Birth Preparation - Pregnancy Yoga - Rachael Smith Yoga
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Birth Preparations – Lessons in Yoga

I’m about to dance a dance of unknown steps. A dance my mind can never know, as it’s purely lead by one part spirit in two separate souls.

So my thinking mind is left behind as I follow the beat and dance this one time dance into a place that is so unique and magical, it is only ours.

How can I relate my thoughts, emotions and the ways I’ve been preparing to birth my baby in a way you may be able to grasp hold of? Lets try this…

Imagine you’re heading to a new yoga class in a secret studio that you’ve never attended before. This is a class that is shrouded in rumours and legend, described as epic, life changing and intense on a whole new scale.

It’s impossible to know if you’re ready for this class. You’ll have no idea if your traditional, familiar and comfortable practice has been enough to prepare you for what is in store. Because each class is completely unique, the stories you’ve heard have similarities but no two are ever the same. You have no idea what style of yoga is practiced or even how long the class is but you’ve heard often about people looking at the clock and thinking “oh my god, I’m never going to make it to the end!”

But that’s what intrigues you, excites and frightens you into wanting to at least give it a go.

As the day of the class arrives you’re a mixture of excitement and nerves, hopeful yet still wondering if you’ll be able to keep up and cope with what is asked of you. But it’s too late to back out now. Here’s what you’ll need: –


You’ve practiced yoga for a while, you’re fairly strong and you can keep up in any other class you go to. You can balance on your arms and walk on your hands!

But this class requires a different kind of strength. One that is emotional, mindful and yielding, allowing you to move with the waves of intensity. Are you strong in that way?

Intuitive synchronicity

Different from anything you’ve ever experienced before, there will be little guidance; instead you must move intuitively but in complete synchronicity with one other person in the room.

You will not be given the moves in advance but you must find them from deep within. You’re told they’ve always been there, buried under everyone else’s instructions.

And you wonder, have you found your own unique flow, do you move instinctively or do you rely too much on guidance and instruction?


As you enter the class you’re asked to name your fears, to vocalise them and then carry them bravely into your practice. You’ll be asked to hold them in perfect balance with an equal amount of hope and possibility of something else.

You don’t know how your ability to hold fear will be tested, but you know it will come.

You wonder, does fear hold you back or have you cultivated enough humble strength to carry those fears and move anyway?


You have no sure idea of length, how long you’ll be asked to hold on to positions for and just how strong a position will you be asked to hold.

This is going to be a real test of sitting with the uncomfortable; you know you will be pushed to your maximum edges again and again.

You will need to fall into deep and pure meditations; it’s your best chance of coping. You ask yourself have you really ever been able to do that and will you be able to do it again in such circumstances?


You’ll need to find your voice and the ability to project and direct it, turning it into useful energy.

Can you whoop and shout, ooooh, eeeee and ahhhhh when others are listening and no one else is joining in?

Surrender – softness and rest

They’ll be opportunities to rest but will you be able to make the most of them? The ability to sink into deep moments of relaxation and restore in a short space of time takes practice.

Have you practiced this enough or have you just focused on developing physical strength?

If you can’t surrender, find softness when required and rest at appropriate opportunities, you’ve heard it’s impossible to make it to the end!

So you’re stood on the precipice of the unknown, do you feel prepared?

Rachael Smith Yoga - Pregnancy Yoga Sheffield

There is now no doubt in my mind that my yoga practice over the years will have in someway helped to cultivate the inner qualities and tenacity required to fully experience such an epic life event.

But over the last few months, I’ve learnt that the yoga practice that I had was full of gaps. It carried me and supported me in many ways, but had the potential to let me fall down in many others.

And this is what I want to share with you, pregnant or not.

Without a doubt, there are gaps in your practice.

You likely give too much focus towards that which is either just physically strong, or gentle, masculine or feminine and rarely flit from one to another or let them all intertwine.

You fall into habitual patterns of movement and trick yourself by saying your practice is the very thing that removes you from your other habitual patterns.

Yoga, from the very beginning, has been an exploration and an attempt to explain spirituality and the greater meaning of life beyond death. (Full Stop)

If you have a practice that you believe has a spiritual element you may very well tell yourself that it’s the movement that is your gateway into this self exploration. You’ve possibly come to this conclusion because of the way your practice makes you feel about yourself.

But what happens if and when you can’t move?

If you dare, stop moving. Sit back and watch yourself unravel, allow yourself to fill with frustration, perhaps angst and even grief.

And then ask yourself, are you so diverse and complete that you don’t just rely on one thing to make yourself feel like yourself?

There are gaps in your practice – how are you going to fill them?

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