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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.


Thinking Big Thinks…

 There’s something about being drawn back to attending births and then having long hours cloistered in our cozy home that has made conditions so very conducive to cooking up some big ideas!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the great honour to support a very dear woman and her husband in birthing their second son. Another beautiful birth and another deeply formative experience for your mamashanti.

After a break of two {swift} years, my return to the birthing room has me feeling even more humbled by the magnificence of birth. Birth and the exquisite intensity that sweeps through birthing women remains my most loving teacher and richest inspiration.

Feeling so very inspired, this month I am pleased to be launching my new venture, my new baby – mamashanti’s active birth clinic. It’s a bold idea – to bring women more options for individualised care, please read on and let me know what you think!

Sending you cozy, warm blessings

xx Nina