came in, drugs in hand, I had to push. I narrowly escaped having drugs in my first labor. Having full
sensation to push out my baby was profoundly satisfying and so was
discovering that my body instinctively knew what to do and had the
strength and wisdom to guide me through it. I just needed to get out
of my own way enough to follow my body’s lead.
Within three months of my first birth, I started practicing yoga under
the guidance of Swami Rama, an accomplished yogi and founder
of the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy.
He instructed me in breathing (pranayama), hatha yoga, relaxation,
meditation, spirituality, and more. His presence and teachings
were riveting, and the results were deep and redirecting.
I taught yoga at a branch center of the Himalayan Institute, and
attended many of the trainings held at various centers, and in India. I
learned from the expert staff of doctors and psychologists who taught
at the Himalayan Institute, as well as from teachers in other traditions.
I learned about anatomy and physiology, diet and nutrition, homeopathy,
biofeedback, wellness, psychology, philosophy, scriptures
(sacred writings), meditation, and more. I began to use what I was
learning and practicing to work with women and couples, helping
them to prepare for labor and birth, and also attending the births.
Eventually, I worked in a birthing center, as well as yoga studios, and
doctors’ offices. As a registered yoga teacher (E-RYT 500), I train and
certify yoga teachers in prenatal, birthing, and postnatal yoga, and
designed a birthing method based on meditation principles, the St. John Birthing Method™.
What I taught my clients made a dramatic impact in their births,
and it made a dramatic difference for my husband and me in our
subsequent two births. It completely altered how I experienced labor,
and decreased anxiety and pain. I managed the challenge of waves
and felt undisturbed and cradled in love during my second labor.
It was a mystical experience. By my third birth, I was totally, consciously
immersed in the waves of labor, and I felt pressure, but no pain. It
was an experience of grace.
This is why I work with others going through pregnancy and birth. I know,
from my own experience, the value of what I teach. I have seen the difference
it makes in my clients’ births, in their transitions after birth, and in
their relationships. Since I believe the family is the bedrock of society, I offer
this work to the men who attend their partners during labor and birth.