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Mamashanti’s Birth Partners Workshops

Mamashanti’s Birth Partners Workshops are a practical and lighthearted opportunity for you and your partner to prepare for birth. Insightful and informative, these sessions will leave you feeling positive and confident about all you can do to prepare for birth and parenthood.

We focus on tried and true techniques to build confidence and demystify the process of birth, making this perfect for first-time parents or as excellent refresher. Perhaps more than anything else, these workshops offer time and space for you and your partner to consciously connect with one another and your growing child. Attending these workshop you will learn how to:

Be present ~ learn subtle, potent and entirely practical methods to enhance your capacity to be authentically present to your partner and the energy of her birth. Learn to express yourself with confidence and compassion. Experience the profound and transformative use of your breath as the primary tool to bring you into synchronicity with your birthing woman and be the anchor for her intimate holding circle.

Practical intimacy ~ birth is one of the the most intimate experiences of a woman’s life. Feelings of safety that naturally arise from intimacy are fundamental to a woman’s capacity to open up and yield to the intensity of birth. Learn practical and loving ways to support your woman, by reaching into that intimacy with courage and compassion.

Create calm in any setting ~ experience mamashanti’s simple plan to create and restore calm in any birth setting. Simple and infinitely adaptable techniques to bring you both into a space of calm and clarity.

Birth choices ~ thorough exploration of birthing choices available in Victoria to help you evaluate your shared birthing preferences; reflect on your hopes and concerns for birth and early parenting to help you articulate the model of care that best suits your needs. Feel confident in your capacity to work effectively with your chosen birth setting and care providers. Clarify the tone and qualities you hope to experience in birth. Communicating confidently will help you understand and integrate the advice given by medical caregivers.

Gentle bodywork ~ learn traditional techniques to unravel tension and resistance from your woman’s body; to encourage your child to position favourably for birth and assist progress in labour. Methods will include acupressure for pregnancy, birth and postnatal support; rebozo sifting; and subtle postural adjustments to help your birthing woman embrace her birthing potential.

Self Care ~ how to compassionately and practically support yourself as you provide support for your birthing woman.

Thank you so much Nina for the amazing active birth workshop. We really enjoyed it and we both got so much more out of it than the hospital class we did. We left the session feeling relaxed and more confident, prepared and informed, thanks to your gentle, encouraging and accepting guidance. – Virginia and Andrew –

Bookings

Workshop Dates 2017

MELBOURNE: Grace Revolution
Sundays 11:30 – 4:30
23 April; 4 June; 29 October

Workshop Fees:
Full: $275 /Concession*: $260 per couple.

Extra support person: $70 each

*Concession: available for health card holders; women living in country Victoria; or those who have attended classes, retreats or workshops with mamashanti during a previous pregnancy.

Your workshop fee includes: mamashanti’s comprehensive 30+ page booklet detailing practices and resources; time for a tea break; plenty of time to ask questions about pregnancy, labour and birth and follow-up support from Nina.

Active {conscious & engaged} Birth Preparation Package – Book Victoria’s most comprehensive and accessible preparation for childbirth. Breathe for Birth (just for women) and Birth Partners Workshop (for pregnant women & their partners) packaged together for a generously reduced combined price Full: $430/ Concession: $415*

Can’t make these workshops dates? Perhaps you have specific concerns about birth that you’d like to work through? Book your own Birth Partners Private Session

Bookings


Mamashanti’s Breathe for Birth Workshop

Mamashanti’s Breathe for Birth Workshop is a rich and intentional practice, created to give you the essential skills you need to prepare for one of your life’s most significant experiences. Workshops are held in Melbourne through out the year.

What is Breathe for Birth? This practice speaks the subtle language of your Automatic Nervous System (ANS), to “get you out of your head and into your body”. The elements we use to speak to your ANS are intimate breathing techniques integrated with rhythmic movement and exquisitely languid pacing. These elements are woven together to progressively draw you into the dreamy altered state of consciousness essential to birth your child from your body into your arms. So much more than functional stretching and breathing, this is the place to go to have a purely embodied experience of what it means to truly engage with the process of childbirth.

