~ yogic sound as preparation for birthby Jolie Cash
Her jaw is soft, her eyes are locked on those of her lover. As the surge rebounds from the last, she finds her exhale and begins to moan a long deep guttural “OM”. He catches her queue and begins to follow her sound as if he were being guided through the journey with her. Kristina fades; Mark continues to hold the tone so that the baby can still feel their connectedness through the vibration as she finds her place again now allowing him to guide her. With each moment the surges get deeper so she follows that energy down with her sound and allows that sound to move her hips as she is guided to dance the wave. The surge fades and she finds her breath once again.
In Hot Mama Prenatal Yoga I teach the integration of wisdom and intuition, in order to release the old to make room for the new. Removing any fear or inhibition around what “may” happen during the birth process supports the natural birth process. In nature when you watch an animal give birth, it does not stop to look around at who may be watching or think about who may be listening. They simply allow the moans from within to take over and the movement of the natural process of not only the pelvis opening but also moving to allow the baby to share in the process by its own movement. Kristina demonstrated the vibration of sound and movement to guide her and the baby into a spontaneous rhythm of riding the surges just as nature intends.
In Yoga the main line of energy runs though the center of the body (directly through the physical spine). We spend our time in yoga opening channels to allow that energy to flow upward to bring the kundalini (or serpent like energy of awakening) up the central channel, known as the Sushumna, to tap the bindu (a space located in the base of the brain that is said to be the place where the “nectars of samhadi”, or bliss, reside) Seemingly contrary to that process, in prenatal yoga, Hot Mama Yoga focuses not only on awakening the spiritual, since yoga asana (postures) naturally do this, but also on moving the energy down to a comfortable state of understanding the connection of the palette to the perineum. Hot Mama Prenatal Yoga classes include the use of sound as a way to connect the perineum with the palette as a main flow of energy in the birthing process (or the jaw with the hips for a more physical approach). By sharing breath and sound with movement in a safe, sacred, nurturing space, women become less inhibited during the birth process and more willing to follow their body along with the baby through the process.
The breath is also a very important focus in prenatal yoga as it becomes a main focus during the birthing process. Together with the breath, sound and movement is offered and thus places energy and attention to moves out of the mind and tight jaw to the pelvis, with the intention of utilizing the combination to relax the body and bring focus toward opening instead of contracting.
Try this exercise, an adaptation of my favorite exercise from the Birthing From Within method:
- Place your hand in a bowl of ice water. Make sure it is really cold.
- Allow your hand to sit there until it becomes painful and most likely numb. Be cautious not to cause harm by leaving it too long.
- Now focus on that pain. See where your attention is and notice what part of your body is tight. Now take your attention right to the pain. Allow the breath to deepen.
- Focus on the inhale. As you exhale open the mouth and make the sound of “aaaahhhhh”. Continue this for a few breaths.
- On your next exhale allow the sound to change to “oooooooo’ as in the sound of “oooopen”. Notice where your energy and attention are now?
- Practice this for a few more rounds and allow yourself to move into the pain until it becomes a part of your breath and the sound vibrates it to a peaceful place.
- Then remove hand and place in a warm towel.
The purpose of adding the sound to the breath is not for distraction, it is to allow the vibration of the sound to facilitate the surge of “energy”. Many women think of labor as pain, and yes! It can be painful, but is it pain or is it “alive”? To allow that motion to continue in its course, again, you can facilitate it along with the intention of opening instead of contracting. And with the principles of the yogic teachings of energy, the main channel is directly related by the sound from palette and jaw to the pelvis, hips and perineum, thus allowing the opening to expand and the energy to move down as nature intended to the process of birth to do.
The process of birth is a rite of passage and a beautiful expression of prana (life energy), vibration and movement. By introducing this to a Hot Mama in a safe nurturing environment prior to birth, it empowers her to be fully who she needs to be during her process which in turn shares with the baby the permission to flow with the birth plan set out by the divine.
“Hot Mama Yoga is about empowering woman, their changing bodies, and through them, their partners and children. By empowering woman in their bodies during the most important time of their life, I feel that I can bring the consciousness back to the support of the sisterhood. Hot Mama Yoga is about bringing women back to the source of spiritual experiences through pregnancy and birth. A time in life that has been forgotten where women support women, where women sit in circles of women and remind each other of themselves when they forget. “
Jolie Cash, the director of NWSY, the home of Hot Mama Yoga, is a DOULA (labor and birth support) that believes in natural birth, the experience of "natural" rite of passage and supporting birth choices. When Jolie isn’t teaching Hot Mama Yoga, she is training others how to teach yoga. She is a natural birth advocate, an author, inspirational speaker of empowering women and all around baby lover. Jolie also teaches regular workshops, Teacher Trainings and retreats throughout the United States.
Nature’s Whisper School of Yoga is located at 4205 Park Blvd, San Diego. For complete class schedule and studio details visit www.natureswhisper.com. To contact Jolie directly about the upcoming Hot Mama Yoga Teacher Training, or to book her for an event at your location, you may contact Nature’s Whisper School of Yoga at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nature’s Whisper is also a member of the Green Yoga Association offering a toxic free environment for babies & Hot Mamas. NWSY is also a member of Your Natural Baby San Diego.