Saturday, January 22, 2011

More On Intention And Rituals

Sarah and Chad have asked me to help them prepare for birth with a private partnered yoga session. Here is an excerpt from my introductory letter encouraging them to use rituals at our session to help support their birth intention, and enliven their experience with beauty, substance, and power.

We can add weight to ritual by framing them in the elements. Consider the following possibilities.

Earth is the grounding, solid, heavy quality needed to give birth. It is the heavy, open pelvis. It's the contracting uterus pulling you down, the blood of a bloody show, and the placenta after birth.



Jessica's mom passed around crystals at her daughter's baby shower inviting guests to meditate and send Jessica blessings and love for her birth. I noticed entering Jessica's room at the hospital that she had the crystals resting on her pregnant belly while she was sleeping.

Fire is the fuel you need to push your baby out, and remain focused on your intention despite tendencies that may keep you feeling small, contracted, and inadequate. You may wish to reflect on your life thus far and call forth those activities or experiences that required you to dig deep? Do you have a momentum symbolic of that time? What reminds you of transformation?

*Unlit candles
*Graduation caps

In Love and Light,


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Create A Ritual For Your Intention

Now that you have your intention, it is time to ground it in ritual. Remember, intention is purposeful creation of thought and moves in realms that are very difficult for us to hold. Despite its' elusive nature, she is worthy of pursuit since intention has the power to direct energy, and energy moves matter including the physical body (even pregnant bodies)! One of the ways we can hold such subtle refinement is to surround ourselves with items that help to arouse its essence. Rituals do just that. Rituals use items in conjunction with activities for the purpose of igniting intention.

The very finest display of ritual I ever encountered was with a woman who gave birth at the hospital. The very moment I walked into her room, my full attention went to an altar she had created on the bureau. Her altar was so elaborate, I couldn't seem to get enough, looking at each of the figures, resisting my temptations to hold and feel them through my fingers.

Many of the items placed on the alter were pieces that she had created ritual around. For example, do you see the bag of small stones in one of the pictures? Every time she thought of herself giving birth and wanting to be open and free, she took one of the pepples and placed it in the small box with the mother and child figure carved on the top.

Consider creating ritual around a steady, continuous yoga practice. Bring a small floral pillow, or even one of the bolsters we use so frequently in our class at the hospital. When it is time to give birth, bring the items with you to help remind you of your intention.

Here are some other ideas you may want to consider using to create ritual for your birth. Integrate the elements into your story to further help ground your intention i.e., earth, water, fire, air and ether. Be creative and have fun!

*bright floral pillows
*perfume sprayer filled with rose water
*a bowl of rose water
*sage sticks
*candles (please, they cannot be lit in the hospital)
*chimes to hang on IV poles

In love and light,


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Listening For Intention In Malasana

My dearest ones,

When I gave birth to my daughter Candyce now almost a quarter of a century ago, I knew nothing about yoga, power in your spine called kundalini, or transformation. All I knew was that I believed that by giving birth naturally I was doing the best for my baby and that the process somehow would bring me closer to her. Of course, I was so madly in love in my pregnancy, I wanted to drown in the intense love that I felt inside of me. I wanted to merge with what was inside of me.

My intention for natural childbirth may have been irrational, but love is not about what is explainable but rather what one is willing to risk for the sake of truth, connection and happiness.

There is an asana called Malasana (squatting) that provides the perfect conditions for one to hear intention in pregnancy. In squatting, there is an opening, with the thighs taken wide, and the womb exposed to daylight. Simultaneously, the pose provides protection needed for introspection, as the spine drapes over the portal to new life. The pose physically is effortless. The work is all inside, breathing, listening, waiting. Waiting, not just for the baby, but what is ever lasting, the glory in the moment.

In love and light,