I’m really looking forward to this weekend (and the third weekend in November) as I’m doing my specialised teachers training in pregnancy / pre-natal yoga at Ananda Sanga in Somerset West. Since having had my own two beautiful little ones and having gained my international certification in infant massage in 2010, pregnancy, babies, and particularly pregnant mums are an area of interest that is very close to my heart.
I am privileged to have one pregnant yogi in one of my classes already and there are another two who have expressed interest, so I am almost humming with excitement and anticipation at how wonderful it’s going to be to actively move into this space. I run my next infant massage course early in the New Year, and so what with presenting prenatal classes and having my studio double up as a venue for all those perfect (and they are all perfect, every single one of them) little babies and mums, it’s going to be a veritable oxytocin-fest!
Speaking of oxytocin, what an incredible hormone! Also known as the ‘love hormone’ or the ‘cuddle hormone’, it is probably best known for its roles in female reproduction (it is released in large amounts during labor, thus facilitating birth, and after birth helps with stimulation of the nipples and facilitating breastfeeding). What really blows my mind, however, is that it has been shown to be associated with the ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships and healthy psychological boundaries with other people. This is one of the many reasons why infant massage is such a powerful ‘tool’ – it fosters bonding between infant and caregiver (male and female) due to the increased production of the hormone during massage – by both the massage-giver and the massage-receiver. It also has a wonderful calming effect, which is probably why after an infant massage class, even though it’s often fairly chaotic (there is inevitably someone crying – sometimes the mums as well as the babies! – someone sleeping, someone feeding), there seems to be a lovely sense of calmness and serenity about those fabulous women when it’s time to leave. Imagine if you could buy it by the bottleful and take a quick swig if you were feeling unloving towards your better half!