My journey on the healing path began long ago on the shores of Hawaii back in 1999. I pulled a book off my friend’s bookshelf titled Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Usha Lad and Dr. Vasant Lad. I had not yet heard of Ayurveda, but it caught my interest because I sure did love food, and cooking for my own self-healing did seem pretty cool.
As I was flipping through the pages of the book, I stumbled upon the chapter on food combining. The concept that certain foods digest well together and others do not, had never even occurred to me. It sure did make a lot of sense.
I read on about the properties of food. Certain foods have a cooling affect on the body and while others have a heating affect. Or the fact that spices in your own cabinet have a myriad of healing effects on the body that you can utilize in your own cooking!
So cool! Now Ayurveda had gotten my full attention. I began studying Ayurveda on my own in conjunction with my yoga practice. About a year later in the fall of 2000, I enrolled in the Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder, CO and began my journey learning Ayurvedic medicine.
Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula
Indeed, I learned all about Ayurvedic cooking (still my favorite!), and also quite a bit more! I also learned diet and lifestyle counseling, herbal medicine making, pulse diagnosis, and a plethora of Ayurvedic body therapies.
All of my training earned me a certification in Panchakarma Therapy. Panchakarma is the Ayurvedic cleansing process that rids the body of toxic buildup through special diet, body therapies, oils and herbs. I graduated in the spring of 2004 as a Certified Panchakarma Therapist.
My Daughter is Born in the Middle of my Training
Rewind for a minute. (I think I just dated myself lol!)
I had my daughter in the fall of 2002, when I was 22 years old. Yup, I was a young mama! Of course at the time, it didn’t feel that way 😉
I took a year off from my schooling to have my daughter. Even though I had trained in Ayurveda for a year (so far), it still wasn’t enough to prepare me for the difficulties of postpartum.
I had a very difficult birth. Over 70 hours of active labor and 24 hours in transition. My baby was posterior and I had back labor the whole time. I wanted to die. In the end, everything was fine-ish. She was born at home without any serious complications. I, on the other hand, was a wreck. I laid in bed for 3 weeks, only getting up to go to the bathroom or maybe bathe.
I knew eating nourishing and digestible things like kitchari was good, but I didn’t know how bad it was to eat other things like frozen food, lasagna or chocolate.
From week 3 to 3 months old, my daughter was either eating, sleeping or screaming. It was seriously horrible! We got in a vicious cycle that involved me feeding her for comfort (more often than I should have), just to quiet her down.
I eventually realized that eating wheat and chocolate definitely made her colic worse. I cut those things out of my diet for almost 2 years. (My friends are always amazed to hear I went so long without chocolate, but it was quite easy when faced with such dire consequences!)
Yikes, I can’t believe I am showing you this picture! My most awful of all time!
Trust that I don’t want this to be you!!!
I SO wish I knew then about these Ayurvedic postpartum care practices back then! It is a very specialized subject in Ayurveda that doesn’t necessarily get covered in general Ayurvedic education.
There is such a wealth of knowledge that needs to be shared ~ for the benefit of mothers and families everywhere. Especially cultures (like ours) that don’t already have a traditional postpartum care system in place.
That is my mission…to help educate our society on the vital importance of postpartum care, and give practical guidance on how do do so effectively and naturally 🙂
If I had this specialized knowledge when she was born, I’m sure my postpartum story would have been very different.
The First Whisperings of Becoming an AyurDoula
After 3 weeks of lying in bed, an AyurDoula friend of mine, trained in Ayurvedic postpartum massage, came over and gave me the best massage of my life!
That was my first experience with AyurDoula. She encouraged me to train in Ayurvedic postpartum care through Sacred Window. At the time I was too overwhelmed to really consider it seriously, but it was always a whispering in the back of my mind.
Fast-Forward to 2011
After completing my Ayurveda studies at Alandi Ayurvedic Gurukula in 2004 I became a Certified Massage Therapist in 2005.
The next year, I seperated from my daughter’s father and moved to California, ultimately meeting the man who would become my husband. We moved to Nevada City, CA where I established a private healing practice.
In 2011, I met Ysha Oakes, the only person teaching the wisdom of Ayurvedic postpartum care in the US, and had the incredible fortune to train with her, ultimately becoming an Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula.
I love this work.
Ayurvedic postpartum care combines so many of my favorite aspects of Ayurveda, and life itself!
The sweetness and vulnerability of motherhood. Baby’s innocence and awe, witnessing the world for the first time.
It is truly profound and magical.
Its amazing to me that such profound postpartum healing can be so simple, if you only know what to do!
Allow yourself to go back to the beginning, just like your baby has, and start from square one together. Honor and recognize that you too, have gone through your own rebirth.
Eat, rest and just be in love together.
You are a newborn mother.
How would you like to restart your life?