and Beautiful Threads
by Cristina Eisenberg
I became a young woman in the late sixties, one of the first things my mother
did was buy me a panty-girdle. Then pantyhose arrived on the scene and the sixties
revolution hit, and I never wore another girdle. And so it was with great amusement
that I read Lisa Sarasohn's accounts of corsets and girdles and the women's liberation
of one of our most powerful body parts the belly. The Woman's Belly
Book provides a refreshing way of looking at our bellies the vessel
of our vitality as women, and the source of our emotions and sexuality.
Yoga instructor and bodywork therapist Sarasohn is also an award-winning essayist,
poet, and public speaker. She has filled The Woman's Belly Book with womb
wisdom and belly laughter. Using simple exercises, Sarasohn teaches you the importance
of breath, and how to allow your belly to move out and in as you inhale and exhale,
increasing your supply of oxygen. She guides readers through belly relaxing exercises
designed to soothe tension and enhance sleep. But her exercises go way beyond
conventional body wisdom, deep into Goddess spirituality.
is the life-affirming Bright Blessings standing pose, in which you move through
the cycles of maiden, mother, and crone, defining these three realms symbolically,
with body movements that center on your belly. These motions gather energy from
the earth, trees, and sky and bring it into your womb, to be received and stored
as blessings. Doing this exercise makes me feel full of life and opens up my core
to the day's possibilities.
In the chapter titled "Secrets of Your
Body's Center" Sarasohn covers tough subjects, such as eating disorders,
irritable bowel syndrome, and how the gut monitors the pressure in our daily lives.
By breathing deeply and rhythmically, you can send soothing signals to your involuntary
nervous system. Sarasohn likens this to rocking a cradle ever so gently.
Journaling and creativity exercises, such as writing a letter to your belly, add
another delightful dimension. Sarasohn provides poignant and heartwarming examples
from students of how miraculous things can happen when you release the pro-creative
power that your belly embodies. All of these activities are intended to help you
open your core, receive blessings into the center of your being, and live your
The bright and beautiful threads of celebration, self-acceptance,
and creative, sexual energy that run through this book can guide women to a powerful
spiritual awakening. It's so utterly and blissfully simple and it all begins
with our bellies.
review appears in SageWoman,
Issue No. 71, Winter 2007.]