photos by Sarah Stirk
I'm Louisa and I've been teaching YogaBirth classes in and around Ealing for the past 10 years. The experience of being pregnant with my first child 13 years ago was a turning point for me. I’d been a yoga teacher for a few years already and had been practising yoga since my late teens as I’d found it a very effective way of treating the aches and pains that go with being a musician (when I’m not teaching yoga, I’m playing the violin for a living). I had a very energetic yoga practice rooted in the Astanga Vinyasa and Iyengar traditions. But something about being pregnant felt so very different, both physically and mentally, that I realised things needed to change.
I slowed down my practice and learnt to meditate, and, luckily for me, also discovered the yoga of Vanda Scaravelli. Hers was a very different approach to yoga, working with gravity, releasing tension and rediscovering the natural ease of movement that we’re all born with. I found it to be great preparation for labour, and my first baby’s birth – intense, exhausting, immensely challenging and hugely empowering – left me wanting to shout from the rooftops about what amazing companions yoga and birth can be. It turns out there was an organisation that already knew exactly that – YogaBirth – so I undertook a further two year teacher training course with them. I've since had two more babies, both home waterbirths and experiences I will treasure forever. I love working with pregnant women, witnessing the changes that take place as they blossom in confidence week by week. Right now is a very exciting time to be involved with birth, as birthing women are beginning to stand up, both literally and figuratively, and empower themselves to have the best birth they can.