About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Dancing for Birth Teacher Certification™ workshop and some of the Midwifery Today Conference. What an amazing week that was for me, to be in the presence of all that wonderful female and birth energy was energizing and very inspiring.
First of all, the Dancing for Birth™ Workshop is such a dream come true for me! I was completely unaware that such a program existed and to have a merging of two of my passions, dance and birth, into one program seemed too good to be true! When I received the newsletter from a local retreat house that they hosting a workshop the following week I was amazed! Now mind you, it wasn't that I was naive to the benefits of dance, particularly belly dance for the prenatal and laboring mommy. As a matter of fact, just the weekend prior I had taught a workshop on this topic called, "Dancing Your Way Into Motherhood." I had a very simple workshop focusing mostly on dance moves that would be helpful during labor. What was super awesome about this workshop was that Stephanie Larson combine childbirth education and dance into an amazing workshop! She was also reviewed doula tips so I felt like it was this wonderful dance and doula workshop rolled up into one! Furthermore she had the ability to put into much better words the benefits of dance during labor. Asymmetry of the hips and providing OFP (optimal fetal positioning) were some of the things quite honestly, I did not address. She opened up my vocabulary in such a powerful way that now I feel better able to share the knowledge I have on both subjects. She also presented a lovely class format that provides a safe and intimate setting for mothers and mothers to be. Oh, and another really fun aspect to the workshop was we learned other birth pertinent dances that were Latin, from Africa and even a pinch of Reggae. I have taught my first demo class and have sent my certification pack in so I will soon be offering Dancing for Birth™ Classes in my area. I will let you know when are where so you can come join me!
That week also happen to coincide with the Midwifery Today conference which I had signed up for back in January.That was such an act of faith on my part because the Midwifery Today conference has been in Philly several times in the past and I had all kinds of excuses as to why I could not go. (lack of money, no time etc.) But this year was different, this year I decided not to put aside my dreams for excuses. How happy I am to tell you I so do not regret this decision! Wednesday was a pre-conference Herbal workshop with Janice Marsh-Prelesnik. What a wonderful knowledgeable and fun woman she is! We learned about different herbs that were specific to pregnacy, labor and postpartum. We received a very useful and informative meteria medica of herbs with pictures to help us identify them. We tasted every one of the herbs we talked about, made infusions and a tincture to take home. It was great to be with ladies who loved plants and birth as much as I do, if not even more.
It was just such a special place to be having the opportunity to make connections with other doulas and childbirth professionals. Being able to sit in round table discussions with such special folks and experts like Naoli Vinacer, Ina May Gaskin, Debra Pascali-Bono, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Michel Odent, and Marsden Wagner(who if you did not already know went into retirement). But by far the highlight of my time was meeting and being blessed by dear Sister Morningstar, the author of the Power of Women ! She was an amazingly tiny, holy, fireball of a lady. I enjoyed her thoroughly and it was a joy to be in her presence. Her gift of storytelling is so empowering and is something I would aspire to.
So what is the end result of this birthy week? Well, I signed up for Childbirth Educator courses through Birth Arts International. I also signed up for more doula training, can't get enough of that, and I am still moving ahead with my Herbalist Courses. I am still doing a lot of learning, but after all that is what Wise Woman do.