Connecting with your unborn child

Connecting with your unborn child
by Louise Palmer-Masterton

In 2006 I had the very good fortune to spend some one-one time with Frederick Leboyer, author of the seminal text ‘Birth Without Violence’ his 1974 book that changed the face of obstetric practice.

Monsieur Leboyer, who sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 98, was a former obstetrician who ultimately eschewed modern obstetric practice and turned to writing the story of birth from the child’s perspective. In Birth Without Violence, for the first time in history, he painted the infant's view of birth - coming from the quiet, calm womb into bright lights, noise, stress and separation (when immediately after birth the child would be taken from its mother to be prodded and ‘tested’).

Before Leboyer childbirth had always been about the mother, the procedures, the hospitals - everything but the infant, and whilst his book was initially opposed by his fellow obstetricians, midwives and mothers themselves did take notice, and slowly but surely things began to change. It is now commonplace that delivery rooms are quiet, low lit places, infants are now allowed to rest with their mothers immediately after birth. These and many more changes can be directly attributed to Leboyer’s book.

Back to my meeting Leboyer. It was even more fortunate for me that at the time of our meeting I was myself 5 months pregnant, and because of this he rather took me under his wing.

He was in his late eighties when we met, and a rather wonderful, slightly stroppy french man, with a very big twinkle in his eye.

He taught me something which went on to become the basis of what we teach at CAMYOGA in pregnancy yoga, pregnancy trainings, and our active birth workshops.

He said..

“Every day, from when you are 6 months pregnant, take 15 mins out of your day. Find a quiet place to sit and meditate. Once you are settled and focussed, take your attention to your baby. Really bring all of your focus to your baby.

Then let your baby know that you are there, and that you are listening.

Then you simply spend some time ‘listening’ to your baby.”


He told me that if I did this every day from 6 months my baby would know me, and be connected to me, and feel safe in being born. He told me she would not cry when she was born. And guess what? She did not, and she has scarcely cried since. She was the most chilled, relaxed baby who has grown into a remarkable child. 

This article was originally written for the September 2017 issue of OM Yoga Magazine

Congratulations Pregnancy Yoga Diploma Graduates!

Congratulations to our newly qualified pregnancy yoga teachers! Here are some images and impressions from the 4 day course. We run this course once a year and is open to 200hr qualified yoga teachers wanting to advance their teaching, PLUS it can also be part of the 500hr diploma!

Our 2018 dates will be announced shortly, keep an eye on the Teaching Pregnancy Yoga page for more info. Otherwise, just drop us a line to register your interest.

Love from CAMYOGA xx

I learnt SO much more than I thought I would. We not only learnt about yoga poses, but also about stages of pregnancy, stages of birth, the anatomy of the pelvis etc. This gave me knowledge to explain WHY we teach certain things.
— L.L
I am very pleased that I chose to do the course, and I feel a lot more informed now. I won’t panic if a pregnant lady turns up in class!!
— A.D
Thank you Rachael! You were fantastic at teaching us all your pearls of wisdom. I loved every second of it and I feel so confident to safely teach pregnant women yoga and how to ease their labour!
You learn so much more than just yoga poses. This course sets you up with the knowledge and expertise to safely teach yoga to pregnant women safely
— L.L.

We are super proud to have been awarded the coveted Small Business of the Year Award at this year's Cambridge Business Excellence Awards final last Thursday.

At a glittering event in the Kings College Great Hall, Louise received the award sponsored by Fine & Country after a hotly contested final of four businesses. These awards are the region’s premier business awards, and we are absolutely delighted.

2016 was a fantastic year for CAMYOGA and the new Stem + Glory. Our crowdfunding success was a major part of our story, and we are so grateful to everyone for their fantastic support throughout the year.

Gratitude also to the panel of 15 judges for their openness to new ways of doing business :)

Breathing Mindfully - A Practice You Can Do Anywhere!

Before reading this blog post, wherever you are, breathe in and breathe out. Concentrate on the inhale where the cool air moves through your nostrils, the chest and belly expands, and then exhale fully. Do this twice more, observing the breath and the sensations that come. Well done, you have just breathed mindfully. Simple huh?

Breathing is something that we all do, all of the time. By bringing our focus onto the breath we can work on being present in the moment.

