Essential Oils While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Pure essential oils can a huge support during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it’s important to know which ones to use and when. What we put on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream within 20 minutes max, which is then shared with our baby. This is why it’s so it’s important to be aware of all the products we consume, including those we use on our largest organ, our skin. As mentioned by the National Association for Holistic Therapy, the quality of the oil is incredibly important as is the quantity used. Many oils on the market have additives and are blended with other unnamed ingredients to be cost-effective. This is one reason I choose to only use Young Living Essential Oils. Young Living owns their own farms and takes great pride in ensuring quality from ‘seed to seal’. They care for the plants energetically and beyond – and yes, you can even visit their farms around the world to experience yourself! As these oils are pure, you need very little.

 

First Trimester

During the first trimester it’s important to be cautious, and I would not recommend ingesting any essential oils. You are safe to use the following oils topically or diffuse during the first trimester to uplift and help keep nausea at bay; Bergamot, Chamomile (german and roman), Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Petitgrain & citrus scents.

I would not recommend ingesting or using any of the following essential oils on your skin while pregnant; Aniseed, Anise star, Basil, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Cumin, Fennel, Hyssop, Jasmine, Oregano, Myrrh, Parsley, Pennroyal, Rosemary, Sassafrass, Savory, Sweet birch, Thyme, Wintergreen, Wormwood.

Yoga Tip: While active pranayama (breath-work) is not recommended during pregnancy, a deep slow breath is a wonderful way to help ease nausea, and help you to tune into yourself and baby. Find a comfortable space & close your eyes for a steady inhale to a count of 4 into the belly and chest, and exhaling to the count of 4 relaxing the chest then belly. Repeat for 5-30 minutes.

 

Second Trimester

The second trimester is a great time to start massaging a few drops of pure essential oils diluted into the carrier oil of your choice – coconut, jojoba, almond etc – all over your beautiful body. These oils are wonderful for nourishing the skin; Bergamot, Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Neroli, Rose Otto, Sandalwood & Ylang Ylang. I would suggest using organic carrier oils for their purity.

You can also continue to diffuse or apply the following oils to help energize yourself; Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint & citrus scents.

For an amazing sleep, I would recommend a few drops of Lavender, Frankincense or White Angelica in a bath with pure magnesium salts.

Yoga Tip: You may notice your lower back beginning to bother you a bit. To get ahead of this, try cat/cow every morning and evening as this involves pelvic tilts. This helps to loosen the back, allowing energy to flow through the spine nourishing all your organs (including baby), and strengthen the pelvic area. If you haven’t yet, try to get to a Prenatal Yoga class for more tips and poses to strengthen and calm.

 

Third Trimester

Below are a few recipes you can blend into a carrier oil or diffuse to soothe some common discomforts in the third trimester:

  • Frequent urination – Cypress, Neroli & Sweet marjoram
  • Heartburn –  Petitgrain, Roman chamomile & Sandalwood
  • Haemorrhoids – Copaiba, Cypress, Peppermint, Sandalwood & Sweet orange
  • Varicose veins – Cypress, Sandalwood, Sweet orange
  • Water retention – Geranium, Lemon & Petitgrain

Yoga Tip: One of my favourite parts of our Prenatal Yoga classes is our flowing squats. This helps you connect to your breath,  strengthen your legs, open the hips, and encourages baby to move to a head first position.  Start by rolling a mat under your heels, coming to standing hands above your head. Exhale slowly folding into a squat, and using your hands rolling up with the inhale. Try doing 15 when you wake up each morning.

 

Birth

During birth, Clary sage & Jasmine are welcome in addition to any of your favourite oils from above to help you stay in a space of peace and joy during this special time. Frankincense,Helichrysum, Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood & White angelica are some of the highest vibrational oils and wonderful to use at birth. Copaiba is another amazing oil to ease anxiety and compliment other oils – this is one of my absolute favourites. Oils are best diffused or you can blend into a carrier oil for massage.

Yoga Tip: The breath and meditations we do in class help you prepare for birth, by helping you connect to your intuition and your baby. Gentle breath, visualization, and mantra help us stay in a space of peace. Try the breath tip mentioned in the First Trimester section and creating a mantra for yourself. It can be as simple as ‘I am love, I am strength, I trust my intuition.’ Get creative!

If you would like a little extra support, Clara (certified Doula) and her husband Mathius will be hosting an intimate Birth Partner Workshop November 25th for 6 couples.

 

Breastfeeding & Fourth Trimester

Gentle Baby blend is an oil you and your little bundle can enjoy to soothe the skin and aid with sleep. I would suggest diffusing this oil, or blending with a carrier oil to apply along on the inner ankles, lower back and across the tummy to ease any discomforts.

Some oils to help you balance hormones include; Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clove, Copaiba, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon & Peppermint. These oils are uplifting, calming, and can help balance hormones. Wild Yam and Chaste Tree also help balance hormones – for these I would speak to your Naturopath.

Basil, Fennel & Geranium help to increase production of milk, while Peppermint slows the flow. You will want to place a drop or two above the breasts around the lymphs.

