There is something missing in our current understanding of both Yoga and Birth. The work I do as a Yoga teacher and a Doula places me in the interesting position of being intimately connected to it. Repressed in both realms, invisible and intangible, this thing is the Feminine, the movement of Life.

Her absence is taken for granted, felt to be so normal that we don’t  notice the void. But try to give birth while cut off from Her! I witness the suffering women undergo in an environment that demands that we do. A caesarean rate of twenty-five to thirty percent is a reflection of this disassociation. Living in these statistics is a huge amount of pain, passed from one generation to the next. I write to share the awareness that some of this pain is unnecessary. Giving birth can be an opportunity for integration and the joy and power that comes with it, a realization of our natural state.

I write too, to bring the Feminine into Yoga. Without Her, there is no Yoga! It’s that simple, that fundamental. The Feminine principle must be put back into the technology of Yoga, into how we move and breathe. Women, sex and birth are not peripheral to Yoga but are at the root of it. The Feminine isn’t a “women’s issue”. The Feminine isn’t a Tantric “tool”.  The Feminine is Life. And as Krishnamacharya said, “Yoga is about Life.”  Over the last few thousand years, She has gotten lost. We are bringing Her home.

I am a woman writing. From an historical perspective, this is, in itself, a rare thing. Outside of a few books written by extraordinary midwives in the 16th and 17th centuries, birth only came to be written about when men invented the role of obstetrician alongside their new forceps. They didn’t write about what they didn’t know. They didn’t write about a lot.

To be a woman writing about Yoga is even more rare. My sex and my work link me to the invisible and render me the same. But my words are here, now. Atha Yoga! My hope is that they are useful. I welcome yours in return.

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