She Births® Prenatal Yoga

An uplifting dynamic prenatal yoga practice to keep you strong & centred throughout your pregnancy

Photo: Bright Photography

not meant to be boring

Just because you are pregnant does not mean your prenatal yoga practice has to become boring or geriatric 🙂

Frustrated with the options available to her 20 years ago Nadine started to develop a unique and dynamic prenatal yoga practice in the heart of Bondi Beach.

She has taught thousands of mums and been acknowledged at national conferences over many years. Nadine is also the only Australian teacher to be included in the international award winning film Yoga Woman.

Nadine continues to share the power of birth preparation through her yoga class at the original Bondi yoga school, Dharma Shala.

Alongside her scientifically acclaimed Childbirth Education Program, She Births®, Nadine’s Prenatal Yoga class allows pregnant women to create a more natural, gentle and joyful birth experience.

Play Video

How She births® Prenatal yoga is different

Our yoga is a feminine approach that honours a woman’s many phases and stages throughout her life, especially the awesome rite of passage through pregnancy and birth. 

Nadine has crafted movements and poses that can be dynamic as well as meditative, nurturing and healing.

Doing a practice that actually empowers you during pregnancy is critical. Being given options and the space to uncover intuitive ways to move and ‘sit’ is a great resource for labour and facilitates deep Self connection for the Motherhood journey ahead.

Find a weekly yoga class with Nadine at The Dharma Shala Bondi Yoga School.

Nadine Richardson by Bright Photography
‘I learnt more in 2 hours from Nadine than I did during my whole yoga teacher training about pregnancy and birth.’ – Simone Lai

Practising Yoga Benefits for your body & mind

  • Develop deep abdominal strength while maintaining an outer softness to create space for your baby and pelvic alignment
  • Encourage movement from the hara (the core) so to avoid depletion and facilitate grace
  • Open the heart fully and be able to embrace change with a deep trust in life
  • Move the body in spirals and circling motions to release collected tension in the hips
  • Integrate linear alignment so as to maintain safety and avoid hyperextension in postures
  • Encourage balance of both nervous and endocrine systems with props and breathing techniques
  • Create balance in our vayus (subtle energy systems) and maintain openness through the conception vessel and other subtle nadis
  • Modifications allow you to work with injury and across any stage of pregnancy
  • Feel clear in mind and body so as to be stronger and more empowered for birth and parenthood
Nadine Richardson and Anna Kooiman | bright Photography | Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal Yoga Research

”Regular yoga practice in the last 10–12 weeks of pregnancy improves maternal comfort in labor and may facilitate labor progress. The researchers offer several theories for these effects.

First, prenatal yoga poses involves synchronization of breathing awareness and muscle relaxation, which decrease tension and the perception of pain.

Second, yoga movements, breathing, and chanting may increase circulating endorphins and serotonin, “raising the threshold of mind-body relationship to pain” (p. 112).

Third, practicing prenatal yoga postures over time alters pain pathways through the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing one’s need to actively respond to unpleasant physical sensations.

Yoga during pregnancy strategies that help women prepare emotionally and physically for labor may help reduce pain and suffering and optimize wellbeing in childbirth by providing coping skills and increasing self-confidence and a sense of mastery.

More research is needed to confirm the findings of this study. However, yoga’s many health benefits and the lack of evidence that yoga is harmful in pregnancy or birth provide justification for encouraging interested pregnant women to incorporate prenatal yoga into their preparations for childbirth.” 

— Amy Romano MSN

“Prenatal Yoga was associated with reduced pain (mean difference (MD) -6.12, 95% CI -11.77 to -0.47), one trial, 66 women), increased satisfaction with pain relief (MD 7.88, 95% CI 1.51 to 14.25, one trial, 66 women), satisfaction with the childbirth experience (MD) 6.34, 95% CI 0.26 to 12.42, one trial, 66 women), and reduced length of labour when compared to usual care (MD -139.91, 95% CI -252.50 to -27.32, one trial, 66 women) and when compared with supine position (MD -191.34, 95% CI -243.72 to -138.96, one trial, 83 women)…. Relaxation and prenatal yoga may have a role with reducing pain, increasing satisfaction with pain relief and reducing the rate of assisted vaginal delivery.”  — by Smith CA, Levett KM, Collins CT, Crowther CA.

– Science and Sensibility

Have a read here about why Nadine believes yoga for pregnant women is important!

When I was pregnant 18 years ago there really wasn’t much prenatal yoga available. Of the one or two weekly classes (held at very strange times of day) here in Sydney I found all of them to be more like a ‘geriatric’ yoga class. 

Teachers appeared to be scared of what might happen to our precious pregnant bodies through movement and stretching that I even fell asleep in class, mid-stretch! And there certainly wasn’t anything specific preparing me for labour and birth.

Although yoga itself has been practised for many thousands of years, it was created by men and for the male body. Women have historically been far too busy tending to children, pre-industrial revolution and feminism so Vedic development and cave-dwelling were left to the guys.

The early pioneers of prenatal yoga in the West were the midwife and yoga teacher, Jeannine Parvati Baker and Janet Balaskas, who both published mainstream books in the 1980s. After that, we started to see a slow uptake which required an actual ‘creation’ of the yoga style itself. Since then, numerous health practitioners will highly recommend prenatal yoga and Amazon now has over 6,000 prenatal yoga titles, all of which has been created in the last 30 years. 

Although yoga itself has been practised for many thousands of years, it was created by men and for the male body. Women have historically been far too busy tending to children, pre-industrial revolution and feminism so Vedic development and cave-dwelling were left to the guys.

The early pioneers of prenatal yoga in the West were the midwife and yoga teacher, Jeannine Parvati Baker and Janet Balaskas, who both published mainstream books in the 1980s. After that, we started to see a slow uptake which required an actual ‘creation’ of the yoga style itself. Since then, numerous health practitioners will highly recommend prenatal yoga and Amazon now has over 6,000 prenatal yoga titles, all of which has been created in the last 30 years. 

As a yoga teacher, I found it interesting to give birth, especially after so many people had said I would be great at labour (whatever that means) because I was young and a yogi. But in an attempt to connect my yoga practice to labour I feel like I was at a loss! The art of combining surrender and strength, being both passive and active, breathing and movement were so unique during birth that all the yoga I had done didn’t prepare me at all.

In my work as a doula, I discovered many of the strategies and pain management techniques that really worked so as a teacher I was able to formulate them into a specific prenatal yoga practice. In She Births ® Prenatal Yoga we teach clear tools for labour, as well share a philosophy to help you embrace the impending challenges of motherhood. You can watch more about the emergence of women in the yoga world as well as see our unique prenatal yoga in the award-winning documentary Yoga Woman.

Read more at boody.com.au

"Birth is a deeply spiritual experience for a lot of us. It calls us into deeper connection, compassion and forces an inner growth like no other."
Nadine Richardson, Founder, She Births®
Nadine Richardson
Founder of She Births®