From Prenatal Yoga Poses to Desired Birth Visions
Prenatal yoga instructors, you are first in line
Out of all the birth support professionals, prenatal yoga instructors probably are the ones to begin supporting expectant individuals the earliest along their journey of pregnancy and childbirth. From a coaching perspective, I see it as a huge advantage, so if you’re a prenatal yoga instructor, you can make miracles leading and empowering expectant mothers to strongly hold not only yoga poses but important convictions about their childbirth experience. Just like the practice of yoga helps individuals to connect with their breath and their body, coaching strategies help them connect with their beliefs, inner truth, values, and needs.
Transform yoga poses to strong convictions
Close your eyes and think about a yoga pose that is often difficult for you to enter into or hold. The struggle is not only physical, right? One of the ways that yoga works holistically is through the names of yoga asanas that refer to concrete things in the world. The names help yoga practitioners delve deeply into the pose. Tree pose, for example, is about finding balance, while the spiritual implication behind Downward Facing Dog pose lies in the act of a combined stretch with a moment in which the yogi turns inward. Yoga teachers would be the first to tell you that the very poses we hate are some of the most valuable ones for us to practice. These poses often specifically address your physical imbalances. They build strength and flexibility in exactly the places that need it most.
You can learn how to coach them to connect with their inner truth and seek alignment between their beliefs, values, wishes for their birth, and the actions they take.
As a prenatal yoga instructor, you already know all that. But what you might not know is how much the process and impact of your practice resembles those of verbal coaching.
Your yoga students already trust you to lead them with their body posture. These poses build strength and flexibility and elicit their preparedness for birth. Adding verbal coaching strategies is an expansion of that process. With coaching strategies, you can lead expectant women to hold their ground and actualize their desired birth experience. You can learn how to coach them to connect with their inner truth and seek alignment between their beliefs, values, wishes for their birth, and the actions they take. This alignment is very similar to the alignment found in a yoga practice between body parts, the mind, and breathwork. In addition to guiding your students towards entering a yoga pose, holding it while relying on their breath, and helping them overcome the resistance to be with bodily discomforts, you can learn to conduct prenatal coaching sessions. In coaching, you lead individuals to overcome internal resistances, fears and different challenges associated with their pregnancy and birth. As a coach, you can help your clients expand their physical flexibility to a mental one, which in turn will allow them to embrace new perspectives and concepts relating to the process of pregnancy and birth. These new ways of thinking can be more aligned with their beliefs and values, our inner truth, and therefore will serve them better.
Overcome challenges that go beyond the yoga mat
One of the biggest challenges expectant individuals might encounter as they go through the journey of pregnancy and childbirth is to hold their convictions and commitments to their desired experience. By integrating coaching strategies into your practice, you’ll be in a position to elicit your clients’ confidence and commitment level. This is very useful when they experience challenging moments or when they feel tempted to give up on their vision. This struggle can surface in various moments. For example, when a medical alteration, either in pregnancy or during birth, emerges, threatening a deviation from one’s chosen pathway. Our birth clients might struggle to hold their conviction especially if they communicate with an authoritative medical expert. Another common threat to holding one’s commitment is when labor pain accelerates. The growing intensity and the fear of a greater intensity going forward are challenging one’s commitment to go through birth without pain medications and their commitment to a healthy unmediated process.
The coaching strategies we teach become very useful when your students experience challenging moments or when they feel tempted to give up on their birth vision.
Join our Pregnancy and Birth Support Coaching Course and expand your practice
Can you see the direct connection between holding a yoga position to holding one’s ground and manifesting their birth vision? Do you get how the process of leading individuals with the practice of prenatal yoga is projected in the practice of pregnancy and birth coaches? I invite you to join one of our upcoming courses and expand your leadership strategies to include prenatal coaching sessions.