Sunday, March 27, 2011

Super Women - Helen Macnair

I am very lucky to have a handful of amazing women feature in my life somewhere. Some are so important to me, that it will take me a long time to be able to write about them. Some deserve a mention straight away. Helen Macnair is one of them. She is my pre & post natal yoga teacher.

Now, when I say yoga teacher, I don't mean one of those gym instructors who have taken a 6 week course in yoga to teach to the fitness freaks. I mean one of those teachers who have yoga running through their veins, those who live their lives as though it is one big asana. Just like you can tell a professionally trained dancer from the way she holds herself, you can tell that Helen is someone who cares for herself, mind body and spirit. She is a super qualified yoga teacher, having qualifications with Birthlight, Yoga Bugs and the Radiant child teacher training, and is also a trained doula. But to be honest, that doesn't really mean much to me. I am a beginner when it comes to the world of yoga. What is more important to me is what her classes taught me, pre-natal yoga in particular.

First of all, there is always something nice about sharing time with other pregnant women and listening to each others experiences. There is no sense of urgency in the classes, no rushing or skipping people. Helen always asked everyone how they were going with their pregnancies and always listened carefully to the answers. She is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to pregnancy ailments and non-invasive solutions. The yoga classes were often tailored to suit whatever was bothering us at the time, for example, bubs feet up in the rib cage! So many things she taught us, so much proof she showed us to trust our bodies.

I find it hard to be still. I could never meditate or slow my thoughts. Yoga changed that for me. I learned to breathe. I learned to take big, deep, slow breaths in. I learned to exhale out not only air, but pain and worry and fear.  These breaths gave me the strength to experience a natural, quiet, calm birth without intervention, without any distractions to disrupt that all important post natal time.

The benefit didn't stop there. These deep breaths also gave me strength when I needed it most. They stopped me from becoming depressed when I was separated from my baby by 100kms during her first night (as well as a good ol' cry to my mum) and spent the night in a maternity ward alone. I breathed my way through walking Ruby to surgery, I still don't know how my legs worked that day. When we were told about CF being a real possibility, I kept my composure by just breathing. I know it sounds basic, but can you remember a situation in your life that just took your breath away? Did you have someone there to whisper in your ear "just breathe"? I felt like I did.

Then there is the future. I have a daughter that will eventually develop chronic lung disease. Suddenly the phrase "just breathe" has taken on a whole new meaning. I want Ruby to learn how to breathe. And I don't mean like the blonde with the headphones kind of breathing. I mean the life saving, lung strengthening, head clearing, deep, breathing. Helen is my secret weapon, even if she doesn't know it yet! She will teach my daughter how to be strong, she will help her beat cystic fibrosis. I have full confidence in this, and a touch of mothers intuition.

1 comment:

helen macnair said...

Awww honey... now you've made me cry again.... Thank you so much for your very generous praise I will endeavour to be worthy ...and a secret weapon! Since I first met you I have been inspired by your energy to create and your generosity of spirit. Ruby is an inspiration too...clearly peas from the same pod. She's the most observant,peaceful little soul I've met. She seems to be absorbing every thing that is going on around her with those great big, beautiful eyes. I'm glad you found your breathe when you needed it most and I know you will help Ruby with hers. Of course I will do all that I can to breathe with Ruby! It will be a privilege...lets get that baby yoga started then!! See you soon. huge hugs to you and your family xxxx