Ease into Motherhood with Postnatal Yoga
Eleven years ago I became a mother for the first time. It was the most amazing, overwhelming event of my life. I felt a curious mix of excitement, love, euphoria and fear that I wasn’t up to the responsibility of looking after this tiny being. I was amazed at how long it now took to do even the simplest tasks; it took me 2 weeks to get out of the house with my daughter for the first time after her birth! My whole world and sense of identity was turned on its head.
It was with a bit of trepidation that we arrived at my first postnatal yoga class when my daughter was 6 weeks old. Would she cry? Would I be able to soothe her? If not, what would everyone think? Was I being selfish dragging her along to a yoga class rather than staying at home where we were at last getting into a bit of a routine?
My doubts fell away when I walked in. There was a wonderful air of acceptance and non-judgement in the room and the teacher assured us that our babies were welcome and we should have total confidence that we were welcome to soothe and feed them as they needed. She reassured us that we should listen to our bodies and move as we felt able. I still remember the amazing relief of coming back into my body, the joy of gentle movement combined with the soothing, calming awareness of my breath. The comfort of being surrounded by other women going through the same stage of motherhood as me in a supportive, compassionate environment. The babies seemed to be soothed by our practice and even with those who weren’t, that was ok too. Attending this postnatal yoga class became a regular event for us, helping me to ease into motherhood both physically, emotionally and spiritually. It also cemented my passion for yoga.
Alice Bentley has been practicing yoga for 15 years, seriously since her pregnancy with her first child in 2004. On her move to the US from England in 2010 she joined the YogaLife Institute teacher training 200 hour program, with the idea that she wanted "to get better at yoga", what she experienced was life changing and has helped her manage a big transition into a new country and cope with her stressors more effectively. "Yoga helps me be a better mother, wife, daughter and friend, it is my stabilizing force and makes me a nicer person!" Since then she has completed her 200 hour training, 300 hour comprehensive yoga therapy training and 500 hour teacher training and enjoys sharing yoga's transformative power with others. She is passionate about how yoga can help women during pregnancy and motherhood and how yoga can promote healthy weight loss.