Category Archives: Resources

Happy Autumn! Update your routine to reflect cooling temps and the dryness of this Vata season.

Dear practitioners, lovers of yoga and yoga-curious,

I just wanted to remind you that as the leaves become dyer we need to increase our hydration – inside and out! Drink plenty of water, warmer and not summer-icy, and drink decaffeinated teas. Choose slightly oilier foods like ghee on autumnal squashes, zucchini, wetter oatmeal, basmati rice, dates soaked in water, drinking a pinch of salt in your water and using salt to taste on your food. Avoid drying foods that are cold or raw, like salads. Spices like nutmeg and cinnamon are warming. Golden milk heated to scalding with turmeric powder, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom can be very supportive of balancing Vata dosha as well, plus, it’s delicious! Also, alcohol and coffee are very drying. I know, I know, giving up my dinner glass of wine and morning java is hard for me too! So, we do our best to achieve balance and stay juicy in spite of our lesser habits. Here is my recommendation for keeping your skin healthy:

Step 1: Buy or excavate your body brush from its summer confines.

Step 2: Find or purchase a nice massage oil, sesame, apricot, or almond oil. Even a nice extra virgin olive oil might be an economic choice.

Step 3: Brush the body from soles of feet up toward your heart using short strokes. Brush from palms of hands toward your heart and brush the torso and back up toward and then downward toward the heart. This exfoliates the skin and increases lymphatic flow and circulation, increases skin tone and is anti-aging.

Step 4: Massage your favorite oil all over the skin. Enjoy this pampering, sensuous act of self-care.

Step 5: Shower or bathe in water that is warm enough to be soothing and not too hot. Use soap on the “smelly parts” of your body and avoid soaping the majority of your skin.

Step 6: Pat the skin dry to maintain the lightly oiled moisturizer that remains.

Step 7: Go out into the world feeling pampered, juicy and ready for anything your day has to offer!

Essential Prenatal Asanas

Here are a few of the greatest hits of prenatal asanas.  Try to do this series once or twice a day  to keep the body supple.  Doing these poses mindfully and with breath will help you to remain connected to your body as your baby grows.  Moving is essential no matter what you do.  Taking a walk on a warmer day, using a treadmill inside, swimming or even dancing in your living room are all great ways to improve circulation, increase oxygen uptake, lower blood pressure and create a little endorphin flow!  During all exercise, remember to breathe for your baby and stop whenever you feel breathless, overheated, or experience pain beyond the sensation of normal stretching.  Enjoy yourself and celebrate every day of your pregnancy!

Exhale and impulse from the navel
Exhale and impulse from the navel

Inhale, gently release the lower back (keep belly firm) look up and stretch the upper back and shoulders.
Inhale, gently release the lower back (keep belly firm) look up and stretch the upper back and shoulders.

In bound angle breath forward with a long back to stretch the hips and inner thighs. You can also do isometric stretches like we do in class.
In bound angle breathe forward with a long back to stretch the hips and inner thighs. You can also do the isometric stretches we do in class.

Exhale into your body's natural twist and breath in the belly. Exhale firmly from the navel.
Exhale into your body’s natural twist and breath in the belly. Exhale firmly from the navel.

Sit to rest and breathe.


Prenatal Resources – good books

I wanted to share with you a few my favorite books for expectant and new mothers. We all know that knowledge is power and theses books offer wisdom responsibly.

When looking for resources it is always good to be wary of any books that make claims for making your baby’s schedule “conform” to yours especially when it comes to feeding. Newborns come ferociously hardwired with three basic needs: to be near you, to be fed and to suckle. These needs will shift with each growth spurt, on days when your schedule or outings shifts nap time – or whatever! There will be a “new normal” every week or so and adjusting to your baby will require time, skin-to-skin contact and yes, sometimes interrupted sleep ;-). Remember, in all the good and the tough times – “This too shall pass” so even at its most intense you will find resources deep within yourself to get up one more time, change one more diaper, burp one more burp before you, your baby and your partner can rest. They are little for precious little time! You will never regret those minutes in the still of the night nursing or rocking your little one back to sleep.

Here are some nice books for you to explore:

The Kind Mother, Alicia Silverstone
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Leche League publication
The Nature of Birth and Breastfeeding, Michel Odent, M.D.
Rediscovering Birth (or anything else) by Sheila Kitzinger
Mind Over Labor, by Carl Jones
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, Henci Goer
Creating a Joyful Birth Experience, by Bardsley & Cappachione

Not all of these will be at regular bookstores so try Half Price, Indy Reads, or other used store inventories too. See you soon!

Yours in service, Jean