Rosie Matheson is a qualified Doula and an experienced prenatal and yoga for fertility teacher. Rosie is also a much loved Bliss Baby Yoga Facilitator due to her soft, utterly feminine and gently insightful teaching style. She has a wealth of experience in conscious conception, birthing and parenting and a passion for nurturing the divine essence in all women. We spent some time getting to know her, finding out what inspires Rosie as a women’s yoga specialist.
Where did your yoga journey begin, in particular, your passion for women’s yoga?
Growing up in Byron Bay, yoga was a pretty normal part of life. I started yoga classes when I was 10 years old, in high school it was my elective sport, and at home I saw mum doing yoga most mornings. However, at that point I didn’t really love yoga because I wasn’t naturally flexible or strong, so I never felt very good at it. It wasn’t until my early twenties, after many years of trying to reject the hippy lifestyle and fleeing the Byron bubble for a more urban, “normal” lifestyle in Melbourne, that I was really drawn to yoga. Yoga became a beautiful gateway to becoming the person I had been pushing away for so long.
In terms of where my interests in conscious birthing began, I have never forgotten a conversation I had with a new mother, when I was about 11 years old. My family and I had been snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and I stopped to talk to her on our way back from the beach, admiring her new baby. I said to her “It must have hurt so much!”. She surprised me with her response “Not at all, I loved it. Actually, I don’t know if I want to have another baby just yet, but I know I really want to give birth again.” At 11 years old it was such a foreign concept for me, however, I can’t help but think that this conversation may have planted a seed for piquing my interests in conscious birthing.
You are a qualified Doula. How did you come to this career path and how do you marry it with yoga teaching?
When I was 21 years old, I came home from living in London to attend the birth of my baby sister. My mum was surrounded by her children at home, in a birthing pool, incense burning and supported by an amazing midwife we have since named “Angel Jane”. It was absolutely incredible to see a baby being born into the world in this nurtured and supported way.
A year and a half later I was living in Melbourne, studying writing for children. I had a vision to write children books which were also for the parent, allowing them to see things through the children’s eyes more clearly, leading the way to more conscious and passionate parenting.
I worked as a nanny to support my studies and began hearing many different kinds of birth stories. I remember being really shocked by some of the women’s birthing experiences and thinking it doesn’t have to be this way. Then I found about Doulas and a few months later I started my studies at the College of Spiritual Midwifery.
The college takes a very holistic approach with many alternative, yet still practical methodologies. There was a lot of self-enquiry in this time which then lead to me realise how helpful yoga would be in pregnancy and birth. Not only does it support the physical by building strength and preparing the body for the arduous task of labour, but it can teach a women about using her breath and intention when working with her own physical and mental limits. When a birthing woman feels centred and connected during birth it creates an incredible stillness in a birthing room.
As soon as I finished my Doula training, I undertook my yoga teacher training.
With my foundational interests in conscious parenting, and now my experience as a doula and yoga teacher it became obvious to me how big an impact a birth can have on a child’s personality and being. It was incredibly clear to me that if you want to parent consciously, you are going to have a leg up if you also birth consciously.
I realised that the more connected you are throughout your pregnancy, the more likely you are to have an empowered birth, and the more likely you are to have a connected parenting experience. And then I worked backward one more step and realised that if you do the conscious work before you even fall pregnant, your birthing and parenting experience will be one with awareness.
In my workshops I share the above view and offer practical and empowering tools for creating conscious conception leading to more conscious future generations which I truly believe is a major key in changing the world.
What keeps you inspired in your work?
For me it is the women that I come into contact with, and the stories that get shared with me. There is an alchemy that happens when women are supporting women and sharing with each other.
I currently run weekly women’s groups in Los Angeles. Each workshop is different, but they are an opportunity for self-exploration, a time to nurture and share with other women. It is really beautiful to see what happens to a woman when she is in this open and supportive environment.
Can you tell me a little bit about your Yoga for Fertility and Conscious Conception workshops?
I lived in Thailand for three years, which is where I undertook my yoga teacher training and began teaching yoga. I was living and breathing yoga.
I started up a five-day workshop called Tantric Mama. It explored conscious conception, connected pregnancy, empowered birth and parenting with awareness. When I got back to the Australia, I adapted the workshop to suit a busy western lifestyle and now I conduct a one-day workshop which focuses more on conscious conception and fertility.
In these classes women are asked to connect their hearts to their wombs, creating a friendship with their wombs and allowing themselves the opportunity to explore that space in their body. For women who have entered into the world of fertility doctors and have begun doubting themselves and their bodies, this connection to the womb often creates a powerful shift. They are able to come back to their own sacred femininity and reconnect with their own fertile nature, that I believe all women store.
My womb connection meditation is one of the ways we explore this heart to womb connection. The womb holds so much wisdom and there is an abundance of creative energy stored there. Therefore, this meditation is an amazing way to create warmth and connection in your own body no matter what stage of life you are in or what you are trying to create in the world.
What is one hope you have for birthing women?
For me, it would be for women to see other women birthing in an empowered way long before they give birth themselves. This way we could change the image and fear of birth that we have been fed for so long, and instead feel excited, inspired and trusting of our bodies and the birthing process. We can do this by attending a close friends birth and/or by watching relevant birthing documentaries. My personal favourite is Orgasmic Birth.