Vaginal Steaming

A few years ago I was fortunate to attend a Womens Holistic Sexiuality Course called the Artemis School in Los Angeles lead by Lara Catone whom the previous summer I stumbled into her informative yoga class on the pelvic floor at the lovely Telluride Yoga Festival. Her school was amazing and timley in my life, it’s goal was to develop leaders in the field of women’s sexual health and wellness so that we could go out and educate people with vulvas about their wholistic bodies including functional anatomy, erotic power and sexual pleasure. Slowly I have been doing just that through my influences at monthly women’s circles, yoga classes, retreats and supporting women through birth and postpartum. One tool that I am frequently suggesting for women is vaginal steaming or yoni steaming. I offer these twice a year at the Big Sur Camping retreats. I am happy to share more thorough information on this ancient and useful way women can empower, heal and befriend their bodies and their sexuality. Enjoy and happy steaming sisters!

Screen Shot 2018-12-15 at 6.15.33 PM.png

Our wombs are at the root of our being, both literally and metaphorically. Many ancient and modern traditions hold that the womb space is the ground of female strength, vitality and wisdom. After all this is the sacred location where all human life gets its start. The heart and the uterus are the two main energy centers in the female body and thus being such need to be taken care of tenderly and with great attention. However many of us have lost the naturally ways to tend to the womb. Through the ritual of vaginal steaming or yoni steaming it is sometimes called, one can recaliam caring for self through using the power of herbs. Steaming consists of placing various medicinal herbs and hot water in a bowl and sitting atop the steam for 20 minutes or so. The hot steam that is produced with the added benefit of specific herbs being used,  increases blood flow and oxygen to the pelvic floor, this naturally brings relief to many if not all painful conditions women may face in their life. This ceremonial honoring time becomes a meditation and powerful way to reconnect to self and the power of healing.

Menstruation: Vaginal steaming support issues such as menstrual cramping, stale blood dark/brown/black blood colors, spotting before or  after period, excessive mood swings or clotting, endometriosis, fibroids, cysts, polyps, pcos, infertility, and irregular periods.

Postpartum/Miscarriage:  Vaginal steaming supports recovery postpartum or loss by, reduces skin swelling, clears out lochia (the vaginal discharge after giving birth containing blood, mucus, and uterine tissue), shrinks hemorrhoids, helps uterus reduce in size, lifts uterus and organs back into place, stimulates breast milk growth, reduces incidences of infection (a reason women return to hospital postpartum), relieves postpartum contractions, helps regain sexual pleasure and feels enjoyable.

Menopause: Suport healthy vaginal microbiome, it gets rid of vaginal dryness, supports phantom period symptoms, clears excess cervical mucus, post-hysterectomy healing, prevents infections, sexual trauma recovery.

In addition to these physical benefits, the 20 minutes you spend grounding into your pelvic floor can be a way to reclaim your connection to your feminine center, which is important post baby, post bleeding, post trauma or at any time when you feel off.

*Don’t steam while pregnant or bleeding and wait 6 week after giving birth or until bleeding has stopped, limit streaming to 10 minutes if you have an IUD. Check with your doctor or medical professional before steaming. If you want to learn more about steaming, take a training on becoming a practitioner or to buy the herbs and kits visit  www.steamychick.com

Herbs:

Lavender - relieve stress, treat insomnia, nervous stomach and anxiety. Promotes restful sleep. Soothes stomach bloating. Antibacterial & antimicrobial. Inflame passions as an aphrodisiac.

Holy basil - "Queen of Herbs" is an adaptogen (anti-stress agent) that balances hormones, benefits immune, reproductive & urinary systems, protects organs and tissues from chemical agents/ heavy metals, relieve headaches & muscle tension.

Calendula - Prevent and relax abdominal & PMS cramps, promote ease of menstruation and alleviate hot flashes, anti-inflammatory, heal ulcers, improve skin firmness, anti-microbial & anti-viral, may discourage cancer.

Yarrow - "The Women's Herb" specializes in the reproductive and urinary systems and will both staunch heavy bleeding and stimulate scanty bleeding. Relieves menstrual pain. Assists vaginal infections, discharge and spotting between cycles. Urinary anti-septic & remedy for cystitis and urinary tract infections. Improve blood circulation, tones blood vessels & prevent blood clots, stimulate digestion, move congested blood and support the liver.

