In our present day culture the pregnancy and birth journey ends …well, at birth. After the birth of the baby, the focus shifts fully to the baby leaving little or no space to the mother’s state of well-being, feelings and emotions. And consider this - she has just been through the major rite of passage. Her birth might have gone as envisioned or might have completely changed the course in the process leaving her with many questions, mixed emotions and sometimes even birth trauma. Postpartum period is a delicate time for the mother and how she is cared for will largely determine the quality of her bonding with the baby and the brightness of her memory of her pregnancy and birth experience.
This is the reason why my collaborator Monica and me teamed up to regularly hold the space for postpartum mothers. In this space mothers can re-live their birth experience, voice their thoughts, claim their victories and release any lingering doubts or hurts.
An amazing format for this process is creating a collective birth story mandala. It is a powerful process that brings women together in a creative spirit and compels them to create beautiful geometrical patterns of flowers, petals and colorful stones while they share their most intimate memories and voice their cherished dreams and wishes.
After the birth story closure it is time for the mothers to be pampered and spoiled to pieces. We proceed to the Rebozo Tuck-in ceremony inspired by the ancient Mexican traditions. Think of this – every mother in the traditional ethic communities in Mexico still receives this postpartum treatment from her comadrona (midwife). We start by forming a circle around the mother who is placed on six sturdy rebozos (scarves). The mother then receives a full body massage from her sisters who soothe her with aromatic oils and gentle strokes under the accompaniment of relaxing music. Afterwards the mother is wrapped up in rebozos according to six energetic points of her body with each part of the body being blessed with a message for blissful and balanced motherhood journey.
One of the attending mothers said upon returning back to the world from the rebozo cacoon: This has to be experienced by every mother!!!
As you notice most of the postpartum work has to do with closing, sealing, "getting back together". The pregnancy and birthing are the processes of major expansion – physical and on the energy level. By holding this ritual sacred space for postpartum mothers we facilitate a ceremonial closure, calling the energy back to feel whole again and move on from here further into the motherhood journey honored and reinvigorated.
On the physical level an excellent sealing practice is Benkung Belly Binding. We all experience our postpartum bodies as a little bit off center as if the organs are still negotiating their ways into their pre-pregnancy positions. This is actually exactly what is happening in our bodies after having given birth. Our uterus is shrinking back and our organs are slowly regressing to their original places. And this is where Bengkung Belly Binding comes very handy.
Traditionally belly binding implies wrapping your torso with a tight piece of soft fabric. It is done by wrapping and tying the cloth starting at the pubic bone and working toward the sternum. The belly bind covers the entire length of your torso. Belly binding benefits go far beyond “looking good” after baby comes out as it helps to return uterus to size, prevents postpartum hemorrhage, reduces postpartum internal organs swelling and in general gives the mother a sense of security and "togetherness".
The postpartum workshop would not be complete without one of its most important ingredients -postnatal yoga practice. Monica did an amazing job of guiding mothers from relaxation into gentle flow of asanas aimed at strengthening mama's bodies and even promote good lactation and leading back into total relaxation in the long waited for Savasana.
Feeling curious? Inspired? If you would like to process your birth story and / or simply feel honored as a mother, please stay tuned for our upcoming Sacred Postpartum: A Mother's Honoring workshops and join the next batch of blessed and honored mothers.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
We're inviting everyone to join our new online community #TheFlowTribe which we have
launched today! The Flow Tribe is a community where you can share and celebrate being around nature and doing something that you love! It's a place to inspire and be inspired.
Join our contest by following these steps below:
1. Post a photo of yourself doing what you love outdoors and tell us a story behind it.
2. Use the hashtag #TheFlowTribe, follow and tag @flowretreats plus 3 friends.
3. One semi finalist will be announced each week.
Weekly finalists will be qualified for the grand prize to be announced on June 1.
4. Weekly finalists will receive a health and wellness gift pack from The Flow Shop and the grand prize winner will win 10K worth of products from The Flow Shop, Aura Athletica and other participating sponsors!
Celebrate your passions, be part of #TheFlowTribe.
Follow @flowretreats on Instagram!
Monday, April 20, 2015
Why do I dance?
