A lovely blog from Certified YogaBellies Teacher, Sophie Rainey. Sophie teaches YogaBellies classes in East Dunbartonshire (Bishopbriggs & Bearsden.)
This morning I showered with the contents of my bathroom sprawled around my feet, this included a whole loo roll and bag of Cotton Wool. It looked like I had drowned Olaf (yes even with a tiny toddler, I have not escaped the mighty Frozen!). My little person continued to add items to my shower for its duration. Obviously feeling that I must be quite lonely having a moment to myself! To be honest I was enjoying a bit of mummy & Esme time just before my YogaBellies Mummy & Baby class. I was pretty excited to start these classes again! I last saw these four particular mummies a few months back when they were enjoying some mat time with their beautiful bumps! I just couldn’t wait to see them and their gorgeous new bundles!
Rewind to this time in 2013, I had just found out I was pregnant! I had relocated with my job in Construction; moving from a life of commuting and a job in London to an actual construction site in Govan. It was a little different, but I was happy to give it a whirl!
I gave up the ‘London life’ to be with a certain Scottish bloke who I fell madly in love with whilst building houses on an orphanage in South Africa (that seems crazy even as I type this!)
I always loved a challenge and I absolutely adore helping people, it felt like it was fate meeting Colin at that point in time and doing something we both loved; putting something back into the world and helping folk. My career in Construction as a PA was a cross between Anne Hathaway in Devil Wears Prada & America Ferrera’s role in Ugly Betty. Throw a bunch of builders in and that was what I did. I ran around helping people all day long! I loved it, but felt I had a whole lot more to give.
All of a sudden the fast-forward button on our relationship! We were pregnant! We didn’t have a clue on how bond with this little bump, what to expect on the big day, or even expect from each other! This is where YogaBellies & Birth Rocks became our life raft. For 9 long months we clung on while we sailed into the unknown and the mysterious waters of pregnancy and parenthood!
I can honestly say I was petrified of birth. I never had really entertained the idea about having children, part of me even thought that’s not a path I really fancied going down (Oh but as we all know, life has other plans…)
I had heard so many scare stories out there and so many reasons to feel terrible during pregnancy; I realized at this point I was facing the biggest challenge of my life yet! Not the pregnancy itself, but how I thought about it & how my mind approached this subject. My thoughts were going to be the biggest obstacle.
We opened up completely to our Birth Rocks mentor, and we were encouraged to face these thoughts head on! After a few sessions I started to feel empowered, strong and even excited about giving birth. I started to feel like I could do this! Colin’s own preconceived ideas of pregnancy and birth had been blown out of the water and he too was ready to face this amazing challenge. We were doing this as a team!
This lovely bunch of knowledgeable ladies made me feel I could take on the world! I loved everything I was learning and decided to enhance my new positive outlook by choosing to be kind to myself (and my changing, growing body). This is when I joined the YogaBellies pregnancy yoga class. The meditation, breathing and asanas were keeping me active, positive and on the right path. Days where I felt like I couldn’t do this & I wasn’t ready to be a mummy, YogaBellies was there to quiet my mind, change my thoughts and give me a hug on the mat.
Our due month soon approached, it was nearly time! We were ready, we had the tools and it was our time to conquer this fear! The 23rd June came and we welcomed our beautiful daughter Esme Wild into the world 100% naturally. We did it, I did it!
I had clung on to Colin’s hand and breathed like a dragon, wailed like a ghost & had made it through nearly 41 hours of surges. Riding each wave as I had been taught, it was hard, I was exhausted but the words of my teachers stayed with me. These waves will never be stronger than me, they are me! I knew with each one I was one step closer. Step by step, surge after surge I was soon to meet little Esme. The midwives were amazed, no interventions not even gas & air! This was all down to the knowledge YogaBellies had given me.
A few weeks after as I cradled Esme, I sat feeling very proud to have banished all my negative thoughts on birth and I even made it into the most brilliant experience of my life! But part of me felt sad that it was ending there, it also felt like I was keeping this secret from other women. Why were women not being given this knowledge and skills at antenatal classes!? Why was this not getting passed down. I knew at that point I needed to do something, I needed to keep this knowledge going and help other women have the birth they wish for; help them banish their fears and let their births empower them! No matter how a woman gives birth she has just given birth to life! It should a positive experience & their biggest achievement!
I adore this quote from Barbara Katz Rothman; “Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers — strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” I completely agree that this is what Birth does, and becoming pregnant and having my baby gave birth to a ‘new me’ (as cheesy as it sounds, and it does sound very cheesy). I signed up to YogaBellies and within 12 weeks I was sat in a room with some amazing women training and learning how to help other women! My lsurprise pregnancy changed my life, and now I was ready to help & change the lives of many other women who might find themselves in a similar scenario. I’m grateful for everything that YogaBellies has given me and the positive impact it has had on my life! Anita Roddick said it best, “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, you’ve never been to bed with a mosquito.”
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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.