Bīja: Planting The Seed
By Hillary Easom
Four years ago, Jeanna and I decided to plant the seed that 9 months later would become Lotus Blossom Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. (What an auspicious gestation period!)
The Sanskrit word bīja translates, literally, as “seed,” and metaphorically it represents the origin of things. The term bīja is also used to describe seed syllables such as AUM (ૐ), a seed mantra representing the connection between creation, preservation and destruction -- the three phases of life. AUM is often believed to be the sound of creation.
Our bīja appeared in the form of a book -- or, more accurately, a few pages of a book that we tried to start writing years ago. (Stay tuned: We will finish it one of these days!) Stuck on the book, we started to explore the reasons why we wanted to write it in the first place and recognized that we really wanted to compile all that we had learned as both students and teachers of prenatal yoga. With over 30 years of combined experience in pregnancy, birth, and yoga, we hoped to assimilate our knowledge into a comprehensive guide for teachers and students of perinatal yoga. And yes, like you, we recognized that wrapping that all up into one neat little package was a daunting task!
We took that bīja and started to plant roots that would grow into our Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, a living and breathing program that continues to change as the perinatal yoga world evolves. Our program contains all of the key elements of a thriving plant:
ROOTS: History of Prenatal Yoga; Applying Classical Yoga Philosophy to Modern Perinatal Yoga
STEM: Anatomy and Physiology of Pregnancy and Postpartum; Sequencing a Perinatal Class
LIMBS: Incorporating the 8 Limbs of Yoga into a Perinatal Class; Psychology; Modifications; Optimal Fetal Positioning; Alleviating Discomforts
BLOSSOMS: Finding Your Own Voice; Empowering and Inclusive Language; Healthy Pelvic Floor; Understanding Evidence-Based Maternity Care; Nutrition
SEEDS: Managing a Successful Perinatal Yoga Business; One-on-One Mentoring to help students branch out and become successful perinatal yoga teachers using their own individual voice and style
Our goal is to provide a comprehensive program that give students the tools to create and build a successful perinatal yoga business, and to have the confidence to do so immediately upon graduating the program. As such, we include a considerable amount of time for practice teaching with critique. Birth professionals looking to incorporate yoga into their current work can opt to take just the classroom portion of the program; a minimum of 1 year yoga experience is required. Yoga teachers seeking Yoga Alliance R-PYT (Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher) designation should hold at least a 200-hour certification.
That bīja we planted four years ago was, in fact, our dharma. To date, we have graduated three cohorts of teachers, many of whom are actively teaching prenatal and postnatal yoga all around the west coast. Our garden continues to grow! We hope you’ll join us in spreading the benefits of perinatal yoga.