To My favorite Yoginis,
I've just returned from the hospital were Sara sits on the edge of the hospital bed, her hair pinned up and back in a scruffy ponytail, wearing a mismatched flannel pajama set, all casual backdrops for her brilliant, beaming smile. She has just given birth two days ago to Gavin, a handsome, expansively alert young fellow who was comforted by Dad strolling him while Sara and I talked of her experience. Sara had a remarkable birth experience, with a quick ride to the hospital through transition and only 15 minutes of what Sara coined "chanting" her baby out. I asked Sara what helped her through her labor. Sara was quick to respond that is was the sound that she made with every contraction. She said "I could hear you in my mind say to me, Sara you need to let your voice be known, let yourself make sound". Just the week prior, in prenatal yoga we were practicing creating sound through contractions, giving ourselves permission to be heard.
I ask Sara too who was faithful to yoga and wanted her pregnancy/birth to be a spiritual experience, how was her experience spiritual. Sara described two separate occasions. The first one she said was in early labor. She described being alone in her room, huddled over her labor ball, simply humming and rocking. Chad piped in exclaiming that Sara often just disappears like she did, finding moments of enjoyment in her solitude. She said that she was "in another realm". The other event in her labor that she described as surreal is when she was pushing Gavin out of her body.
It is these places of feeling surreal and "in another realm" that many women describe having during their labors. Unfortunately what happens is that life goes on and the demands of a newborn at times are all consuming and we lose these precious, extraordinary moments to the mundane and ordinary. Yoga is a wonderful vehicle to fine-tune the body/psyche to naturally pay attention to subtly where these extremely, delightful states of being exist. Then when we do encounter big events like childbirth, we will be more available to flow with and hold longer what many have searched endlessly to have as their very own throughout time.
In love and light,