Around this time last year, through an interesting series of events, I stumbled upon the practice of tantra.
Many Westerners are clueless about what tantra really is and only associate it with a particular kind of sex.
However, it’s actually an ancient set of tools, practices, and techniques that have to do with feeling the maximum amount of power, beauty, truth and pleasure inside of your body.
And it uses your sexuality to do that.
Through the play of masculine (Shiva) and feminine (Shakti) polarities, tantra empowers you to recognize the truth of who you are rather than asking you be believe someone else’s.
And, let me tell ya, since I’ve been practicing this ancient art, life has not been the same.
To be honest, after I hit my late 20’s, my sex drive went into high gear and I wanted to learn how to harness some of that energy to use for my own creative purposes.
Doing the doula thing and raising my kids required a mediocre amount of creativity, but I knew there was more creative potential I wasn’t tapping into that was available to take my life to new levels.
I wanted to create a business that allowed me financial and location independence doing what I love and having a positive impact in women’s lives by inspiring a revolution in how we do birth.
And I had no idea how to do that.
Then, tantra found me.
And now I’m overflowing with ideas.
So what does tantra have to do with birth? I’ll get to that in a minute.
First, it’s important to understand a bit about tantra before you can understand what it taught me.
One of the biggest concepts behind tantra that’s foreign to our western sex culture is that the focus is on pleasure with no agenda for orgasm or even intercourse.
Yeah, sounds totally foreign to our fast and hard, porn-initiated, focus on HIS pleasure western minds huh?!
Unfortunately, women in our culture are often expected to show up turned on and wanting, in the same way and time frame that men are.
And for a lot of us women, that’s just not how it works.
We need more time, we need eye contact, we need to feel safe and relaxed.
Seeing any similarities with birth yet?
Female turn on is still poorly understood. But, we do know that when men allow space and time to focus on our pleasure with no agenda or expectations, incredible things happen…like, we get turned on!
This is called “holding space,” – a very masculine (Shiva) thing to do.
In tantra, Shiva represents pure consciousness and feminine Shakti represents power.
When Shiva holds space through his consciousness for Shakti to step into her power, according to tantra, the two energies merge and worlds are born.
When women are given the space to use their power to create in their own unique way, amazing things like epic sex, babies, art, music, and ideas are born.
As I’ve learned, this sacred space holding is as important in birthing babies as it is to epic sex.
As a doula, I see it every time a mama is scared, anxious, and excited when her labor begins. Then, things start getting harder and she starts experiencing pain.
I show up, witness her, connect with her, hold space for her, and she calms down, feels safe again, drops her defenses, lets go, and settles into an ecstatic rhythm and ritual.
When I’m properly holding space for a laboring woman, even if she’s experiencing moments of pain, she looks like a goddess and experiences moments of pleasure and ecstasy too.
Something I had been doing in birth without even realizing it, was, in fact, one of the same techniques that men are taught in tantra to allow their woman to experience more pleasure and ecstasy than ever during love making.
This space holding is why women who are highly supported, loved, in a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment who are being witnessed experience PLEASURE in birth!
This is how orgasmic birth happens.
Unbeknownst to me, tantra taught me the importance of holding space for laboring women and that it’s just as vital to an epic and pleasurable birth experience as it is to epic and pleasurable sex.
And the ironic thing is, as a lover of divine feminine, it takes my masculine/Shiva/space holding energy to awaken the divine feminine/Shakti/power in the laboring women I serve.
What a beautiful play of polarities and balance indeed.
We’re always the last to figure out what we’re REALLY doing anyway.
With so much love,
p.s. If you’re interested in learning more about tantra, my friend and tantrika, Layla Martin, is starting the next round of her Epic Lovers Masterclass July 20, 2016. You can check out this mind-blowing, life-altering, and upper-limits of pleasure breaking class here.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, that testimonial quote about how surprised I was at my typical jeep driving “dude’s” reaction to taking the class was…yeah, that’s me!
p.s.s The Optimal Fetal Positioning series WILL continue next week! With school being out, it’s been difficult to shoot videos with a house full of kids…I’m sure you can relate 🙂