Lolly Stirk on her love of teaching pregnancy yoga

Pregnancy yoga pioneer Lolly is offering an online workshop into her way of working on February 12th and 13th. Open to all, it is especially relevant to pregnancy yoga teachers, midwives, doulas and childbirth educators, and includes an invitation to attend two of Lolly’s online pregnancy yoga classes with triyoga. But first, read what she thinks about being a pregnancy yoga teacher.

Teaching yoga to pregnant women was always much more interesting to me than working with ‘ordinary people’. My interest in specialising came after my own pregnancy and birth. Yoga helped me get through the discomforts of pregnancy, and during labour and birth it guided me. I felt compelled to pass it on.

I have devoted my 40 year career to developing and teaching a style of yoga that is perfectly tailored to pregnancy and can be with women during their labours, the birth of their babies and beyond.

What is often mocked as ‘pregnancy brain’ – as it doesn’t fit in with fast pace of our world – is actually an enhanced state of awareness. Pregnant women are already in an altered state. They are halfway there; their senses are heightened. They are in what we might call their “primitive brain” so much more than in their rational brain, and this can be a way in to yoga.

Teaching yoga is about revealing something that is already present. Teaching pregnant women is working with women who are in an ancient process, and by tapping into that we can take them deeper. By allowing them to slow down, we can give them the space to open the door to their instinctive self, and the confidence and trust to walk through that door and explore.

Trust is the key word. Pregnant women get told horror stories about birth: it is portrayed as dangerous and awful. Because of the medical information they have to assimilate, and the choices they have to make, their minds can be busy, confused and frightened. So during the class we offer them down, connect them to their breathing, to their bodies and to their babies, and the wisdom is revealed. The postures are a way in and the breath is a way in. Birth pioneer Michel Odent says that midwives are born and not trained and I think it’s the same for Pregnancy Yoga teachers… it’s an innate skill.

Lolly’s upcoming workshop explores pelvic anatomy and physiology, common pregnancy complaints such as pelvic girdle pain, how to use gravity to find ease in the body, and lowering adrenaline levels to promote endorphin release – click here to book your spot or browse Lolly’s weekly classes and monthly active birth + hypnobreathing workshops.

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