The value of kindness

I have been teaching yoga in the Birthlight way for almost 15 years now. I remember that I immediately felt at home with the approach and recognised something in it that fitted with what I wanted to offer through my yoga. As I now teach other people to become Birthlight teachers I often get the same response and it’s a real delight to witness that.

We value joy a lot at Birthlight – joy in parenting, joy in teaching and doing yoga, creating spirals of joy in all ways.

I wanted to also reflect on a quality that may seem a little more mundane but rarely goes unappreciated. It seems to me to be a quality that is as integral to the Birthlight approach as is joy. This quality is kindness.

As Birthlight teachers and students we offer and receive kindness. There is a quality of compassion which is not unique to Birthlight but which is manifested in all our interactions. We don’t have a monopoly on kindness but certainly hope that it is present throughout all our classes. We don’t always witness it in other forms of yoga. One new student recently told me that the teacher was shouting at them to work harder in one class she attended! Needless to say she didn’t return.

What is noticeable is how kindness once offered and received creates its own spirals of kindness.

I have noticed many times for example how once we create an atmosphere of kindness to ourselves through such aspects as our opening circles, our invitation to always be at ease with our body and our breathing through our practices, our recognition of the importance of deep rest and relaxation.

Kindness can be manifest in very small but deeply felt ways – like our Birthlight micro movements which are a form of kindness to the body. I often notice when I offer a nursing mother some water or a cushion to enhance her comfort that something in her shifts a little – a mixture of gratitude and relief maybe that her needs are being considered and acted upon. These small gestures can open the door to her being kinder to herself.

I notice too how once kindness is present in our sessions then the students start being kind to each other too – how if someone is upset it’s usually another student who will give something of herself to help her.

If you are new to Birthlight you will notice too over the course of time how our approach is then felt in all the classes we offer. I now teach senior yoga classes to men and women both in retirement communities and nursing homes, and the kindness and joy are just as prevalent.

On that note I wanted to share with you a photo of my most senior yoga student lifting a Birthlight rebozo in an amazing stretch overhead. At 101 she is doing well!!

Belinda Staplehurst
Perinatal Yoga Tutor

13 April 2017

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