My name is Sara-Jayne Edwards.
I am a mother of three children who, at the time of writing, are 9, 11 and 15-years-old.
I am also a yoga and breathwork teacher who specialises in the perinatal period (pre-natal and postpartum) and in anxiety recovery. The two are in no way mutually exclusive.
Did I love being pregnant? Absolutely not. Whilst an individual’s experience of pregnancy can be lovely, a lavender-scented cruise toward the life-affirming transition from maiden to mother, very often, it’s not that.
There are a huge number of ways it can be ‘not that,’ and I won’t attempt to list them here, but I think it is important to acknowledge that for some… perhaps most…of us, pregnancy and birth bring difficult experiences.
I discovered that I was pregnant with my first child when I was 23 years old. At the time I was a Londoner, working diligently/obsessively to forge a career in the publishing industry. I had lived on a diet of lipgloss, cheap white wine, and cigarettes since leaving home at 18. I was emotionally volatile, vulnerable, and had never held a baby before. When I got a positive pregnancy test I wasn’t registered with a GP. I was chaotic, neurotic and stressed. Quite a starting line!
From there, pregnancy tore every aspect of my sense of self to shreds, before childbirth sent those shreds orbiting somewhere out far beyond where I had any hope of reaching.
The entire thing was phenomenal. If I could go back, would I change any of it? No. Not a thing.
The stories I hold about my journey through three pregnancies and births are more sacred to me than any other lived experience.
Becoming a mother tiled the entire universe on its axis. As I wobbled, fell-down, got up, quivered, and found my feet in a new world, I slowly realised that the woman I had become as a result is one I am as shocked by as I am proud.
Imperfect, human, tough, soft, and knowing. And my children? They’re excellent humans who make me laugh and smile every day.
Who am I?
In the context of this website I am a guide, of sorts. I hope to hold gentle yoga and breathwork classes that offer solace, respite, laughter and release for you during pregnancy and in the years following birth.
Beyond that I am all kinds of things, a mother, yes, a writer, a creative, a runner. I am someone who reads obsessively and who likes writing letters to people who will never write back. I am a flute playing, sleep-adoring, human who can be funny and who can also be extremely serious.
I am someone who writes essays for fun and who has a potentially peculiar obsession with the unconscious mind. I am addicted to Crunchies, I love climbing trees, and I read scientific studies in the bath. Every single night. I rarely compose emails that are under 2000 words in length, I adore clothes but am quite terrible on ever settling on a style. I am political.
I am a daydreamer but can be focused to the point of disorientation. I am so many things.
I name this because one of my aims in working with you, both in pregnancy and postpartum, is to facilitate you re-embracing the many parts of yourself that exist beyond the label ‘mother’ or ‘parent.’ My classes also offer tools to help you feel more comfortable with what the experience of pregnancy and birth has changed forever.
Pregnancy is a life experience that always, for everyone, brings with it huge change. This change comes not only the loss of body autonomy, but very often also in the loss of our sense of self. We face more uncertainty than we’re likely to be accustomed to, and swim in a soup of what we feel we should do, should feel like, and should be.
We do, you will, come out of the other side. And, like me, you may be both shocked and proud of who you become when you reclaim some of those shreds from outer space and patchwork them in with the new. Watching, peacefully, fondly, as perhaps some of those old parts/shreds are given permission to float away.