Sunfish Yoga and Therapy

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Yoga and Therapies for Mums and Babies

I offer a range of therapy options for mums and babies in the Ashford area. These include:

  • Maternity Reflexology
    from pre-conception through pregnancy and beyond
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu
    safe and gentle at any stage of pregnancy
  • Birthlight Prenatal Yoga
    classes suitable from 14 weeks to birth
  • Birth Preparation Workshops
    Workshops for couples preparing for the birth of their baby
  • Birthlight Postnatal Yoga
    classes for mums and babies
  • Baby Reflexology
    learn some reflexology techniques to soothe your baby

  • Maternity Reflexology

    Are you feeling tired? Heavy and uncomfortable? Swollen feet? Maybe you have heartburn, backache, or anxiety about birth or becoming a mum?

    Maternity reflexology treatments are specifically tailored to your needs, and may relieve many of these common discomforts of pregnancy, as well as helping you to relax and find some time just for yourself. You don't even need to leave home, as I offer a mobile service in the comfort of your own home - or workplace, or even the labour ward -just ask! Research has also demonstrated that reflexology during pregnancy may help to reduce pain and the overall length of labour. It's important to find a skilled maternity practitioner as the treatment is adapted to the needs of an expectant mother, and can be applied immediately before and even during labour. Priming techniques to encourage the body to adjust to imminent labour are only applied at full-term.

    Postnatally, reflexology can be used with the aim of relieving discomforts and helping a new mum to relax and adjust to the demands of new motherhood, giving her some well-deserved time for herself.

    Reflexology can also be used before conception, and may help to relax and balance the hormonal system when a couple are trying for a baby.

    Jin Shin Jyutsu

    Jin Shin Jyutsu is a gentle healing treatment from Japan. It is an extremely safe and gentle therapy, and so is especially suited to pregnancy. The energy pathways of the body, as well as the emotions, are brought into a balanced state, and the client is taught some simple self-help techniques to maintain this state between appointments. This therapy is also simple and gentle enough for parents to use with their babies.

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    Birthlight Prenatal Yoga

    These yoga classes are suitable from 14 weeks of pregnancy, and are based on traditional yoga postures (specially adapted for pregnancy), breathing practices and relaxation, together with flowing movements and sequences designed to teach greater body-awareness and intuitive movement in preparation for labour. We use micro-movements and funny walks - yes, really! - to help prepare the pelvis and pelvic floor muscles for birthing. Optimal foetal positioning is addressed through active all-fours and relaxation postures. Birth positions and movements are addressed, together with breathing techniques for labour, but the emphasis is equally on wellbeing during pregnancy, with specific postures and exercises which may alleviate common discomforts such as backache, sciatica, heartburn and cramp. A minimum of 6 sessions is recommended, as a variety of techniques will be taught over this period, but in practice, most students continue to attend until the birth of their baby. But if your due date is looming large, it's not too late - even one or two classes can help to give you confidence and techniques for birthing. I can even plan an individual class to address any specific concerns. Every class includes an informal 'tea and chat' time, so that mums-to-be can support each other and share any concerns.

    'If you're thinking about trying antenatal yoga, do it! Alison's classes are lovely and relaxing through all stages of pregnancy - I started at 14 weeks and enjoyed the time every week to think about my baby and take some gentle exercise. As my pregnancy progressed I found it so helpful to keep my body moving and tune into how my body was feeling. In terms of the actual birth, the breathing I had learnt and practiced with Alison helped immensely! I feel so lucky to have found Alison and my birth was the most incredible experience. Here's the email I sent to Alison a few days afterwards, I couldn't wait to tell her how the birth had been for me! -
    'Hello Alison! I have news...I have a baby boy!! I gave birth one day after my due date and I cannot tell you how much the birthing breath helped!! I breathed my way through early labour and also used a tens machine for a few hours too. Then once I got into the pool that's when the breathing really helped, as baby was on his way!! I had some gas and air at the end, but honestly the breathing and letting go got me most the way there and I actually felt in control with each contraction. The 'letting go' we practiced really helped him along. The midwives were very impressed, so thank you - I told them all about you and your yoga obviously!! I feel very lucky that the birth went as I'd hoped it would and very proud that I managed to do it using your breathing techniques. And baby Maxwell is totally amazing, he knew what to do too.'
    ~Jessica Marchant

    'I was diagnosed with SPD at about 18 weeks pregnant with my first daughter. It was very severe and I quickly found myself unable to stand for more than a few minutes and unable to walk without crutches. I was really in a lot of pain and disappointed at the thought I'd have to give up pregnancy yoga so early on. It is such a lovely class, friendly, relaxing and positive, not to mention a great place to meet new friends. Alison was so supportive and caring and was more than happy to adapt her class so that it would work for me too. She knew what I should and shouldn't be doing and was very knowledgeable in techniques to help ease the pain caused by the SPD. I was able to safely carry on enjoying Alison's classes right up until the class before my daughter was born. The techniques that Alison taught me meant I had such a good experience in labour, I truly recommend Alison to anyone I speak to. We also carried on with her baby yoga once my daughter was born and have since returned for my second pregnancy too. SPD is very common in pregnant women and people are given the impression you have to give up everything. As I found, this isn't the case with Alison's classes, they really benefited me in so many ways. Thank you Alison. Laura x'
    ~ Laura Mockford