Begin from the start of your second trimester, and return through out your pregnancy to enrich your capacity to create your own practice in preparation for birth. These sessions are the synthesis of over a decade of birth support, offering you profound and practical ways to use your breath to:

Lean into the exquisite intensity of childbirth;
Consciously connect with your child;
Build emotional and energetic resilience;
Melt tension and resistance from your whole body;
Build trust in your body, your baby, your birth support and your birth choices;
Open your birth canal as you experience the difference between functional and “dysfunctional” pushing;
Protect your pelvic floor integrity through pregnancy, birth and postnatal recovery;
Release favourable birthing hormones to support progress in labour;
Enter into the glorious altered state of consciousness that can lead to moments of joyful and maybe even ecstatic birth
Summon the will and resources to birth your child with dignity and grace.

Breathe for Birth Workshops are wonderful for first time mamas; those carrying birth trauma or any woman hoping to create a more positive birth experience. Perfect anytime from the start of your second trimester, attend once to experience a comprehensive understanding of how to make these practices your own. Should you choose to return, each time you immerse into these sessions you can expect to deepen and enrich your understanding of how to create your own intimate birth preparation practice.

Bookings

Workshop Dates 2017

MELBOURNE: Grace Revolution
Sundays 11:30 – 3:30
5 February: 19 March; 21 May; 15 October

Workshop Fees:

Single Session: Full: $190/ Concession: $175*

Frequent Flyer: Book and pay for 2 or more sessions in advance Full: $170/ Concession: $160* per session

*Concession: available for health card holders and women living in country Victoria.

Your workshop fee includes: time for a tea break; plenty of time to ask questions about pregnancy, labour and birth and mamashanti’s comprehensive 40+ page booklet detailing practices and resources; follow-up support from Nina.

Active {conscious & engaged} Birth Preparation Package – Book Victoria’s most comprehensive and accessible preparation for childbirth. Breathe for Birth (just for women) and Birth Partners Workshop (for pregnant women & their partners) packaged together for a generously reduced combined price Full: $430/ Concession: $415*

Bookings


Mamashanti’s Active {conscious & engaged} Birth

Mamashanti’s Active {conscious & engaged} Birth

Mamashanti’s Active {conscious & engaged} Birth is a unique approach to birth preparation integrating rhythmic movement, intentional breathing and delicious bodywork to help you lean into the intensity of labour. Immersion in this practice will give you the means to habituate your capacity to positively work with the experience of birthing your baby. Increasingly popular with women seeking to resolve birth trauma, mamashanti’s workshops and private sessions are perfect for all women hoping to create a positive birth experience.

“Willing women, especially those whose lifestyle has not served them in building up habituated ‘working with pain’ skills (a habit of slowing and deepening your breathing, a habit of relaxing your muscles, a habit of rhythmic movement) will need, perhaps like a dancer to practice to the point of habituation the active birth positions and strategies that will provide a springboard for instinctive birthing behaviours and the ‘evolutionary regressions’ to kick in.

Building up a familiarity with these movements will enable the willing woman to more readily surrender to her instincts, instead of being hijacked by her pain instincts. The idea of ‘practise till habituation’ is not about ‘control over’ but rather a ‘path in’ and is the foundation to surrendering to your birthing instincts.”

Rhea Dempsey – Birth With Confidence

Each element of Mamashanti’s Active {conscious & engaged} Birth plays a unique role to create a unified and accessible way for you to claim sovereignty in your birthing journey; to birth your child with dignity and grace. Immersion in these workshops helps you take mamashanti’s unique suite of active birth practices from learned technique into the realm of instinct and intuition. This is what will create profound body-felt confidence in your own boundless birthing potential. By attending specialist birth preparation workshops designed to support you through pregnancy and prepare for birth, you will habituate your capacity to positively engage with the intensity of birthing your child.

Mamashanti’s Active {conscious & engaged} Birth Preparation Package is Victoria’s most comprehensive and accessible preparation for childbirth. Breathe for Birth (just for women) and Birth Partners Workshop (for women and partners) package them together and attend when it suits you best.

Mamashanti’s Breathe for Birth Workshop is a women’s-only space designed to offer you ways to experience how and when to take mamashanti’s Active {conscious & engaged} Birth practices from the yoga mat and into your birthing space. Perfect anytime from the start of your second trimester, attend once to experience a comprehensive understanding of how to make these practices your own. Should you choose to return, each time you immerse into these sessions you can expect to deepen and enrich your understanding of how to create your own intimate birth preparation practice.

Mamashanti’s Birth Partners Workshop will help you and your partner to create intimacy and confidence by adapting and applying these techniques {and more} to real life birth scenarios. As a session made rich with ample time for practice and reflection, you and your partner will build confidence in your capacity to mutually support one another in birthing your child and becoming parents.

Mamashanti’s Active {conscious & engaged} Birth Preparation Package – Book Victoria’s most comprehensive and accessible preparation for childbirth. Breathe for Birth (just for women) and Birth Partners Workshop (for pregnant women & their partners) packaged together for a generously reduced combined price Full: $430/ Concession: $415*

Perhaps you would like a Private Birth Preparation Session? An appointment with Mamashanti’s Active Birth Clinic will give you time, space and a personalised plan to help you enrich your birth preparation.

Bookings


Every Spring Blows In Winds Of Change…

On a mild Spring afternoon in 2008, I received a call from Billie Atherstone. It had been a while since we had last spoke, I was delighted to receive the call! Billie and I had met a couple of years earlier at a one-day prenatal yoga teacher training event. It’s fair to say, I instantly liked this willowy, quietly spoken woman.

Soon after the training day, an email arrived, Billie and her sister Pip were opening a Yoga and Acupuncture health clinic – “wow” I thought “these sisters are amazing! Not only do they get along, but they can co-create something as wonderful as Kundalini House.” Billie remembered me from that training day and kindly asked me to provide class covers, an easy thing for me to do in those days as we lived just a few minutes away. Back then she asked me to consider running a regular class. How I would have loved to, but my plate was ever so full – working part time, soul mothering my young son and running a couple of prenatal yoga classes from a tiny studio in Fairfield.

A little time passed, I left my day job and began birth attendant training. In addition to my weekly prenatal yoga classes, I started offering prenatal yoga for partners classes. That winter, I joined the NEIS scheme, so by Spring it was time to get my specialist prenatal yoga business off the ground!  

I soon found myself with the beautiful problem of outgrowing the space I was hiring, and at a cross roads. In many ways started to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to step forward…. and then Billie called!

That lovely voice on the other end of the phone, gently asking how things were for me? How are those classes, and what were my plans? With those simple questions, I dropped my guard and shared my dilemma. I needed to start a business, I didn’t have the circumstances to support opening a studio, and really all I felt called to do was to teach prenatal yoga!

With kindness and wisdom beyond her years, Billie suggested I move in to Kundalini House, that I bring my business into her space and Together we would Flourish. Oh my goodness, there was one answer to that proposal and that was Yes! We agreed I would begin with the New Year. And so I did! Before moving in, I had a list of none-negotiable stipulations, both Billie and Pip were open and loving in our planning:

  1. To create a meaningful prenatal yoga program, we need to offer more than one class each week;
  2. It was not OK to offer prenatal yoga at the bum (I had much stronger language to describe unhelpful class times!) end of the timetable;
  3. I would need props, a whole lot of props!

There may have been more, darling Billie and Pip graciously accepted them all! I moved in, and within a very short time, we changed the way prenatal yoga was offered in Melbourne and perhaps Australia. Unlike many studios, these classes were placed front and centre in the Kundalini House timetable. We decided from the outset that contemporary pregnancy support were now the central to the philosophy of the studio. We initially offered three classes each week and very soon expanded to four, giving pregnant women the opportunity to practice yoga at almost any time of the week.

Some of you may remember, in those days Kundalini House was level 1 of 391 St Georges Road. In that upstairs space was a lovely reception, three practitioner rooms one bathroom and one yoga room. It was like the Tardis!

Classes grew, the program extended to include monthly Active Birth Workshops. The props bill grew and darling Billie and Pip graciously kept bringing in supplies. Somewhere along the way, classes grew and overflowed the yoga room. We had waiting lists and women queuing out the door for most classes – we were outgrowing the space!

