As the seasons change, the cycles mirror the process of bringing life 
into this world, reminding us of the miracle of being. 

I recall the first prenatal yoga teacher training I took -years before I became pregnant myself - I came face to face with an image of the divine Mother; round, abundant, giving birth to the world. I was in awe. From that day forward, a desire birthed within me to cultivate a deeper understanding of our power as women. One of the greatest joys in my work is guiding women to the sacred within themselves, reminding them that they are Shakti, a powerful, creative force. We forget just how amazing we are. It's helpful to surround ourselves with other positive, abundant, supportive women.

Part of this Shakti or abundance is pregnancy. This awe-inspiring journey begs us to tune into our body and baby. It's an opportunity to trust our bodies wisdom and to be present. I could talk about which yoga poses bring greater comfort to the back and hips, stability to the pelvis, what to do to alleviate nausea, water retention, etc. but I'll save that for another time. What I'd like to address is much simpler, though not cultivated in our culture and that is, the importance of being present through the breath.

Rewind to five years earlier, pregnant with my first son. I won't lie, there were days where I felt absolutely radiant and other days I wanted to eat as many burgers as possible and then cry but with all that intensity was a deeper calling inside, to stay present, to breathe, to bow to the power within myself, to witness the inner work that was happening inside me. It is no small wonder that our babies are created in the only viable place in our bodies they could come from: the center, the point from which our life energy radiates. The navel represents the third chakra, the fundamental element of commitment. Our babies feed on this energy. To practice yoga as prenatal care is a commitment to this bond between mother and child. To be present, rooted in the breath is commitment to yourself, to your family and to the world around you. It is commitment to greater ease in your life with all the challenges and gifts that pregnancy, labor and parenting bring.

Yes, some women that I've guided throughout their pregnancy might make mention of this pose or that pose that brought them comfort but what hits home every time is how invaluable it was to practice intentional breathing. How powerful it was to explore ways to embody the breath in all its simplicity. To be breathed throughout pregnancy into labor is really only understood ( as it can be truly experienced when birthing) after the fact. Yes, your body knows how to birth this baby on its own, but birthing is not easy, there's a reason it's called labour! But as my nurse friend in obstetrics pointed out: to connect to breath, keeps you grounded when the mind is running off with your shorts and your left to face your mortality. I myself thought I might die once or twice while labouring but the breath always lead me back grace .To practice breath awareness is a tool , a gift you give yourself and your baby as you birth and enter into the next stage of life together.

I'm often asked how yoga helps me in parenting; if i'm freaking out, I just remember to take a breath. If you're not sure where to start. Start here. Start now. Just breathe.

Lianne Charrett is a radiating prairie yogi, inspiring yoga teacher, and is the co-owner of Source Yoga Studios (with her hubby Dillon Charrett) in Winnipeg. Lianne is Prairie Yogi's October Prairie Yogi of the Month and is teaching a family friendly flow class on the prairie at PY's HEART OF GOLD event on October 20th, 2013.


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