To soothe sore and cracked nipples, try using Geranium, Myrrh & Sandalwood in a carrier oil.

Mastitis? Massage Clove, Lavender, Orange, Thyme, or Rosemary into the lymphs above the breast.

A friend also recommended Clariderm spray on a pad to help soothe & heal. Please see below for details on purchasing Clariderm or other pure essential oils.

 

Just for you!

Until October 15th use the code #mamalove to save 10% on any of the following classes & events:

We also host Bellydance on the first Thursday of every month 615-730pm for $10 – perfect for Pre & Postnatal!

To purchase Clariderm or any of the oils mentioned above at wholesale, please click here. With Young Living you order what you want, when you want. The Starter Kit with 11 of the most essential oils and diffuser is a great value of $400 worth of products for $200! All who purchase $50 or more of essential oil products before October 31st will receive complimentary entry to our Dec 2 event where we will be making essential oil gifts for yourself and those you love!

If you have questions, please email katie@studio202community.com

 

Full Moon Yoga & Meditation – Sept 24

There’s a lot going on astrologically at the moment, so definitely a good time for a compassionate meditation. The Full Moon shines light on what may be out of balance, as the moon and sun oppose each other. I like to look at it as a glimpse to see where I can grow more by shedding beliefs, thoughts, and energies that really aren’t building me up. I feel this is a common theme for many at the moment. Take a moment perhaps to tune into, or note down what’s really truly important to your core, your mission, your soul.

 

Here’s a glimpse into the astrological impacts right now:

Full Moon in Aries – a fire sign of courage, passion, optimism, and at times impulsive & aggressive.

  • Moon conjuncts Chiron bringing light to our shadows in childhood
  • Moon squares Saturn creating a heavy, restraining sense as we face challenges, particularly in relationships
  • Mercury squares Saturn & opposes the Moon, causing confusion in thoughts & communication
  • Sun quincunx Uranus can make us a little nervous or edgy
  • Moon sextile Mars gives us the courage and passion to overcome the challenges of Saturn
  • Sat trine Uranus encourages positive solutions & the ability make very methodical transitions

Retrogrades:

  • Pluto is in Capricorn until Sept 29, helping us clear the unnecessary for greater flow & ease
  • Neptune is in Pisces until Nov 25, encouraging us to stay grounded, realistic & objective
  • Venus goes into retrograde Oct 5 but we have been in it’s shadow since Sept 2. Venus speaks to our ability to give and receive affection. Affection and belonging being one of our basic needs can sometimes lead to unhealthy ways to seek this fulfillment if it is not being met, such as overspending, having unbalanced patterns with love etc. However; we can also chanel this energy in beautiful ways, like being creative and enjoying our close friends and family. During this time we will also overlap into sensitive Scorpio making it a bit more intense – so be sure to spend lots of time on self love, even if that means taking time just for you.

What does this mean?

Our relationships are getting a close inspection right now. Clarify what it is that’s bothering you – dig deep in order to let it really go. Try not to blame or focus on the past, but do take a peek into your past or childhood to see if current concerns or patterns are stemming from this. By looking to the root, we can better resolve once and for all! We have the strength to overcome these challenges!

 

Full Moon Meditation

Find your favorite essential oils and uplifting crystals – for me it’s Copaiba & Harmony, along with Rose Quartz & Black Obsidian. Make yourself a luxurious bath with these ingredients and add some magnesium bath salts to help calm the nervous system.

Clear and bring compassion into your meditation space with intention, candles, and smudging if this is part of your practice. Take a few nice deep inhales into your belly, your chest and exhale audibly and completely through your mouth. Visualize letting go of all that is no longer serving you. If you work with angels or guides, this is a good time to ask for protection and guidance. If you would like to take some movement here, I would suggest working with the spine and heart opening:

  • Gentle neck rolls
  • Cat Cow really allowing your breath to guide you
  • Sufi grinds – sitting in easy pose, take circles with your hips drawing chest forward on the inhale, exhale rounding the spine (similar to Cat/Cow – this targets the lumbar spine, our Root & Sacral chakra – centres of security, attachment to the physical world, creativity, relationships & values)

Settle into a relaxed and balancing ‘Diamond’ breath – inhaling for 4, hold 4, exhale 4, hold out for 2-4. Continue with this breath for 10-30 minutes, allowing your meditation to take you where you need to go.

Trust the journey, trust yourself.

We have a number of classes at the studio created to help you dive deep, nourish and soothe your mind, body & soul. For all our classes (many of which include sound healing), please visit here.

New to Studio 202? Try 3 classes for $20!

 

August Full Moon Meditation

Time to celebrate this Full Moon on August 26/27 in Pisces with a very intuitive meditation. We made it through powerful eclipses this summer, and are now ready to enjoy all the bliss of our transformations! While a Full Moon can often feel unbalanced due to the polarity of the energy, this one is beautifully aligned and balanced.

