Having been a pilates instructor and movement specialist for many years, I always found that moment when a person discovers that they can connect their mind and thoughts with their body, absolutely golden. In fact, still to this day I look forward to every new client I see, even if they’ve done pilates before, just to watch them have their ‘U-Huh’ moment, as I talk them through a foundational exercise (I’ll save the pelvic floor convo for another blog!)
You see, most of us move through our day on auto pilot just ‘doing’ the tasks required to get to the end of the day without actually ‘being’ in the moments as they come and go. Thankfully, there is plenty of studies and evidence around these days that prove when we learn to train our mind, grow in self-awareness and mindfulness, trust our age-old wisdom and tap into our simple primal instincts, our experiences become richer and more joyous, which means our outlook on life becomes more positive. Yes please!!
Ok, back to pilates. How many times have you been in a group exercise class and looked around the room at people moving 100 miles an hour, thrashing their limbs all over the place like a child throwing a tantrum and wondered what they’re actually getting out of it, other than sweaty and possibly an injury? It’s easy to ‘do the movements’ and copy the ‘choreography’, but where is the intention and mindfulness in this type of exercise? Do we even need to be mindful during exercise, and what is the point of it all anyway?
The answer is that there is no right or wrong way to move, just what is right for you in each moment and what outcome you want from it. Sometimes that might mean just getting hot and sweaty and going through the motions to get it over and done with, but when it’s done with focus, intent and mindfulness we are strengthening not only our bodies but our minds as well, in more ways than one.
You’re probably wondering where this is going and how it relates to childbirth education and in particular the wonderful world of Hypnobirthing. Well, having witnessed again and again how increasing levels of self-awareness and in particular the mind-body connection, has helped my clients achieve their goals more effectively, manage chronic pain (even making it disappear like a magic wand in cases), reduce fear of movement as well as stress and anxiety levels, increase feelings of happiness and to top it all off, leaves clients feeling positive, empowered and up for what comes next!
So, this is where things start to come together. Having had two wonderfully positive pregnancy and childbirth experiences of my own, I realised the power that comes with tapping into the most primal parts of your brain during childbirth, so you can essentially get out of your own way and let your body do the job it was built to do!
The thing is as I mentioned earlier, the noise and busyness of life around you as well as your constant ‘mind chatter’, can distract you from working with your body and baby with focus and intention (even if the focus is on releasing and letting go and your intention is to meet your baby!).
When I learned about the Hypnobirthing techniques, and that all hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis, it was so clear to me that this was the perfect way to approach childbirth education for the best chance at having a positive and empowered birth experience. By learning how to shift your state of consciousness with simple self-hypnosis techniques, you can turn down the mind chatter, tap into deep states of relaxation and call on numerous different tools to gently support you through your birthing journey feeling prepared.
One of the wonderful things about using Hypnobirthing techniques is that they help to remove fears and anxieties you may have about childbirth, at the same time as empower you to trust the age-old wisdom you know your body holds. When we look at childbirth as a ‘normal’ physiological experience, we can more easily connect with our ability to achieve it with unnecessary interventions, and therefore have a greater chance of actually achieving that.
So to wrap it all up, for me becoming a Hypnobirthing Australia practitioner was a no brainer! It is extremely complimentary to my passion for mindfulness, movement, and pilates – as a tool to deepen the mind-body connection for positive outcomes.
As a mumma on a mission to help other mummas feel empowered with knowledge, be prepared and well informed to make their own choices, be trusting of themselves and their capabilities and excited to take their own birthing journey – regardless of how it unfolds, I am honoured to be able to teach the Hypnobirthing Australia courses to best support them on that path and truly believe that every woman deserves to have a positive birth experience. Gone are the days of believing we can achieve positive outcomes when under someone else’s spell, when we now know we were actually under the powers of our own spell all along….
Talia Avenell 🙂
Clinical Pilates Instructor, Birth Doula, Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner