Willow Magazine CREATING LIFE - Page 43

I discovered my own unique awakening through the experience of birthing my three gorgeous children. My first son Kailash was born in 1996, his brother Tariq in 1999 and then my daughter Aminah in 2008. All were extraordinary gifts; priceless journeys offering an expansive lens to view the inner chambers of my own heart's life story, revealing the essence of both its beauty and mystery. It was Aminah’s birth- a home water birth - when I was at the ripe young age of 46 which deepened my understanding beyond a doubt that when we truly embody birth it has enormous potential to be a spiritual practise for all women. Every mother has an incredible opportunity to dive into this ocean and find her treasure casket. And like all transformative, spiritually aligned experiences, I got to feel a mysterious essence that words cannot describe, knowing I could never be the same again. The old me re- modelled into the mother me; changed and touched by a holy hand forever etched within mine and my children's veins.

It is these sentiments that brought me to found Bellydance For Birth® in 1997 renamed as EmbodyBirth™. Over the past 20 years I have taught hundreds of mothers and birth caregivers, nationally and internationally this unique and special modality. We use the principles of the ancient art of BellydanceBirth® and sacred somatic childbirth preparation to teach pre-natal classes that inspire woman to connect to herself and baby in a positive and nurturing way.

When we prepare for birth, each woman has her individualised requirements that are predominantly configured for safety and comfort. These also include patience, love, care, compassion, and support, a sense of timelessness, respect and reverence within the birth field. It’s important that birth caregivers attune to these needs by setting up environments that understand the way in which hormones flow for birth and a woman’s body softens to open. When we have an understanding of this, and a mother gets to connect with her body and baby in the pre-natal period with meaningful intent, she can embody her experience in a more open, surrendered and relaxed way.

Remember, the language of the feminine for birthing has a particular vocabulary that craves to be respectfully heard and understood in her eloquence and entirety. Often the platform upon which she speaks to garner this respectful dialogue is a hierarchical system that prides itself more on maternal management and control than compassionate communication. It is imperative that women can speak their truths to an ear that honours their expression and listens with a mindful intention. This alone prepares women’s bodies for birth and helps open the gateway to their spiritual exploration because when we feel seen and heard, body tensions are naturally relieved and we are more inclined to surrender our emotional and physical holdings. When we can surrender with this kind of awareness, through these gateways, supported and loved, we have an opportunity to excavate deeply into our unconscious. Our babies then get the chance to navigate through the birth process with a mother who has actively created clear channels for baby’s experience.

Photo credit: Katrina Folkwell

Additionally, we can say that a fundamental principle of embodying birth is one that advocates that mother knows her body, her baby and her birth. This mystical blueprint of birth eternally resides within every woman. It is configured like a wise old tree with its tapestry of roots embedded deep beneath rich fertile soil. These roots extend out far and wide connecting us all to the lineage of our origins and available to us to draw from so we implicitly know that we are a part of the one source womb wisdom. When we become pregnant we feel reassured, not only from the roots of this said tree, but also from our own self referenced place of autonomy that we are perfectly designed to gestate and birth our babies. Then our instinctive and neuro biological intelligence guides us energetically, emotionally and physically to mother our babies. We are not victims of the experience; rather, we are carriers of great spiritual gems glistening upon the ocean of Humanity emanating Love and unity for all beings.

EmbodyBirth™ brings us home to our body, heart, womb, mind, hands and babies for birth where we know that our bodies know birth as a timeless song and dance. It is here we anchor and believe in our ability to open for birthing.

In pregnancy we prepare our four bodies – physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual – through using the foundational feminine soft rounded and Earthy movements of BellydanceBirth®. These movements express the shapes of Nature that reveal themselves to us – circle, spiral, figure 8 and wave like motions. For example we can move into the grounded circular patterns with our hips and pelvis, moving into our womb knowing accessing primal information and conditioning the physical body. Not only are we bringing blood and oxygen into our uterus and bodies with our babies, we are also bringing awareness, love, sustenance, nourishment and respect that will instil confidence and strength. The movements are gentle and soft asking us to release and let go into our emotional world. We begin the excavation into the layers of who we are as women and mothers and this is a beautiful gift that opens doorways into mystery.

Pregnancy asks of us to be in stillness, meditative states, our joy, our fears, our vulnerability and our humility. The key is to BE in everything we are feeling safely held and supported by our partners and community. This is what makes a huge difference and impacts the brain development of our babies in utero both energetically and physically. Of course we started this in the pre conception stage and will continue to the peri natal period and beyond. The environment that our baby is marinated within plays a huge role in the wiring of their nervous system and a well-supported pregnant mother who can express and be all she needs to be within a loving compassionate sphere is optimal. By taking responsibility too and choosing activities such as dancing and using meditative movement regularly we can calm our nervous system. Having an awareness of foetal development in utero gives us an understanding of choices that will enhance our baby’s development. We are not looking for perfection rather we are seeking to make informed choices that work best for us as mother without external judgements.

So in conclusion and at the very least when we come to give birth, if we have been truly and lovingly supported in our pregnancy journey, we are more likely to enter the gateway of this rite of passage in tune with ourselves and our baby. Even if we have unresolved issues and fears this too is perfect. There will always be more to experience, more to know and understand because life is a mystery, an organic process of self-inquiry. We cannot know everything. Each birth brings us a new perspective as we mature and transform as women. I have a favourite saying I share in my classes –

“know all and know nothing - be open to receiving the mystery (my story) with your baby”.

This is how we embody birth as a spiritual practice.

Photo credit: Katrina Folkwell

Love all

Maha Al Musa – June 2016

Spiritual Birth Visionary and Birth Activist.

Founder of EmbodyBirth™ (formerly BellydanceBirth® since 1997)

Natural Term breastfeeding advocate in worldwide media from 2012-2016.



Maha Al Musa has 20 years’ experience in the birthing world working with pregnant women and birth professionals as a spiritual birth visionary. She is the founder of EmbodyBirth™. She is a mother of three beautiful children, the last one born at home at the age of 46. Maha is an award winning self-published author, an internationally renowned speaker, birth activist and a breastfeeding advocate worldwide having been featured in 3 documentaries in 2015.

In 2011, she also won the one world birth national hero award. The philosophy of her sacred somatic childbirth education program is that birth is a spiritual practice. Its purpose can be harnessed to help elevate Love Consciousness on this planet for the health and wellbeing of our collective Humanity.

It is imperative that women can speak their truths to an ear that honours their expression and listens with a mindful intention. This alone prepares women’s bodies for birth and helps open the gateway to their spiritual exploration because when we feel seen and heard, body tensions are naturally relieved and we are more inclined to surrender our emotional and physical holdings.

IMAGE CREDIT: Womb Warrior