    'I have really been enjoying attending the yoga class. I find it a great opportunity to relax my mind, as well as stretch out. It's lovely you welcome us to all talk together after the class. I think you do a great job supporting pregnant women, as well as teaching yoga'.
    ~ Charlotte Nevill

    'Having never undertaken yoga previously I attended Alison’s classes from about half way through my second pregnancy. I was planning a home water birth but had wanted to attend yoga purely for the relaxation aspects. However, I found myself using the breathing techniques right from the start of my 10 hour labour. This culminated in the ‘breathing out’ of my baby in the water pool after having been in the pool for 1 and ½ hours. It just all came together and resulted in an amazing birth. I highly recommend these friendly, relaxing classes'.
    ~ Helen Lee

    Classes are currently available in Wye on Monday and Wednesday evenings, from 6 to 7.30pm, Friday mornings from 9.30 to 11am and Saturday mornings, from 9am to 10.30am. Individual tuition is also available. These classes tend to book up very quickly, so it's worth contacting me early, well in advance of when you are thinking of joining, so that I can add you to the waiting list if I don't have a space available immediately.

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    Birth Preparation Workshops

    These sessions are for couples preparing for the birth of their baby. They address:

  • the stages of labour
  • pain relief options
  • optimal foetal positioning
  • active birth positions
  • use of the birth ball
  • breathing techniques

    Primarily aimed at students attending the prenatal class, these workshops would also be suitable for anyone interested in learning more about natural birth, whether you are planning a home, birthing centre or hospital birth. A popular part of the class is always the massage!The next birth preparation workshops will be held on 14th September, 5th October or 23rd November 2019, 11am - 2pm.
    Please contact me to book your place, or if you would like to organise a birth preparation class on an individual basis.

    'It was a really relaxed atmosphere at the session and I learned lots about my different pain relief options and my birthing partner found the involvement they had was useful for labour. I wasn't particularly keen on trying a water birth or getting in the pool for part of my labour but after hearing about the benefits it has really changed my mind. I'm so glad you made handouts! I can take the handouts with me to the hospital to remind me of the different birthing positions...also having handouts on pain relief choices has really helped me to write my birth plan.'
    ~ Susannah, first-time mum

    'Even though I had been to NHS and NCT antenatal classes I still learnt more from this session. Everything was covered well, the information on birth positions was helpful and the massage techniques. I also enjoyed hearing about your own experience as it made the session more personable, and I too am hoping for a water birth and it hasn't been covered as much on other courses. Thank you'.
    ~Toni Wallace, first-time mum

    'It was helpful that there were some women who were already mums and listening to their experience of childbirth. Also dads were very much included and it gave them some guidance on what to do during childbirth eg. support and massage. Much better, informative and structured than antenatal classes'.
    ~Nicola Phipps, first-time mum

    'The practical demonstration and discussion made the stages of labour easier to understand than reading from a book, particularly for my husband. The session was pitched just right to appeal to both the mothers and fathers to be. I was happy that my husband could get involved and he felt more confident about helping me cope during labour'.
    ~Sarah Ball, first-time mum

    'I found this class 100 times better than my antenatal class'
    ~Jess McHaffie, first-time mum

  • Birthlight Postnatal Yoga

    This class is suitable for mums and babies from a few weeks after birth, as soon as the mother feels ready, although many mums wait until after their GP check-up. The class includes some simple toning exercises for the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, to re-establish core strength, and also adapted yoga postures, working towards more classical yoga postures as the mother gets stronger. We use funny walks and funny sounds for core conditioning. The class is relaxed and informal, with lots of laughter, and you may feed and change your baby at any time. Breathing and relaxation practices fit in around the needs of the babies - for instance, if the majority of babies are feeding, we will go into some breathing practice or pelvic floor exercises rather than posture work. This class is held on Thursdays at 2pm, or Fridays, at 10.45am and 12.30pm.
    My Dru yoga class would be an ideal follow-on class, once a mother feels ready to start exercising without her baby.

    'I have attended both antenatal and postnatal yoga on the recommendation of my midwife. The yoga exercise programme eradicated pre-birth sciatica after one session and helped promote increased mobility and a short labour. Postnatally, I find the yoga invigorates me and pre-pregnancy fitness and figure have returned, made easier as my baby comes to sessions with me.'
    ~Sheila Hodge, first-time mum

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    Baby Reflexology

    These classes will enable mums to use some simple reflexology (and Jin Shin Jyutsu) techniques with their babies with confidence.
    Babies enjoy the simple and gentle pressure on their feet or ears, along with some very gentle facial reflexes too. Alongside the reflexology techniques you will learn, you will also have time for a chat over tea and biscuits, and some simple moves from our postnatal recovery classes too. Classes run over 4 weeks, and are suitable for babies from newborn up to crawling. Contact me to find out more or book your place.
    * Next class starting Wednesday 18th September, 10.30 - 11.30am. £40 for four weeks *

    If you would like to discuss any aspect of how reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu or yoga could help you, or if you would like to book a place in one of the classes, please contact me by phone or email.

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