As the proud media partner of The Precious Journey that’s happening this 5 to 14 November, we are bringing you this series of interviews with presenters so that you get to know them better and their workshops.
Today, we speak to an experienced Yoga teacher, Sarah Manning, who has more than 25 years of international yoga teaching experience. She has taught in Singapore, China and Australia. Her current classes include prenatal, postnatal, fertility, Yin and Yoga Therapy. She will be presenting on topics that include pre- and post-natal yoga, back care and yin yoga.
Logical and analytical in her thinking, Sarah makes her yoga instructions clear and systematic. She has a warm nurturing style of practice and encourages all to explore the benefits of yoga, breathing and mindfulness for optimal health.
Q: Could you share with us about the journey that led up to you becoming a Yoga teacher and trainer?
In 1990, I studied yoga under Bhumi (Harriette Russell) from Kripalu Yoga (Massachusetts USA while she was visiting Tokyo). Her classes were tailored to women, and it freed up an energy in me that I had never felt before in a class.
This energy was the same feeling after climbing mountains all day – clarity of mind and a surging/ expansive sense of wellbeing. It was an honouring of a woman’s needs at that moment – listening, feeling, responding – making it a “Meditation in Motion” – filled with awareness, mindfulness, grace and poise.
This led me to begin my lifelong learning of yoga – the strengthening, the release and the balance of the physical body; the energetic effects of movement and breath; the effects on the hormones, the mental patterns, and the attitude of open, celebration and gratitude.
I was pregnant when I was first certified in 1995. And to this day I have been focused on women and their needs. This includes health, fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum or menopause.
Q: Why did you choose to work extensively with mothers or parents (specifically regarding their reproductive health)?
It followed my own path of exploration and learning. Yoga in pregnancy in 1995; in back care and postpartum body rebuild; in fatigue and depletion as a parent; and now even more on vital energy (Qi or Ki) for wellbeing.
Q: What makes yoga the ultimate exercise for prenatal and postnatal mothers?
Yoga is a science – it is repeatable and reliable. It works holistically – on body, energy, mind, hormones and intellect, with each layer affecting the others.
It supports the body in its own innate healing mechanism – first we need alignment and strength. That needs to be balanced with release and opening. Tied in with this is the breath – to absorb, move and store energy. Meditation/ mindfulness/ awareness building reset the body’s control systems into rest and restore – through the parasympathetic nervous system and the adrenal/ cortisol reset; and then develops the mental skills of concentration, focus and contemplation.
It opens the heart energy and brings a sense of joy in each moment. Parenting is challenging on all layers – and yoga meets that need.
Q: Besides helping mothers, I understand that you have also helped many couples along the way. What are some ways that you have helped these couples in their path to parenthood?
- Many couples come my way struggling with unexplained infertility. They have done all the medical tests and it shows nothing wrong in a western sense. I have to ask them – “Are you in your very peak of health? The healthiest you have ever been? Energy coming out of your ears?” If not – then let’s make a plan to move forward and there are no negative side effects to getting healthier.
- Fertility is optional – your body can function without it. In fact, if you are stressed, tired, unfit, have poor digestion, poor elimination, poor sleep, poor energy and poor sleep, your body will probably shut down to conserve your resources.
- Many medical issues for women – endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) – are caused by stagnation and “cold” in the pelvis and womb area.
- Are you sitting all day?
- Do you have the opportunity to rest when menstruating?
- Men with sperm issues – I work in partnership with other practitioners to detox and clean the system and then reset the hormonal profile with calming postures, breathing and mindfulness
Q: What are you hoping participants will take away from your talk during The Precious Journey 2020?
- Skills of body awareness and responding appropriately.
- Skills to improve breathing and energy creation/ absorption
- Practices for finding calm in the storm
If you’re interested to attend Sarah’s or other presenters’ sharings, please go to this website to register. Hurry while spaces last!
Images: Sarah Manning & The Precious Journey