Mama's been tryna tell us something.
I felt every single expansion and contraction during my very long labor. Even in that feeling, even in that profound work and opening -there were clear pauses.
Those pauses were deliberate. Divine placements. In the most visceral and real way, I learned the value of the pause: To gather what I would need for the next wave of deep guttural work ahead.
So much of my inner and physical experience felt like a surge of storms.
One moment vicious winds knocked me down, the next one a quiet breeze sang through the wind chimes of my heart.
One moment a flood engulfed what took lifetimes, generations to build-
The next, she pulled a new world together from scraps of sun and the best blue stuff ocean and sky are made of.
We are watching so much be hurled, scattered, bent beyond recognition, and torn apart. Right now.
Yes, I see the storms. I also see a woman who’s had too much of too little too long.
She contracted and pushed against Florida, slowed a bit, and expanded into Georgia.
Here in Atlanta I trust we gon be alright. I’m over here waxing poetic about the connection between my natural birthing process and the experience of a storm-
Many of my friends in the Islands, Florida, and Houston don’t have space to ponder anything. They have to rebuild today and many tomorrows. A forced labor.
In my shelter and watching, I feel all of this deeply in the same place my son was born from. I am humbled over and over again by the power and force of this mama. Our Earth.
She’s unapologetic in her movements right now. And I hear her say “Listen. I tol’ y’all -pause”.
She said, “Gather what y’all need for the next wave of deep guttural work ahead.”
Octavia Raheem 200hr, E-RYT began practicing yoga in 2003, completed her initial 200-hour certification at Peachtree Yoga Center in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, and has been teaching since 2007. To date, Octavia has taught over 7,500 hours of yoga in studio, corporate, and private settings. She has headlined Wanderlust Yoga Festival 108 Atlanta. Additionally she is the creator of growing yoga brand CHILLshop®yoga, retreats, and immersions.
Octavia can guide you to your hard edge: “hold that plank!”
Your soft edge-“ rest and melt in to that child’s pose.”
Ultimately to your center and hold space for you to rest and settle there.
She believes both strong aligned movement and unhurried stillness are essential in our yoga practice in order to cultivate more harmony and balance in our lives.
Off the mat Octavia is a new mama, life partner, writer, educator, and founding board member of Atlanta Based Nonprofit, Red Clay Yoga. Additionally she volunteers at Yoga, Literature, Art Camp for Teenage Girls at Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts.
These wise words from activist/warrior/poet Audre Lorde guide her: “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”