Motherhood is Forever!
At the beginning of my Prenatal Yoga career, I taught to the best of my ability based on my training.
After I experienced pregnancy for the first time, a new layer of awareness was placed upon my entire operating system.
I taught from a place of embodiment, where I now had a visceral awareness of the sensation of pregnancy, labor and the fourth trimester.
Like most mamas, this personal metamorphosis showed me what was missing for me in the Prenatal Yoga realm and Prenatal Care in general.
It revealed what I was lacking personally in order to fully heal from the birth and postpartum experience.
Motherhood IS forever!!!! So to me, Prenatal Yoga and Self-Care are not just practices to cultivate an optimum environment to grow and birth a human but, a time to experiment with and anchor into the ways of being that are soothing to your whole self. To your body, MIND, and Spirit independent of your baby.
That’s a whole lot of words to say, “Find ways to support your nervous system because it’s going on a wild ride and your body may need some support to counteract all of the stressful moments that will arise when you least expect it.”
Motherhood/Fatherhood is initiation, no one told you?
So, how will you prepare yourself to walk through it well armed for success?
Are you pregnant?
Are you a new mom and struggling to find your way? Need some ideas?
Do you feel amputated from your self-care?
Does it seem like everyone around you has it figured out except for you? (don’t believe it…we are all struggling in our own ways)
I have often felt alone on my journey, but you don’t have to.
I am here to stand beside you and witness you in all of your beauty and all of your messy and everything in between.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us....
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people Permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Here I stand, not fearless beyond measure, but willing to show up as I am. I am a beautiful, kind, and somewhat complicated woman who is seeking her power through self-discovery, remaining curious to the constant ebb and flow of ordinary reality. Learning to trust in the unknown divide that remains unseen but incredibly felt and familiar.
I can feel my power rising from deep within me, and I don't know what to do with it because I haven't been given instructions. And sometimes it’s just too much and I have trouble handling the immensity of sensation.
Feeling. Sense. Presence.
Parts of me have lived in somewhat of a “freeze” state for most of my life. I am 37 years old today, and for all of my existence I have had a very high tolerance for pain, not only because its innate as a woman, but because not being able to feel, or pushing down and ignoring my pain was a coping skill that I adopted in my first couple of years of life, in order to move forward.
As I move out of the chronic freeze state, as I repair my nervous system, as my brain heals, as I thaw out…. I am presented with many opportunities to experience the plethora of emotions and sensations that are available to life, allowing for a more full experience. By feeling the pain, I am also invited to experience more pleasure, more joy. Its a double edged sword where pleasure and pain exist simultaneously. However, I hear that there will be a day when I will be able to remain rooted in pleasure while I am able to witness the pain without letting it sweep me away.
In any given moment we can distract ourselves with life responsibilities. It takes time, conscious, deliberate focus on the whole self, the body, the repetitious thoughts and habitual patterns, in order to make small incremental changes over time, to heal fully. It requires a huge dose of mindfulness to heal.
I’m training my mind anew. I am practicing observing my innate wholeness, the “perfection” that already exists within me and around me. I am letting go of my obsession with perfection. I know intellectually that it’s literally impossible for me to prevent every mistake from occurring in my and my families life.
My body, on the other, is not so quick to learn this truth. My body is regenerating slowly. Much slower than my mind.
I no longer allow the story to play, that everything is my fault just because I exist.
The harmony that already exists is ours to experience. It’s our birthright.
Surrender into being by feeling first and then letting go of the pain that binds you. Invite the sensations to lend a helping hand.
Move from being pain focused to pleasure focused. Notice what feels good, allow yourself to celebrate small victories and immerse in the goodness. Remind your brain that positive experiences are available to you.
So many of us have avoided feeling through various routes, one of them being the ignorance of physical exercise, physical movement. By not moving the body, it remains stagnant, and life ceases to exist. Sedentariness is akin to death. Fear of life is akin to fear of death for death is required in order for life to thrive in the cycle of creation, maintenance, preservation, sustenance and destruction.
We are so afraid to feel that it prevents us from letting go. We are so afraid to feel that it prevents us from fully living. So, we remain stuck, frozen, unable to progress, to move forward.
I choose life. I want to live!
I’m coming into myself, into feeling and sensation that was not available to me because I remained numb for so long.
Dear Goddess, I have no idea what I'm getting myself into but please, allow it to take me around the world sharing my truth, my pain and my joy so that I may guide others to transform their suffering into bliss.
