Saturday, December 5, 2009

soul work

The past four days have been so immensely nourishing that I feel, in a way, renewed. It was strange to pack my bag and leave my boys but I did so knowing that it was good for me and good for them. I expected to learn but I never expected to be so inspired.

Did you know that when women come together, oxytocin, the love hormone, is released? The energy in the room was incredibly high. 30 women, 8 of whom were pregnant, one carrying twins. 39 souls.

We came together to learn about prenatal yoga for conscious birthing. But it was a healing space as well, as safe space where we could talk about pregnancy and birth knowing that whatever was said was sacred. There were 10 midwives in the room so for me, it was the ultimate learning experience from an anatomical/physiological point-of-view.

I came away having such a deep understanding of pregnancy and birth and I believe, with all of my knowing, that this is my path and I'll continue to follow it.

The language of birth is so powerful, as I've said before. And so many of the women I met believe that words are the greatest intervention a woman has to face when she's laboring. If she hears negative words, she loses her confidence and loses her awareness. Which is why it is essential that a birthing woman has a partner or birth support person who knows how to connect with her physically, emotionally and verbally. When a birth support person has the skills to support a woman during labour and birth the need for medical intervention drops by 80%. That is a statistic too significant to ignore.

I'm excited to come to a point in my career where I feel confident to lead couples workshops. Couples workshops for birth preparation from a yogic point-of-view. More about that later.

Self-revelations are always nice too. Did you know that the cervical spine (the top of your spine, the neck) is directly related to the cervix? During the first 20 or so hours of my labour I practiced a form of breathing called ujiya, where you gently constrict the middle of the throat, directly in front of the cervical spine. So, throughout that time I was actually contracting my cervix, hence why I took so long to dilate. No ujiya breathing for pregnant women!

Babies, in the womb, as so receptive to sound and vibration. They can hear the words their mother speaks, as well as the people that speak to her. They are oceanic beings who do take about 4 years to adjust to being on the earth once born. Hence why it so important that a mother connects with her baby in the womb, realises that she is indeed working with her baby during birth and that the cord is only cut once it has stopped pulsating - it is therefore, a much more gradual transition for the baby because he/she is still receiving blood, breath and prana (energy) from the cord.

Our little ones are, in fact, still living in that beautiful pure world where they were created. Their imaginary friends are very real, they still breathe that deep, whole body breath, they are still developing into their bodies. Hence why it is so important to just let them be, let them play. Janice shared one story about a little girl who was with her father. He was a musician and when his wife was pregnant he would always play a particular song to his little girl. He played it, that day, when his girl was about four and she turned to him and said: "Daddy, I remember when I was in Mummy's belly and you would call me on the telephone and play me that song." Our little ones remember that oceanic world.

If you live in Vancouver I would so highly recommend Janice's classes - she is an absolute inspiration, a guru! She travels Canada, The US, Japan and Australia doing teacher training workshops. Even if you aren't interested in teaching yoga, it is such a wonderfully fulfilling few days - if you're passionate about pregnancy and birth, do this workshop!

Prenatal yoga is yoga for the next generation.


  1. Beautiful post, Jodi. So much truth :)

  2. Just reading this makes me want to be pregnant again. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Sounds like a self affirming journey and time away Jodi. So glad you experienced all you hoped for and more!

  4. Hey Jodi,

    Loved the insight and didn't know about ujayi breath and uterine contractions either- oh my- that explaisn some things. I too had a 35 hours labour that seemed to just go on and on and on. Lots of love. xo m.

  5. Thanks for some great reading. I am 24 weeks pregnant and a beginner to yoga but am definitely feeling a pull in this direction in preparation for the birth. Do you know anyone on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland that would be good for me to talk to?

  6. Jodi - I, too, did Janice's workshop when i was five months pregnant....I know what you mean about being inspired. amazing energy in her classes. i look at my happy boy and often wonder....was it the yoga i did while pregnant? and i believe it was....helping a woman labor and give birth in a positive way is so great but guiding them through an entire pregnancy through pre-natal yoga is even better. peace!