Shiva Rea | Instagram: @shivarea108
Like many women, my whole yoga practice and teaching changed when I became pregnant. I had a preconceived notion that I would still practice third series Ashtanga, arm balances and all—the super woman. What happened was the opposite—the miracle of making a heart, brain, all those little organs put me into a deep stillness as I surrendered to this life-initiation. It took the entire first trimester to let my belly relax after cultivating for so long the lifted “in and up” uddiyana bandha core, which is also valuable, but we need both. This is the first release of balance that is initiated by our womb—an unwinding that many women in the West struggle against as the pressures of a flat-belly conditioning give way to deeper womb wisdom.
Our first invitation into being a mother is to learn to let go through love—a key, I believe, to women’s happiness. This potent shift of a relaxed belly has so many hidden benefits that we culturally deny.
Let’s try it now for all beings:
If we bring our hands to our lower belly, we can feel this shift of consciousness. Gaze inwardly into your heart and feel an intrinsic love streaming down into your womb (or prostate for men). As you relax your belly, feel a shift into a deeper knowing, an instinctual connection. As you exhale, let go of any emotional tension, shame, judgement. With a relaxed belly, feel this seat of natural happiness which decimates excessive thinking, worrying, and emotional constipation. A woman has this nine-month opportunity to retrieve this connection to womb wisdom for herself and the world. What brings such a change is love—pure love—for the little one that grows within. As women, we can continue to embody this womb wisdom after birth or at any phase of life. Now that my son is almost 18, I rely on this lower belly wisdom to help me be a better parent by listening to my instincts, being more present, and as my son becomes a young adult, to trust as he walks his path into this ever-changing world that we are always connected. This is the womb wisdom we can bring into our lives as parents and to make a difference in the world.