Let’s look at the major aspects at play:

  • Pisces is all about intuition and connecting to your emotional self. Listen closely & allow yourself the time to do so, everyday. Take a moment every few hours to connect to your breath.
  • Grand Trine
    • Sun trine to Saturn is about achieving our long-term vision and connecting to wisdom
    • Sun trine Uranus points to intuition and confidence
    • Saturn trine Uranus enables easy transition for greater flow and creative potential
  • Minor Trine
    • Moon sextile Saturn encourages us to be protective of those closest to us
    • Moon sextile Uranus is about the excitement that follows when we connect to our intuition
  • Fixed Stars
    • Sadalmelik first noted in the Persian culture is referred to as “Luck of the Kings” and at this time alludes to power of manifestation
    • Fomalhault is one of four Persian Royal Stars and symbolizes the Angel Gabriel helping us connect to the spiritual world and our intuition
  • Planets in Retrograde are focused on creating more alignment & ease in our lives
    • Saturn in Capricorn until Sept 6 – a time of positive karmic change if we stay aligned with our ethics
    • Pluto in Capricorn until Sept 29 – all about clearing the unnecessary for greater flow & ease
    • Neptune in Pisces until Nov 25 – stay grounded, realistic & objective

 

Full Moon Meditation

This beautifully aligned Full Moon is a perfect time to reflect on our growth over the past two months. What did you learn? How has your life changed? Surrendering may have been challenging at times, but did you notice that when you did everything seemed to flow more easily? What do you wish to create for the months moving forward?

Let’s tap into our intuition by really listening to what it is you need right now. Time in nature? A moonlit walk? A little self-love?

Oils and crystals for this meditation could include Frankincense, Lavender, Rose, Selenite, Amethyst, Black Obsidian and Clear & Rose Quartz. As you get into your meditation space, set intention, smudge if you like, and perhaps turn on this tune.

Let’s begin with Nadi Shodana – Balancing Breath. Covering the left nostril, inhale through the right. Cover the right, exhale left, then deep inhale. Cover the left, exhale right, inhale and continue. Allow your belly then chest to fill on the inhale, your shoulders, chest and belly to relax on the exhale. This breath slows our energy, improves focus, and with the belly breath tells our body we are in a relaxed state to bring us into a greater relaxed state primed for meditation. Continue your breath for 5 minutes, returning to an easy inhale and exhale through the nose bringing your focus to your Third Eye and Crown Chakras. Stay in meditation as long as you need.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Yoga is one of the most recommended forms of exercise during pregnancy, as it’s low impact yet gently builds strength for labour. Prenatal yoga focuses on specific exercises to help build strength and ease tension in the body, allowing for a more comfortable pregnancy. Yoga also helps you more deeply connect with your own body, building greater trust in your abilities, and connecting with your little one. What I love about Kundalini, and Khalsa Way Prenatal Kundalini in particular, is the focus on connecting to the nervous system to support the body inside out.

 

In 2012 I took my Khalsa Way certification with Gurmukh and Akal from Golden Bridge Yoga. On Gurmukh’s soul journey, she trained with Yogi Bhajan, who asked her to create such a program after training with midwives.This was an incredible experience and helped deepen my love for Kundalini. While meditation has been a part of my life since I was a child, I feel Kundalini helps me connect even more deeply, allowing my intuition to flow.

 

Kundalini yoga is based on the idea that the feminine energy lies at the base of our spine, our Root Chakra. After grounding, we begin to awaken this intuitive, healing energy through movements, sound, breath, and working with the nervous system. Through this practice, our mind, body and soul is primed for deep meditation. Kundalini is a blend of three forms of yoga:

  • Bhakti – devotion and chanting
  • Raja – meditation and self control
  • Shakti – expressing energy through movement

 

Khalsa Way Prenatal Yoga offers simple adaptations of Kundalini exercises to build strength and stamina for the mind, body & soul. These exercises are perfect for those who are beginners or those with injuries, whether you are pregnant or not. This practice is also recommended for those planning to conceive. Movements work with the lower body to gently ease lower body tension and built up energy. ‘Keep-up’ exercises focus on building upper body strength and overcoming the chatter of the mind with the practice of breathwork or pranayama, adapted for the health of mother and child. This class encourages you to connect to your intuition, to connect to your body, and to connect to your baby. All classes challenge strength, balance, and flexibility, followed by a peaceful meditation and savasana. This class will be led by Shideh, who exudes nurturing energy!

 

Even in utero our babies are aware of the energies around us. They can feel when we are at peace, just as they can sense our tension. There have been many circumstances which I have witnessed, where fellow teachers and students have gone into a meditation and known exactly what was happening while they were in utero, only to have it later confirmed by their parents. Taking care of our bodies and souls not only supports our well-being, but that of our childs. Learning to connect to your body during pregnancy can be incredibly empowering during birth, for a more conscious and intuitive journey. Connecting to our child early also helps to build a deeper connection after they are birthed.

 

This Fall we have many exciting classes and events to celebrate the journey of motherhood, and two of us at the studio are pregnant & we can’t wait to celebrate with you! 

