If I have been curiously absent from the blogosphere over the past few months, I have a very good reason. I am in the process of building a new little person. I found out I was pregnant back in October and after going through a period of rough first trimester sickness, I’m finally feeling less nauseated and less fatigued. My energy is returning and baby and I are doing well.
What this means for my dancing? Well, it has been an interesting journey. Being pregnant is, as I’m learning, challenging, especially physically and the aches that come with it are no cup of tea, but practicing belly dance, I continue to be amazed at just how perfectly this dance is designed to deal with those aches and pains. At times it seems as if it was designed specifically for my little pregnant body!
Just getting into the proper posture is like, Oh My God, SUCH a relief to my lower back! This illustration shows why getting into basic posture is so beneficial:
And then doing hip circles! Ah, I always feel SO much better after. I have long known ever since I started looking into the history of the dance that this is what it was meant for (I wrote another blog about this very topic here), but I guess I couldn’t fully appreciate just how powerful and useful this dance is for women, because I had never gone through being pregnant before. It not only greatly lessens the aches, but it makes me feel good about myself again, rejuvenated, and really connected to what’s going on in my belly and the little person in there.
I took the Dances for Birth training and it might as well have been belly dance, only in this format they told us WHY all these movements are so good for you and your baby and for labor and post-natal recovery.
In a way, I feel even more connected to my female ancestors now and I’m awed that they were somehow able to intuitively figure out how to move in ways which current medical science has proven is beneficial. I guess I’m just sort of astonished at what this practice is doing for this stage of my life. I have a completely renewed love and respect for belly dance in ways I don’t think I ever could have reached prior to this current journey. It’s fascinating. Having taught this dance for a handful of years now with a specific focus on it’s health benefits, to actually be experiencing them first hand has just made me that much more of an advocate for it.
In much the same way yoga is supremely beneficial for health and meditation, this dance form too is a great healing tool for women before and after the act of giving birth. I will keep you all posted on how it helps during labor and also my post-natal recovery.
Just for fun, here’s a video of one of my FAVORITE belly dancers, Blanca, dancing in her third trimester. She created this choreography to celebrate Sophia, her daughter. Sophia (wisdom) in Jungian psychology is the last level of anima development and allows females to be seen and related to as particular individuals who possess both positive and negative qualities: