As I look forward to sharing these profound practices specifically with women who are preparing for childbirth, I reflect on what it is that draws me so passionately to the birthing field. Lovemaking. Conception. Pregnancy. Birth. Breastfeeding. Mothering. The utter miracle of bringing new life into the world. I embraced every bit of it as a younger woman. These experiences are to me the epitome of womanhood. How can I not be in absolute awe of the female body, of my own body which housed two divine beings?
I was blessed with the undisturbed births of my two children. These were by far the two most empowering experiences of my life to date. Blessed is perhaps not accurate for I had a big part to play in the outcomes. I was on a mission to birth my babes as “well” as I possibly could. I gathered the helpers I wanted around me – an enlightened midwife and obstetrician team, the father of my children, and my mother as spiritual midwife. And I truly prepared myself – as much as I could, on all levels. My options were somewhat fragmented twenty-eight years ago but I selected what I sensed would be most useful in dispelling fear and boosting my confidence. Pre-natal yoga, birth hypnosis, birth education, breathwork, reading, and most of all, opening my radar to only positive birth stories of other women and to my ideal birth vision. This scenario had in the background a caveat that I would cope with all eventualities, even highly medicalized ones if these were to occur. To be frank, I’ve never had a great deal of confidence in my physicality. Whilst I’ve embraced my sexuality wholly, I have certainly not seen myself as a marathon runner. But to my delight, when push came to……surrender and opening(!), my mind got out of the way and my body was simply allowed to do what it already knew. I just needed to trust. Pain was transient and with a purpose. Women had birthed babies for eons, and survived. In my labouring state I felt deeply connected to this knowledge that only those women who have given birth can share. Some call it “evolutionary regression”, the primal trance-like phase of labour. And at the end of my labouring I knew would be an exquisite reward – my beautiful, healthy baby.
If I had surprised myself with my ability to birth unassisted, I would like to think that just about any woman can! She must however have a high level of motivation and commitment to birth preparation that truly empowers her, given that the overwhelming tide of our culture is now against her. Rates of medical intervention in the birthing arena are at an all-time high. Natural, undisturbed birth is now a rarity and the norm has shifted significantly (and in my book, very sadly) to over eighty per cent of all Australian births involving some kind of medical intervention. Certainly there may be high risk factors present for some, and times when medical procedures are entirely necessary. But how many are fully aware of the “cascade of intervention” that can result simply when a woman is not well-informed or adequately prepared? When she is full of fear and out of touch with her body, unable to trust, surrender and open naturally with the powerful cocktail of hormones flooding her system when the times comes? Some might shrug and defend medical caution with the outcomes of a “healthy” baby and mother. What measure of health are we considering? What of the potent biochemical window of opportunity for strong bonding between mother and baby immediately post-delivery? And what of the physical, psychological and emotional impact of traumatic or disempowering birth experiences on the entire family? There are many studies linking these with issues of bonding, breastfeeding and postnatal depression. I have conversed with some of these women in my roles of birth worker and counsellor. Within them lay much anger, shame, guilt and self-judgement buried under the soldiering of early motherhood. These issues emerge in many different ways and sometimes long after the event. They affect not just individual women as the ripples are inevitably felt by their families and communities.
My preference by far is to offer a preventative approach. It’s been apparent to me for some time just how unique and powerful the embodiment practices of Tigress Yoga would be as birth preparation. Imagine a space where women are supported to tap into their authentic power, replace fear with knowledge and confidence, encouraged to trust their bodies, to switch on their primal selves, embrace their sensuality and sexuality, cultivate orgasmic energy, feel freedom to open their bodies using breath and voice, learn to self-nurture as an ongoing priority, connect intuitively with their babies, celebrate the sacred rite of passage of pregnancy and birth, and so much more. These are just some ways in which the classes would fill the gaps for women. To say that I’m more than a little excited and honoured to be offering Pre-Natal Tigress Yoga classes in Melbourne from early February is probably stating the obvious.
from Tigress Yoga Instructor, Nisha Gill
Imagine birth preparation meets pre-natal yoga, with a foundation in women’s wisdom of sacred sexuality. These classes are offered in a series so you can go on a journey throughout the 6 weeks, discovering your capacity for empowered birth. Restorative movements and gentle meditations, with some invigorating energy, will support you through your pregnancy. Feeling confident to navigate your womanly body during childbirth will help you relax and let nature guide you when labouring. In these classes, you will experience your sensuality and tune into the wisdom of your body, as your most powerful resource when facing the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Each class has a different theme, to help you focus on developing your natural inner resources, awakening you to the potential of ecstatic or orgasmic birth. It’s not a goal of course, because birth is the deepest surrender, however it will expand your range to feel real pleasure in your body, for the most potent sexual experience of your life – birthing your baby into the world! Learn how to let go into the wisdom of your primal brain, practice opening your pelvis with breath, sound & movement, revel in the sensuality of your feminine body, deepen intuitive communication with your baby, nurture yourself + more.