Spotlight on Elena O’Keeffe
Our series of blog features “Spotlight on..” gives you an opportunity to find out more about the therapists working at The Wellbeing Centre. We’ve been asking them questions about themselves, how they got interested in complementary therapy and what inspires them to do what they do. Our favourite section is their top tips for Wellbeing. What’s yours?
This week we’re talking to Elena O’Keeffe, who has recently returned to The Wellbeing Centre after spending time studying and training to become a midwife! We’re sure her Pregnancy Yoga classes will be enriched as a result of her extra knowledge and commitment. We hope you enjoy finding out more about this fascinating lady’s journey:
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, Elena.
Birthing a soul is an experience that ultimately affects individual human being. I’ve been enchanted with pregnancy and birth since I can remember. The last twelve years has set the rhythm of my life as a pregnancy yoga teacher. My passion has taken me further than I could have imagined – I have taught pregnancy yoga in Spain, Holland, France and Sweden. This year I will complete my midwifery training. Outside of my fascination with birth, I am a wife and a mother of three.
2. What was your first experience of yoga?
It started with my dear friend Bridget. I was pregnant with our first son when Bridget had shown me some amazing exercises for easier birth. This utterly inspirational lady who practiced yoga for the last 60 years of her life, has sprinkled some magical dust into my relationship with reality. She had shown me not only yoga exercises but how your perception can change the reality. Something I aim to recreate every time I teach pregnant women and their partners about natural labour and birth.
3. What made you decide to become a Pregnancy Yoga teacher?
I just wanted to give women some tools to have a great birthing experience.
4. What are your top 3 tips for wellbeing?
Positive outlook – “keep up and you will be kept up” (Yogi Bhajan)
Believe in yourself and in your ability to achieve an impossible task
Be kind to others – “kindness is my religion” (Dalai Lama)
5. Who is your greatest inspiration in your wellbeing journey?
Ah, that is a difficult one. My teen years were hugely influenced by Richard Bach’s book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”. I guess that quest for self-perfection has never eased its grip on me.
6. What issues have you had most success in helping your clients with?
I am good at empowering women who fear pregnancy and the birth process and wish to move through their personal blocks and anxieties.
7. Can you share some of the amazing feedback you get from your students?
“The labour and birth was amazing. Oliver arrived in just 3 hours and 50 min after first contractions and I only needed “gas and air”. I am sure this is down to your expert tuition”. (Victoria and Adam)
“I had a water birth as planned, with no interventions. Established labour was 3 hours. I feel fortunate and owe you a great debt of gratitude”. (Barbara and Gavin)
“Elena’s classes are great way to release tension and prepare yourself for the birth. I loved feeling relaxed after the class. She does partners classes as well, which is what you need. Me and my partner had just this class and he was excellent help during labour. Highly recommend her classes”. (Emilia)
8. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Conscious pregnancy encompasses not only birth preparation. During our classes we will learn about “eating for one and breathing for two”. We will discover remedies for minor ailments. We will master the art of belly dancing, good posture, meditation and profound relaxation.
9. What’s the best way to contact you for more information and to book onto your classes?
Please contact The Wellbeing Centre’s Reception Team to book your place onto my Pregnancy Yoga Classes. The Wellbeing Centre Reception is open to drop-in and email enquiries weekdays 9:30- 17:30 excluding Bank Holidays.
***UPDATE*** Elena O’Keefe no longer offers Pregnancy Yoga classes at The Wellbeing Centre. Instead, please see the Pregnancy Yoga in Newbury classes run by Leah McGrath >>