You can be a Yoga Mama AND a Ninja: A How-To for Ninja Roll
Legs Up the Wall is a great pose for final relaxation at the end of any yoga class, and especially for Prenatal Yoga.
Usually, the mamas look at me like I'm crazy when I mention Legs Up the Wall as an option; it's a look that usually says, "How am I going to get my pregnant body up to the wall?!?" Ninja Roll will make your journey to the wall SO much easier, - no more futzing around the entire time and completely missing out on Savasana!
For a how-to video and to read about the benefits and when you should opt-out of Ninja Roll, keep reading here:
In Honor of Mamas on National HIV Testing Day: How birth workers can care for HIV-positive clients - A Doula Spot Blog
Doulas play a critical role in preventing HIV. An estimated 1.2 million people live with HIV in the United States. About one out of four people living with HIV in the U.S. are women. And each year nearly 200 babies are born with HIV through perinatal transmission – HIV transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or breastfeeding. It is the most common route of HIV transmission in children but also very preventable. When HIV is diagnosed before or during pregnancy, perinatal transmission can be reduced to less than 1%.1
While we can celebrate the public health achievement that there has been a reduction in perinatal HIV transmission in the United States, there is still more work to be done; and doulas can be a part of this great work. June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. Encouraging prenatal HIV testing is one critical strategy—but a doula’s role doesn’t end there...
To continue reading this blog on Doula Spot, click here.
The blog's authors: Stephanie Cruse of MamaChakra, Vignetta Charles of AIDS United, and Krista Martel of The Well Project.
To visit Doula Spot - www.doulaspot.com
To visit AIDS United - www.aidsunited.org
To visit The Well Project - www.thewellproject.org
Often times, new mamas feel isolated. Almost 3 ½ years ago now, I remember feeling unsure of my abilities as a new mom and unsure about what the heck was going on with my postpartum body. I certainly didn’t feel in-tune with my body; in fact, my body didn’t even feel like it was my own anymore! Finding a community was hard; finding a place where I could feel comfortable talking about how crazy it all was, was even harder.
The Postnatal Yoga class at East Side Yoga is designed to restore your body’s strength after having a baby. It’s also a time for sharing with your fellow mamas and making new friendships (and playdates!)...
To continue reading about the fantastic YogaMamas program at East Side Yoga, click here!
After I had my son in 2012 and emerged from a long postpartum depression about one year later, I knew I wanted to help new moms. I had struggled to find 1) a community, and 2) a place that truly placed no judgment on new moms and their struggles. I’ll just create that kind of community, I said.
I was on a mission to tell moms ALL OF THE EVERYTHING that happens once you have your baby. WATCH OUT for the sleep deprivation-induced insanity, the bickering with your spouse, the fussy baby-that cries when he’s awake-which is all of the time, the...the...ALL OF THE EVERYTHING.
But I couldn’t do that. First, it’s not fair to other families because nobody else shared my specific experience. Second, why am I going to induce fear into a pregnant woman, when I know the absence of fear is what facilitates an easier birth for her and her baby? Thirdly, and sorry first-time pregnant moms (#notsorry), you don’t know. We can all talk a good game before we have the baby, but you just. don’t. know. How can you imagine the wild rage you might feel in the middle of the night when you’re up with baby, and your partner is sleeping soundly in the next room, because they get to go to work in the morning?
Let’s re-frame then. What did I want as a new mom that I didn’t have and so desperately wanted? Community. Haven. A zen place. A massage. Time by myself. Help with breastfeeding. Help balancing emotions. Answers to my questions without judgment. A place where I could complain about how hard it all was, and people would still tell me I was a good mom.
Because I had wanted an array of services all in one place, that became my goal. A welcoming one-stop shop with prenatal through postpartum services for women and their families. But one-stop shop sounds so technical and boring...zzz. I needed a catchy name, whose domain name was also available for the taking. What name could capture the revitalizing energy I was hoping to offer to expecting and new families?
Yup, you guessed it - MamaChakra.
Introducing the chakras. Chakras are energetic, physical and emotional centers in the body. They are often described as spinning energy wheels in our body. WTF, you might ask? Yes, our body has energy in it. Ancient Eastern medicine and Ayurveda (Ancient Indian medicine) believe that our bodies contain channels of energy or chakras, respectively. Pathways in our body that move energy along. Modern science has been able to support chakra theory through connections of nerves, the brachial plexus and sacral plexus. If you still don’t believe me, check out this article about researchers who tested the energy in our bodies, and found that they do align with the chakras.
I can teach and be confident about the chakras as a yoga teacher, because I have had some pretty cool energetic experiences during yoga and meditation. I LOVE the chakras and it makes sense to me that our movements, bodies, and emotions are all connected.
There are 7 chakras placed throughout our body at points where the energy is the highest, each spinning at its own frequency. The basic concept is that the energy begins from the root chakra at the base of the spine, and energy rises up through the chakras and then down the body again.
Different chakras correspond to different body parts, emotions, elements, etc. Let’s use the root chakra for an example. The root chakra is the root of your being and establishes the deepest connections with your physical body, your environment and the Earth — it is your survival center, fight-or-flight, and instincts. If the root chakra is imbalanced you may experience anxiety disorders, fears, or nightmares. Physical imbalances may manifest as problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues. Well, shit. Who wants that?!?
Ideally, the root chakra is balanced so energy can make its way up the body. But there is a possibility that a chakra higher up is imbalanced and spinning either too quickly or slowly. For example, if energy is blocked in our second chakra (related to hips/sacrum), which houses relationships and intimacy, one might commitment or relationships to be challenging. Those hips don’t lie.
The goal is for all chakras to be spiraling at their optimal frequency and for energy to flow through the body, keeping us away from dis-ease (yes, this is different from disease). If you want to be a chakra geek like me, check out this Chakra 101 to get you started.
MamaChakra aims to be an energetic center for mamas and their families. MamaChakra can help find a healing balance for both mind and body. It’s all about balance and revitalization.
MamaChakra is your energy center, mamas and families. Embracing your journey through pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
What’s up next on the writing schedule: Part 2 - About That Logo...
Birth educator. Doula. Yoga Teacher. Mom to a crazy threenager and Wife to an awesome husband.
What I've written:
"Thank you for giving me a sound mind, hard body and open heart! "❤️ - Courtney, Arlington, VA
MamaChakra serves the following geographic areas in and around Northern Virginia (NoVa): Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale, Falls Church, Fairfax, Springfield. I also serve the Washington D.C. Metro Area.
MamaChakra's students have given birth at the following DMV-area hospitals: George Washington (GW) Midwives, Virginia Hospital Center, INOVA Alexandra, INOVA Fairfax, and Sibley Hospital.