I’ve been thinking about my placenta.
I’ve never thought about my placenta before.
It’s funny, even though I offer placenta encapsulation for postnatal clients to consume, I’ve never actually considered that I once had a placenta or that it was once attached to me and…what happened to it?
This sudden sensing my placenta flows on from my Sacred Female Yoga (SFY) embodiment practice this morning.
As it happened, the way my SFY practice unfolded this morning was to centralise around core strength.
Core work wasn’t really intentional. My SFY practice is often free-style – like diving into a mystery and seeing what wants to emerge: where does she want to take me today? By ‘she’ I mean my body and the flow of energy that wants to move through me, attuning to my inner current and giving myself permission to listen, to feel, to move and to express in whatever way she wants, today. This is the gift of SFY embodiment practices.
Today she wanted the jade egg, which is always a pleasure and guaranteed to take me to deeper places within.
So, with egg invited in, it was a practice marked by initial pelvic floor awareness and centring my focus to my lower dantian, the area below my belly button, engaging neutral spine* and choosing to anchor my breath, my presence, my whole attention to the sensations being activated from pelvic floor to yoni to womb and then core abdominal muscles.
During SFY it usually surprises me how enjoyable it is to locate these muscles, to feel into this area of my body, to do the ‘work’.
After all, these are exercises I previously always skipped over! My lower belly is the place I’ve most neglected, my shameful area of soft and flabby weakness.
And it usually feels such an effort to do core work! I DETEST sit ups and burpees as much as I do push ups. I hate it because it makes me feel weak and frustrated and bored. I just won’t do it!!
This is different, and I suspect it has everything to do with the pelvic floor activation and my experience with the jade egg.
This is pleasurable!
This is core roll ups and half plank leg lifts with vaginal activation!
This is not just feeling into my core and working my abdominals, but first tuning into all the sensual, sexual Holy Mother! muscles that are the exquisite inner walls of my vagina, the throbbing pulse of my womb, the potent power lying latent in each and every female pelvis.
Oh that feels good.
Yes, its still EFFORT from muscles working, enough to make me sweat and shake, but it’s DELICIOUS.
Rather then turning away from the challenge it’s a pleasure to turn toward it.
It’s like a secret inner smile going on whilst I lengthen and stretch and breathe into my power.
I want to feel these muscles!
I want to experience these sensations!
This is locating my consciousness deep into beautiful, wild and unchartered territory: my body, my sensual, sexual centre and from here I rise.
There is something so juicy and enlivening about female embodiment practices. To me it’s exercise made easy, which makes sense given that SFY is yoga** designed for women’s bodies and feminine flow.
So what’s this got to do with my placenta?
At the end of my practice – the all important rest-receptive phase (I surrender, I receive) – I find myself lying face down belly to Mother Earth breathing deeply into my core. Breathing into Mother. Full belly breaths.
I feel how I’m held and supported and I can completely let go.
It’s here that a SFY embodiment meditation comes to me…
BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NAVAL:
I imagine an umbilical cord coming from my naval connecting down through the Earth to the centre, connecting deep into Mother. I visualise this as a blood red ruby deep in the heart of the earth, sensing me sensing her.
I breathe through my naval.
I sense and I feel and I visualise my imaginary umbilical cord reaching all the way down, anchoring into this beautiful ruby, my cord branching out into roots that encircle and weave their way around the heart of the earth.
Big belly breaths from the fullness of my naval. Feeling into my now activated core, charged with the energy raised through the more active asanas of todays practice.
It feels like I ENTER the Great Mother, not just resting on her surface but a complete return to the blood red warmth and home that was the womb.
It feels like being enveloped in plum velvet and there’s light that filters through, golden light that turns the darkness to rusty iron red interwoven with blood vessels all busily communicating with one another. Where I am feels so alive, like a pulse, a beat, a heart.
And it is here I meet my placenta!
Ever so briefly, just a SENSE but that glimpse is enough to CHANGE EVERYTHING, like a ‘before kids/after kids’ kind of moment.
Just a momentary recognition, a faint hint of a deeply held remembrance.
Hello there! A warm hug from my heart. My placenta! My very special friend, it’s so good to see you again.
And then it is over and my morning practice is finished with an involuntary thank you on my lips.
According to Traditional Balinese culture, the placenta is considered our twin who shares the womb with us, keeping us company so we’re never alone and sharing the birth process together.
At birth, if the cord is not severed too quickly, the placenta gives us her share of our blood so that our brain, heart and all our organs are deeply innervated whilst our placenta’s body dies in order to stay with us in spirit. Our placenta spirit twin then accompanies us through life, appearing again in spirit at death to guide and accompany us to the other side so we don’t die alone.
In this way, the placenta may be considered our very own guardian angel. Remembering this relationship and choosing to open to this very special connection by talking to your placenta, or acknowledging them through art or ritual helps reestablish this unique and blessed bond.
Unfortunately, due to modern birth protocols most of us are severed from this sacred twin prematurely and we learn to fear separation, abandonment and aloneness. This is birth trauma – original sin if you will – and it is painful and may take a lifetime to heal, if at all.– Robin Lim Placenta – The Forgotten Chakra
For your information…
*neutral spine – this is the super quick way to say a series of movements that engage the core. Essentially it means three steps: draw your naval toward your spine, pull up through your pelvic floor and engage your transverse abdominal muscles (which is a bit like imagining tightening your waist in a girdle. Voila! Now breathe! Ha ha, it’s easier then it sounds.
**yoga – yoga is the term I’ve used for convenience because it’s a quick and easy way to convey a concept, but in truth when I refer to SFY embodiment practices it is much more then traditional yoga asanas. The practice also incorporates ancient feminine Qi Gong (energy exercises) that have long been practiced by female Taoists to cultivate feminine sexual Qi as a means to health, vitality, rejuvenation, radiance, beauty…even immortality!
SACRED FEMALE YOGA EMBODIMENT PRACTICES
The benefits of embodiment practices can’t be taught. It’s something you can only experience for yourself through your own direct experience.
However, there is learning to be had in the sharing of stories, the kind of learning that transcends linear thought and speaks to the deeper knowing.
This is my sharing. May it inspire you to dive into your own Mystery...