Emerging from the pandemic and when I was preparing to return to teaching pregnancy yoga again, I felt very much like I was starting from a clean slate. This felt very freeing and then I was able to really pull through what I believe are the six big themes which come back time and again when we’re pregnant.
One of the things we lost during the pandemic was the ability to connect with other people. This is well documented, and I don’t feel particularly controversial. However, I would give a special shout out for pregnant women during this time. I was extremely fortunate last summer to continue to teach on zoom and whilst it was 100% better than nothing. However, there’s nothing like leaving your house, having a bit of a moan, and getting on with some yoga. Midwife appointments, hospital appointments and visits are all restricted and let’s not start on the births themselves. My heart goes out to anyone and everyone who found themselves in a pandemic pregnancy.
These things are traditionally a release valve. We get to interact with people in our situation, find commonality and feel less alone. In short, connection in all its forms are a massive in the context of pregnancy and becoming or becoming a parent again.
We have to be honest that the pandemic made this glaringly obvious, but the seeds had already been sown. We live further away from our families, we spend time at work, far away from where we live and our children don’t simply head out to play with each other the way maybe our parents and ourselves would have done.
When I talk about connection, I’m also talking about what’s happening physically. The female body is incredible that it begins to prepare to give birth weeks and months before it does. What this means is that we become more flexible, and we release hormones to assist this. The thing is, it’s then possible to forget about our muscles. It’s not like we’re working on a bodybuilding competition when we’re pregnant, we’re going for elasticity. A muscle connection, to stabilise and secure as we carry more, and our burdens are increased.
It’s also as fundamental as meeting other mums with babies and children the same age as yours. My oldest daughter will be 7 next week. There’s a couple of things on that: a. where did those years go and b. those women I was teaching when I was pregnant with Anna are still those consider my closest mum friends. It’s about building a tribe who get where you’re coming from, about gathering your values and parenting philosophy close before you’re asked in the most real and intense sense to walk the walk.
It’s an echo in the background each week we meet for pregnancy yoga class but we also hold birth and postnatal workshops throughout the year where partners and babies get to join in.