Prenatal Yoga Guidelines that can actually be used as life guidelines, for anyone, in any phase of life.
Prenatal Yoga Mantra: Learn to trust and follow your bodies guidance, meet yourself where you are each day, be honest and truthful with yourself and your needs as they shift and change.
Drink water and use the restroom as needed
Bring light snacks with you always, to eat if you are hungry or experiencing nausea.
Make SPACE for baby and your changing body in each pose.
Remain longer in certain shapes that feel good, allow yourself to experience joy and pleasure. Give yourself permission to receive.
Avoid poses that cause actual physical discomfort. There is a difference between a sharp pinching spasm and the dull achy tug that comes from holding yoga postures.
Practice presence with the sensations that do rise within the body. Observe, allow, and welcome them to arrive then pass through you.
Widen feet apart, to create a broader base in standing postures. To make space for baby, in chair pose and standing forward fold.
In twisting postures, rotate your heart center and belly open in a twist to keep the front body free and spacious.
Rest when needed and as often as necessary.
If you feel too warm or hot, pause to REST. Don't overheat, it takes baby 30min longer than you, to cool down.
Don't force or push yourself to perform any yoga pose.
Modify any and all poses to support your comfort level. This is true Self-care, when you are in total alignment with your body and baby.
When in seated postures, sit on a bolster or folded blanket for added support under your hips which creates space in your low back.
Avoid abdominal exercises that “crunch” the belly. Pregnancy is not a time to sculpt 6-pack-abs, it IS a time of expansion, blossoming and blooming.
Avoid inversions (going upside down). It is not necessary during pregnancy as this positioning can disrupt apana vayu, the natural downward flow of energy which is essential for labor.
Refrain from practicing poses on your back and belly as soon as it becomes uncomfortable in your body.
Let your baby guide you, they are an intelligent individual and you are deeply connected. Honor the intuitive impulses that arrive, trust your body and your baby.
I wrote the initial Prenatal Guidelines to hand out to my students when I began to teach Prenatal Yoga Classes in 2007. It was a list of things for women to consider, now that their bodies were changing. I felt guided to give them permission to arrive as they were, human women, in the phase of pregnancy. Each week we cultivated a sacred space of kindred sprits that went under the guise of Prenatal Yoga, for it was certainly no “ordinary” yoga class.
This is the newest list, just modified this morning. And I realized that we all need this list, or those of us that continue to ignore the natural fluctuations, urges and whispers of our body need to keep this list around, to remind us, that its okay to be a breathing, feeling, emotional, spiritual being, living an Earthly experience.
1. You have already lived through multiple, challenging, moments before that have required GREAT STRENGTH.
2. You have Life force energy moving through you, and the ability to tap into and connect to this life force at anytime, with PRACTICE.
3. You are supported, always. Have FAITH and TRUST.
When I meet with first time mothers, they almost always have a fear of childbirth because its something that they have never consciously experienced before.
This is a normal reaction to the experience of the unknown.
But then I remind them, that every month of their lives since menstruation began, they have practiced the releasing and letting go of parts of themselves. Quite literally. And their body was created with the wisdom and innate ability to grow a human, birth a human, and mother a human.
It’s the same resilience, that same knowing, that can support a woman in childbirth and in the lifetime of motherhood that will follow.
And while they may not have gone through the pleasure and pain of childbirth just yet, there is a 100% chance that they have faced at least one challenge in life.
If we are here today, alive and breathing, how do we forget that we are so capable?
Why do we forget?
How do we cease to remember our brilliance?
Why are we so scared of labor? of life?
Fear is a natural reaction of the human nervous system. It’s built in to protect us. It’s just that our world happens to be bombarded by fear based thinking everyday, all day. And in regards to pregnancy, labor and motherhood, there are infinitely more dramatic movie scenes, and terrible reality shows that portray the experience as scary and even horrific.
On my journey of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, I have expected perfection because I chose to show up 150%. But I am shown over and over again, that despite how I choose to show up in the world, the world outside of me is beyond my control. I am only really in charge of myself, my body, my breath, how I choose to respond and interact with the world around me.
And it takes practice to remember to respond with grace and kindness toward ourselves when we land in an unknown territory.
May we pause, feel our pulsing heart, reflect on where we came from, remember our inner strength, practice connecting to our inner wisdom, and trust deeply.