 

 

August New Moon Meditation

We are almost through the eclipses and major astrological shifts! How are you holding up? I hope this pranayama and meditation offers you a chance to surrender and connect more deeply to your intuition. These past few months have been rather intense, bringing lots to the surface for us to look at making life shifts for our happiness and alignment. During these times it can be emotional and challenging to face certain aspects, and to let go… but look how far you have come!

 

Yesterday, August 8th (8:8) was the Lion’s Gate or Lion’s Portal. This happens when the sun transits through Leo, a sign of courage, strength and stepping out. You may have noticed the energy was particularly intense over the past few days due to both the sun and Sirius, a star system twice as bright as our sun, rising and setting at the same time. This ‘spiritual sun’ creates more heat, energy, and helps to illuminate our intuitive wisdom – due to all this, it may also be a little tiring and may cause anxiety. Take it easy on yourself.

 

The combination of the Lion’s Portal with the upcoming New Moon on August 11th and partial Solar Eclipse, brings our focus to new beginnings, greater insights and awareness. Pay attention to your dreams. This is a good time to ground, centre, and take a really objective look at your life and determine your top priorities, and let go of what isn’t needed anymore in your life – distractions, energies that aren’t serving your highest good, etc. This is a time of courage, strength and intention. You have and have always had the power to do as you wish and at this time, astrology is also supporting this. Take your time, meditate, and be very clear in your intentions.

 

A few interesting astrological aspects:

  • Mercury conjuncts the Sun, suggesting slowing down to tap into our intuition and wisdom
  • Jupiter is square to the Sun, alluding to fortune but the need for moderation
  • Pluto is quincunx to the Sun, a turning point
  • Planets still in Retrograde
    • Mercury in Leo until Aug 19 – take your time communicating & making decisions
    • Mars in Aquarius until Aug 27 – move slowly
    • Saturn in Capricorn until Sept 6 – a time of positive karmic change if we stay aligned with our ethics
    • Chiron in Aries until Sept 24 – healing time & self-love
    • Pluto in Capricorn until Sept 29 – all about clearing the unnecessary for greater flow & ease
    • Neptune in Pisces until Nov 25 – stay grounded, realistic & objective

 

New Moon Meditation

If you can, try to have a swim in the ocean or river in the coming days – the water helps to cleanse, why I normally suggest a bath during cooler months. Bring your crystals into the water with you, and leave them exposed to the moonlight. Enjoy a moon-light walk.

 

This New Moon calls for grounding and connecting to our intuition and universal wisdom – really listening. How can we do this? Through pranayama (breathwork), meditation, centering and grounding ourselves, and listening to the subtle information around us. I would recommend working with grounding and intuitive crystals and oils, such as;

  • Crystals – black obsidian, smokey quartz, crystal quartz, malachite, amethyst, aquamarine, celestite
  • Oils – earthy scents (Cedarwood, Palo Santo, Copaiba), frankincense, lavender, Envision (by Young Living)

 

When you are ready and have energetically cleared your space with crystals, oils, mantra, smudging – which ever speaks to you – settle into some easy Cat/Cow breaths. Allow your breath to guide your movements taking variations that feel right in your body. Perhaps move into your own flow, allowing the breath and energy to move through your body.

 

When you are ready, settle into rock pose (kneeling). Closing your eyes, connecting to your breath, allow your belly then chest to fill on the inhale, your shoulders, chest and belly to relax on the exhale. This breath tells us we are in a relaxed state, helping us reach a deeper relaxed state. Bring your awareness to your Root Chakra to ground your energy with cords or roots reaching into the Earth. Coming into the Venus lock (prayer then allow all fingers to cross keeping the index pointing upwards – traditionally males will have right thumb over left, females left over right). Bring your hands over-head, and begin quietly chanting ‘Sat’ on the inhale bringing light through the Crown Chakra & Pituitary, exhaling ‘Nam’ allowing the light to travel out through the Pituitary. Continue for 11 minutes. This cleansing and connecting practice can be done daily – it’s a journey!

 

Stay in meditation as long as you need – see what comes up for you and in your dreams…

You are welcome to join us this evening, and every Thursday for Yin and Crystal Bowl at 8pm.

 

Love & light,

Katie

July Full Blood Moon Meditation

 

Welcome to the Full Bloodmoon & Lunar Eclipse! This one is all about transformation, bringing February’s eclipse to a close, which likely ties back to 2011. Through this mediation, we will dive into ways to help you find peace while sifting through that which you no longer need, for a brighter, more aligned you! This moon is all about going with the flow and the ability to surrender & trust. 

