"The health of the entire Earth lies in honoring the female energy and its interconnection to nature's rhythms" ~Maya Tiwari
My mission is to support mothers in coming home to their body's innate wisdom, creativity and health by cultivating a nourishing and inspiring relationship with their hormonal design, their womb, with the earth and with each other.
I am a WisEarth Ayurveda Teacher and an INNATE Postpartum Practitioner. I have been blessed to have some of the most amazing Teachers and Mentors, like Maya Tiwari and Rachelle Garcia Seliga, Dr. Claudia Welch, and many others.
I draw on the ancient elemental medicine of Ayurveda, as well as modern science on female hormones and holistic nutrition to support women and mothers along their journey of life, especially through rites of passages into motherhood and into menopause. I do this by providing loving guidance on how to fully nourish the body, mind and spirit, inhabit the womb at all ages and stages, connect with the intelligence of our hormones, and live in rhythm with the Earth. I believe in the importance of deep care for mothers (and all people) through rites of passage like childbirth and the natural transitions of peri-menopause and menopause.
My long-term vision is to foster multigenerational communities of women to come together and share their wisdom, support true health and authentic wellness through each natural stage of life, thereby collectively healing ourselves, the planet and planting the seeds for future generations.
My background with Ayurveda, Embodiment, and Women's Health
I chose to study go deeper into Ayurveda and Women's Health after having my first son. I felt such a lack of awareness, understanding and care during the postpartum phase that I knew I had to look beyond the Western mainstream model of postpartum care and women's health more broadly. I had many reproductive health challenges throughout my life, but they remained largely misunderstood by the modern medical paradigm. Fast forward to my postpartum time, and in diving into Ayurveda, I discovered a deep well of ancient wisdom that spoke to my soul and helped my body, mind and spirit heal and regenerate little by little.
Once I entered peri-menopause after having my second child at 39, I knew I had more to figure out about my hormones, my health and this new terrain of my body in this stage of life and motherhood. So, with the little time I had as a mother of an infant, a toddler and a bonus son who was a teenager at the time, I dove head first into learning about the connection between postpartum health and menopause.
I studied hormones from the Western scientific perspective and It was helpful and illuminating in understanding the hormonal transitions of postpartum and perimenopause (among our other rites of passage). But Ayurvedic science supports our "inner medicine," as my Mentor Maya Tiwari calls it, as well as the deeper energetic, ancestral and spiritual aspects of the the womb and our rites of passages as women.
I approach womb health from the perspective that our wombs are a sacred portal for life, as well as an essential part of our health as women. My approach also rests on the belief that our hormonal shifts through each rite of passage are connected to the greater cycles of life, death and the cosmos. The ancient science of Ayurveda gives us accessible tools and a deeper understanding of our natural physiological cycles and seasons. Therefore, I draw from both the modern science on hormones, as well as ancient science in a way that supports holistic health and growth through each season of life~ from menarche to menopause, and birth to death.
My courses and one-on-one practice focuses on supporting mothers in deepening their connection with their womb and accessing the innate intelligence of their hormonal blueprint from postpartum to menopause in a way that allows for deeper nourishment, health and vitality. Together we explore the gifts and challenges of each season of life, and that the more we get to know how our womb, our hormones through each season of life cultivate an embodied sense that we are part of Mother Natures's beautiful design by connecting with food, with our womb, with each other and with the Earth
The longer, more personal version of my background
My own health journey has definitely been a combination of learning the hard way and re-learning to trust that innate inner wisdom. It’s taken many detours, painful losses, challenges and a near death experience to realize what I've already known deep down~ that we are all part of the magic that is mother earth, we go through cycles of darkness and light, and we all carry her intelligence within.
First and foremost, every woman in my motherline~ from my mother all the way back to my great-grandmother~had a hysterectomy. Therefore growing up, I didn't see or hear about menstrual health, or the seasons of the womb from menarche to menopause. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother had hysterectomies for different reasons, ranging from painful fibroids to cancer. But given that this is the second most common surgery, at least in the U.S. (after cesarians), it was very normalized in my family. In fact, I believe it is way too normalized in our culture.
Of course, there are sometimes medical reasons to have one's uterus and reproductive organs removed, But there are many times that hysterectomies have and continue to be recommended for unnecessary reasons~ or in cases where if there was more knowledge and wisdom of womb-care and more reverence for this part of our bodies, it wouldn't be as common. The fact that we're having so many issues that cause painful conditions in our wombs and hormonal imbalances is a testament to how out of balance our systems and our culture is when it comes to female bodies and maternal health.
I say all of this to point out, that I was already growing into this life as a young woman with a sense of pain, disconnect and trauma carried over into my own womb. I also felt a sense of grief around that, which took some big life-lessons to uncover.
At the age of thirty-five I met the man who would become the father of my children. About six months into our very new relationship I got pregnant. At the time I was in the final stages of getting my PhD from UCLA. By then I had been in academia for nearly ten years! I was heavily invested with mountains of debt and years of study, many exams, and so many presentations, conferences, and research. Even though I didn't consciously realize it at the time, my heart and my soul did not want to be on that path. It was taking a toll on my body. I was spinning my wheels, suffering from serious insomnia, and self medicating with all kinds of things I won't name here.
