Why Prenatal Yoga?
We are the Ones
We Have Been Waiting For
by Alice Walker
Excerpted from Alice Walker’s We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness, first published by The New Press, November 1, 2006. Reprinted by permission of The Wendy Weil Agency, Inc. ©2006 by Alice Walker.
"It was the poet June Jordan who wrote "We are the ones we have been waiting for." Sweet Honey in the Rock turned those words into a song. Hearing this song, I have witnessed thousands of people rise to their feet in joyful recognition and affirmation. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for because we are able to see what is happening with a much greater awareness than our parents or grandparents, our ancestors, could see. This does not mean we believe, having seen the greater truth of how all oppression is connected, how pervasive and unrelenting, that we can "fix" things. But some of us are not content to have a gap in opportunity and income that drives a wedge between rich and poor, causing the rich to become ever more callous and complacent and the poor to become ever more wretched and humiliated. Not willing to ignore starving and brutalized children. Not willing to let women be stoned or mutilated without protest. Not willing to stand quietly by as farmers are destroyed by people who have never farmed, and plants are engineered to self-destruct. Not willing to disappear into our flower gardens, Mercedes Benzes or sylvan lawns. We have wanted all our lives to know that Earth, who has somehow obtained human beings as her custodians, was also capable of creating humans who could minister to her needs, and the needs of her creation. We are the ones."
Poem for South African Women
Commemoration of the 40,000 women and children who,
August 9, 1956, presented themselves in bodily protest against
the “dompass” in the capital of apartheid. Presented at The
United Nations, August 9, 1978.
Our own shadows disappear as the feet of thousands
by the tens of thousands pound the fallow land
into new dust that
rising like a marvelous pollen will be
even as the first woman whispering
imagination to the trees around her made
for righteous fruit
from such deliberate defense of life
as no other still
will claim inferior to any other safety
in the world
The whispers too they
intimate to the inmost ear of every spirit
now aroused they
carousing in ferocious affirmation
of all peaceable and loving amplitude
sound a certainly unbounded heat
from a baptismal smoke where yes
there will be fire
And the babies cease alarm as mothers
and heart high as the stars so far unseen
nevertheless hurl into the universe
a moving force
irreversible as light years
traveling to the open
And who will join this standing up
and the ones who stood without sweet company
will sing and sing
back into the mountains and
even under the sea
we are the ones we have been waiting for
from Passion (1980)
and from Directed by Desire. The Collected Poems of June Jordan.
Copyright 2005 by the June M. Jordan Literary Estate Trust
While all birthing folks are welcomed to participate, this course is geared toward birthing persons of African descent, in particular. Due to historical and structural racism, black birthing persons are more likely to experience sub par service from medical professionals. Black birthing persons and their children are more likely to transition during childbirth than white birthing persons.
When we practice mindful movement, we are using tools that will help us to heal from the effects of chronic stress and trauma. Thus, creating a healthy environment for our babies to grown in. Not only will your prenatal yoga practice bring peace to yourself, but to your baby, as well.
Each time we walk onto the mat,
it is a form of resistance.
Each breath we take is for the empowerment of our people.
We are honoring our ancestors.
We are honoring the generations
who will continue our legacy.
Here is where we break the cycle.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.