 

 

Let’s take a peek at what’s happening astrologically:

  • Full Moon brings the tide high & the sun and moon are in polarity – our emotions are tied to water, and the polarity encourages us to look at finding more balance
  • Eclipses are a time of major transformation – as I mentioned this one is connected to February and 2011
  • Moon conjunct Mars speaks to a sense of bravery and strength
  • Moon square Uranus suggests impulsiveness or mood swings
  • Mars square Uranus shines on our rebellious side!
  • Moon sextile Saturn is about protection of those close to us
  • Saturn trine Uranus signals transition to greater peace
  • Retrograde planets – when they appear to be moving in a backwards motion
    • Mars in Aquarius (until Aug 27) suggests a sense of frustration
    • Saturn in Capricorn (until Sept 6) governs our karma and ethics
    • Neptune in Pisces (until Nov 25) encourages us to be grounded, realistic, and objective
    • Mercury in Leo (until Aug 19) rules communication & cognitive abilities  
    • Pluto in Capricon (until Sep 29) brings shadows to light, enabling us to clear what’s not needed
    • Chiron in Aries (until Sep 24) is about healing the subconscious & karmic wounds
  • Jupiter has come out of retrograde and speaks to transformation and adventure. Things we have been working on since February are finally coming to fruition!

 

What does this mean?

You may have felt a little pushed to your limits in the last month. This is a good time for self-love and reflection. Move slowly and methodically, everything will happen when it is supposed to. Think before you speak and do. This is time to tap into your intuition, to surrender and trust.

  • What motivates you?
  • Have you noticed a common theme since February? What does this mean for your life moving forward?
  • How is this theme tied to 2011? Are there any remnants that you can let-go of, to further move forward?
  • How can you bring more self-love into your life?

 

Self-Love

Self love is best practiced on a daily basis and doesn’t need to be complex. Simply doing what you need to function at your best is perfect! By doing this, you will also be your best for others. Here are some simple ideas:

  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – your body, mind & soul needs to be able to restore itself
  • Eat nutritious meals – perhaps this would be a good time to look at incorporating more minerals and vitamins you need into your diet & eating easy to digest foods to allow your body to lightly cleanse and get the nutrients it needs
  • Move your body everyday! Get into nature – go for forest walks, swim in the ocean, whatever it is that moves you, enjoy it and try incorporating mindfulness into your activity. Notice your breath, the smells, sounds & sensations
  • Take mini-meditation breaks. Every two hours, take a moment to check in with your breath. Perhaps incorporate a little seated cat-cow, allowing your breath to move you

 

Full Moon Meditation:

You are welcome to smudge your meditation space, mindfully clearing any energies that do not serve your highest and best. For oils, I would recommend Lavender and Frankincense – full body healers. Crystal, Amethyst, and a grounding stone such as Black Obsidian can be used. This link is tuned to 852Hz for strengthening intuition.

This is a simple meditation, focusing on the breath, feeling it move through your body. You may begin by closing your eyes, taking 10 deep inhales and exhales. Ground yourself by imagining a golden cord or roots from your Root chakra reaching deep into the Earth. Create a layer of pure energy around you for protection – there are many ways to do this, which we explore in Yin. You are also welcome to email and ask me, as different techniques work for everyone. Continue with a simple inhale and exhale through your nose, allowing the belly, then the chest to expand with the inhale. Chest then belly to relax with the exhale. If you would like to practice Ujjayi or Ocean breath, please do so. This mediation is all about going with the flow. Watch what comes up as you breath. I would recommend maintaining this breath for 10-30 minutes.

As I mentioned above, try to incorporate this a few times a day for 2-5 minutes.

You are welcome to join us for Yin Thursday evening as we work with the Full Moon energy. Please register here.

 

Love and light,

Katie

July 12 – Super New Moon Meditation

During a New Moon the Sun and Moon are in balance, which keeps waters calm, and is connected to our emotional stability and intuition. This New SuperMoon in Cancer is the longest (partial) Solar Eclipse this century, and is known to bring fears to the surface to be cleared for transformation. Intuitive and emotional Cancer amplifies our ability to connect with these fears to move past them quickly. In addition, we have 5 planets in retrograde:

  • Mars in Aquarius, impacting our actions and communication
  • Jupiter in Scorpio speaks to our boundaries and limits
  • Saturn in Capricorn, governing Karma & ethics
  • Neptune in Pisces, asking us to face reality
  • Pluto in Capricorn, bringing our darkside and fears to light

Some other aspects at play:

  • Moon in opposition to Pluto speaks to our self-esteem
  • Fixed Star Castor in Gemini is the balance between genius and madness
  • Grand Trine:
    • Venus – Saturn indicates the need for long-term commitment in relationships and/or financially
    • Venus – Uranus signals to try something new! Mix it up and have fun!
    • Saturn – Uranus points to a transition for a positive outcome

So while there are many elements at play, this is really a beautiful time for transformation if we allow ourselves to take the time to reflect, set our vision clearly, and let it unfold. Staying grounded and connected to your values and purpose is key. Take some extra time for self-love this week and to be with yourself – perhaps a walk in the forest or by the ocean is just what you need. If you feel boundaries have been crossed, particularly in close relationships or work, it’s important to speak up with clarity around the concerns. Power and control is a common theme as we are being pushed to change and stand in our power.

