How to Maximize Course Impact
The topics are organized in a specific order to build on, and reinforce each other. They are spaced by 7 days to allow time for the somatic body, and deep subconscious to integrate the impact of the activities and content. The nervous system distrusts fast change, and you are literally rewiring your brain and nervous system as you move through this program. We recommend that you commit to a specific day of the week and stick with that as much as possible. This provides days in between to contemplate the content, the birth stories, and to do the affirmation and other suggested activities.
Each class video is broken down into a birth preparation topic, followed by a series of yoga movements and breath practices, and ends with a short guided relaxation session (aka. yoga nidra or hypnosis-based birth preparation).
After participating in each video go through the topic-enhancing educational notes, affirmations, birth stories, and activities. These will underscore and expand upon the process that each individual class sets into motion. As you move through the program you will slowly retrain the somatic body, and the deep subconscious to respond in a whole new way to birth images and thoughts.
This calming and strengthening prenatal class series is designed to optimize expectant mothers’ physical and mental health while promoting the bond between mother and child. Breathing exercises are emphasized throughout the class to calm the mind, and prepare the body for delivery. Poses are modified to accommodate Mom’s blossoming figure at each stage of pregnancy. Each movement is carefully chosen to stretch and strengthen muscles needed to support the body during pregnancy and childbirth. Yoga maneuvers to encourage baby into ideal birth position are part of every class. Postures to tone and create range of motion in the muscles that support the pelvis, including the pelvic floor, are highlighted for prenatal comfort, birthing efficiency, and postnatal recovery.
As the birth stories provided from previous program participants will demonstrate, this is a an extremely effective and proven program for enhancing the quality of pregnancy and birthing experiences. Each section is carefully curated for optimal physical, mental, and emotional preparation for birth and motherhood. Enjoy!
Introduction to the Shakti Prenatal Yoga Method
In is well studied that a yoga practice brings many physical, mental, and emotional benefits. The Shakti Prenatal Yoga Method utilizes all of these extensively researched benefits with the addition of movement and other yoga techniques to meet the specific needs of the modern pregnant woman. For example, today’s pregnant woman is living in a society that sits far more than we have evolved to do. This means that during pregnancy women need movement that not only promotes general health and wellness, but also includes specific movement to fix the impact that our sedentary lifestyle has on the pelvic floor, lumbar spine, and baby positioning.
Possibly even more than physical preparation for birth, women also now need techniques to combat the negative prenatal and birthing images they are exposed to daily in our culture. Most pregnant parents begin their pregnancies afraid of birth, and lacking confidence in their abilities and their bodies. They are surrounded by a sea of fearful images in the media, and from friends and family. Many arrive in their first prenatal yoga class with no idea how much impact their innate wisdom and skills can have on the quality of their pregnancy and birthing experiences. Most women have never heard a single calm, beautiful, empowering birth story, let alone a story where a mother would describe her birth as enjoyable.
Adding to the unhelpful mainstream presentation of birth is the phenomena of removing women from the center of the birthing process. Words and phrases that rob women of agency are commonplace. When we say things like, “The doctor delivered her baby” we make the health care professional the most important and active participant in the experience. Women need to remember what our bodies already know, that a woman’s medical support does not do the work of birth (however it is true that a birth supports philosophy of birth can impact how effectively a women can tap into her innate birthing body, and skills). The quality of a birth experience is the result of the birthing mother’s efforts and mind set. When a mother learns how to use movement, breath, sound and sensation she is able to approach birth with joy and confidence. She learns to trust her body, and to trust birth.
The Shakti Yoga Method utilizes physical movements, breathing techniques, birth education, yoga nidra (hypnosis based birth imagery), and ACTUAL birth stories from graduates of the Shakti method to help women reframe birth in a holostic way. This prepares Mom physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the sacred experience of growing her perfect baby, and releasing them into the world with an empowered presence.