While all of this was happening, there were other stirrings going on in the background; something else happened, my partner and I found our dream home…. in a small town near Daylesford, an hour and a half away.

That was five years ago. I was so happy to be moving into this whole new way of life – a small property, space en-wilden my son just before the teen years and a place to make home for my little family. I announced my move to Billie and Pip – that wasn’t easy. What to do? I needed to hand over some classes and was grateful to see our Billie and Rachel step in to teach the Monday morning and evening sessions. This became the next innovation, just like any Hatha or Kundalini Yoga class, you could have a variety of teachers leading Prenatal Yoga classes within the one timetable.

Through out this time, Billie and Pip were not only managing their own practices, they were running a growing health clinic and growing their young families. We spoke often about more space and they searched the inner north for a possible replacement space, but the right one didn’t come. The solution as it turned out was right under our noses, in a great leap of faith, Billie and Pip took over the lease for the bottom half of the building, and the rest of that adventure is a joy to behold each time you enter the front door.

Since our move to the country, I have continued running weekly classes, last year in response to my own health issues, I cut back from two to one. This Winter, the uncomfortable truth became clear, that after five years of travelling from the country to lead my classes, it was time for me to pick up the phone and call Billie. One of the most difficult calls I’ve ever made. Billie as always, so kind compassionate and gracious accepted my resignation. It’s time, we agreed to hand over the baton, time refresh the program.

I am forever grateful to Billie for making that call in the Spring of 2008. In the safe container of Kundalini House, I’ve been able to grow and evolve my practice. Somewhere along the way, mamashanti and Kundalini House became known for offering a particular style of prenatal yoga. Somewhere in that, it became clear to me that I was no longer teaching prenatal yoga classes, they had morphed into a whole new modality. Classes were now a unique blend of yogic philosophy, rhythmic movement, intimate breath practices, acupressure and contemporary childbirth education – Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth. I truly believe it was the unique confluence of environment, support and loving inspiration that made this possible.

I sought pregnancy yoga to increase my confidence in birthing my baby with minimal medical intervention. Your yoga met this need plus so much more. You helped me with the emotional ups and downs of the pregnancy journey. You drip fed information each week about baby development, birthing baby, staying healthy during and post pregnancy, attachment strategies ie ways to increase bonding with baby both during pregnancy and afterwards.  You gave me strategies to predict medical intervention, minimise medical intervention and also give permission for invention when needed ie not a black and white view that medical intervention is ‘bad’.  You enabled me to connect with my body and get into zone even in a very medicalised environment during labour. The positions practiced in class focused on exactly what I needed during labour.  I had a drug free labour that I believe was only possible because of your classes!!! — Louise–

I realised a couple of months ago, that my time with Kundalini House has been the longest and certainly the most joyful I’ve experienced anywhere! Staying with the studio has helped me work through my commitment issues – on so very many levels. I will dearly miss the spontaneous conversations in hallways; the kindness and support of the whole group of yoga teachers and practitioners; the sharing of baby news from our clients and the tides of babies sweeping through our teaching and practitioner group – I’ll Miss It ALL.

So what next? Kundalini House will continue to be the place to go for integrated pregnancy and postnatal support. That for me is very clear! I’ll be consolidating my time with less travel and bringing more, closer to home. I’ll continue teaching weekly classes in Kyneton, where it’s been an absolute delight connect with local women and to welcome in women who have migrated from North Fitzroy to North-North Fitzroy! I’ll be blending chai and sending that spicy magic as far and wide as I can. I’m quite looking forward to reconfiguring the way I offer opportunities for birth preparation and I’ll be developing the next iteration of mamashanti teacher training. So in many ways, nothing is changing because this story is all about change… so watch this space!

I close with expressing my infinite love and gratitude for Billie and Pip, for all of the teachers and practitioners of Kundalini House, and of course heart-exploding love for all of you beautiful pregnant women who have invested your trust in me.  You have all helped me find my voice in my calling; and to stop resisting the call to be with women during their birthing years.  You’ve given me courage to listen to my heart and teach from a collective wisdom that can only be found at the seat of the great teacher – Birth. 

