During my third pregnancy I luckily just stumbled across the Yoga for two website. Going along that first night to a pregnancy yoga class, I thought I would be in for a spot of light exercise but what I actually got was a whole lot more!
Jenny McFarland, the instructor was warm and caring from the moment I met her. She provided me with some much needed stretches and information to help me during both pregnancy and labor. Having had 2 other children I thought I knew a lot about labor and birthing but Jenny’s classes showed me how to prepare my body and my mind in order to enjoy the unforgettable and exclusive experience that is childbirth.
Yoga night instantly became my favourite night of the week as I looked forward to the stretches, the relaxation, the friendly cup of tea with homemade slice (courtesy of Jenny), and a chat with the other soon-to-be-mums.
Yoga for two classes provided me with ways to cope with the rapid changes occurring daily within my body and the pain associated with that. Classes also provided a place to connect with other mums who have now become lifelong friends as a result of the incredible journey we had together over the months.
Whenever I see a pregnant lady or one of my friends becomes pregnant I get excited and start telling them about Jenny’s classes, as I want people to experience the same well-being feeling and the friendships that I have thanks to Yoga for two.
Jenny is a truly remarkable lady who is passionate about helping women prepare for childbirth and I truly could not have done it without her and her pregnancy yoga.
With warmest wishes and sincerest thanks,
The birth workshop was perfect for my fiancée and myself in preparation for my labour and the birth of our daughter. I learnt and practised techniques to manage the pain and to maintain my focus throughout, and my fiancée learnt what to expect and how he could support me (amongst many other things we discussed and learnt).
With this freshly gained knowledge my fiancée was my rock throughout the birth of our daughter, I couldn’t have of asked for a better birth partner. Without pregnancy yoga and the birth workshop I don’t believe I would have had such a great and empowering birth experience. In contrast to the birth of my first baby in which I lost control and didn’t cope, this time we got the best birth experience we could have hoped for.
I cannot thank Jenny enough for holding the birth workshop and highly recommend it for all parents to be.
I started attending yoga classes when I was 12 weeks pregnant and feel so lucky to have found such amazing support and guidance through my journey to becoming a mummy. I can't speak highly enough of my experience as one of Jenny's students, and I have benefitted in so many ways both during pregnancy and labour.
During my pregnancy, going to yoga classes gave me an opportunity to connect with other women and listen to their birth stories, but also time out each week to connect with my baby girl. Being pregnant can be emotional and stressful at times, and learning relaxation techniques helped me through a healthy active pregnancy.
The classes also gave me the confidence that my body was strong enough and up to the task of labour. I learnt how to work on my mindset and expectations so when the time came, I wasn't fearful but ready and calm. I ended up having a wonderful natural birth, and I'm sure part of this was due to techniques learnt in breathing, positive thinking and selective muscle relaxation. I would definitely recommend these classes - all mums need the gentle, positive and nurturing environment Jenny creates.
The Yoga for Two pregnancy yoga class was the greatest gift I gave myself during my pregnancy of my first baby and I could not think of any better way to prepare myself for the life-changing experience of birthing a child.
I decided to look for an exercise class part way through my pregnancy, when the first trimester tiredness decided to stay around permanently, that would help me do some physical activity and motivate me to stay fit despite my growing bump. I found the Yoga for Two website and was excited to find a local pregnancy yoga class that I could attend.
The class was not what I expected - it was not about ‘staying fit’ and definitely not designed to exercise ‘despite the bump’. It was all about the bump which, actually is a beautiful womb containing a growing baby, not just a bump! The class was all about understanding the powerful changes happening in my body as a woman and mother-to-be and acknowledging the forces that I would be working with in the future. And it was nurturing - physically, emotionally and intellectually and it was the highlight of my week.
Jen designs her classes to strengthen and open the body to prepare it for birth, and stretch out common pains caused by pregnancy. For women with injuries and other painful issues, Jen supports them to undertake yoga positions safely or advises of alternative positions to improve their discomfort.
In my first class, Jen’s gentle teachings allowed me to connect with my baby and realise that I could provide a calm and beautiful environment for my baby to grow in, while stretching out the aches and pains that were accumulating as my body changed and the physical burden of pregnancy increased. The relaxation session at the end of the class, where I could simply ‘be’ in that very moment and channel intense love towards my beautiful baby without being buffeted by my usual concerns in the world around me was a gift to my baby, where I was able to stop and learn to concentrate on her and come back to a peaceful place - a lesson in focus I used throughout the birth of my baby.
Jen taught us positions for birthing, massage techniques which my partner used throughout my labour to effectively counteract the pain of contractions, she taught us about our instincts, and the hormones that could assist us to birth naturally, beautifully, ecstatically and most of all taught us that birth is a beautiful and powerful thing which our bodies are designed to do and that having faith in our body’s ability to deliver our babies would free us from fear and the need for unnecessary medical assistance.
Emotionally, Jen provided me and the other women in the class with support that allayed fears, pointed us in the direction of further resources, and made us feel nurtured and cared for. The cup of tea and chat after the class also provided me with a much needed women’s circle, where I could learn about real birth stories, ask questions about what things felt like, talk about my concerns and learn learn learn about birthing, something women in our society are rarely exposed to before they deliver their own babies.
I undertook the class until I was 41 weeks pregnant and loved every second of every class. It taught me so much and I believe it helped me cope with and even embrace the pain of my labour as I approached labour as a wonderful journey that resulted in the birth of my beautiful baby girl.
A few weeks later, I returned to the class to tell my birth story (a much needed debrief) and share the good and the bad aspects of my birth experience with the other women following in my footsteps.
And when my little girl was three months old, we returned to Jen’s loving care and did a couple of months of postnatal yoga which was incredibly fun with so many adorable babies and other mums going through the same challenges as me. In this class, we did yoga with our babies safely in our arms, in our laps during stretches, under our beautiful downward dog and warrior poses, even on the breast! The class taught me safe movement, how to engage my baby while doing something for myself, the importance of listening to my baby’s needs, a little about baby massage and most importantly, about gentle mothering techniques from one of the most beautiful, gentle and nurturing women I have ever met.
Thank you Jen - I hope you realise how much love and beauty you bring to the lives of the women you teach.
Yoga for two pregnancy yoga class was not only wonderful during my pregnancy but an integral factor in naturally birthing my baby girl!
Yoga for two was lovely while pregnant to take that time out each Wednesday night and connect with my baby. The serene environment and Jen's lovely manner and warmth was something I looked forward to each week.
The visualization techniques and different stretches and positions helped me through my labour. They allowed me to move through contractions at home and helped to calm and focus me before going to the hospital.
I strongly recommend yoga for two not only for the benefits each week but to help with an overall positive natural birthing experience.
Lisa, mum to Emmalyn