I have the weekly privilege of guiding pregnant women in their yoga practice. It is a sacred time for these women and I know that the practice of yoga postures, breath awareness and meditation will help them to prepare their minds and bodies for birth in a conscious and yet instinctive way.
We practice many poses during the classes but one that I practiced every day during my own two pregnancies and include in nearly every class that I teach is the Goddess Pose. It is a standing pose done with the knees and elbows bent. Not only does this pose build up strength and flexibility in the legs and hips but the shape of the pose links us in to our ancient birthing heritage. It reminds us of the goddess power of birthing and all the women who have given birth before.
The Goddess pose takes the form of one of the oldest surviving religious images. It can be seen in women’s’ craft such as carpets and wall hangings around the world. These seemingly abstract images reveal a woman standing with arms and legs bent, ready to give birth.
You can try this pose pregnant or not! Stand with the feet wide apart, in line with hands of outstretched arms, toes pointing out about 45 degrees.
•Inhale, reach the arms out and look up with a sense of expansion
•Exhale to bend at the knees and elbows, bring head in line with the spine
•Holding this pose for up to 90 seconds – keep softening your facial expression to ease tension
•Inhale to come up and reach out in all directions of the universe
A key principle of yoga is that of letting go or surrendering. If we can open ourselves up to the wider view we may find forgiveness, trust and courage and put our position as mother into perspective.
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