How do I take care of myself, my whole self, while also taking the best care of my children?
How do I show up 100% as my self and live authentically in the world today?
How do I live in ultimate harmony with myself and with the Earth?
How do I meet all of the emotions that rise from within when I least expect it?
How do I stay positive when I feel like my world is falling apart?
Just some of the questions I’ve asked myself over and over again. Along with. . . "Whats your WHY, Marie?”
Why are you doing what you are doing? What’s motivating you?
Some serious self-inquiry is going on, its happening whether I want it to or not.
I am uprooting my self and my family and moving into a new home, in the same area. We are moving from our first home, starter home, into a brand new custom home. Its a real trip, it feels surreal, it feels like its not my life.
I’m feeling intense grief, confusion, sadness, and anger. I feel moments of motivation and excitement, potential and possibility. I am feeling the full range of emotions that are being brought up with the level of pressure, stress and ultimate transformation that is occurring right now.
Its a good thing, this uprooting, its leading to an upleveling, a period of intense growth and expansion.
This change is a change that is requiring me to reach to the depths of my soul for a wisdom that has been resting, dormant.
This metamorphosis is requiring a change of physical, mental and emotional state. So that my inner world is an energetic match for my outer world.
So, of course, I am questioning. Thank goodness I am questioning. Thank goodness I am asking questions.
I am asking difficult questions, to receive potent answers, that might provide clear direction.
Yes, you read that title correctly.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with me or you, we are completely perfect beings.
So, who or what is telling you otherwise?
For literally my entire life I have felt like something was wrong. And I internalized the feeling into thinking. Thinking that it was me. For years, I tried so hard to be better at life.
If I could only accomplish one more task in the day, get in one more fitness class for the week, complete another training or certification, eat less sugar, help more people in need, maybe then I would feel “better.”
Maybe then I would heal this inner struggle that has always been there. The real struggle between head and heart that no one is immune to.
So, who or what is telling you otherwise?
Since childhood I have been diagnosed and prescribed medication for numerous ailments. It truly seemed like something was actually wrong with me when I would come home with a diagnosis or a prescription.
I did feel alone. I was embarrassed about what was happening to me, because no one that I knew was actively sharing similar health challenges. I wasn’t talking about what was happening to me either because I really didn’t know what to make of it. It just didn’t make any sense.
What did I know? I was just a person, not an educated doctor.
Today, I tell a different story, one where I am the advocate for my own health and wellness. I tell the story of taking ownership of my health and my life.
Today I know we are ONE, we ALL have human responses to life which reveal themselves as “symptoms.” These symptoms are our bodies way of communicating, they aren’t to be ignored and brushed off, they arise for a reason.
So, if you are currently experiencing a pain in your body, a strong sensation, or your healthcare provider is offering a diagnosis, I encourage you to pay attention, and get quiet with yourself. Be patient, be curious, healing is like a spiral, and know REPAIR IS POSSIBLE. I’m living proof!
Below is a comprehensive list of all the times in my life (that I can remember) that I was diagnosed and prescribed various medications or treatments.
Chronic ear infections, prescribed antibiotics
Fluoride deficiency, prescribed fluoride
Depression and anxiety, panic attacks, prescribed Prozac
Severely painful, debilitating menstruation that prevented me from going to school and work, prescribed Ibuprofen
Hormonal/stress acne, prescribed birth control pills
Anemia, prescribed iron, which is constipating
Constipation, told to take Metamucil fiber supplement
Heart Palpitation, told to return for follow-up
Malignant melanoma (stage 1), removal of cancerous cells. I was told to stay out of the sun and visit the dermatologist every 3 months for the remainder of my life.
ADHD and test anxiety, prescribed Ritalin and psychotherapy
Lumps in breasts, Dr. said it was water
Continued Painful Periods that lasted 8-9 days, severe clotting, debilitating pain
Hormonal imbalance and pregnancy prevention, birth control pills that I ingested for 12 years consistently.
Chronic stomach pain, I prescribed myself marijuana because thats all that helped
Chronic viral infections, no prescription
Chronic yeast infections, prescribed Diflucan
Continued debilitating menstruation with the addition of severe irritability and anxiety
Mild to severe Depression, Psychotherapy
Postpartum Depression, I was offered anti-depressants but I declined
Adrenal fatigue, prescribed numerous herbal neurotransmitters supplements
PMS and low estrogen, prescribed a topical estrogen creme, and Maca
PTSD, for which I was guided to find a psychologist
Fatigue and malaise, suggested to decrease my level of stress
Extreme fatigue with Insomnia, I was so exhausted, but I couldn’t fall asleep at night, nor could I sleep during the day. I refused sleep inducing drugs
Sleep deprivation that led to debilitating migraine headaches which caused sensitivity to all lights, I couldn’t drive at night, and I had to wear sunglasses indoors often.
