Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kali. Abbie. Baby.

I had another "Aha!" moment this morning. Yesterday, I had a photo shoot for the upcoming Asana Exposed -- a photographic essay book on the transformative power of naked yoga from the creator of Naked Yoga NYC, ISIS Phoenix, with photographer Mike Cinquino. I've mentioned my naked yoga history briefly on this blog before. Very excited to be a part of this project!

During the photo shoot, ISIS Phoenix chose asanas that personified each of us (Cindee Rifkin, yoga instructor, was also a model at the shoot). One asana ISIS chose for me was Kali (Goddess) Pose. I'd never done it before and had a lot of fun doing it. Visually, it's a very simple pose -- wide squat, hands out to the side, tongue sticking out and a vocalization -- but internally, it's very powerful and freeing -- immerse yourself in Kaliasana and you'll quite possibly evoke Kali.

I researched the meaning of Kaliasana when I got home (I also found it under Utkata Konasana). Common thread: creative feminine force, used in prenatal yoga to prepare the body for labor and childbirth and in many tribes woman take the squatting pose during childbirth. The day before the shoot, I had a lunchtime discussion about that very thing--my desire to squat during labor and childbirth. I love that Isis knew that pose was "me".

After the photo shoot, I went to a bbq in The Bronx. There were so many beautiful brown babies running around and I found myself in another conversation about babies, pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood with a "Big Brother" of the group. You know how things work in the Universe, I may be blogging and posting actual pregnancy photos soon. We are in a New Moon...

Which asana feels right to you? Are there asanas that you feel the most at peace in, beautiful, powerful? Or an asana that challenges you and that's what you crave?

I'd also love to hear from any women who have squatted during childbirth -- how was the experience? Did you squat for one child and lie down/sit down for another birth; how do they compare? If you gave birth in a hospital, how accommodating was the staff?

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  1. I think Kali is very interesting - though more so from a Pagan perspective as someone who believes that all Gods and Goddesses are real, tangible and can be interacted with. Though I have been reluctant to worship or work with Kali - I know that she's a Dark Mother, and bringing her into your life can be disastrous. From my readings, she's the kind of energy that will destroy everything to make way for something new. She'll kick your ass; a hard core kind of teacher. So I think it's interesting that there's a yoga pose based on her.

    But in terms of asanas, though I haven't done yoga, and certainly not for very long! - I really like the Warrior pose. It's fun. :D

  2. I think in terms of yoga it's a matter of balance. She's a teacher and like you suggested there's removal to make room for the new. So you have to embrace positive and negative to have balance. Denying that there's any negative doesn't mean all will be good and positive. That's what I took from it. Also the fact that birth/creation takes place in that asana is very telling.


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