A couple of months after getting pregnant I went to visit my mom to help her through some very intense mental health issues. Soon after I arrived to her house I began to feel some pain in my womb. Several hours later I found myself passed out from internal bleeding due to a ruptured fallopian tube. It was an ectopic pregnancy and for a variety of reasons I wasn’t able to get to the hospital in time to detect it before it ruptured. I lost consciousness and literally felt my body dying. It was a very close call, I even broke my jaw as I landed flat on my face from passing out in front of the ER doors (if you understand the connection between the voice and the cervix/yoni the fact that I was barely able to speak due to my broken jaw probably doesn't escape you)
During the healing process I found myself experiencing so many mixed feelings. I was overwhelmed with immense gratitude that I was alive, yet I also felt a lot of resentment arising that I couldn’t quite explain. My hormones were wreaking havoc on me (if you’ve had a sudden loss of a pregnancy, you can probably relate). The trauma of the whole experience also left me with consistent nightmares and I had so much anxiety.
Still, something inside of me was telling me that my confusing and overwhelming emotions were also coming from a place much deeper than the immediate trauma and hormonal imbalances. I knew it was time to muster up the courage to set out on some soul searching. I slowly became more aware of how I had been mistreating my body, disconnected from my womb, and carrying ancestral grief and trauma in my womb for much of my adult life.
I started to get honest with myself about how my lifestyle and certain choices weren't serving me or honoring my body, my womb, and my soul. I came to realize that these choices and patterns were being driven by unconscious beliefs about what I felt I deserved and didn’t deserve. I was making choices based on past wounds, trauma, ancestral and familial imprints, a lack of worthiness and a lot of cultural conditioning.
Between my own early family imprints and the larger cultural and societal influences, I had developed unconscious habits stemming from a belief that I wasn't entirely worthy of love or of health.... Until I almost died. Until I had a taste of creating a being out of love and then losing that being. Until I began to discover that it's natural to want to be held and cared for. More importantly, I realized I needed to learn how to hold and care for myself in more authentic, compassionate and healthy ways. Of course, in some ways I'm still learning how.
I also began to see the connections between the scars in my womb that led to the ectopic pregnancy, and the pain I was carrying from my mother’s womb, and my grandmother’s womb and my great-grandmothers… and on down the line….It was through this soul searching journey that I truly began to reconnect with my womb and with the loving pulse of the universe, None of this was not an immediate awakening. In fact, it has been a circular, unfolding process and is still very much a committed path of self-compassion.
I tried to soldier on with my Phd, but I was feeling more lost every day. My partner suggested we go to Burning Man (it was my first and last time and his 13th or 14th). I said sure, and off we went. Anyway, we're pretty sure it was there that my son was conceived; and once my son was old enough to start dancing and busting out some moves, I became convinced that the playa, is in fact where he was conceived.
After my son was born, I sat in front the of computer trying to crank out a dissertation, but all I wanted to do was either snuggle with him or sleep or both. I kept trying to convince myself to finish. But little by little my attention was either focused on him, or on learning about how to take care of myself during this transition into motherhood
Eventually I got pregnant again when my son was still under a year old and was still breast feeding. It was a surprise to say the least. But a couple of months later we learned that the baby's heart had stopped beating so I had to wait until it was time for it to make its way out of my body. In retrospect, this spirit helped me let go of a part of myself that was in the process of dying. I didn't go back to work on my dissertation and I slowly let go of finishing my Phd. I slowly began to let go of the guilt and shame I had been feeling about not finishing it.
Motherhood, Miscarriage & the Mystery of it All
After loosing a pregnancy and nearly loosing my own life, then the experience of birthing a child, then loosing another pregnancy, and yet again birthing another child two years later, (whoah!) there was no way around developing a much deeper, more profound connection with my body and surrendering to its wisdom. I now have two young children and it's been a hormonal roller-coaster ride, and a beautiful, amazing, chaotic, exhausting, wild journey!
Motherhood has broken me open and revealed to me some of the wounds inside that still needed healing. It also showed me the limitations and lack of understanding and support in our society when it comes to motherhood and to women's bodies and health in general. AND it stirred a sense of longing for a deeper more rooted connection with the Earth that I had lost
Motherhood has also reminded me that there’s strength and vulnerability in just being with our true nature, and remaining present through all the natural changes and rites of passage we go through as women.
Without the community build into our lives as mothers (in most cases in the Western /"modern" world at least) motherhood can also create a sense of longing for wise elders to help guide us through these transitions with awareness and intention. I searched and eventually found wise elders from whom I've learned so much from! I'm still learning and always will be. I hope to share the wisdom that I've received and earned through my own life experience and life lessons, and through the guidance of my Teachers and support of true Medicine Women along the way.
And that's how I came to do the work that I do with mothers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it has given you a small window into who I am. Perhaps we've shared some similar experiences and insights in our lives.
P.S. If you're curious about my professional / educational background: After studying yoga for over twenty years, teaching for ten years, and exploring Ayurveda throughout, I decided to formalize my studies in Ayurveda as a Practitioner with the Wise Earth Ayurveda School founded by the world renowned Ayurvedic Healer and Teacher Mother Maya Tiwari. I have continued to stay connected with Wise Earth Ayurveda through Mother Mayas Womb Shakti Medicine program as a Teacher. I have also studied hormonal health with Dr. Claudia Welch an mentored with Mary Thompson and I am an INNATE Postpartum Practitioner
I also have an M.A. from UCLA in international studies with an emphasis in Education.
Before becoming an Ayurvedic Educator & Consultant, I worked in Community Health Education and activism for many years. I traveled as a Health Educator and Researcher to many countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Portugal, Armenia and Spain. I also had the pleasure of working in Health Education here in California with diverse populations from various parts of Latina America and other parts of the world.