So I connected with Nekole after seeing a tweet about her workshop at this year’s Sex 2.0 conference where she presented about TantricBirth. Sounded pretty interesting to me! I invited Nekole to write this post about how she defines TantricBirth. Learn more at her website.
Nekole Shapiro synthesizes a lifetime of experience as a body worker and Tantric practitioner, her birthing experiences as a mother and doula and her profound love of science into TantricBirth, a holistic approach to the birthing experience. The TantricBirth system uses interviews, presentations, classes and direct family planning and birth support to enable families to have an empowered birth experience. Nekole is an LMP and holds a BA in Asian Studies and a Premedical certificate from Columbia University.
An Introduction to TantricBirth
Our human experience is deliciously deep. It is impossible to affect one aspect of ourselves without affecting another. Our parts are woven together like a tapestry. When I hold my baby and feel love, my body undergoes a change, my spirit is affected and my mind is altered. When I am embodied, I am aware of all of this as it happens and can feel it in every cell of my being. When I am embodied, I feel my power.
Other than during her own birth or death, a birthing woman enters the most altered physiological state of her life. Because we are an interconnected weave of human experience and expression, this altered physiological state is also an altered emotional, mental and spiritual state. All of who we are is changing at a rapid pace as we labor and birth our babies, and again as our bodies get used to no longer housing a baby. In this way, if I can embody the birthing experience, I can access a power greater than any I have felt before.
I utilize techniques that engage and integrate the body, mind, emotions and spirit when supporting a family to have a TantricBirth experience. Prior to pregnancy, I engage the mind in the process of learning what options are available to the family. I cover topics such as: What type of birth does your insurance cover? What birthing facilities are available in the area? What care providers are available and will they interview? I bring women into their physical bodies. I ask them to become aware of their menstrual cycles, to get their bodies open via bodywork, breath work, yoga, dancing, and whatever mediums they like. I invite them to investigate the parts of their body that will conceive and birth their baby. With each aspect of what I teach, emotions may arise. We pay close attention to them and allow room for them to be investigated. These practices and many others facilitate birth embodiment prior to the birth itself. It is preparation for birth. It is preparation for parenthood. It is preparation for the rest of your life.
If one life is deep, multiple lives interwoven together are cavernous. TantricBirth supports building the family unit before the child is conceived. This means building the intimacy of the future parents. I ask all partners to be present for all sessions. We talk about how their relationship is doing and how each partner is feeling. I engage them in practices to build their intimacy and of course give a good amount of juicy homework. Building the primary parental relationships prior to conception and birth builds a strong foundation from which the family can grow and a new life can be fostered.
TantricBirth is a model of birth support that aims to empower the family unit through holistic embodiment practices and intimacy building exercises. Like labor and birth, it is fun, thrilling, hard, and fulfilling work with an outcome more powerful than you can imagine! Let’s bring people’s attention to this reality. Let’s prepare and support them to have an embodied birthing experience. Holistic preparation and support can facilitate a birthing experience that connects us to our power and heals us from the shackles that previously kept us from it.
Guest post by Nekole Shapiro