You can do the following exercise for just a few minutes, or for longer, it’s up to you. During this you may find your mind drifting, this is ok and totally normal (even for seasoned practitioners). When you notice thoughts coming into your mind, gently but firmly bring your attention back to the breath. This practice of breathing mindfully is a great first step for developing a pranayama practice.


Sit or lay in a comfortable position. You may close the eyes or keep them open with a soft gaze, you may want to rest your hands on the stomach and help you connect to your breath and feel it in a more physical way.

The Breath

Inhale, notice the feeling of the cool air moving through the nostrils into the lungs. The chest and belly expand at the top of the inhale. Exhale through the nose, the chest and belly contract, navel to spine. Continue the breath, feel what it is really like to breathe. Notice the calming effect it has on the body and the mind, observe the sensations without judgement.

You may find that the mind wanders from time to time - this is normal. Acknowledge the thought, and then come back to the breath - it can help to imagine your thoughts as books: allow yourself to look at the cover, read the title and then consciously put it on the shelf to read later.


Once you have finished the exercise, take a few moments to notice how you feel. Enjoy the experience you’ve just had connecting to yourself and your breath, body and the space around you and within you. Know that you can always come back to this practice at anytime and anywhere (even in the queue at the supermarket!).

Next Steps

Take this mindful breath and apply it throughout your yoga practice, keep focused on the breath for the duration and observe how it affects your practice.

Tried it? Let us know how you get on. You can share your experience on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #camyogis

Take a Deep Breath, Flow, and Restore - A Q&A with Rachael Moore

Many of us know Rachael Moore as our resident Vinyasa flow guru, but not as many know about her love for restorative yoga. It's all about nourishing the body and mind while taking time for oneself amidst the cloud of our busy, and often hectic lives. We spoke to Rachael about her new class Flow + Restore which combines two very different, but very compatible styles of yoga. Read on to find out more.

What is the Flow + Restore Class?

Flow and Restore is something that i will often do in my own practice when i need to slow down, nourish myself and restore my energy levels. It is a slow mindful practice where i am able to coax my often tight body and busy mind into a state of relaxation through rhythmic, often circular movements before settling into supported stillness where your body is held and supported with props.

How does it differ from a regular Restorative or Flow class?

Although the postures that we explore in the restore aspect of the class will be very similar to those in a regular restorative class, the way we enter the posture is a little different. It is as if we are using the flow aspect the practice, to prepare and limber the body (and mind) for the longer-held restorative posture. You may find that it is then easier to settle into the posture once you have had chance to ease into it though movement. In a regular flow class, there is very much an emphasis on dynamic movement with the breath to create strength, flexibility and stability. Although there remains a strong awareness of the breath during Flow and Restore, it is more about tuning into the quality of our breath and the quiet sensations that we so often fail to notice in a faster paced, movement focused practice.  

Is the class suitable for all levels?

Yes! Students newer to the practice may appreciate the slower, less demanding pace just as much as the more "advanced" student may appreciate the opportunity to explore different aspects of their practice. Regardless of where a student is in their practice, or in their life, it can be a revelation to be able to simply move with gentle undulations before coming to a place of rest.

What can students expect from the class?

You can expect gentle guided movements and explorations of the body, tapping into your internal compass of how your body needs to move, be moved and be nourished. While resting and being held in the restorative postures, I offer students the opportunity to have simple, gentle hands on assists with therapeutic grade essential oils, matched to the theme of the practice. This adds another layer and potency to this practice and compliment a restorative practice beautifully.

What are the benefits of a restorative practice for students who usually attend more yang/dynamic classes?

I think regardless of what style of yoga you normally practice, and actually even if you normally aren’t a yoga practitioner, we can all benefit from a little re-callibration through our nervous system. We all increasingly live in such fast forward moving society that the opportunity to drop back and yield with no expectation other than to rest, restore and replenish are few and far between. This practice gives our nervous system a much needed opportunity to move from our Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) towards the Para-sympathetic NS (Rest and Digest). As we begin to soften and yield, we may notice the breath becoming freer, more naturally flowing un-obstructed through the body giving rise to feelings of increased energy, vitality and general well being.

Can you recommend any books etc for students that wish to find out more about this style?

Judith Hanson Lasater - Relax and Renew Book is the bible of restorative yoga and is one that I regularly refer back too. I actually have not found many good books out there in this area, so if anyone else has some good recommendations I would love to hear about them. Please comment down below!

