tends to continue as they baby grows. Its a truly tranquil environment when you find yourself hypnobirthing or have the pleasure of being with a hypnobirthing labouring Mum. It could be described as completely delicious!

A calm and loving birthing environment encourages the Oxytocin hormone that we need to flow generously through a labouring mother. This hormone works with the uterus to birth the baby. It is catching so if all involved in the room are calm this has amazing effects. This is a key part of the teachings in hypnobirthing and working with expectant parents how they can keep the Oxytocin flowing.

Hypnobirthing classes in Richmond

I host private hypnobirthing classes in Richmond and I am delighted to be partnering up with Triona from YogaBellies Richmond to host a half day workshop. Join us on Saturday 18th March at 10.00 – 14.00 at 2nd Floor, Hamptons International, 8 The Quadrant, Richmond, TW9 1BP.  The cost of the course includes a 1 hour pregnancy yoga session for pregnant Mummies to be followed by an introduction to hypnobirthing session with both parents/birthing partner, refreshments and goodie bag. There will also be adequate time at the end for myself and Triona to answer any questions. I will be offering a 10% discount for any private hypnobirthing course that is booked from this session.

So if you’re looking for a more holistic approach to pregnancy and birth I would love to hear from you. If you want to feel nurtured and nourished come and indulge yourself at this workshop. You won’t be disappointed and I’m sure it will leave you wanting more at the end of it. Booking is essential so please contact me to book your space. Alternatively if you can’t make this date but are looking for hypnobirthing classes in Richmond then Hypnobirthing Mumma would love to hear from you.

Ali x

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Hypnobirthing Mumma’s Love of Yoga

Hypnobirthing Mumma’s Love of Yoga

Talk to me about anything pregnancy related and you’ll get a very positive vibe from me. I’m not denying I have days when I’m exhausted seeking the caffeine (some days the wine!) but I love it. I’m getting ahead of myself as rewind 8 years & I’d have told you quite categorically that childbirth is the most unnatural thing in the world! Followed by I like the idea of yoga but I wanted a ‘real’ workout.

Then something changed not all at once but I made a new year’s resolution that I would take up yoga and wow! Amazing going into a class that’s not competitive, all about acceptance and positive vibes. At first I thought I’m never going to be able to do this. I was a gym bunny so I was fit but my flexibility was a lot to be desired. Several years on I’ve still got a long way to go but I swear by yoga. It’s improved my strength more so than anything I’ve ever done in the gym.

I then reached a stage in my life where having a baby became a priority. Something changed in my mind set that actually woman are made to birth a baby. Like most women I’ve got friends who have mixed births some a breeze, others needing intervention but at the end of them they all had wonderful babies. We were delighted when I fell pregnant and I started on the amazing journey that is pregnancy.

I’d always worked out and was lucky enough to feel energized and healthy for the duration of my pregnancy. I continued to do most of the things I enjoyed at my gym including yoga regularly. My priority during pregnancy was my health and wellbeing – ensuring I could do everything possible for my unborn baby.

I visualised a relaxed, natural birth but was open minded knowing that sometimes we don’t always get what we want. I booked a private hypnobirthing course as the principles aligned with what I wanted and was amazed at what I learnt I was so inspired.  So much so I recommended it to many pregnant friends!

The day arrived when my baby decided that he wanted to make an appearance. It was a very chilled day I wasn’t even sure if I was in labour so carried on with my day.

My labour was a wonderful expereience. I’ll tell you I had harder days at work and I spent the duration of my labour in a happy place with my partner and Mum. Hypnobirthing was fantastic for me. I was so pleased I’d done it but what I also found out during labour was how much my yoga came into it too. The combination of yoga and hypnobirthing worked perfectly for me. It allowed me to take myself to a chilled out place. Believing in my body and the breath work ensured I was relaxed and my Oxytocin hormone levels high. I birthed a very calm little boy.

So I’d had my son and I was loving life.  Enjoying maternity leave but also realising I’d found something I was so passionate about and wanted to share with other pregnant women. Hypnobirthing and pregnancy yoga. It’s the two things I advise friends to do when they ask my advice around pregnancy. I truly believe they helped me be strong in mind and body pre and post labour. I wanted to do more than just be passionate so I retrained as a Hypnobirthing teacher.  This is one of the most amazing courses I’ve ever attended and get this it was in a yoga centre – I was in heaven! I felt so inspired.

I’m currently doing a BWY Foundation Yoga course and am going to train as a pregnancy yoga and baby yoga teacher. I finally feel like I’ve found my vocation and who knew considering I was the one who said childbirth was unnatural all those years ago.

So my advice to you ladies… Embrace your pregnancy and be kind to your body. If its your thing enjoy the yoga before, during and after your pregnancy. I find it can be more satisfying than the caffeine or the wine when you’ve had ‘one of those days’.

Ali x