Lessons of the Labor Skill Drill (2)

The challenge of Yoga is not the prescription itself, the challenge is “taking the medicine”.  OSHO

To your nurse in triage “taking the medicine” means laying back and saying yes to paperwork, exams, drugs, needles, machines, tools and maybe even scalpels. External assistance, that list reads scary, but this type of help when you need it is an awesome thing.

It very well may be just the ticket, or —ha ha— just what the doctor ordered. Once again, with feeling, it will depend on your ACTUAL DIRECT EXPERIENCE.

Too often, though, these types of external measures have become routine hospital procedures, foisted upon healthy pregnant women, whether they are genuinely necessary or not, as soon as they walk into triage.

External assistance can also come from saying yes to childbirth education, prenatal yoga classes, birth partners, birth doulas, lactation consultants, friends, and family. This type of help when you need it can also be an awesome thing.

No matter what, when, where, or how— you will be called upon to make decisions about your care and the care of your baby.

These decisions may not always be clearcut—a simple yes or no, they will often involve compromise. This saying maybe trite but not less true—Knowledge is Power.

Saying YES is not always a sign of weakness, it is often a sign of strength, being willing to admit you need external assistance and education takes determination and strength. YES can also mean showing up and doing the work.

But saying YES can also be a sign of capitulation, giving into the coercion— the agendas of others—doctors, nurses, family members, or “friends”. In other words saying YES when you really mean NO. We all do it at one time or another.

Saying NO can and often does come from a place of strength, advocation, and knowing your own rights and your own mind.

But saying NO is not always a sign of strength, it is often a sign of stubbornness, refusing to give in even in the face of compelling evidence and genuine suffering. 

We humans can be stubborn, do-it yourselfers, sometimes even when we could genuinely use some help. In other words saying NO when you really need to say YES.

A careful read through these YES and NO examples reveals that the YESES can just as well be NOS and vice versa. It all depends on your direct experience and the decisions you will actually be called upon to make.

It pays to have educated yourself adequately in the matter at hand, Childbirth, so that when faced with these types of choices you are armed with “right knowledge” and can make informed choices for you and your baby.

It’s also that Buddha quote: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

Yoga will help you find your voice, so that you may advocate your wishes, whether it is to say “YES” or “NO”, both kinds of decisions take knowing your own body and and knowing your own mind. Education, or right knowledge, as the Yoga Sutras put it, will help you make the choice that is right for your own experience.

You need to find the right mix, one that helps you cope and not suffer.

This means “taking the medicine” that Yoga offers as a means to quiet the mind and reduce suffering. Yoga is—if you will—internal assistance— which is the subject of the next post.