The Story Behind The Book
In 2001 Ros and I were commissioned by Hamlyn/Octopus Publishing to write this book. The preparation time coincided with Ros’ second trip to Thailand to teach on behalf of the Skyros Holistic Holidays – a two-week yoga teaching engagement. The forthcoming book was much on her mind and during her free time Ros worked out many of her ideas. Fortunately, one of the course participants was a professional photographer from London (our thanks, but we don’t recall his name), who was happy to gift his spare time and expertise for our first ‘pre-shoot’. I particularly loved the shot where Ros looked like she was cradling a baby and used it to spec up a cover. In the general way of things it was not chosen by Hamlyn as an appropriate cover, but we liked it anyway.
Some examples from that first ‘pre-shoot’:
Once Ros was home we rooted out her pregnancy diaries from the time she had Emily, her daughter, which provided an on-going dialogue between her yoga practise and her burgeoning pregnancy. We were also very fortunate to meet Carol Pannell, an ante-natal expert and ran our ideas past her, later to be incorporated into the book process. We then set about a second, studio-based pre-shoot with our friend Sammy Southall, to test the efficacy and technical aspects of the work:
We decided to section the book into the three recognised trimesters and invited one or two currently pregnant students to come to our yoga centre to pose for a third pre-shoot. On one such shoot a most unusual thing happened. In a sunlit yoga practise room the atmosphere was almost magical and the shoot went like a dream. It was only when I processed the digital pictures that I noticed the strange occurence of semi-transparent balls of light in the corner of the room.
We Got Orbs
We’d heard about ‘orbs’, an unusual phenomenon of uncertain origin and concluded our sacred space was possibly attracting them. Now I know that some people would simply put this down to dust or moisture particles in the atmosphere or even an optical effect of the digital camera itself, but we have noticed on other ocassions when there is a very special feeling in the room, the camera records this unusual phenomena. It happens so rarely that it is notable. (article to come).
Finally, we attended the ‘official’ photoshoot for the book with modelling ‘mums-to-be’ and styled the outfits with attractively-tied sarongs. Unfortunately Hamlyn’s marketing department vetoed their use and we reshot without them – a missed opportunity we feel – but nonetheless commercial imperatives sometimes prevail. Here are a few of the ideas that didn’t make it into the book (copyright Hamlyn). What do you think?
Yoga is the ideal, safe exercise during pregnancy and is highly recommended as a way of keeping fit, preventing unnecessary weight gain, calming the mind and preparing for childbirth. Many women are so pleased with the results that they continue to practise after the birth.
Rosalind Widdowson has taught, lectured and practised the arts of classical and modern dance, yoga, relaxation, meditation, massage and natural health therapies for more than 40 years. Following the success of her first best-selling Hamlyn book, ‘Yoga Made Easy’, she has written a number of books on natural health subjects and is currently preparing a 15-part television series for Discovery Health entitled: ‘The Home Health Show’.
Swami Tantramurti Saraswati, a sannyasin disciple of Paramahansa Satyananda since 1976, has practised, taught, lectured, written and published on the subjects of Yoga & Tantra for over 30 years.
Carol Pannell (B Ed) is an antenatal expert and teacher. She is an advanced teacher/assessor for the National Childbirth Trust.
Best yoga pregnancy book! (anon) This is the best yoga for pregnancy book I’ve come accross (bought three so far from amazon). Information is divided clearly into both several timed programmes and into trimesters-all completely together so you can pick it up and do a programme then go! Handy info on trimester ailments and natural solutions. Nice bright clear modern photography, clearly demonstraighting postures.Information on approaching the birth. Nice addition of information on chakras, meditations and mantras to do whilst doing yoga, after all, it is meant to be more than hum drum exercise. Suitable for beginners. Fun and inspires with reflective quotes. Keeps my pg body so far feeling nice and fit. Recommended, 5 stars!
