Here is the fourth instalment of the serialisation of my little book. If you are reading this, now is the time to start practicing techniques with your birthing partner. Enjoy reading and practicing and please do email if you have any questions – email@example.com.
You can come and try one of our pregnancy yoga classes on either Tuesday or Wednesday at 18:00. The first class is FREE, but please get in contact to reserve your mat space in advance.
2). Golden Thread Breathing to help to distract the mind at any point and when breathing through contractions
This practice is a wonderful practice for moving the mind out of the sphere of what is happening with the physical body as it calls the mind to engage with a visualisation of the breath. It has an almost hypnotic effect on the mind, anaesthetising the body. Often I have asked whether people do visualise a golden thread, many do. Some improvise and the thread becomes something different (floating sperms made me smile), this is wonderful. Sometimes the breath comes from the toes and not the lips, this is wonderful. Any amount of change to the practice is acceptable, as long as the mind connects to the visualisation and keeps bodily sensation out of one’s thoughts.
So again, we need to get comfortable and relaxed in any way we feel is appropriate and sustainable. The awareness should turn to a calm and rhythmic breathing in and out, but this time the breath travels in through the nose and out across the lips. It is important that the face, jaw and lips are soft and relaxed, so only a small parting of the lips is required. From here, one should get used to the sensation of this way of breathing, softly in through the nose and softly out across the lips. Remember and remind your partner, face, jaw and lips should be soft.
Then we ask the mind to start to visualise the breath being released from the body. After we have inhaled through the nose, we ask the mind to connect to a visualisation of a small golden thread being released on the cusp of the exhale. The thread moves away from us and the mind follows its journey intently until it disappears in to the ether at the end of the exhale, only to re-appear at the start of the next exhales journey from the lips.
As the shepherd, your role is simply to guide your partner through the practice up until they are taking long in and out breathes, keeping the face, jaw and lips soft. From then and throughout the practice a gentle reminder of the threads presence, keeping softness in the features and bringing a wandering mind back to the practice are our key tasks.
Nicola is the founder of Yoga at the Reach on Eccelsall Road, Sheffield, S11. She teaches pregnancy, baby and post natal yoga and runs partner birth rehearsal classes as well as baby massage courses. Yoga at the Reach also offer hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, mysore-style and blokes yoga in addition to yoga for older folk, rest and relax events and mindfulness classes. They also run workshops throughout the year. Visit www.yogaatthereach.com for more details.