Honouring Our Bellies
by Marjut Vahtola
Resting Frog Yoga Studio
Chronicle Journal
Thunder Bay, Ontario
June 2006


Honour my belly? What a concept! No one has encouraged me to do that before. In fact, our culture wants to me to hide my belly. No longer! Belly bold: belly beautiful.

I attended Lisa Sarasohn's one-day workshop held in Thunder Bay just recently and I was impressed with Lisa's knowledge and creativity and her ability to impart what she has gathered over 18 years of study to the rest of us. Lisa taught us how to befriend our bellies and how to tap into our power that is gathered into and stored in our body's center.

Her new book, The Woman's Belly Book: Finding Your True Center for More Energy, Confidence, and Pleasure, has everything we learned at the workshop and plenty more. The exercises include awareness exercises, journaling, visualizations, and physical activity.

Included is the "Gutsy Women's Workout," with core principles and seven main exercises, which puts most of what you learn in the book into a 5 to 20 minute daily practice. Five minutes daily is all you need but you can go slowly and savour them on days you have more time or on days you really need more of the benefits. These exercises can release tension, give you more energy, unleash creativity, increase confidence, and amplify inner guidance. The exercises are powerful and playful. They are great for someone who has no daily schedule of exercise because they are very effective for the amount of time involved. They are great for including into an established daily practice, too. These exercises will enhance everything you do. Really. I have enjoyed and reaped the benefits already and await more rewards as I continue to work with the book.

What I love about her teaching is that she emphasizes that this is NOT a self-improvement program. We are already perfect: we only need to discover, affirm, and be true to who we already are. This book can be your guide. It is a hands-on book. It is a resource for unravelling your deeply held beliefs about your body and yourself.

Lisa has researched her subject thoroughly. She reveals our current and our past history of abuse of women's bodies. She tells her own story and the stories of other women. Her book surprises me. Her book makes me chuckle. Her book gives me belly laughs. Her book sobers me. Her book makes me realize that my problem is not with my belly but with my culture.

The book is a real gem. I encourage you to begin what Lisa calls "a belly-celebrating adventure." What we do to our bellies we do to ourselves. What we do to ourselves we do to the earth.

© 2006 Marjut Vahtola

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