 

New Moon Meditation

As always, I like to start with a bath with my crystals and oils to help calm the nervous system and clean the crystals. For transformation I would reach for Amazonite (one of my faves), Moon Stones, Celestite, Labradorite, or Tiger’s Eye. If you need a little grounding support too, try Black Obsidian or Smokey Quartz.

For oils, I would recommend those that support transformation and the Heart Chakra, such as; Frankinsence (to open the pineal gland), Sandalwood, Harmony, Rose.

Music

When you are ready to come back to your special meditation space, bring your journal with you and clear your space with sage and intention, mantra (such as ‘Sa, Ta, Na, Ma’ = infinity, life, death, rebirth), or pure intention.

Begin by circling your neck slowly and gently and take a few Cat/Cows, allowing your breath to move your body.

Settling back into a comfortable seat, begin by inhaling deeply into the belly & chest, exhaling completely from the chest & belly through your mouth. Repeat 5 more times. Come to a steady, easy or Ujjayi breath, inhaling & exhaling through the nose. Allow your body to relax and bring your awareness to your hips and lower body on your mat or cushion. Begin to feel the ground below you. Connect to your Root Chakra, and visualize your roots or a golden cord reaching deep into the Earth. This is your spiritual connection to keep you grounded. Maintain your easy breath as you feel this connection growing deeper. As you inhale, you can imagine drawing in a warm, white light from your Crown chakra all the way down to your Root, and letting this light travel into the Earth. This light helps to clean and balance your chakras. As you continue breathing, imagine this light radiating through and beyond your body, creating a protective layer around you or positive energy. You are welcome to do this for as long as you like.

When you are finished, create a mantra for yourself. It can be very simple. Perhaps something you heard. A quality you would like to embody – ex: I am light, I am love, I am peace. Repeat this mantra to yourself before bed, when you wake up in the morning, and during the day when you take a moment to check in with your breath and posture.

 

Journaling:

  • What is it you really desire?
  • What is it you feel called to do or share with your community?
  • How is the present situation helping you achieve this? If it is hindering you, it’s time to make a positive change.
  • Do you have any self-imposed limitations? Most of us do, but they can be deeply buried. Why are they there? Fears and limitations are not real, although you may feel you have strong reason for concern. Pay attention to your intuition. Are your fears really founded or are they holding you back from sharing your light?
  • How are you handling challenges and changes at the moment? If they are creating stress, fear, or worry, try to identify exactly where your concern is coming from. Are you meant to step out of the situation to grow in a new way? Try to allow yourself to surrender for the bigger vision, and for greater peace.

 

Happy new Transformational Supermoon! You are welcome to join us for a by-donation Yin class this evening, with crystal bowl sound healing from 8-9pm. Please register via this link.

 

Love & light,

Katie

 

How Does Hormone Yoga Therapy Work?

Hormone Yoga Therapy (HYT) for women is a natural and holistic method created by a Brazilian psychologist and Yoga therapist, Dinah Rodrigues. This practice respects the body as a whole, understanding the intricate connections of our glands, organs, and various systems. The objective is to reactivate in a natural way the hormone production of the endocrine glands of women: ovaries, thyroid, pituitary gland and adrenals. HYT combines elements of classical Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Tibetan energy circulation techniques.

HYT consists of a special series of Dynamic Yoga exercises (asanas) to reactivate hormone production and, as a consequence, it eliminates most symptoms of hormonal imbalances. Asanas are accompanied by intense breathing techniques (pranayama), energetic level, concentration, visualization and relaxation (Yoga Nidra). Regular practice helps to harmonize the hormonal system and consequently eliminate the symptoms of low or unbalanced hormone levels.

HYT exercises are very simple and suitable for everyone. No previous Yoga experience is needed. Once learned, daily practice takes approximately 30 minutes. Practicing 3 – 4 times per week will give you optimal results.

 

HYT is Recommended For:

  • Women of all ages with the symptoms of low hormones, with infertility concerns, PCOS, menstrual disorders, premenstrual stress syndrome (PMS), ovarian cysts and premature menopause.
  • Helping to re-balance hormones post-partum
  • Women from 35 years of age as a preventative therapy due to the decreasing ovarian activity and an associated gradual decrease in hormone production of the two main female hormones: estrogen and progesterone.
  • Middle-aged women who wish to eliminate or alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of the onset of menopause, such as hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, emotional instability, depression, headaches, difficulty concentrating, remembering, decreased libido, increased cholesterol, hair loss, dryness etc.

 

How Does HYT Help?

  • Physically, HYT helps to strengthen muscles to correct posture for improved circulation and breath (alertness). It also helps to strengthen bones, to prevent osteoporosis – for more on Osteoporosis read this blog.  
  • Physiologically, HYT works to reactivate and balance hormones to mitigate illnesses and symptoms caused by imbalanced hormones, such as; hypothyroidism, depression, and many more (see list below).
  • Emotionally, HYT helps offer ways to minimize stress, improve your sleep, help relieve anxiety and depression.