 


Chai Ritual #9 mamashanti’s organic golden turmeric chai

Chai Ritual #9 mamashanti’s organic golden turmeric chai

I’ve been busy here at mamashanti HQ, blending and brewing and blending some more to create the perfect Organic Golden Turmeric Chai.  I’ve taken my signature spice blend to create the most delightful golden turmeric chai experience. This chai is ground super-fine and gives you a simple way to brew instant golden chai lattes with any milk or enjoy it in it’s purest form by brewing with filtered water.

Here are two ways to make Golden Turmeric Lattes.  One takes a little bit of forward planning, then gives you instant brewing options, the other takes a little more time when brewing…  try both versions, you’ll be brewing Instagram worthy lattes in no time!

Turmeric Paste for Instant Golden Turmeric Chai Lattes
1/4 Cup of mamashanti’s very pleasing organic golden turmeric chai
½ Cup of filtered water and an extra 1/4 Cup to add
1/4  Teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Cup of coconut oil or creamed coconut paste

Simmer: chai, pepper and 1/2 Cup of water in a small saucepan then add the extra 1/4 cup of water. Continue to cook on low heat until you have a thick, smooth, aromatic paste.
Blend: in coconut oil or creamed coconut. Remove from heat.
Pour: into a sterilised jar.  Cool completely before putting on the lid and storing in the fridge.
Store: for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, always use a clean, dry spoon to scoop out turmeric paste.

Instant Creamy Golden Turmeric Chai Latte
1/2 teaspoon of mamashanti’s very pleasing organic golden turmeric chai paste
350ml mug of heated rice milk (or your preferred milk)

Place: turmeric chai paste into your mug.
Pour: hot milk into the mug.
Blend: milk into the turmeric chai paste.
Sip: your creamy liquid gold slowly as you feel yourself preparing for a superb day.
Tip: By brewing a batch of turmeric paste, you’ll have this amazing potion to brew up golden chai lattes in the blink of an eye – or the time you need to heat up a mug of milk.

 

Creamy Golden Turmeric Chai – Leisurely Style
1 teaspoon of mamashanti’s very pleasing organic golden turmeric chai
350ml mug of rice milk (or your preferred milk)
a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper
a splash of coconut milk or dollop of creamed coconut paste

Simmer: milk, chai and pepper in a small saucepan for around 15 minutes (this is when I head off to take a shower). Turn off the hotplate.
Steep: your brew with a lid on for 5 minutes to extract maximum spice intensity.
Blend: coconut paste if using into this heady brew and pour into preheated mugs.
Share: with someone dear to you.
Sip: your creamy liquid gold slowly as you feel yourself preparing for a superb day.
Tip: This is the method I usually use to brew my turmeric chai.  It appears to take longer, but has simply become an integral part of my morning routine… Get up, heat chai, take shower, steep chai enjoy with sturdy breakfast and lively banter! 

125 grams of mamashanti’s very pleasing organic golden turmeric chai will yield around 60 cups of gorgeous handmade chai.  Need a jar of your own?  Visit my Etsy Store or pop by one of these lovely stockists to collect yours. 


Postpartum Fitness Regimes…. Darling aren’t you stretched and worn thin enough?

Every woman who has birthed a child, has also birthed herself as a mother. Most women will make this transition from knowing themselves in their maiden form their whole lives to new the stage of mother with little or no guidance, ritual or support. Many women find themselves equally overwhelmed by their love for their newborn and the aching for the relative simplicity of their pre-motherhood life. Body and mind captive to habit and muscle memory; personal boundaries porous; energy and emotions scattered by surging hormones; it’s hardly surprising how persuasive the influence of dominant culture is. The outrageous voice roaring at women from all directions is demanding they return to their pre-pregnant form to lose “baby fat”, to disappear the magnificent and transformative influence of pregnancy and birth; to “regain control”.

In times of profound transition, when women are most vulnerable it’s understandable many women will look to physical fitness as a tool to restore some sense of boundaries to recapture the illusion of control.

But your energy is no longer your own, you share your energy with your growing child. The physical practices that you used to energise yourself before you were pregnant will drain you of your precious reserves. Just as you’re getting to know your child, you’re getting to know yourself as a mother. At every stage of your life, as you have navigated profound transitions, what was it you most craved? Unconditional love, support, acceptance? This is the rich journey of motherhood. As you learn to mother your newborn, you have this golden opportunity to learn to mother yourself.

