The Women’s Wellness School
I have been interested in women’s health, pregnancy, mother’s and babies as well as fertility stemming directly from my own needs and curiosity. Beginning with my first of four pregnancies I felt the need to go deeper into my studies not only of the physical part of yoga but with the inner most knowledge of understanding and a connecting to the reality that my baby was directly influenced not only by what and how I did but through the food I ate, my thoughts, emotions and the ever connecting breath. I needed community and from there classes and seminars sprang up in our yoga Center along with full immersion situations (our home was both center and dojo) of living together in daily life and sharing.
I had begun studying pelvic health in long ago 1984 with the wife of the man I had gone to study with in Japan. From there I continued my studies of she sei ho (corrective exercises) and applying this to both pre and ante pregnancy as well as fertility challenges. I was surprised of the success in supporting women to become pregnant with just simple exercises, nutritional counselling and natural remedies. My understanding and practice took a deeper turn after my encounter with Francoise and Birthlight. After such a short time working with these incredibly powerful but gentle asanas I have felt an incredible change in my own subtle perception. I think the most precious wisdom that has opened up for me is a direct connection with my uterus and the feminine earth. Just walking after practicing created for me an immense feeling of centering, stability and connection in body mind and heart. I quickly brought these principles to enhance my teachings in yoga classes, women’s pelvic health classes, pre and ante natal classes as well as to the Women’s Wellness School (an experience of self care and nourishment for women through holistic cooking, yoga, natural remedies and the arts). It has had immediate effects for women, apart from strengthening (strengthening in terms of increasing tone and flexibility) and being very accessible in a short amount of time the practice serves as a doorway in getting in touch with their uterus, getting into deep connection with their feminine creativity and this at whatever age and life circumstances. The deep focused work is also balanced with such a joyful and caring quality that Francoise embodies that I find is so important in working with women.
With our non-profit association ‘SHARE' I will soon be taking this work and incorporating it into a context of shiatsu, natural remedies and nutrition for feminine health care in Rwanda. During the past 10 years of working with children in Rwanda I have informally met with some of the young women in our program about feminine health care when the need came up. While participating in a workshop with Francoise a new very heart felt project began to take shape. I have written to the women (they were once the young children who have grown up and are now part of a team who are now responsible for our project) if they are interested in training and then as an extension of SHARE eventually creating workshops supported by our association for other women in this very poor and impoverished section of Kigali. My dream is to see these beautiful young women being able to go out into their community and spread the Birthlight teachings. What I really appreciate about Birthlight is the way it embodies accessibility…not only in the teachings themselves but also in the philosophy that the foundations are so freely given and shared without dogma in a way that can be easily used and touched upon to such a wide range of women.