In this interview, we talked with Inbal Sigler, the founder of Genisis Feminine Artistry. Inbal is a multi-talented woman. She is a Hypnobirthing specialist, a Doula, a Pilates and yoga teacher, a Chinese Medicine practitioner and an Orgasmic Birth and women group facilitator. She welcomed us in her lovely studio in De Pijp (Amsterdam). This is where she usually welcomes and offers her classes to the couples she serves. We talked about love, sexuality, spirituality, and how her personal journey to motherhood helped her find her vocation to help future parents.
Let’s start with a few words about yourself…
My name is Inbal. I’m an Israeli native and I’ve been living here in Amsterdam for the past 10 years. I’m 42 years old, and a mother of three boys, all of whom were born here. Before I founded Isis HypnoBirthing & Yoga (now transformed into GENISIS Feminine Artistry), which is a Women Well Being Centre, I used to be a professional ballet dancer. Throughout this career path, I have always been very curious about many modalities and philosophies. So, I studied yoga and Pilates, Chinese medicine, and Theta healing. Then I discovered Hypnobirthing while pregnant with my first son. Giving birth to him became the amazing and transformative revelation that paved the way for the birth if Isis, my first company.
I remember sitting on one of those long breastfeeding sessions at night and realising that basically everything that I had been studying and practising so far, each with their own beautiful philosophies and set of practices, could be brought into synergy and shared with parents to support pregnancy and birth holistically.
You teach Hypnobirthing, a beautiful practice that remains quite mysterious for many women, maybe in part because of the name. How would you define it?
As a practitioner myself, I completely relate to the Hypnobirthing “misconception”: the name doesn’t serve the very essence of Hypnobirthing. It may even put away many people because of this airy-fairy flavour it has to it. On the contrary, it’s a very down-to-earth, practical, and positive method to prepare yourself for birth.
For me Hypnobirthing is about shifting the power dynamics around birth to go back to something natural that has been embedded in us for thousands of years. It’s not necessarily about water birth, dolphins, and candles. It’s about the mother and her partner being aware of their energy and power. And it’s about their ability to be the strong axis so they can own their whole birthing experience, however things unfold.
You recently started Genisis Feminine Artistry. Could you tell us a bit more about it?
Genisis is the natural evolution of my first venture: Isis. I had been teaching Hypnobirthing for almost 10 years with Isis, always inviting more practices, more modalities, and more philosophies into my programme. Creating Genisis went on par with my evolution as a person, as a woman, and as a mother since I also gave birth two more times along the way.
This and the Corona lockdown brought me more time for retrospection and inner reflection. Genisis’ course is based on the Hypnobirthing programme while also taking into account additional dimensions such as the Orgasmic Birth. I bring these all together into the program along with the perspectives offered by Chinese medicine and Yoga. This way, they can complete each other to address every layer of the mother’s and couple’s experience.
Orgasmic Birth is such an intriguing and promising name. What is it exactly?
Everyone knows that birth is very intense physically. That is what people will focus on most of the time: the physical part. Yet, there are also emotional, spiritual and sexual dimensions to giving birth that people very often overlook. Despite them playing an integral part of the whole process. I believe that being aware of the whole story —physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual, can determine the physical manifestations. The sexual part for instance is a very important one. Birth is the natural continuation of the act of making love: it’s the same organs, the same hormones, and the same conditions.
Orgasmic birth is not necessarily about the sexual climax per se and the woman potentially experiencing a literal orgasm. It’s more about the flow. It’s about the spontaneous intuitive state a mother taps into when she “leaves” the everyday behind to focus on herself. Exactly like when making love. There is a point where she can just become fully engaged in what is happening. She completely immerses in the experience and the different flows of sensations, hormones, and surges.
Once a woman knows how to create these ideal internal and external environments, she can let go of the grip of the everyday world and fully drift into her birthing experience. Truth is everyone wants to be in full control and wants to understand everything that is happening. I believe the essence of birth is about releasing control and letting yourself be carried into a totally different realm of existence.
When the mother —with the help of her partner, is in a state of openness and curiosity, embracing the unknown instead of being stressed, fearful and resistant, she can have the right conditions to get into the flow, the rhythm of the body, and that of her baby. It’s really like being in a bubble, out of the ordinary space and time. This is the orgasmic state: the ecstatic state where you just go with the flow and allow something bigger than yourself to take over.
You mentioned the partner: what is their role in the birthing process? How can they support the mother?
They have a very meaningful part to play. Ideally the mother will start withdrawing gradually from the everyday life. This way she can drift into what many describe as the “zone.” She needs someone on her side whom she can trust. When a partner is fully on board and aware of the journey their partner is about to embark on, it really cultivates a feeling of confidence and trust between them. Even the best midwives and doulas cannot duplicate the intimacy that exists between a couple.
As a partner, being that pillar of confidence and understanding will help the mother feel supported, safe, and secure. She’ll know she has a protector as well as an advocator, whenever needed. This partner will maintain the safety and normality of birth according to their birth plan. Also, someone who will be celebrating the occasion rather than being a stressful onlooker who brings more tension the situation.
Then there’s also the practical part with a lot of hands-on practices: how to help the mother relax, how to restore balance, how to reduce the tension, how to bathe their woman and their baby with love and caring reassurance. And if there’s no partner, then I recommend having another close family member or friend or a doula. A meaningful person you would be comfortable with.
There is a lot of preparation involved in this process. When is a good time to start with Hypnobirthing?
Well, the formal answer is from week 20 onward. That is because most mothers want to make sure their pregnancy is well established and here to stay before they really start with anything. My personal take is that it’s really a matter of a personal choice. Whenever you feel the calling, literally to go deeper into your readiness, then that is the right time to start. There is indeed a reason why pregnancy takes nine months.
It’s not just the physiological and physical aspects, it’s also the part of mentally and emotionally growing into birth and into becoming a mother. If someone wants to start with Hypnobirthing, I actually recommend taking full advantage of the time ahead as Hypnobirthing truly is a massive shift in mindset and perspective. The more you immerse yourself in this mindset, the better it will support your entire system and birthing experience.
What would be your advice to future mothers?
Well, it’s very personal. My advice would be to try to get an idea of the whole picture, whether through books, online, through a practitioner, or any source of information you would feel comfortable with. Knowledge is power. Look into your options then make conscious choices, following your intuition on everything. As women, our inner GPS is even heightened when we become pregnant. We become the creating force. This makes us the most competent and best-resourced person to nurture a new human being. Mother knows best, trust your instincts!
And a last question we like to ask our registered practitioners: why did you decide to join Parentally?
I believe Parentally is a brilliant idea! It’s one of those things that gets you thinking: how did no one think about it before? Because there is such a huge variety of services with beautiful practitioners, each bringing their own wisdom and support. So for all of that to be wrapped conveniently together in one place, displaying all the options for parents, it’s genial. It’s definitely a place to go!
Browse through Inbal’s full catalogue of services on Parentally now GENISIS – Feminine Artistry and easily book your birth preparation course, hypnobirthing class, doula support package or Yin Yoni Yoga class online!
Here is another blog article that might interest you: Demystifying hypnobirthing