And the icing on the cake, the biggest gift of my life, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). For which I was prescribed Valtrex (anti-viral), from my primary doctor. The naturopath that I went to for a second opinion, prescribed a low dose of Naltrexone. Naltrexone is what they call and “opiate antagonist,” its given to drug addicts to block the effects of opiates in the brain. It was prescribed to me in a micro dose to decrease inflammation in my brain.
According to the CDC’s website, “Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a serious, long-term illness that affects many body systems. People with ME/CFS are often not able to do their usual activities. At times, ME/CFS may confine them to bed. People with ME/CFS have severe fatigue and sleep problems. ME/CFS may get worse after people with the illness try to do as much as they want or need to do. This symptom is known as post-exertional malaise (PEM). Other symptoms can include problems with thinking and concentrating, pain, and dizziness.”
It is considered a chronic disease thats affecting millions of people all over the world. They say that theres no cure. ME/CFS remains an enigma to most traditional healthcare providers because they don’t have the proper training. No amount of research, studies, or tests is providing any real information. They think the underlying cause is one or more chronic virus in the body. My blood test showed a total of three virus in my blood; Epstein Barr, Cytomegalovirus, an a form of Parvo.
They suggest seeing a therapist, eating a well balanced diet, taking nutritional supplements, and possibly meditation, deep breathing, or a massage.
They do know that when the nervous system is calm and relaxed, symptoms decrease.
After waiting for ten months to see a specialist, at one of the only Chronic Fatigue clinic’s in the world, they provided an additional protocol of a Mediterranean diet, turmeric, co-Q 10, dark chocolate for polyphenols, more anti-viral drugs and anti-depressants, which I declined.
At the same time, I was being seen by an Acupuncturist, because honestly, I don’t trust the Western Medical Establishment. In addition to Acupuncture treatments, I was experimenting with a dozen various supplements including; adaptogenic herbs, Chinese herbs, various minerals, anti-viral blends, blends to support hormone balance and immunity.
I tried aromatherapy oils, raw food diet, every detoxification method available, therapeutic massage, yoga, meditation, pranayama, exercise, cryotherapy, EFT (emotional freedom technique aka tapping), mantras, nutritional powders, elixirs, and anything and everything that said it would clear a virus, boost immunity, and provide energy to the body.
I was obsessively attempting to heal by taking supplements up to five times a day for years. My mom saw all of my vitamin boxes one day. Yes, I had three rectangular boxes, that I would refill each week, religiously. (You know, the plastic ones with AM on one side and PM on the other.) She said with a scoff, “Cheez, you look like and old person,” but I was in my mid-thirties.
I was also eating a gluten free, dairy free, primarily plant based diet, to heal my gut, because Leaky Gut was another new diagnosis.
And then the diagnosis stopped, because I took matters into my own heart and hands. In 2018, I worked with not one, but three women, who had helped other women like me to heal completely from ME/CFS. These women knew that it was in fact very curable. It was going to take some time, and my path was uniquely my own. They understood the root cause. They knew that the symptoms would subside as soon as I turned my attention deeply inward. Inward to the intelligence of my own body.
I know that its curable because I have almost healed completely. I don’t experience the “crashes” that ruled my life for years. Leaving me housebound and often bed bound.
Thankfully, I have been working with my current health guide, a trauma-informed coach, for the last year, to re-engineer my life so that I can repair my body, my brain and live the most optimum life.
Here I am today, a survivor of trauma who has tried almost every healing therapy available outside of myself to get better. When I was finally forced to listen to the voice inside that was telling me to “Stop!” I began to discover the wisdom within.
All of my Chronic Fatigue symptoms are actually those of an individual who has experienced trauma, and for me it was prolonged trauma beginning in early childhood, that I was not consciously aware of. I didn’t even know about it until it arose in my mid-twenties.
After all that I have been through, it is now my mission to heal myself completely, so that I may stand as a light for others.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Have you been told that nothings wrong when you still feel terrible?
Have you been prescribed a variety of drugs that don’t help at all?