Pregnancy Perfection (Pamela L Duszynski, San Francisco, CA USA) Yoga is one of the most beneficial exercises for pregnant women. In this book Rosalind Widdowson delivers a number of the most effective yoga poses for pregnant women. One of the best things about the book is that it has easy to read and follow instructions for each pose. Along with each set of instructions, could be anywhere from two to three pictures demonstrating the pose. Verbal and visual learners alike will gain easy practice with this book. Additionally, the book talks about breathing and the importance of practicing yoga breathing for mother and baby. Believe me, practicing from this book will make your pregnancy more enjoyable and endurable. One of the best things is that many mothers continue yoga after birth because of the benefits this book outlines and introduces. A must read for any soon to be mother!
Easy to follow, different poses for each trimester (anon) I really like all of the photographs, not drawings, that help demonstrate the poses. I also like that it is broken down by trimester, and discusses what each pose helps. For example, a pose may indicate that it helps prevent and ease fluid retention, relieve backache, or prevent indigestion.
Every Pregnant Woman Should Use This Book (Gabrielle Chait, Folsom, NJ USA) This book is phenomenal, plain and simple. Used throughout my second pregnancy, Yoga for Pregnancy helped me balance my mind and body with very little effort needed. I wasn’t sure whether Yoga was for me, but Widdowson’s instruction, as well as the detailed, color images allowed for no mistakes or misunderstanding. I found, compared to my first pregnancy, that there was no noticeable turmoil going on hormonally and my ability to focus on giving birth was increased ten-fold. My muscles were toned without ever losing a breath of air or breaking a sweat. Further, my baby is very active and strong and is developmentally ahead of most infants…I don’t know if I can attribute this to Yoga (bumping and rolling her around for nine months) or healthy living overall, but Yoga sure made a difference. This book is well worth anyone’s time, not just pregnant women…I recommend it to the fathers as well…it doesn’t hurt dads to mentally prepare for their new arrival!
Vibrant photographs and use of props (Camella Nair – California USA – author “Aqua Kriya Yoga”) I like the breathing focus at the beginning of the book. This emphasises the importance of the breath in any yoga practice. Posture and pelvic tilt are explained quite nicely with some easy to follow photographs. I feel there could be more classical standing poses to develop stamina and strength although there are a few stretches with a bamboo pole which could be a substitute for say a table or the wall if one does not have a bamboo pole handy. Sun and moon breathing (surya and chandra pranayam)are offered but for the beginner alternate nostril breathing is probably going to be more balancing overall. In any event, it should complete either sun and moon breath cycles. Rocking the cradle is a cute way to open the hips, reminding you that soon you will be rocking the baby. The cross over twist seems too deep a visceral twist for the baby and the hip opener with feet supported could use additional support under the thighs. The third section seems to be mostly ‘dance type’ moves to stretch the body. The sarong stretches are quite nice. I especially like the sarong around the back of the body in seated posture as on page 111. It can provide a nice support for the back, especially if the chest is opened at the same time.
Try it ! You will love it! (anon) I buy a copy of Yago for Pregnancy from Amazon after I find out that I am pregnant. It help me continue to exercise during my pregnancy without worrying to hurt my unborn baby. I can do it at home, and not to go to my gym. It has tailored the yago into different stages of pregnancy so it is easy to adopt. Even I am not a regular yaga practitioner, I have enjoying it. This book has been brilliant for mums-to-be! Try it ! You will love it !
Offers good guidence (anon) The descriptions and pictures are really good and they offer guidance throughout your pregnancy and also tell you which exercises are particularly good to ease or prevent certain pregnancy complaints. I’d definitely recommend this book.
Easy to Use (anon) I found this book to be very easy to use, with clear and concise instructions. There is no need to buy any special equipment and it is filled with some very helpful tips.
Perfect for Pregnancy (anon) I found that the layout meant that I didn’t have to stick to a strict ‘routine’. I would highly recommend it to anyone considering doing yoga during pregnancy – even if you have never tried yoga before!
A real godsend during this difficult but exciting period (anon) An easy to understand book with clear and concise text, the innovitive and practical positions were easy to attain and brought instant results, an inspiration to both my wife and I.
‘Yoga For Pregnancy’
(Rosalind Widdowson & Swami Tantramurti Saraswati)
ISBN: 9780600601203 Hardback: 15 Jan 2001 Paperback: 15 Feb 2003
(UK, USA, China, Czech Republic, Holland, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain)