Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies
The Woman's Belly Book : Finding Your Treasure Within Review
I really wasn't sure what to expect but I was instantly intrigued by the title, The Woman's Belly Book. According to the author Lisa Sarasohn, "this book is about valuing your body and yourself." Lisa has twenty plus years experience as a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, bodyworker and health educator (some of you may recognize her from her articles Sage Woman or Yoga Journal). Although not explicitly mentioned, elements of yoga and chakra work are evident throughout.
The Woman's Belly Book (WBB) addresses some common misconceptions about women's bellies: the fashion of firm abdomens, methods of restricting the belly, and the laziness associated with a fleshy stomach. If we're able to get past these fallacies we'd be able to connect with our bodies and with our true selves. Freeing ourselves involves some interaction on our part.
Lisa insists "your physical health and your emotional well-being depend on your capacity to breathe deeply." Because of this belief a large portion of WBB is devoted to teaching the reader breath awareness and control; especially deep abdominal breathing. While this section is useful information it does become repetitive and would be better suited with accompanying audio direction (I did noticed however she has a video available on her site). To help explain the language of the belly Lisa likens a women's belly to a bowl wrapped in a tattered cloth and bound with metal bands. A perfect mental image.
This is definitely an interactive book. Another aspect is journaling to discover your feelings about your belly, past and present, bridging the barrier between your head and your belly. I know it sounds a bit funny but it is really a metaphor for your inner wisdom; although more corniness ensues with a page of affirmations like "I anticipate that loving my belly will sooth me the way a mama bear nourishes her cub." Luckily there are not many but what's there makes it hard to take the content seriously. This is a very small area and can be easily substituted for affirmations of your own or skipped all together.
After the breathing comes seven belly energizing moves (with related breathing exercises). They are a part of a series Lisa created and successfully taught in her classes, retreats, and workshops. She also admits to practicing them daily herself. Even though the book's focus is on the belly, the whole body participates and becomes aware of it self. The movements are controlled and non-threatening. They are not about working up a sweat but celebrating the belly.
The WBB doesn't come into it's own until page 103. Here, Lisa shares her story; and in my opinion from here on is the best part of the book. She talks candidly about her eating disorder and how yoga was an integral part of her recovery not just with weight issues but life issues. Through the first half of the book I felt something was missing, this was it. I wish the book had started here. She goes on to discuss how our culture and history have affected our view of women both physically and intellectually. And we can't forget what's to come of the future.
The Woman's Belly Book has the potential to encourage self awareness of ourselves as women through acceptance of our bellies and our creative nature if we open the door to breath, movement and intention. Or as Lisa says "ungirdle our bellies and let ourselves breath and feel." The exercises are easy to follow although the breathing descriptions are so similar it may be easy to become confused which is which. This 125 page book, while not complete in itself, is a welcome addition to the self healing library.
Self-Health Education Inc., 2003
Purchase The Woman's Belly Book from Amazon.com.
Purchase The Woman's Belly Book from Amazon.ca.
Content copyright © 2013 by M. E. Wood. All rights reserved.
This content was written by M. E. Wood. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact M. E. Wood for details.
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.