The powerful combination of the five techniques listed above make the Shakti Prenatal Yoga Method so much more than a prenatal yoga class, or even a prenatal birth education class. Any one approach is beneficial on its own, but together they become more than the sum of their parts. The end result is a collaboration that makes the Shakti Prenatal Method a complete mind, body, and spirit vehicle for the most comfortable, most empowered, and most enjoyable pregnancy, birth and early motherhood possible for every woman.
We will consider the impact of affimations more and more deeply as we move further into this program. For now consider these short sentences as positive images to help you fertilize the seeds planted in this week’s class. You can repeat them silently or out loud as you go about your days, stopping at red lights, sipping tea, etc. If you have a meditation practice they can become a mantra that you use during your sessions. Silently repeating an affirmation is a good way to harness the mind as you and baby begin to fall asleep each night. Choose the image that resonates most with you and baby.
Week 1 Affimation Suggestions:
I am designed to grow, birth, and nourish my baby.
I trust my strong beautiful healthy body.
My baby is growing perfectly.
All birth stories presented in the Shakti Prenatal Yoga Method have been shared by Mommas who have completed this program and used their fine tuned yoga skills to have their best possible births. They share with the hope that their story will give you the confidence to trust your body, and remember that you are designed for this. These stories are a testimony of the effectiveness of the breathing, focus, and preparation techniques you are fine tuning weekly in our classes.
Proud Birthing Momma
Hi Bobby! Just wanted to let you know that our little girl, Rosie arrived safe and healthy just over 3 weeks ago! I wanted to say thanks, because I know the positive stories from other mamas, and the breathing got me through and allowed me to have the experience I wanted!
I had a sweep done on a Thursday morning, and some cramps/contractions started overnight on Friday night. I spent Saturday just relaxing- took a bath, went for a walk, and had a visit with family, but by supper time they were getting closer together and more intense. I used my breathing to get through each one. I was able to labour at home in a warm bath until my water broke around 9:45pm Saturday night. When I arrived at the hospital, I was 7cm dilated and things were moving quickly. I made the decision that I would continue without an epidural. That had been my “ideal plan” but I was open to making the decision based on how I felt at the time and how everything was going.
When I reached 10cm, things went so smoothly. I only pushed through two contractions and she arrived. Apparently, I have a very hard push I have now been told haha. I actually had to hold off from pushing during two contractions to give the doctor time to get there and let them set up. She arrived at 12:53am, less than 3 hours after I arrived at the hospital. I felt so proud of myself for getting through the whole process in the way I had hoped, medication free, and I know that the positive stories from other moms, my own positive thinking and relaxation techniques were the biggest contributing factors to that. Thanks for everything, I really valued all the information you had, especially given I didn’t have the same access to prenatal classes, etc., given COVID-19.
S Parsons, St. John’s, Canada
Using Breath & Labour Techniques for a Rewarding Birth
I’ve been meaning to write and just say thank you. One of my friends recommended you for the prenatal yoga as she had such a good labor and delivery, and am I ever glad I listened and joined your class. I was due November 18th and on November 19th around 7pm I started having pains I hadn’t experienced during my pregnancy.
I knew something was happening so I decided to get in the bath tub and practiced the different labour and breathing techniques. Contractions started happening and progressing pretty quickly. I arrived at the hospital around 12am. When I was checked at 12:20am I was 5cm dilated. I continued to breath through the contractions until I received the epidural.
When the doctor arrived a half hour later I was fully dilated and was ready to push. Ten minutes later, at 1:34am my little girl, Emery was born. As a first-time mom, I truly don’t think I could have had such a wonderful experience without your help. I always stayed positive throughout the pregnancy and never put much thought into the labor/delivery as you cannot plan exactly how it will happen. I let nature take its course and just continued to breath and listen to the nurse/doctor and it was the most beautiful and rewarding thing I have ever witnessed. Thank you, again!
K Sullivan, St. John’s, Canada