When you feel yourself made weary by the fierce tenderness of mothering, this is when you most need to pour unconditional love, acceptance, compassion into yourself. Seek out practices that fill your cup, nourish you energetically, and help you restore healthy personal boundaries.

The real news is this – that pre-pregnant body everyone’s demanding you to chase does not exist! Just as you chose to birth and raise your child, consciously choose to embrace this new you. You birthed yourself into motherhood, now raise yourself with all the love and joy you are offering your child.

Darling, how does your regime look now?

Looking for some loving guidance?  I’m running my shantimama women’s yoga workshops through out he year in Melbourne and Kyneton.  Living in the Macedon Ranges? I’m now running  Womanly Yoga classes in Kyneton.

And if you need some convincing about taking care of yourself through postpartum recovery, I highly recommend reading this article Postnatal Depletion.


Open Your Heart

Open Your Heart

This is a practice to cultivate compassion. We often consider compassion as our loving exchange with the outside world, however compassion to the self is equally essential.  For me, this practice is simply an essential. 

Cultivate compassion to help you relinquish your need for control; build your capacity for unconditional love; to dispel fear and attachments and to let go of old ideas about your self and how life is supposed to be. By building your emotional resilience you will liberate yourself from all out dated ways and rules that no longer serve you. When your heart is filled with compassion it’s easier to feel in the flow with all of creation, to feel content and generous in both your outlook and your self regard.

Never Give Up. No matter what is going on. Never give up
Develop the heartToo much energy in your country is spent developing the mind instead of the heart.
Be compassionate. Not just to your friends, but to everyone.
Be compassionate. Work for peace in your heart and in the world.
Work for peaceAnd I say again Never Give Up. No matter what is going on around you. Never give up” – Dalai Lama XIV

Take your most comfortable, well supported seated position – extend your arms in front of you, palms pressed firmly together and arms parallel to the floor.

Inhale deeply through your nose – and spread your arms out wide in a large expansive gesture. Feel the front of your heart centre open and expand as you fill your lungs with air. Your arms keep opening and stretch as you continue to inhale, stretching them as far back as they can go.

Exhale through your nose – bring your arms back together, palms touching. Extending your arms forward, feel the back of your heart centre open.

Continue this practice – keeping your arms parallel to the floor, feel the stretch through your shoulders, sides of your rib cage, through your arms al the way to your fingertips.

Refine your practice – eyes closed and rolled up to your third eye point through out. With each inhalation recite a silent “Sat” and with each exhalation “Nam” ~ “Truth is my True Identity” or “I am Truth”.

Repeat this practice – 26 times or for around three minutes.

To close – take a deep inhalation, raise your arms above your head for a great big stretch, lower slowly as you exhale. Hands rest on your knees, palms facing up. Take your three silky soft sighing breaths and then return to feeling the natural ebb and flow of your breath as you integrate the benefits of this practice.

Sat Nam

image credit and practice adapted from

The 8 Human Talents – Restore the Balance and Serenity Within You with Kundalini Yoga

Gurmukh with Cathy Michon


Brothy Poached Eggs 

Brothy Poached Eggs 

Time for Warm and Nourishing Breakfast

This recipe it adapted from Angela C. Wu’s wonderful book Fertility Wisdom.  I love this recipe all year round, it is especially a favourite here through the cooler months.

This recipe is perfect for those post-period/ postpartum days {when all bleeding has ceased}, a time when we all need extra love and nourishment.  As Angela says “energetically, it’s a recipe for vitality when the body’s Qi has been depleted by menstruation or childbirth.”

For each serve of Brothy Poached Eggs you will need:

  • 1 – 2 C home made chicken/ vegetable stock ✽ or filtered water
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 T rice wine
  • 2 free range eggs

Place all ingredients except eggs into a saucepan and bring to boil and then reduce to a rolling simmer for a few minutes.  Add your eggs and extra water to cover if necessary. Continue simmering and cook the eggs to just right. Serve eggs and broth in a deep bowl.

Eat slowly, all the while breathing in the aromatic broth and feeling the warmth of this breakfast set you up for a superb day.

