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Yoga Therapy for Perinatal Mental Health


Yoga Therapy for Perinatal Mental Health

Pregnancy and motherhood can be transformative in women’s lives. While the experience of pregnancy and early motherhood can feel wondrous and beautiful, for many women it is also a time of emotional turmoil resulting in immensely challenging and intense emotional states.

The experience of being pregnant and having a young family can be both physically and emotionally demanding and the pressures a modern mother faces include but are not limited to changes in body image, career, identity and relationships.

Statistics show that mental health problems in the perinatal period are common, with up to 20% of women being affected. Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses during the perinatal period.

This 3 day experiential course will address the complex issues facing new mothers and mothers to be and is open to existing pregnancy yoga teachers who are seeking to support women’s mental, emotional and physical health in the Perinatal Period (The Pregnancy and Postnatal Period) using Yoga Therapy.

Course Content
The course is a combination of lecture, group and individual activities, experiential yoga and mindfulness practice, written reflection, creative enquiry and discussion. Topics will include:

• Understanding the normal emotional changes during pregnancy and the postnatal period
• Understanding ways to optimise maternal mental health in pregnancy and the postnatal period
• Understanding the importance and impact of perinatal mental health problems for women, their partners, their families and society, including the relevance of cultural experiences
• Describe the prevalence, main symptoms, assessment and treatment of significant and serious perinatal mental illness
• Understanding the unique Stress Response in pregnancy and how chronic maternal stress can impact fetal development
• Introducing the 3 component model for Yoga therapy for Perinatal Mental Health
• Rationale and research for Yoga Therapy in Pregnancy
• Guided personal reflective enquiry into themes such as change, body image, perfection
• How do expectations and identity influence the transition to motherhood and how does this impact emotional wellbeing
• How to apply yoga, mindfulness and enquiry for Perinatal Wellbeing: Includes how to sequence and structure a class based on themes presented
• Guidance and discussion on how to work with women who have had still births and/or miscarriages, and traumatic birth experiences
• Overview of Father’s Mental Health.

Completed Pregnancy Teacher Training. Proof of completion will be required before acceptance onto the course.

Shweta Panchal is a Yoga Therapist for Mental Health. She is supervisor and a lecturer at the Minded Institute, an Active Birth Pregnancy Yoga Teacher, an Ambassador for the Pre and Postnatal Depression and Anxiety charity PANDAS. She is currently designing a qualitative research study on the PsychoSocial factors influencing emotional wellbeing in the Perinatal Period and has recently completed a summer school training in Perinatal Mental Health at Kings College London. In 2017 she appointed advisor to the International Forum of Wellbeing in Pregnancy (IFWIP).

She has a first class honours degree in Psychology and Social Anthropology, and before becoming a full-time mother to her two boys, she had a successful eight-year career as a Management Consultant. In collaboration with the Minded Institute she has created a specific evidence based Yoga & Mindfulness Therapy intervention to help improve physical & mental health in pregnancy. She is passionate about reforming mainstream ante-natal education to include psychological and emotional preparation as well as physical preparation for birth and motherhood. She speaks and presents at national Perinatal Mental Health conferences about the importance of understanding and working with the emotional transitions in pregnancy and how non-medical interventions can be of value. She has also been invited to speak at NHS training events for obstetricians and other health professionals on the use of targeted therapeutic yoga and mindfulness programmes alongside traditional talking therapy and/or pharmacological treatments.

She teaches regular pregnancy classes and workshops which are grounded in a scientific approach that combines deep philosophical, neurobiological, psychological and physiological perspectives on the mind, body and brain.

Your investment: £350

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Yoga Therapy for the Mind at The Minded Institute