Rachael is teaching a brand new weekly Flow + Restore class at Mitcham's Corner Student on Thursdays at 11am. Click here to book.

We are Overfunding!

We are overfunding!


As I am sure you are aware :) We surpassed our target in just 7 days, and are now over funding! 

All funds over and above the original target come to us directly now, so we are home and dry :)

We cannot thank you enough for your amazing support :)

It will be a remarkable success if with your help we can fund this project just by people power!

The more we can raise this way, the less dependant we are on any other source of funding.

To give you an idea:

An extra £10,000 will enable us to purchase our new Rational oven and extraction equipment outright without having to lease.

Another £15,000 will enable us to purchase our fridges, freezers and other kitchen equipment outright.

Another £15,000 will enable us to purchase our servery area equipment outright

As the campaign has been so successful, we have shortened the end date of the campaign to 19th Sept. so we now have 12 days left! This will enable us to open as soon as possible!

The works are well underway at the unit, here is the partition wall going in 

Once the partition is in we will start to build the kitchen. 

We cannot wait to show you round  :)

Check out our Crowdfunding page for information, videos, updates + much more. Click here.

WE DID IT IN RECORD TIME! We are now overfunding!


We are currently the third most successful project on Crowdfunder, and the most successful rewards based project over all! GO CAMBRIDGE!

We are now in what is called 'over funding', this is where we set a 'stretch' target and keep taking pledges.

As you can imagine fitting out a cafe and studio is an expensive business, and the more we can raise from crowd funding, the less we have to reply on banks, lease purchase or any other kind of funding.

All funds over and above the original target come to us directly now, so we are home and dry :)

This campaign has gone beyond our wildest dreams! It will be a remarkable success if with your help we can fund this project just by people power!

To give you an idea:

  • An extra £10,000 will enable us to purchase our new Rational oven and extraction equipment outright without having to lease purchase.
  • Another £15,000 will enable us to purchase our fridges, freezers and other kitchen equipment outright.
  • Another £15,000 will enable us to purchase our servery area equipment outright.

These are the works we have to complete:
Cafe fit out, decoration and furnishing; commercial kitchen installation; sound proof partition, studio furbishment, studio equipment, AV equipment.

Lets make this one of the most amazing crowdfunding projects ever :)

We know lots of people haven't managed to pledge yet, so you have time and we are adding new rewards all the time. We still have a couple of GOLD packages left, and one teacher training place....

We will probably stop the campaign before the 28 day original time line - so go for it! PLEDGE NOW! Help us to build this space beautiful.

With love and Gratitude
Louise and the team at CAMYOGA XX

Day 4 and we are 62% funded in just 4 days!

Day 4 and we are 62% funded in just 4 days!


Busy day today and tomorrow we are at the Mitcham's and more festival on Chesterton Road - just opposite the new studio site.

Today we have finalised the plans for the kitchen and cafe installation (which is why we are crowdfunding!) and we made a start on deciding the decor.

Our new sign arrived today too! Look our for it on Mitcham's Corner from Monday!

We are made up that we have had such amazing support, thank you all so much :)

Check out our Crowdfunding page for information, videos, updates + much more. Click here.

Hannah EllisComment
Day 3 and they are coming in thick and fast!

Day 3 and they are coming in thick and fast!


 It would be great end to the week to reach 50% funding! So please please share with your friends, we will be so so happy to reach our target before the scheduled end date, then we can open really really quickly :)

Today we finished the floor in the Stem + glory cafe area. It looks great!

Just been choosing paint colours. Hmm decisions decisions..... any ideas?

Any ideas for paint colours?!

Check out our Crowdfunding page for information, videos, updates + much more. Click here.

The Story of Building Our New Studio + Vegan Cafe: Crowdfunding Days 1 + 2

Day 1 Over!


It was quite a day! 

We are already 11% funded, thank you so much to everyone that already made a pledge!

Today we start work on the unit with the cafe floor going in

Wow what a day it's been!


Thank you all so much for your support! We went well past £10,000 today AND we started the work on site by starting to lay our lovely cafe floor!

We still got lots more excellent rewards for you so please share with your friends and lets make this project beautiful :) Getting to target quickly and easily will open our doors swiftly and going over target will mean we can build better, stronger and even more beautiful!


Check out our Crowdfunding page for more information, videos and more. Click here.