Yoga-Based Birth Skill #1- Movement (Asana) - Turning Movement Into a Birth Skill

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 Yoga is a doing. Movement is a doing. Birth is a doing. They are not a think about doing.

Conscious directed movement puts your mind in control of the body’s voluntary actions.  Actions such as these move your thinking mind from painful obsessing to instead being a part of a solution that eliminates needless suffering.

It literally moves the mind from thinking mode to doing mode.

This type of movement is yours to control and this is just one of the many attributes that make Movement the amazing birth skill that it is.


Practice becomes firmly established when it has been cultivated uninterruptedly and with devotion over a prolonged period of time.

Just another way of saying it is wise to take time to practice and become comfortable with using these birth skills well before your labor begins.

It is a tendency for the majority of humans to want results immediately, but yoga practice, like birth, takes the mastery of three difficult qualities—patience, discipline, and resilience.

If you begin practice now, and are patient— your mind will become more settled and therefore your actions will have more value—-nothing done when you are unsettled or anxious will have the same quality.

Movement is a worthy formidable skill, but it is equally important to remember to pace yourself and not to over do—just enough to get through— this way you won’t tire out early in your birth experience. Think marathon not sprint.

Pace yourself, from the very beginning by matching the level of your actions to the level of  your sensation. It is vitally important to conserve your energy, to include periods of rest, and to give your body hydration and fuel.

It is necessary to start developing the ability to assess your contractions, learning what your body is doing, so what exertions you take work to assist but not hinder the birth process, and that they work to effectively and efficiently to focus your mind away from painful sensations.

The successful development of this ability enables you to come to your best decisions about how to best handle each of your contractions.

This will help you create helpful responses to utilize during contractions. Responses that  are helpful for dealing with pain and to accentuate the labor process, things that you yourself find helpful.

These responses need to be simple and doable, so that these skills are entirely possible to execute during labor. They need to make sense—TO YOU.

When your choice to utilize a particular movement is shared with your birth team, then they know how to best assist you in utilizing this response or any of your chosen Yoga-Based birth skills.

Easy simple rhythmic motions such as:

  • rocking,
  • swaying,
  • pacing the floor,
  • rhythmic stepping,
  • marching,
  • simple prenatal yoga poses as taught in my classes
  • stomping,
  • splashing water,
  • calf-sliding,
  • wall sliding
  • using a birthing ball.
  • Arm movements—big and small

When you mindfully move your hands through the air during labor you can physically move your experience, using your hands to gather energy, to ground and release worried thoughts  which can be profoundly calming to your body.

Move your hands instead of letting your mind take over your experience, make room for faith and trust in your body and in the labor process.

Imagine the benefits as you prepare yourself this way during your pregnancy, starting your practice well before your birthing day and then sticking with it.

But for any birth skill to work you must remember to:  FOCUS ON THE MOVEMENT NOT THE PAIN

The utilization of the Whole Way system means starting today, continuing through pregnancy, taking the skills you learned in class into labor and delivery and then continuing on into motherhood as these are not just birth skills they are life skills.

The best time to start preparing yourself for the birth of this baby is right now, drop into any of the studio’s Prenatal Yoga Classes today.