Black Cohosh - Traditional Native American remedy. Anti-inflammatory that eases PMS, relieves menstrual cramps & irregularities. Relieves multiple symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, irritability, mood swings and sleep disturbances. Studies show black cohosh produces positive results when compared to benefits of traditional estrogen replacement therapy during menopause.

Motherwort - Healer of the Heart. Cardio tonic which calms palpitations, high blood pressure and anxiety, traditionally given to young pregnant mothers. Nervine tonic which relaxes nervous system, resulting in an elevated mood. Anti-spasmodic muscle relaxant (relieves cramps), decrease blood clotting, brings balance to hyperthyroidism. Assists sleep cycles.

Mugwort - NEVER to be used by pregnant women. Nervine which relaxes the uterus will ease and stimulate (late) menstruation, helping to restore a natural cycle. Expel parasites, relax nervous system.  

Rosemary - Longevity. Lower cortisol levels and reduce anxiety when used aromatically (not topically in an oil). Treat muscle pain. May prevent cancer cells from replicating, halting tumors from growing. Stop hair loss. Antioxidant that protects cells from damage by free radicals and toxins.

Mexican Oregano - Not to be confused with traditional Oregano. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial. Support late and irregular menstrual cycles.  Anti-spasmodic will sooth PMS pain.

Lemon Balm - Soothe menstrual cramps, relieve PMS symptoms including nausea, gas/bloating and will relax bladder and uterus spasms. Anti-viral.

Marshmallow - Treat urinary infections and bladder infections. Induces phagocytosis, a process that supports cells to engulf bacteria & dead cell tissues to speed up the healing process.

Dong Quai - "Female ginseng" & Protector of Feminine Health. Balances estrogen levels and regulates menstrual cycles. Increase libido levels and fertility. Anti-spasmodic which relieves symptoms of PMS including cramping, mood swings & discomfort. Increase circulation & detoxify the blood - boosting energy levels after menstruation and relieving headaches and muscle pain. Lessen anxiety & stress associated with menopause. Heart tonic and skin purifier, assisting with psoriasis, rosacea & more. *not to be used for pregnant women

Red Clover -  Reduces hot flashes in menopausal women, slow bone loss and increase bone density in pre/peri- menopausal women. Contains isoflavones (plant-derived estrogen) which relieve PMS symptoms. May block enzymes that promote endometrial cancer.

Cornsilk - Medicine of the Goddess Ixchel. Anti-inflammatory for urinary tract infections (UTI), coating the urinary tract lining and thwarting infection. Reduces the risk of bacteria build up by creating the urge to urinate and flushing out the urinary tract.

Damiana - Ancient and erotic Aztec remedy for sexual health. Aphrodesiac which improves blood circulation to sex organs, increases libido, potency and frequency of vaginal orgasms. Reduces vaginal dryness. Balance menopause symptoms.

Rose Petals - Worldwide symbol of Love & Sensuality. Boosts the immune system and is anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant for UTI prevention and treatment. Cleanses blood. Raises our vibration and enhances positivity of the mind. Reduces menstrual pain. Calms nerves and eases stress & tension.

Uva Ursi - Healing humans since the 2nd century. Aids UTI’s and bladder infections. Is a diuretic, astringent and muscle-relaxant. Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which fight kidney infections. Anti-septic which protects the mucous membrane of the urinary tract. Anti-fungal. Soothes stomach cramping.

Pau D’Arco Bark - Native to the Amazon Rainforest, has been used for 1000’s of years as an immune system stimulant. Reduces inflammation. Powerful anti oxidant & destroyer of free radicals. Slows down the aging process. Anti-viral & anti-fungal.

Dandelion Leaf - Herbal cure-all wonder that is making her comeback. Liver detox which eliminates harmful toxins. Diuretic which assists the kidneys in clearing out urinary system while replacing lost potassium. Antioxidant which prevents free radical damage to cells and DNA.

Birth + Death and the passing of the torch

I was attending a client’s birth last month on a night that my doula mentor Terri Woods died. Reflecting on that evening I feel like it was the best place I could have been to honor her contributions to my path in supporting women’s health. Life is sensitive and the paradoxes it relentlessly rolls out gives you lots to chew on and ponder. Which I’m doing….