Do you find yourself struggling to find balance with your health and overall wellness?
Have you been feeling frustrated with a current health diagnosis?
Please share your story. I see you and I hear you. I believe you. I love you and I support you.
You know those moments when you just need nourishment?
I always go straight to the kitchen and whip out my soup pot, open up the fridge and check the cupboards. I look to see what I already have at home to create a delicious, healthy, flavorful meal for myself and my family.
The purpose of this soup is to prepare a one pot meal that is healthy and nutritious for your family and isn’t a lot of work for you.
It’s fantastic to prepare the day after cooking a whole chicken so that you can utilize the chicken carcass for extra flavor and nourishment.
The below is the recipe for my infamous “Refrigerator Soup.”
Refrigerator Soup is really just a vegetable soup, unless you decide to add your choice of meat. It’s easy to add store bought rotisserie chicken as well, begin with cubed bacon, or any left over meat that is soup worthy, if you so desire.
The good thing about this soup recipe is that there isn’t one way to prepare it. Once you get the hang of the combination of vegetables and spices, you can be an alchemist in the kitchen.
Maybe you have to purchase just enough ingredients to make the perfect soup. Notice that I don’t give exact amounts, this is because you really can use what you have and be creative with your outcome.
This is what I use every time for the base. You cant go wrong with simplicity.
2 Tbsp Olive oil or Coconut oil (or more or less, depending on the quantity of veggies you have. Follow your inner guidance.
1 Onion diced (I use 1/2 onion because I don’t like onion. Use what you like!)
1-3 Carrots chopped
2-4 Celery stalks sliced
1-2 Potatoes cubed
1-2 Garlic cloves
Sea salt (to taste)
Ground pepper (to taste)
Fresh water or Chicken/Vegetable broth (store bought or homemade)
Again, anything that you like, you can add to the base ingredients
Any favorite herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc)
Include any additional vegetables that you have on hand that you actually like. Avoid adding flavors that you won’t eat as the odds are, you won’t like your soup in the end.
Zucchini (cube and add towards the end of cooking so it doesn’t over cook)
Cruciferous vegetables can add additional nutrients and flavor but, they can give you gas as well. So choose accordingly!
If I have the maximum number of veggies I make a huge batch of soup and freeze the extra in recycled glass jars, for future quick healthy meals. I will often share some with a new mama who’s healing postpartum, or a friend in need of nourishment.
Gather, wash, chop up the ingredients
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil in soup pot on medium heat.
Add onions and Sauté for 1-2 min until light brown. Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes one at a time slowly stirring. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, a dash of cumin.
Add crushed or minced garlic and stir. Add bay leaf and any other seasonings or spices that you like. Adjust the heat as needed. Turn it up if the veggies aren’t doing anything, turn it down if they are cooking to fast and burning.
Stir mixture so it doesn’t burn, but allow it to soften for 5-7minutes. It’s okay if it sticks to the pan and the pan browns, when you add the broth/water it will bring in the flavor goodness.
Add broth or water to cover the veggies by 1/4-1/2 inch. It’s not exact, you have to trust your inner alchemist to combine the ingredients in an organic intuitive way. It will be different every time and that’s okay.
Taste the mixture and add spices a little at a time to shift the flavor in your favor.
Stir occasionally. Watch that the soup is at a gentle boil, a simmer, and not overflowing.
It will take at least 25-45 minutes to cook completely. It just depends of how small you chopped your ingredients and the heat temperature.
Pay attention to your creation. Soup is forgiving in that once you get it going, it can cook on its own. However, you want the ingredients to be tender enough to bite into, but not overcooked and mushy.
Serve immediately or store for the future.
My favorite toppings are; cilantro, raw greens, raw shredded cheese, or parmesan, or a spoonful of ghee.
A note on seasoning : less is more.
You can always add extra flavor at the end but you can’t subtract once you’ve dumped in too much. Start small......and taste your creation, AS YOU GO, so you know what you are eating.
Some of my ancestors, on my dads side, lived in Silicia, Sicily. They were considered terrone, a derogatory term given to the Southern Italian inhabitants who were connected to the land as farmers and fishermen. They were the peasants but they had a natural currency all to themselves. This term was voiced by their Northern Italian counterparts who lived in the industrialized cities, the areas of Italy where they thought they were more civilized because they were higher up on the boot and economic status.
