Over the week we will follow an exploration of the philosophy, physiology and practice of Active Birth. This is a phrase coined in the 1980’s by Janet Balaskas to describe a birth in which the mother is empowered to move freely, follow her instincts, trust her body and to be actively in charge of her birthing. At the time, when ‘Active Management’ was the prevailing birth culture – this was revolutionary. Now, more than 3 decades later, we can prove through research based evidence, that what women do instinctively is usually what is best and safest for mother and baby.
Janet’s unique teaching style is experiential and inspiring. In addition to learning about the emerging scientific research into birth physiology, you will be ‘learning by doing’.
This course will deepen your work, bring fresh insights, new skills and take you further on the journey you have begun. You will go home refreshed and invigorated with your faith restored, your courage renewed, ready to continue the campaign for the freedom and empowerment of birthing mothers.
How the course will be organised
Arrival and orientation is Monday 24th April after midday. The introductory sessions will begin on Tuesday 25th April and the last session will be on Sunday the 30th April with the last dinner on that evening. Departure is after breakfast on Monday 1st May. Participants are required to arrive on the 24th and to attend all the sessions.
There will be two sessions lasting a total of 5 hours on each of the training days – morning and afternoon or evening, plus optional yoga sessions.
There will be a break half way through the morning sessions and a long lunch break to allow time to rest.
The exact timing of the sessions will depend on the weather, the needs and energy of the participants.
In addition to the tutorials there will be time to relax and enjoy the beauty of this magical place.
The course sessions will be held in the large open air thatched shala and the roof terrace of the main house, both with magnificent views of the lake and the Himalayas beyond, making this a truly unique learning environment.
The morning sessions
We will explore the birth process progressively, weaving together an understanding of the interactions of mother and baby, the intricacy of the hormonal physiology, the actions of the uterus, the anatomical, physiological and microbiological facts. We will view all that in the context of the instinctual behaviour of the labouring woman including movements, postures, breathing and sounds. We will explore the role of gravity and water with one session taking place in the pool.
The afternoon/evening sessions
These sessions will be practical and will include a variety of innovative and effective techniques Janet uses in her work at the Active Birth Centre in London. These may be drawn from disciplines as diverse as yoga, meditation, dance, voice-work, touch and massage, self-hypnosis, role-play, psychotherapy, psychodrama, group dynamics and different forms of group participation. We will explore the role of gravity and water with one session taking place in the pool.
A detailed programme will be provided on registration.
The course will be taught in English.
While we will be exploring the use of disciplines such as yoga, relaxation, meditation, self-hypnosis and various forms of body work – no previous experience is necessary.