✽  When making your stock {or when a stout-hearted friend makes it for you} try augmenting your stock with classic Blood Nourishing Chinese medicine herbs. These include: Dong Quai, Wolf berries and Chinese dates {ask your favourite accupunturist for a handful of these magnificent herbs}.  When added to your preferred stock,  our vegetarian friends can benefit from this beautiful, profoundly nourishing breakfast.

I’ll be posting soon with my chicken stock recipe…

My dear friends Charmaine and Milly loved this recipe so much, they included it in their magnificent EBook The Breakfast ProjectLooking for breakfast inspiration, your search is now over.


Postnatal Yoga Time for Self-Mothering

On the subject of motherhood, my mother famously declared… “It’s the first 40 years that are the hardest.”

Motherhood is a journey like no other. The bliss is pure, exquisite and absolute. The challenges can bring anguish and self doubt on an unimaginable scale. Once you’re in you’re hooked and it’s not always easy to find a place where you feel safe in expressing the sweeping range of emotions that you are experiencing. Like pregnancy and birth so much is universal and the rest utterly personal.

When I first created my shantimama :: women’s yoga workshop series, I did so with the intent to offer such a place. A safe space for women to honestly share, to feel heard, understood and accepted. I love sharing this intimate journey with women. The journey punctuated through the touch stone of these workshops, across each year and now into the better half of a decade. The rolling cycle of women arriving, immersing, sometimes drifting off to bring another child into the world, then to return to our loving arms. It’s an honour to bear witness to it all.

In participating in my women’s yoga workshops, I would like to offer you simple ways to nourish yourself; cultivate calm and raise your spirits so you are better able to enjoy being in your own skin and enjoy precious time with your loved ones.

Each year, I give my shantimama workshops a little nip and tuck. I take them out of the drawer, hold them to the light and regard them from a new perspective. For 2015, I will offer a pair of workshops based on my favourite postnatal themes.  I’ll repeat these paired sessions with each season. You are welcome to attend one paired session or return through out the year. The core themes of each session will be embellished with seasonal motifs to have you feeling a steady unraveling and revealing of insight with each return journey.

Pop by my website for a taste of what I’m offering this year.  If it appeals, please don’t hesitate as places are limited.


The Plumy Birth-Day Cake

The Plumy Birth-Day Cake

I love to bake.  I bake for my family and friends.  I bake when I host my retreats and training days, and I bake for my circle of doulas. This is one of my all-time favourite recipes and certainly the most requested recipe too!  Easy to bake, gorgeous to look at and incredibly delicious; what more could we ask from a cake recipe?  

Excuse my Maggie Beer moment – it’s all about fresh, seasonal produce.  This recipe calls for plums (welcome back, my lovelies!), however any seasonal (not too wet) fruit will be just fine.  Also try mixing up the nut meals, through Autumn I adjust the recipe with 3/4 hazelnut meal and Jonathon apples, so very earthy!

The Plumy Birth-Day Cake

  • 200gr unsalted butter
  • 200gr sugar + extra. My favourite it a combination of coconut, brown, raparura sugars. The browner the sugars the richer and more toffee-like the flavour. Try your own, mix them up till they come to 200gr
  • 3 of the finest free range eggs
  • 200gr almond meal
  • 2T coconut flour
  • 1t aluminium free baking powder
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • 3 or 4 fresh plums, halved and sliced
  • Almond flakes optional

 

Preheat your oven to 160 C. Line the base and sides of a spring-form cake tin with baking paper.  Sprinkle generously with sugar and almond flakes if you’re using them, arrange fruit slices in single, pretty pattern to cover the base of the tin.

Blend almond meal, flour and baking powder set aside. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Then beat in one egg at a time. Blend in almond meal mixture and spoon this quite thick batter over the fruit. Tap tin on the bench a few times to distribute the batter and release air pockets.

Bake 30 – 40 minutes; it should be golden and a bit firm to touch.  Check at 20 minutes, if the edges are browning too fast, cover with foil and continue baking. Remove from the oven, let cool in tin 25 minutes and then turn onto a cooling rack.

Enjoy warm or cool, with as many lush sides as you can think of!  I’m thinking vanilla custard….