Friday, December 4, 2009

Spread 'Em

Odd thought in yoga tonight: there are very few times in my current life when I allow my legs to be completely wide open.

For the 15 years during which I was a gymnast, the "straddle" position was just a normal, everyday stance for me. However, since I graduated from high school and stopped spreading 'em wide for uneven bar routines, etc., I only make the leg-V when doing my post-run/workout stretching regime or in yoga.

Obviously, in yoga it's a whole different thing--a vulnerable, opening kind of thing that I was feeling a little bit wary of tonight. As I lay on my back with my legs bent up, heels together, knees apart, I thought about this and remembered the birth I went to as part of my Senior Project in high school, how the laboring woman had her legs spread-eagled as her husband and I held her her feet against our chests. Quite a view! Lots of opening...

Although I know every woman choses a different position for giving birth (with a midwife, at least), it does seem to me that I'll need to regain some of my comfort and confidence with my legs being spread open if I'm to allow for the literal and psychological openness that birth requires. I can already see, just from the yoga position, how tricky and risky it is to open one's legs wide and give in to the experience--not use it to stretch particular muscles or to prepare for a particular movement, but to just let the whole body breathe. Given how wide the vagina has to open literally, giving birth must be a psychic/energetic opening beyond my wildest imagination!

Scary thought, but oh so inviting too.

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