Attending an HYT workshop, such as the one Corinne will be hosting on September 8th & 9th at Studio 202, also offers you a network of other women facing similar concerns. This is an intimate workshop we hope will provide you with the support and connections you need to help heal your mind, body, and soul… and learn more about how to help yourself naturally!

 

How Do You Know HYT is Right For You?

If you struggle with one of the concerns below, HYT can offer you the natural tools and support to help you through the challenge.

  • Emotional support – PMS, depression, memory, emotional instability due to low levels of thyroid hormones
  • Low libido & dryness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Incontinence
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypertension
  • Fertility concerns
  • Hair loss, brittle nails, dry skin, acne
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Insomnia, low energy, fatigue

If you have or are experiencing any of the below, please consult with you Dr or ND before joining HYT classes:

  • Breast cancer (hormone dependent, before or after surgery)
  • After breast cancer surgery (not hormone dependent) medical permission needed
  • Advanced endometriosis (medical permission needed)
  • Psychiatric problems
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Large myomas (medical permission needed)
  • Non-diagnosed abdominal pain
  • After heart surgery (medical permission needed)
  • Women who had appendicitis and did not have the appendix removed
  • Serious osteoporosis (risk of fractures)
  • Labyrinthitis (inflammation of the inner ear) – Vertigo
  • After any other surgeries

*Pregnant women should not participate

 

You can register for The HYT Workshop with Corinne September 8th & 9th (1-5pm), please clicking the highlighted link.  

 

A little about Corinne, your HYT workshop guide:

Corinne’s friendly and joyful personality brings honesty, humour, and an open heart to her teaching. She balances and integrates her classes with breath, alignment, strength, and ease. With a communications and performing arts background, Corinne incorporates a love of yoga in all aspects of her life, including her work as a Certified Birth Doula (DONA) and Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner. In 2009 Corinne traveled to the birthplace of yoga; Rishikesh, India and completed her 500 hour teacher training from Akanda Yoga with Yogrishi Vishvketu. Recently, Corinne was trained and certified in Hormone Yoga Therapy by the founder Dinah Rodrigues. HYT is very popular in Europe particularly, Germany and Czech Republic, however in Canada Corinne is one of few teachers, certified. She is excited to bring this practice to Canada, and is honoured to be offering the workshop at Studio 202.

https://www.lotusmoonyoga.ca

 

More Information about Dinah Rodrigues, Founder of HYT:

You can find Dinah’s bio and home page here, and a great video on her philosophy here.

 

We look forward to hosting Corinne this fall and helping change many women’s lives for the better! We hope you can join us!

 

Katie

 

June Full Moon Meditation

This feels like quite a refreshing Full Moon to me! Through this meditation, I hope you gain a little clarity to help you move forward and shine!

The Full Moon (June 28th) is always a time of polarity, encouraging us to take a closer look at where we can find more balance in our personal lives, our careers, and our relationships. The Full Moon also reflects back to the previous New Moon, and this Full Moon back to January.

  • What has changed for you since the last New Moon? January?
  • Any major lessons or insight gleaned?
  • What’s been your greatest personal accomplishment?

This Full Moon in Capricorn is symbolized by the mountain goat – grounded, balanced, and driven. These will be important qualities to embody during this Saturn retrograde (until Sept 6). Saturn retrograde brings focus on our Karma – an opportunity to release the past, overcome weaknesses, and continue walking our soul truth and path.  I have noticed a common theme of transformation during this time. When we are able to face these challenges, often linked to Karma, with truth and grace they are so much easier to move through. 

The Moon conjunct Saturn brings a focus onto more serious emotions and a need to go inward to reflect. Mars retrograde also presents itself, helping us to be more patient and slow down to further reflect – perfect for the summer! Mars retrograde can make aspects of the Full Moon more intense, so staying grounded is important. The Moon trine’s Uranus, signaling intuition and excitement. Kaus Borealis is a fixed star, shining on initiative, idealism, humanitarianism, resources, and strength.

The combination of these aspects is a perfect time to slow-down, reflect, and move forward to allow more light into our lives! We have the skills, we have the strength, we have our intuition.

  • Observe your self-talk, your thoughts, and words over the next few days. Are they compassionate and clear? To yourself? To others?
  • Is there a challenge in your life that seems to repeat itself? Take a closer look at this. Where is it stemming from? Chances are it’s a Karmic lesson to learn & once you have, you will be that much stronger!
  • What is a personal challenge, perhaps related to Karma, you would like to overcome?
  • What is your personal, spiritual, relationship, or career goal for the next six months?
  • How will overcoming the challenge above help you achieve this goal?

 

Full Moon Meditation

This meditation will be a little more intuitive for you. As always, I like to start with a bath with my crystals and oils to help calm the nervous system and clean the crystals. Bring in the crystals you use for grounding, intuition, and strength. Use the oils you feel help you calm and stay grounded.

My crystals: Obsidian, smokey quartz, amethyst, crystal and rose quartz.

My oils of choice: Copaiba and Harmony. Copaiba is harvested from tree sap in Brazil, with similar properties to CBD. Harmony is a beautiful blend of oils for each chakra.