I’m a doula because of a loving woman named Terri, who quickly went into hospice late last month when she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I wouldn’t have been at the birth nor the 11 before, heck I wouldn’t have even been a doula if it wasn’t for her and her life. After a decade of teaching prenatal yoga, she was the one who encouraged me to step into doula work. There was something about her that I knew I needed to listen to. From the beginning there was lots to learn - the student in me was ready, and the teacher appeared. Deep down I was being guided into a new way of serving women, feeling the pull and yet not sure how it would all go. It felt destined though so I kept the course, completed all of Terri’s trainings, had many deep converstaions with her about birth, and with her hand behind me she was inspiring me to become a doula. Attending births continues to be one of the most powerful endeavors I participate in and learn so much about life from. 

I consider her passing on the same night I attend the birth of a healhty mama and baby boy a divine blessing that Terri/universe/god/great spirit gifted me, to remind myself of the unending cycle of life and death, and the passing of the baton that happens in every generation.

I’m eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from such an incredible teacher. Terri was one of the few mentors I’ve ever had, and I feel so extremly fortunate to have known her the past 6 years. She’s a spirited soul with an abundance of wisdom and love to share. I’m so sad she’s gone in body, and so appreciative for all I’ve learned from her. The many doulas she guided do what they do because of her. My love will continue to go out to Terri and her family, and all those lives she welcomed, touched, and even saved.

Tawny

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 6.54.34 AM.png

SISTERHOOD MANIFESTO

I commit to be honest

I commit to take responsibility for myself

I will ask for support when I need it

I will ask for alone time when I need it

I will listen deeply to myself and others

I will not try to fix you

I will keep what you share confidential

I will not speak negativly about you

I will celebrate your unique beauty and gifts

I will not hold myself back to fit in and I will support you in doing the same


This is the current manifesto we agree to hold up to as sisters when we gather either at our monthly circles our while on retreats together.

fall2017ojairetreat-8773.jpg

Earth Day

Mother Earth Day!

How are you honoring the earth?

IMG_3712.jpg

As I watched my daughter and the neighborhood kids on earth day climb our beloved front yard tree, I asked myself, how am I giving back to this mother earth who graciously lets me live amongst her beauty, climb her trees, eat her delights and beyond? I love the earth with all my heart and feel still there are so many more ways to show my love. I'm listening and continually learning for new reiterations of how to show my appreciation to this great mother of us all. This love motivated me to wite down things I do currently do to show my love.

Here are five ways I give back to mother earth! And I hope they motivate you to try them and or come up with your own five ways you show your love.

1. Go by foot!

How often do you find yourself quickly grabbing the car keys when you are making a nearby trip? Could you innerweave a new mode of transportation once a week? Take a long walk or bike ride to grab your morning coffee or for the weekends' farmers market.

This is a great opportunity not only to love on our earth but taking a walk or bike ride gives you time to decompress. It gives you space in your day to recharge. I understand that busy feeling of needing to get somewhere quick, but what would it look like to cut some of your to-do list out and give yourself a nice breath of fresh air? I hate riding my bike, says no-one! 

2. BYOC: Bring your own cup!

We have a real drinking problem, and no I am not talking about adult beverages! How often are you dropping by the local coffee shop and taking your drink to go? Use paper and plastic much? To go cups gotta go... Each time you grab your morning joe with your favorite mug, you are very quickly cutting down on your carbon footprint! Buy a local cermaic mug at your local art shop. In my town I love buying new mugs at Anam Cre

3. Be a bag lady!

Do you find yourself at the checkout counter bagless? It can take some time to get into the habit of bringing your bag, but this easy act of saving and reusing bags make makes a difference.

A helpful tip is right when you get home from the store, place your reusable bags at the front door with the intention to grab them the next time you leave the house. Keep bags in your car and in your putrse and eventually, this will become a healthy habit!

4. Become a collector!

I am a big fan of collecting cans, bottles, jars… so much so that my husband Peter takes note of my extensive collection. He finds these collectibles throughout the house and pokes fun at how I use them in very creative ways!

Think of how many times you are buying a container that disappears along the way. What if that container had been an old jar you reused and now its ventured on to a new home to be reused. You can be your own recycling system within your household.

5. Conserve energy!

Yes, I believe in conserving our societies physical energy, but I am talking about our energetic energy here! It's valuable too.

