Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
piece is her response when asked about retirement: "I'm not tired the
first time! Much less Retired." Let insurance companies and gov't
officals pay attention: The midwifery model is improving lives, saving
lives and money. And you are never too old (or young, or late) to make
See the CBS News broadcast: Beating the Odds. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4428535n
And a favorite quote: Anybody who thinks they are too small to make a
difference, has not spent a night alone in a room with a mosquito.
The most obvious level where this takes place is the physical: the
cervix (mouth or opening of the uterus where the developing baby
resides) dilates so the baby can move down and out through the vagina.
More needs to open, though. The heart, so that unconditional love can
provide the faith, motivation and commitment to continue even when it
is very difficult. The mind, to even consider that it is possible that
something the size of a grapefruit can come out of something we
perceive as the size of walnut and also to imagine ourselves in the
role of parents, completely responsible for another human being whom
we have not even met before. One of my clients called this Opening the
Three H's: Head, Heart, Hoo-Hoo. Opening also takes place in the home,
family, to new activities such as changing diapers, information about
things you never knew existed, relationships and other changes.
Letting go is the first act of parenting when the baby enters the
world as a separate entity from his or her mother. Before that, it is
neccessary to let go of control and expectations to allow the powers
of labor do their work. In its strong effort to let go, the body
releases all manner of fluids: tears, sweat, amniotic fluid, blood,
urine, breast milk or colostrum and sometimes vomit. In labor, women
will often let go of politeness, held emotions, self-consciousness,
old hurts...Birth asks that women let go of who they were before, and
open to the person they are becoming. By letting go of how one thinks
things should be, it becomes possible to open to what is.
If we look to nature, as yoga suggests, we will witness just what to
do. When it's fruit is ripe, a tree releases it. It is simple. It is
no wonder the Buddha achieved instant enlightenment under the bodhi
tree and that the tree is a prominant symbol in many cultures.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Yoga's popularity came through the fitness door and these essential practices and teachings fell by the wayside. Often overlooked, the yin or restful aspect of yoga seals in the benefits. It is the yin that balances yang. Ha-tha is the traditional name for yoga as a physical practice. We become flexible by putting our bodies in different positions so that life doesn't bend us out of shape. We go upside down to gain new perspectives. Ha and Tha mean sun and moon; Ha-tha is yoga's representation of yin and yang. The more active, forceful, busy our lives, the greater the need for balance with receptivity, rest, letting go.
Restorative yoga creates the conditions for relaxation, rest, and renewal. It allows the body and mind to reset, heal and rejuvenate. Numerous studies have demonstrated the concrete benefits of relaxation. Relaxation is different from sleep. It is possible to tense the muscles and move fitfully in sleep. When we relax, we remain awake enough to enjoy resting. Stress hormones, which cause harm to the body over the long-term, dissipate.
In Restorative yoga, the body is completely supported by pillows, blankets, blocks and bolsters to aid in letting go. The props shoulder the burden for the practitioner. Poses are held long enough for deep relaxation to unfurl. Many people report having transformative and healing experiences through these practices.
Many studios now offer restorative yoga. I am excited to be leading these classes at The Mindful Body.