Womb Yoga Training
I’m just back from a training bender, I ‘ve written about Alexandra Pope’s ‘Menopause: unveiling your hidden power’ already and now wanted to report back from Uma Dinsmore-Tuli’s Womb Yoga training. Both are embodied, intellectual feminists and passionate about their subjects (and beautifully sweary). In fact Alexander and Uma are close allies and often work together; the psychology of the menstrual and creative cycle is made into physical reality with the graceful movements of Uma’s yoga practice.
The information and experiences are so rich and vibrant that it’s going to take me some time to process it all and let it filter through, both for myself and for my work.
What is Womb Yoga?
Uma’s work comes from a feminist observation that most mainstream yoga is athletic and active and consequently not suitable for all women all of the time. It often takes a linear rather than a cyclical view, consequently If you are
- Have your period
- Want to conceive a baby
- Are postnatal
- Breast feeding
Then for various reasons, a regular yoga style may not suit you.
Womb Yoga’s nourishing asanas are not depleting, instead they honour our cyclical nature, the creative cradle of the pelvis and nourish the heart/womb connection; the very things that increase feminine vitality. Her work creates balance by giving space for the elegance of our own unique movement to arise from within, honouring our internal seasons.
As well as the beautiful practice, we had illuminating anatomy discussions, learned practices for specific issues like prolapse, fertility, menopause, menstruation, PMT, postnatal recovery. There was Kirtan chanting, wonderful sharing groups and we refined rock solid positions for our feet to ground the feminine energy. And two awesome yoga nidras a day, TWO!
Definitely in the right place
Here is how I knew I was in the right place, arriving on the first day very nervous about cutting it with a room full of bendy yoga teachers, Uma met me with;
“Come in and lie down. Make yourself super-comfortable.”
And once I was perfectly comfortable and grinning from ear to ear, she started the yoga nidra by saying,
“Being here is a radical act. Be welcome, perfect exactly as you are, without changing anything. Celebrating whatever naturally arises IS a political act”.
If you would like to get a sample of Uma’s Yoga Nidra style, you can find some downloads here. Do make a donation if you can!
Yoga and massage, a radical act?
I was grinning in recognition, this is exactly how I feel about a client coming to lie down on my massage couch; If you can listen to your body’s needs, then there is no need to buy cosmetics or have surgery or new clothes to make yourself feel better, because everything you need will be within your grasp. Given how much money is generated from women’s insecurities, listening to the body speak IS a radical act.
As is yoga and massage both, there is also a vast philosophical difference between ‘fixing’ the broken/disregarded parts of someone’s’ body and celebrating their juiciness by honouring where they are in the moment.
The elegant heart/ womb gestures that Womb Yoga uses are the perfect outward gesture of the inner flow and I see my work now as facilitating this connection in my clients. It can heal the womb-space with the loving energy of the heart, and allowing the creativity of the womb-space to rise up, nourishes the heart in turn and allows our creativity to be made manifest. This simple flow is central to the work of women’s healing.
I was first taught about this connection in my pregnancy massage training at Well Mother with Suzanne Yates. She uses the conception vessel that runs up the midline to help bring women ‘home to themselves’. The most yin meridian in the body, it makes an appearance in most of my massage treatments, providing a deep, still place for women to rest in. It helps
- Anyone who rushes around too much
- Tiredness and depletion at all points of your cycle
- Mums-to-be to connect with their babies
- Women who want babies
- Women who want to expand their creativity
When I am grounded and work with my heart /womb connection in flow, as well as modeling well being, I leave behind linear constructs of fixing my client and can allow intuition to guide my hands to do the work they need to do.
- What has been shameful becomes loved.
- What is dry becomes juicy
- What has been hidden comes to light.
- The old griefs can be healed
Having no plans to teach yoga myself, then what’s this all about? I am using the practices I learned from Uma every day and feeling my way into the effects they have in my body. I hope over time to integrate them into the services I offer to women as part of a radical self-care package that will include teaching the self-care massage, visualisations and simple gestures and exercises to help the flow of feminine energy.
Here’s a video of Uma doing her thing. But if you want to keep up to date with my new services for women’s health, you can get access to the video of how to do the self-care belly massage and regular updates by following this link http://bit.ly/KateCodringtonMassage You just have to fill in your name and email and you’ll receive a link to the video.