Doula or yoga?

yoga doula berlin

When I describe what I do as a doula, I often need to explain how that relates to yoga. And when I describe the way I teach yoga, I often need to explain how it is similar to being a doula. I have always felt a deep connection between these two practices and the intention I follow both as a doula and as a yoga teacher.

Presence

Sometimes I refer to presence as “holding space”. It is what I do when I accompany birth as a doula, whether I am holding a mother’s hand or making sure she is in an environment that allow her to feel safe, grounded, and connected to her power.

This is also the direction that I want to convey in the yoga practice I share. Reaching the state where we are finally present, not where our mind drives us, but where we are in touch with our inner voice and empathetic with others.

Service

Both as a yoga teacher and as a doula, I am aware of an important point: this is not about me. I can only witness and offer with an open heart my vision to support your personal path and self-exploration.

It is an act of service. My intention is to be attentive to the person in front of me, but also detached enough. Even before I was a doula, I wrote something similar as a metaphor about teaching yoga: “I am not giving birth, I am supporting in the best way I can someone else giving birth, and I can provide safety, stability and encouragement.”

Spirit

There is such an overuse of this word, that this word has become annoying to some. But I still find it full of meaning, and I use it to indicate the still part in ourselves. This is something we aim to reach and listen in a yoga practice.

Just as yoga, birth is an experience that deeply physical and deeply spiritual. Birth is when a mother allows a soul to come to life. In some cultures, stories say that a mother during birth goes to heaven and comes back with another soul, the baby being born.

There may be no “yoga” elements when I follow a family preparing for birth, and there may be no “birth” elements when I teach yoga. But in both practices I have a strong feeling I am touching something that talks to me about Life.

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