I ended my earth day by explaining to my daughter that we are all interconnected. Us and our earth. That everything we use takes from somewhere and everything we give, repairs somewhere else. We are this beautiful interconnected web of life. Everything I do, affects someone or something in our world and I reminded her that everything she does, says and even thinks effects others.

So how can we all be mindful of how we use your personal energy? Our thoughts, our words and beyond.... Are you giving too much in one place and not enough in another? Have you carved out time in your day to recharge and regenerate your personal energy?

 

Central Coast Women’s Symposium

I'm headed to Central Coast Women’s Symposium March 10 and I'd love you to join me! This day long women's event includes the amazing author, speaker and Women’s Advocate Nina Simons!! I'm a big fan of hers and will for surley playing fan club and have her sign my book 'Moonrise'

THIS VIDEO OF HER SPEAKING IS JUST SO LOVELY! 
19 MINUTES AND WORTH IT SISTERS!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=37&v=HmMgNjZVF6M

Nina Simons, an award-winning social entrepreneur, visionary thinker, Founder of Everywoman's Leadership and Co-Founder of Bioneers will be discussing "Finding Our Own Regenerative and Purposeful Sweet-Spot - Now, When It’s Needed Most".

DETAILS:

March 10, 2018, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., SLCUSD Adult School, 1500 Lizzie St., Room J-2, San Luis Obispo, CA  https://lauragrace.net/womens-symposium/

HOPE YOU CAN JOIN THIS WONDERFUL OPPERTIUNITY RIGHT HERE IN BEAUTIFUL SLO!! 

Nina was also recently interview on our local to SLO 'The Reluctant Therapist' show, I even made a quick cameo on the interview! Listen to that great 50 min interview here http://kcbx.org/post/activating-love-re-imagine-civilization

Year of BEAUTY

Belonging to oneself and owning fully your life, it’s goals, it’s directions, it’s hopes, desires, longings and yes also its mournings, let downs and upsets... has been one of the best things to for my life and also the scariest. For the last few Winters I’ve participated in a three week program that’s designed to help one distill the previous year’s lessons and make goals for the year to come.

Holiday Council, an online course taught my dear friend and life coach Molly Mahar has the been the perfect guide and needed support to help create, design and plan for the new year, it's the goal setting type stuff that I never knew how to do, but now so appreciate.

Part of this course is creating a theme word for the year, so today I present to you my 2018 Theme / Vision Board both to inspire and to be seen. 

IMG_2170.JPG

BEAUTY is my word for 2018. My mantra: 

"The harmonizing nature of beauty awakens within me. I see, create and honor the life promoting energy of beauty that is found all around me, inside me and inside all. This word will be my anchor and compass."

Supported by the following ways of being, just incase I get lost over the course of the year these will be my reminders:

I am ORGANIZED. Tidy and fresh are the spaces I create, they in turn enrich my life. My file cabinets are beautified, as is my closet... I take time to make my home beautiful to be in.

I am COMPLETE. Beautifully whole in this moment + proud of the accomplishments I take to completion. There is a beauty in following through with programs, certifications etc.. The Doula Certification that I have been putting off, the Artemis school finale paper... yeah those are getting completed, beautifuly.

I am SINGING. Capable to vibrate and feel, explore, play + feel joy through songs and life. Maybe a future singing circle in SLO gets started...

I am CREATIVE. Gardening + painting I allow for messy art making + value time spent creating. Making beauty in nature, with plants, herbs and paint, or with what a whip together to eat. I eat beautifully and enjoy the beauty of nature

I am GROUNDED. Connected to natures healing elements and appreciative of our time communing! The beauty recieved while in nature fills me up. 

I believe that where there is beauty there is God, spirit, universe, jesus, mohammad, love, call it what you will, you understand.... By seeing beauty, taking the time to create beauty, caring enough for beauty I will be taken care of.... aho and let it be so, this year and beyond!

Thank you Molly for creating Holiday Council your joy brings others to beauty! 

Friends! I do hope you’ll join us for !!!

Slowing Down In India

Slowing Down In India

Slow-mo India! So much happens in a moments time, so I slowed it down so you and I can take it all in, every morsel The bustle of life here in Varanasi can overwhelm anyone. Yet somehow like a river, the traffic and people flow and keeps moving, and working — as they say, “anything is possible in india”. I know this is true...

Read More