My family used what they had to survive, like all people of the Earth. So the scraps of meat and trimmings of vegetables would come together with water and spices for the purpose of nourishing an entire family.
That is true alchemy, making something out of “nothing.”
Today we can look back to the roots of our our ancestors and remember simple ways of living and being that are actually extremely supportive to our overall wellbeing.
4 Ways to Support Smooth Digestive System
Without taking stool softeners.
Hip hip hooray!
There are many moments where we will find ourselves in a place of discomfort. And our physical bodies produce symptoms to signal that there’s something going on. We have all felt some type of pain response whether it be a stomach ache, a headache, a stubbed toe, period cramps, a laceration . . . you get my drift.
Digestive issues are present for most people these days. When the body is under certain amounts of stress from any number of factors, our digestive system is usually compromised. During a release of cortisol for example, the digestive system slows as blood and awareness is taken elsewhere in the body.
Hint: Cortisol is the one of the stress hormones that our body secretes when it feels under attack, when it thinks its in some type of danger. Another is Adrenaline.
And if we do not meet the stress with something to soothe the area of discomfort, then it may manifest as something more intense. If this cycle continues to repeat, over and over and over, then . . . something in your body begins to speak to you.
For example: Airline Travel, Car Travel, Train Travel
It can be very agitating to the nervous system, especially for some individuals with sensory sensitivity.
The dryness of the air in flight causes dehydration in the body and that why its extremely important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the travel day.
Warm liquids like water with or without lemon, herbal teas, and broths are best to keep the bodies tendency towards turning cold and dry.
In Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda there is a large emphasis on the bodies constitution. These modalities are always looking to balance the body from within. By looking at the root cause of the symptoms rather than the solely the symptoms themselves. These holistic remedies are simple enough to use on a daily basis as well.
By keeping your body warm, and nourished, from within, you can prevent future digestive turmoil. You can enjoy your travel experience, wherever your body takes you.
Keep the body warm and moist during the dry and cold experience of travel.
Drink warm liquids-Think about which herbal teas are your favorite, make this enjoyable for you. Find pleasure in caring for yourself, for loving yourself. If you don’t have any tea, warm water is perfect, and usually close to free while traveling. Add citrus if you need some flavor, or cinnamon, cardamom, or fennel seeds for warmth and digestive support.
Eat warm soupy foods- Think about cooked foods, soups, stews, lentils, broths, sautéed vegetables. Cooked food is gentler on your digestive system because it doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food. Bone broth is a nutrient dense liquid, mushroom is a vegan alternative. Treat your body with compassion instead of expecting it to perform for you while you are on the go.
Move your body- Take a walk, stretch, breathe with intention. DO something to encourage the flow of energy in your body. When you are physically sitting still for hours at a time, stagnation occurs naturally. Take advantage of the opportunities that you have to, get up from your seat and walk around, rotate your ankles. If you can not move, breath through your body, expanding awareness into different areas of your self.
Get Grounded- Be still. Take away external stimuli. Place feet on a natural surface. Be intentional around taking time to settle. Don’t expect yourself to move at the same pace all of the time. Allow your body ample time to relax and re-adjust to your new surroundings once you land. Continue to nourish yourself by staying well hydrated. Set yourself up for success.
The goal is to prevent drying out. Begin nourishing your body before you take-off.
Begin with warm liquids and foods, then make space to move your body, practice moments of mindful stillness, a few days before you leave for your trip. By weaving these practices into your daily life, they will become like second nature to you when you are away from home.
It helps to begin new ways of living and thinking while you are still at home in a comfortable environment. Include the support plan into your everyday life and see if anything happens. Start to notice how your body responds and reacts to different ways of living. Make observations to support your own unique self and your transformation process.
What daily habits help you thrive?
Which ones are actually hurting you?
Make little shifts over time towards living in optimum alignment with your truest self. How we care for ourselves, and our inner world is a direct reflection of how we care for the world around us. We want to find a way that is sustainable. A way that supports us in replenishing our reserves so that we are always present in a place of abundance, to give freely to the world around us. Finding this balance takes time, practice, and diligence, yet anyone can access their inner wisdom to live authentically.
I’m Pregnant…. so now what?
Pregnancy is the ultimate experience of Yoga in my opinion. It is a time of becoming aware of your body in a new way. It is an opportunity to be in a new relationship with yourself, following the guidance of your body's own wisdom. Trusting that your body will support you and your growing baby. You may notice a silent intelligence ushering you in directions you may never have before noticed. Being guided internally in a way that may be new. Being so utterly connected to another individual in such an intimate way, experiencing true oneness. Each pregnancy is sacred, unique, one-of-a-kind, just as the growing baby is, just as we all are. Each woman has her own path to discover as an individual, but also as a tribe.
