In her pregnancy classes, Diane encourages women to find their inner and physical strength and the confidence to believe they can birth their baby in a natural, conscious way.
The style of yoga is gentle and safe for all women after the first trimester and develops a mindfulness of the intense transformation in body, mind and spirit from conception to the other side of birth. She draws on her training with Birthlight and her own birth experiences, to create a holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. There is a strong emphasis on breathing techniques and the concept of ‘birthing lightly’, which nurtures the awareness of birthing without strain or undue effort.
Diane incorporates restorative yoga in the pregnancy classes using props (bolsters, blankets, blocks, straps, eye bags) to support the body, create comfort and minimise muscular tension, which in turn helps to relax the nervous system, fostering a deep sense of well being, enabling women to ‘let go’ mentally. This is invaluable prenatally, as getting comfortable can be evasive and, in addition, women often feel tired; because they spend less time in the deep restorative stages of sleep, due to physical discomfort, hormonal changes or anxiety about what lies ahead. Sometimes pregnant women fixate on the physical ailments, discomfort and changing body shape, so that they miss out on the opportunity to transform physiologically and emotionally and connect deeply with themselves and their babies.
To an observer, it may seem that a pregnant woman in a fully supported restorative yoga pose, which can be held anywhere between a few and twenty minutes, is doing nothing, but it is precisely in this letting go of ‘doing’, endless list making and rigid expectations, that women experience a deeper connection to an inner strength and birthing wisdom, that can prepare them intuitively for the joys and challenges of birth and motherhood.
As a mother of two, her style is honest and open and encourages us to find the humility and humour in ourselves that can help us along the path of life and parenthood.
I had never done yoga before but when I became pregnant I wanted to find a way to relax so I decided to give it a try. I have a stressful job as an anaesthetist (specifically pain management and obstetric anaesthesia), and I didn't want this to have a negative impact on my pregnancy or indeed my baby's health. Diane's classes are fantastic! The balance of exercises and relaxation is perfect, and at the start of the class Diane does a quick chat covering different topics to do with birth preparation. These were extremely useful and complemented the rest of the class. I had an extremely relaxed pregnancy and by the end of the course I felt well prepared for my birth. As an unexpected bonus I was also able to use some of my newly acquired techniques to help both myself and my patients at work - thank you Diane!!