My aim: I teach weekly, on-going prenatal specially adapted yoga classes to small groups of pregnant women on Tuesday evening (7.15pm) at Archway and on Saturday morning (10.30am) in Camden Town. My aim is to help you prepare for labour and birth and to relax and also to maintain optimal health during pregnancy. Once you have booked into one of these weekly classes you are invited to attend the second class at no extra cost to you.
Class content: The 2hr. class consists of 1½ hrs of yoga, which includes breathing, relaxation, meditation and of course, yoga postures suitable for pregnancy. During the class, I remind you constantly about which movements, positions, type of breathing etc, will be useful for labour, and so you start to ’embody’ the ideas in preparation for the big day.
Breathing: We develop an awareness of the breath through each yoga posture. You become familiar and comfortable with your own breathing rhythms, as opposed to learning elaborate breathing techniques. With practise, this full, natural breathing can happen instinctively during labour and is an effective way to help manage contractions. Also through yoga you can prepare your body for the process of giving birth by increasing flexibility through your pelvis, strengthening your legs and spine and toning your pelvic floor. We practice positions, movement and massage to use during labour and birth. By developing body and breath you will be able to approach birth with knowledge and greater confidence.
Information gathering/making new friends: The other ½ hr in the class is when we enjoy time together talking about any subject around pregnancy, labour, birth or parenthood, over a cup of herb tea and biscuits. The type of information this includes may be discussing the pros and cons of medical pain relief and alternative ways of dealing with contractions if they become very painful; avoiding hospital induction and alternative induction methods; how to naturally get a baby to turn into the best position before labour, etc, etc. Also, it can be very helpful to you to meet other mothers who are also pregnant and to make a new group of friends.
Outside speakers: Sometimes, mothers come back with their new babies during the last 30mins of the class to talk about the birth. I also organise speakers occasionally who give a short talk and sometimes a demonstration, e.g. homeopaths, cranial osteopaths, acupuncturists, reiki masters, breast-feeding councillors etc., who are all able to help you around the pregnancy and childbirth period.
General Pregnancy Problems: Your body is undergoing miraculous and dramatic changes. Yoga can be very helpful in relieving many common discomforts associated with pregnancy, such as heartburn, varicose veins, piles, back and pelvic pain, swelling and circulatory problems and general fatigue. Moreover, the class is a time to relax, focus your attention on yourself and your baby, and enjoy the support of other pregnant women.
1. Tuesday 7.15 pm – 9.15 pm Yoga mats, cushions, belts and blankets are provided.
The Harry Rice Centre, 72-74, Hargrave Park, N19 5JW.
Hargrave Park runs between Junction Road and Dartmouth Park Hill.
Tube: Archway 10mins walk away
Buses: 10,17,41,143,263,C11,W5,134,4 to Junction Road; 143, 210, 271 to Holloway Rd and Highgate Hill
Parking: enter Hargrave Park from Dartmouth Park Hill. (No entry from Junction Road). Local street parking
2. Saturday 10.30am – 12.30pm PLEASE BRING A YOGA MAT/BLANKET. (I do have some mats for temporary use, but I am unable to store more than a few yoga mats at this venue so cannot provide a mat for everyone. I usually have new mats for sale if you would like to purchase your own which you can then bring with you each week). Cushions and belts are provided.
Hilldrop Community Centre, Community Lane, off Hilldrop Rd, N7 0JE (please note that the building looks as if it is locked up, but there will be someone there)
Tube: Tufnell Pk or Kentish Town.
Buses: 29 or 253 to Camden Rd; 10 to Brecknock Rd; 134, 135 or 4 to Tufnell Park.
Parking: We have our own car park right outside the building. Commnity Lane is 50 yds down Hilldrop Rd on the right hand side, as you come in from Brecknock Rd, or near the end of Hilldrop Rd on the left if you come from Camden Rd.
NOTE: Information regarding any journey in London, phone 0343 222 1234 or visit www.journeyplanner.org for detailed help
The 2hr postnatal class is in Archway on Tuesday afternoons, from 12.15 – 2.15pm. The class starts with 20-30 mins discussion time whilst we have a cup of herb tea and some biscuits. We enjoy time chatting together about all the issues that people want to discuss; usually this will be about feeding, sleeping at night (or lack of), weaning or anything you wish talk about.
Then follows an hour and a half of postnatal exercises based on yoga. The exercises are designed to support your body to return to normal, with emphasis on strengthening your tummy and pelvic floor muscles, re-aligning the pelvic region and releasing tension everywhere, with a lot of focus on the shoulders. This is essential after the pregnancy and birth and before continuing with other exercise routines. We finish as always in yoga with relaxation which is so important in this postnatal period.
I also employ a fantastic crèche worker who helps us to keep an eye on the babies. You can keep your baby right next to you or put the baby a few yards away in the crèche.
Tuesday 12.15 – 2.15pm Yoga mats, cushions, blankets and belts provided
Harry Rice Centre. 72-74, Hargrave Park, N19 5JW. Hargrave Park runs between Junction Road and Dartmouth Park Hill.
Tube: Archway underground is 10mins walk away
Overground: Upper Holloway station is 12-15mins walk away
Buses: 10, 17, 41, 143, 263, C11, W5, 134, 4 to Junction Road; 143, 210, 271 to Holloway Rd & Highgate Hill
Driving: enter Hargrave Park from Dartmouth Park Hill. (No entry from Junction Rd). Local street parking- free parking after 12noon on the other side of Dartmouth Park Rd, or there are pay and display bays immediately outside the centre, also further down Hargrave Park, in Dartmouth Park Hill and also in Bredgar Road. OR you can ask me for a visitor’s permit which allows you to park in Resident’s bays outside the centre.