As a prenatal yoga teacher, and holistic wellness guide, my role is to empower my clients through listening to them, meeting them at the exact place where they are, and to share embodiment practices to experience the present moment. To guide them to trust their bodies innate wisdom, and to nurture them during this most sacred time of life. I honor every woman and her choices for her pregnancy and labor as she is walking her own very unique path.
The female body begins to nourish the growth of a human being. From the union of sperm and egg, something begins to grow out of nothing. A woman can feel completely out of control in her own body, so yoga offers an opportunity for her to return to herself. Yoga reminds a woman that she is in control of how she nourishes herself; her breath, her thoughts, what she “feeds” herself.
A growing embryo transforms into a fetus. The fetus begins to take up space within a woman's body applying pressure on her bladder, lumbar spine, internal organs, and diaphragm.
The uterus begins to expand as baby grows. Amniotic fluid fills the space along with other fluids and the placenta. The placenta is the only organ that is created and then released once the baby exits the womb.
Relaxin, Progesterone and Estrogen hormones are released into the body. They can create extra flexibility in a woman, which can lead to instability in tendons and joints. This flexibility is necessary for the pelvis to open during childbirth to allow for the exit of the baby from the uterus. For some its an added plus, and for others it leads to additional discomfort.
Increased blood flow to the uterus means decreased blood flow to digestive organs and other body parts. So, while baby is most always supported,
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Creates connection to other women having the same experience, a sense of sisterhood
Empowers women to trust their bodies wisdom
Increases overall awareness of internal body
Calms nervous system, relieves stress
Increases circulation through movement
Increases respiration/oxygenation of body through breath work
Promotes initial bonding with baby
Builds physical strength, stamina, and balance to support a pregnant body,
prepare for labor, and support a woman in motherhood.
Relieves or decreases common physical and emotional discomforts
We all have tremendous POTENTIAL within our bodies and minds. There’s incredible potential within the body of a woman to grow a baby, birth a baby, and mother her child. The knowledge is already there within us. It’s just a matter of acknowledging it, attuning to it, and then trusting in it. This empowerment of my clients and students is a key component to my classes and online sessions. You are collaborating with whoever shows up each time in a unique one time experience. The student teacher relationship is similar to that of mother and child in that you are together in the experience for a specific time period. There is no class without both student and teacher just as the pregnancy doesn’t rely on solely mother or child. The union, yoking, collaboration, infusion, symbiosis happens when two or more energies join.
Pregnancy and any relationship for that matter is an opportunity to meet one another exactly where we are with a gesture of reverence and gratitude for the opportunity to commune.
Prenatal Yoga is just one place for women to feel nurtured, supported, seen, heard, and cared for. For any pregnant woman, its most valuable that she finds the practices of movement and breathing that feel good for her in her body and that she trusts these parts of herself.
Pregnancy, labor and birth are all primal acts for women, however in modern days there is often a split within. Finding your own version of slowing down, yoga, pranayama(breath practices), meditation, listening to your bodies wisdom and strong intuition during each phase of life is optimum. Trusting your own animal instincts is the ultimate goal of oneness.
How on Earth can a child's toy provide self-care?
What exactly am I referring to?
A bouncy ball of course. That small rubber sphere that has managed to carry itself through decades of fun and enjoyment for all ages.
I was in attendance at a biomechanics yoga workshop last year where my teacher and friend Kristen English gifted us the wisdom of bouncy ball hand therapy.
Anyone can do it! Pause right now, go find a bouncy ball in the deepest corner of your kids toy chest. You know they always hide in the farthest corner..
Get down on the Earth, on your hands and knees. Place the bouncy ball under the squishy parts of your palm, applying various degrees of pressure in various locations while rolling it back and forth.
We carry so much as humans, as mothers, and we use our hands in so many ways to create the lives we mold for our families. Our hands are the extension from our hearts, they hold immense creative capacity, we must thank them and love them for the work that they do.
Below is a short sequence to show your magic hands some extra special bouncy ball love and more.
Bouncy Ball Roll Massage
Wrist Hold Hand Blast
Hand Clasp stretches
Video of Hand Love for Humans