The Woman’s Belly Book
The title made me laugh. After all, I am a woman with a belly upon which childbirth and a lack of exercise have left their marks. Like countless women, I love to loathe it. However, the uplifting tone of the author, Lisa Sarasohn, (also a public speaker, yoga instructor and bodywork therapist) has changed my outlook on my pudgy pooch and may do the same for others. Boosting vitality, releasing stress, revving up one’s sex life and sensuality, plus even increasing confidence are many of the goals Sarasohn aims to accomplish through suggested yoga-based exercises, journaling and crafting. Noting that this is "not a self improvement program," The Woman’s Belly Book celebrates a woman’s curves, the pleasures of estrogen, enjoying food and keying into our "gut" reactions, otherwise known as intuition. While "loving your belly is a strange idea," writes Sarasohn, it is a treasure to be claimed. Readers will delight in the array of activities presented. Directions are easy enough that anyone can invite fellow belly-haters to join her in the "Decorating Your Underwear" prompt, instead of going to the gym to tame the tummy with crunches galore. Particularly inspiring is the "If My Stomach Were Flat" writing exercise where one lists what she would do if her stomach were perfect. This statement leads the reader to explore the core of what her desires truly are. For instance, she may learn that it is not a flat stomach she desires, but rather acceptance and value from those in her circle or beyond. In essence, it’s a self-worth issue, not a belly issue! From toning the perineum, which is the belly’s lower border to developing hara (life energy) power through breathing, many of the physical exercises highlight the medical functions and miracles of the stomach and closely linked organs. The philosophy is that a healthy, loved belly (not a girdled and constrained one) ensures a more pleasurable lifestyle. _The Woman’s Belly Book _uncovers a path to inner-healing, exploring feminine power and honoring just how strong a woman’s belly is. It’ll make readers view their tummies with a smile instead of a pout.