Music

When you are ready to come back to your special meditation space, bring your journal with you and clear your space with sage and intention, or pure intention. A lovely mantra to protect your space is ‘Sa, Ta, Na, Ma’ – creating a square space around you of protection. ‘Sa’ is the birth. ‘Ta’ is life. ‘Na’ is transformation. ‘Ma’ is rebirth. Check out our Insta post today for the full mantra with mudra.

Begin by circling your neck slowly and gently and take a few Cat/Cows, allowing your breath to move your body.

Settling back into a comfortable seat, begin by inhaling deeply into the belly & chest, exhaling completely from the chest & belly through your mouth. Repeat 5 more times. Come to a steady, easy or Ujjayi breath, inhaling & exhaling through the nose. Allow your body to relax and bring your awareness to your hips and lower body on your mat or cushion. Begin to feel the ground below you. Connect to your Root Chakra, and visualize your roots or a golden cord reaching deep into the Earth. This is your spiritual connection to keep you grounded. Maintain your easy breath as you feel this connection growing deeper. As you inhale, you can imagine drawing in a warm, white light from your Crown chakra all the way down to your Root, and letting this light travel into the Earth. This light helps to clean and balance your chakras. As you continue breathing, imagine this light radiating through and beyond your body, creating a protective layer around you or positive energy. You are welcome to do this for as long as you like.

When you are finished, create a mantra for yourself. It can be very simple. Perhaps something you heard. A quality you would like to embody – ex: I am light, I am love, I am peace. Repeat this mantra to yourself before bed, when you wake up in the morning, and during the day when you take a moment to check in with your breath and posture.

 

I am really looking forward to the healing power of this Full Moon. I feel it is quite transformational if we allow ourselves to walk the highest path and focus on the best outcome.

Surround yourself with love and light,

Katie

Mindful Movement for Postpartum Recovery

 

After having my son 2 years ago, I can say in full honesty that at times I felt like a stranger in own body. Fifteen years of yoga and years of competitive athletics had produced strength and flexibility, but the capacity for my mind to adapt and train my body back into shape was such a challenge. My lack of mental connection to my pelvic floor and abdominal wall made me unaware that my organs were literally out of alignment and my pelvic floor had suffered nerve damage.  As a yoga teacher this baffled me. How did I not attune to this?!?!?! I could’t connect to my own physical form and needed an outsider, in this case a pelvic floor physiotherapists to tell me I needed rehabilitation.

My rehabilitation took me on a journey from regular physiotherapy appointments, to visiting an osteopath (highly recommend that!), to seeing a naturopath, and finally to what I believe has been the most beneficial – Pilates.  It has taken me 2 years and I can finally say I am starting to recognize myself again.

I became so enthused about how my postpartum body was responding to the Pilates mat exercises that I became a mat certified pilates teacher in order to share the practice with other moms who were experiencing similar postpartum issues. These issues are so common, yet rarely talked about. I find that when we come together to practice, we find commonality in our birth and postpartum journeys, which ultimately leads to connection and a community of support. This community of support is empowering, motivational, and quite simply a good time!

 

3 Favorite Poses for Postpartum Healing:

Here are my three favourite exercises for postpartum healing;

  1. Bridge

Step 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the ground about hip distance apart. Place a block between your thighs (not knees). You should be able to touch your heels with your finger tips. Spine is in neutral.

Step 2:  Inhale to prepare and exhale to peel your tailbone followed by the vertebra one at a time off your mat until you reach the top of the shoulder blades.

Step 3: inhale to hold the bridge

Step 4: exhale to continue to hold and think of knitting your ribs together as you engage the glutes and try to lengthen the front of your hips.

Step 5: inhale to slowly lower vertebra by vertebra back onto the mat.

Repeat 5 times

 

  1. Clam Shell

Step 1: Lie down on your side with thighs stacked and knees bent with thighs close to your chest at a 45-degree angle. Draw your navel in and scoop it towards your hard to stabilize your core and lengthen your spine.

Step 2: lift your top thigh while keeping your inner heels connected. Open and close with control 10 to 15 times. Be mindful to keep your trunk and pelvis still with only the thigh bone lifting up/down.

 

  1. Toe taps

Step 1: lye on your back with knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Draw your pubic bone towards your bellybutton to imprint your spine into the mat.

Step 2:  One at a time bring your shins to parallel (a table top positions). Keep spine imprinted and upper ribs hugging together, navel drawing in and up. Take an inhale to prepare and on an exhale tap your right toes onto the earth, inhale bring the shin back to table top. On the exhale tap the left toes onto the earth, and inhale return the shin to parallel. Repeat 10 times each side.

Remember to avoid arching your back and keep pelvis and trunk table. First work on stability through mindful movement. Better to stay stable and integrated than to move quickly!  

Join Clara for Pilates starting Wed June 27th, or Prenatal Yoga-Pilates Fusion starting Sat July 7th!

If you have any questions, please send me an email: Katie@studio202community.com