Yesterday was a meaningful and exciting day in my career and for me personally. After the joy of teaching prenatal yoga in Bloomington/Normal for 13 years, I finally lead a day long retreat for the mamas in waiting.
It was a magical day shared with four amazing, strong, and powerful women. Half the group were women who have been on this journey for a while. The other half entering into a brand new world. Two of the women were together in my prenatal yoga class years ago. I am so happy to see them back again. I was so happy to be able to offer all of them an entire day to nurture and celebrate their femininity and motherhood.
The day was filled with yoga, meditation, guided visualization, birth art, and sharing. It is such an honor to hold space for the raw, and yet tender experiences that motherhood brings. It is why I so love my work with the pregnant mamas. I knew the moment that I was going to teach yoga, that I wanted to work with women during pregnancy. I could not articulate it at the time, nor did I even fully understand it. But I knew it, fully and completely. And now I see why… They are the Goddess manifest in all her round, courageous, glowing glory. They are Divine Mothers on this planet right now. They are inspiring.
What I know now that I did not know then, was teaching prenatal yoga was the beginning of a calling to a path of women’s empowerment. If a woman feels empowered in herself, she will more easily have an empowered birth. If she experiences an empowered birth, she can carry that feeling for a lifetime. Much of that empowerment comes from the deep practices of yoga, but much comes from the bond that these women cultivate among themselves in prenatal classes and retreats. They share stories, collect knowledge, align with the wisdom within.
There is bond that forms with these women that last lifetimes, as they watch their babies grow into children, and right into (eventual) adulthood. They fondly remember decades later the times that they shared, even if distance or time might carry them to other coasts, or countries. There is nothing like feeling that you are heard and understood. In our society, most of us no longer have the opportunity to be with other women in this way. We do not live in a way where we really talk about pregnancy and birth from a personal and emotional place. These women hold space for those types of discussions. And they are really important discussions to have.
I am so excited to bring these retreats to Bloomington/Normal, and look forward to being able to to begin bringing them to greater Central Illinois as well.
And for all the hundreds of mothers and babies who have blessed me with their presence since beginning teaching prenatal yoga in 2002, thank you for all YOU have taught ME.