Being a yummymummy of two, managing my home and business- life can get quite nutty for me considering I want to be a superwoman!
Every yummymummy needs an outlet- something or someplace to run to when our tricks don’t seem to be working anymore.
This is why I dance—to break free and sweat, to clear my mind for a few minutes (or more!), to feel sexy, happy, joyous and free!
I’ve always loved music.
Thanks to my rock and roll hippie parents.
I fondly remember being so tiny and watching my mom dress up with her giant black stereo with big round speakers blasting new wave music. She’d be jumping up and down like a silly child, brushing her glorious hair and putting make up on. She’d do this every day and whistle as she drove us to school. She would wake us up to Joni Mitchell or Dave Matthews and I’d try my best to roll out of bed:P
|my stunning mum|
|Bo-Dee-- the couple that FLOWs together|
|The Fucoys-- my musical family|
|Mi Samba Familia-- Pascal in my tummy:P|
|teaching at a FLOW retreat in La Union|
|My first samba experience at Sanctum, Intramuros. Photo by the amazing Andy Maluche.|
|FLOwin in Lombok, Indonesia!|
Maybe this is why I love music.
I then fell in love with more music as I married a very musical man from a musical family.
This is how I was introduced to samba and soon became part of Samba School Imperatriz Filipinense.
When I started dancing, I was very insecure and shy because I had no formal training for technique. But our madrinha, Carolina reminded me that samba isn’t about the training, but about the heart, soul and feeling that the drums create within us. Samba has taught me to move to the beat of the drums and not care about what others think. So much so that I paraded in Brazilipinas half naked with a 7-month preggy belly a couple of years ago and felt on top of the world!
I won't forget the first time I watched the samba school perform.
The drumming was so intense that I felt high and my body didn’t want to stop moving. I was sweating intensely and was soooo happy as if my heart was really smiling!
No, I wasn’t on drugs.
I was on SAMBA!
And so my love affair with Samba began.
I drummed and danced to my hearts content.
My mother-in-law also loves samba and puts on a cd to listen to Brazilian music while cleaning the house and dancing! It really makes your heart a bit lighter and the serotonin produced does make you happier. Women really need exercise and movement is essential for healthier happier wives:P
This is why yoga, samba and all other forms of exercise is essential to stay sane in this very fast paced modern day.
We all need time to reset and recharge.
This is what the FLOW retreats do!
So come join me at the upcoming FLOW Surf.Yoga.Samba Retreats with Samba School Imperatriz Filipinense as we share our love of samba with you- a passion, a community, a SAMBA lifestyle!
Join our upcoming retreats that include Samba in the line up!
May 2-4 in Flotsam and Jetsam, La Union
June9-12 in Ubud, Indonesia
August in Chiangmai, Thailand
Register at www.flowretreats.com
Register at www.flowretreats.com
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Last year, FLOW conducted it's very first international retreat in Bali, Indonesia. Visiting this magical island for the first time in 2010 by myself, I knew that I would be back again and again and again. There is a certain charm to this Island of the Gods that I can't get enough of! Those who have been to this place know what I am talking about, right???! And I am so glad we pulled through with such a fun crew last year!
Here are reasons why you should join our next two retreats this coming June:
1. Destress, decompress and detox with daily yoga classes: Yep, you know you've deserve this kind of bliss!
2. Get cultured : Consider that the world really is your grand classroom. Get yourself out there and learn about other cultures and become more interesting in your next dinner conversation with friends.
4. Earthing : Walking on bare earth like soil or sand for at least 20 minutes a day will strengthen your immune system. Doing it in paradiso makes it 100 times cooler.
5. Watching a raw food chef like Joao of Seeds of Life demonstrate why this high frequency food is super good for your whole being.
6. Make precious memories: Life is short. It's time you started collecting great moments, not things!
7. Just DO IT! When life gets crazy, you have two options. Take it or FILG. F it let's go! Then come back with a vengeance... renewed and ready to take on the universe.
FLOW will be back in Bali, Indonesia this June!
More details and registration at here.
All photos taken by Stephanie Dandan of Infinite Satori at #FlowBali 2014
Article lifted from http://dharmadream.blogspot.com/2015/04/7-real-good-reasons-why-you-should-flow.html