By: Maurene Merritt, RN & Yoga Teacher
I did not give birth the way that I had imagined, in a full, wide open squat like the 21st century contemporary hybrid creature that I was, half hippie and the other, a high-heeled, disheartened business woman. I tried, with one of my arms wrapped around Candyce's father, and my other one around Maura, my doula. But the force moving my baby out of my body was so strong that my spine arched back like a running, overextended fishing rod! So instead I squatted by baby out with a fully extended spine behind me, like the unintentional leaning tower of Pisa! I didn't know it at the time, and wouldn't find out for at least another decade, but I had just performed one of the ultimate class of poses in yoga called, "backbends". It makes perfect sense now, of course, that my body would take the form of something so vital and beautiful and outrageously untamed
with such rare, cosmic force moving through my body.
When we give birth to our babies, I believe that the release is so powerful that the spine has no choice but to move into extension followed by a springing action back into forward flexion.
It is here, if we wait and allow our attention to be expansive coiled in our origins, that we are privy to experience all of the energy accumulated in our bodies from giving birth before it dissipates into space.
It's why backbends are highly sought on a yoga mat, because they provide for the same energy release except in a much less exaggerated form; there is not approximately 8.5 pounds of substance moving out of the body! However, if one chooses to
remember their experience by journaling, contemplating and articulating, they'll deepen and enliven the newly opened pathway created in their nervous system. Then, more and more, opportunity will exist to strengthen and intensify the energy, clarity and happiness that backbending provides for.
It is with this in mind that I have created "The Star Gazer", a sequence of poses that simulates the actual birth experience and the subsequent release of energy.
We will soon be celebrating my daughter's 25th birthday. It feels like yesterday, that I had her in my arms and all to myself. And although she has left my arms, she will forever remain in my heart, along with my longing to recapture and live those rare precious moments, over and over again.
Together, forever, in our hearts,
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com/
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