Monthly Archives: July 2011

Beep Beep! Carmageddon.

Last weekend (July 16th & 17th) in Los Angeles there were severe warnings about “carmageddon.” Basically they were closing down a stretch of the 405 freeway for the weekend to do some construction work on the bridge as part of a project to widen the freeway. The media warned about it for several weeks and told everyone to stay home because 500,000 cars were going to be rerouted to different freeways and side streets over 2 days. In LA, that’s crazy!!

It’s no surprise that when a major street or thorough fare closes completely or goes down to one lane, it messes up the surrounding streets as well. Well, the same happens in our bodies (dun dun dun)! We have thousands of vertical channels that go from head to toe throughout our entire body. Ayurveda calls them srotas (there are 14 – think of these as big channels, like a freeway) or nadis (there are 72,000 – think of them as side streets). This is why Ayurveda uses massage and acupressure – because it opens and clears channels! This is exactly how acupuncture works too. Puncturing or pressing on certain areas of the body help these channels respond and release any clog they are holding. It also helps to reroute any channels that have gone wonky and are flowing into the wrong places.

It makes sense then when we have some sort of ailment, pain, or imbalance that we have to look at the root cause of where the pain is coming from. Just because there is a clog (imbalance) on street A, doesn’t mean we treat street A. If street B is closed, causing traffic to overflow onto street A, we have to fix street B first. Seeking out the root cause is why Ayurveda is so effective in healing. Western medicine looks at street A and tries to fix that first, which is why often times people end up on several medications because one medication causes a side effect. An example of a side effect would be if we divert traffic from street A (cause that’s where the clog is)  to street C, to solve our street A problem. BUT!! The clog on street B is still there and now there is also a clog on street C. So we might divert traffic from street C to street D which also causes back up there. As you can see, it can go on and on.

Looking at this from the other side, if we were to open up the lanes on street B, this would allow ALL the streets to remain open and traffic to run smoothly. Same with our bods!!

My friendlies, this is why when talking to your Ayurvedic Practitioner really look deep and give all the information about your diet, lifestyle, past traumas, etc., We have to find out where the clog is. With that we can begin to use our therapies to open and unclog channels so that our bods begin to flow in true harmony. It’s a new way of thinking, isn’t it? And, isn’t always the best news (like when margaritas give you heartburn in summer), but it is the only thing that fixes the true problem. Only then do we have the empowerment to learn what shakes us and what keeps us humming along. Once we get the hang of it, we will choose the humming route over and over :) I promise!!

(turns out that everybody stayed home so there was no traffic, no carmageddon :)

Pitta Season!

Hey guys! We’re in the heart of pitta season! What does that mean? It means it’s summer and it’s HOT outside, which might make us hot on the insides. Last year I created the very first Seasonal Bloom, which provides guidelines, tips, and tools to staying healthy during summer. If are a hot-bodied pitta or if someone near and dear to your heart is a pitta, you won’t want to miss the read. If you’ve already read it last year, it might be worth a refresh so that you can remember all the tools you have to use to keep you cool, calm, and collected while the heat is on!


Oh, Baby!

Some of you already know, but we had our baby girl 3 weeks early! :) She is now 2.5 weeks old, eating, pooping, and sleeping like a champ. I really wanted a natural birth…and boy did I get one! Holy schnykees…it hurts!! Here is her story :)

The Story.
On Tuesday, June 28th at 7:00 a.m. my husband George and I went to the hospital because I had a slowly leaking water bag. One of the first things out of the doctor’s mouth was “…so in a few hours we will probably start you on pitocin…” WTFruit!? That made me cry instantly into my husband’s loving arms, which sort of alarmed the doctor. I hate hospitals. And I hate drugs more. AND my doula was far from Los Angeles in England…which really made me freak out. She was my rock! The wheels were flinging off this thing fast. Ironically the night before we wrote our birth plan, packed our bags and I had my car washed…we must have known :)

Anyway, once we told the doctor we wanted a natural birth, she instantly assured me they would not do anything against my will or bully me into taking drugs. Whew. The great thing was that my midwife was actually working that day! Halleleujah! She (also an acupuncturist!) hooked me up with some acupuncture needles at 10:00 a.m. and then another session at 11:30 a.m. We wanted to see if that would kick labor into gear. The sensation of the needles was amazing. You know what an ocean floor looks like when the sand is sort of rippled? That’s what it felt like. Starting like underneath my boobs there was a sense of energy ripples moving downward and I visualized that ocean floor moving with the waves. Didn’t hurt, just felt like something energetically was happening, in a major way.

After that George and I sat around and walked the zen garden for a couple hours while I had minor contractions. At 3:30 p.m the nurse told me there would be a shift change at 5:00 p.m. and at that time, the OB’s would want to give me pitocin to move things along. My midwife’s shift also ended at 5:00. Dammit! NO! This kid has to get moving!!! I prayed, walked in the zen garden outside, cried on George’s shoulder (again) and asked Ganesh (remover of obstacles!) for help. My Ayurvedic teacher gave me the Ganesh chant (Om gam ganapataye namaha) earlier that day via text message and then George found a version online so we played that in the room. I also chanted by myself in the bathroom. I also talked to my daughter…I told her that we were a team and I needed her help.

Here’s where it gets cool.
At 5:00 (shift change!) on the nose I felt a “woocha” kick/pop and suddenly I was sitting in a huge pool of water. My bed turned into a kiddie pool. The bell curve on the baby monitor went of the charts!! My little baby girl broke my bag all the way!! Good girl! No drugs needed! Yessssssss.

I quickly went into active labor and thought I was going to die. We ended up having a back-up doula who was a god send!! She showed up at 6:00 pm and while we never meet her before, seeing her was such a relief! In the meantime, George was a superstar coach and was helping out by pressing on my hips and lower back. One hour later and begging for an epidural (Yes I did, I begged for one. Wheels had come off this bus!), they found it was already time to push and I had only minutes to go! I looked up and saw George’s smiling face with his bright, happy eyes (exactly like when I first met him) and he said, “You did it, Sweetie! Look! They are setting up all the stuff!” I looked up and it was like the Muppet Show had swooped in. Super bright lights fell from the ceiling, there were carts, utensils, devices and what felt like 15 people. Time to push!! YEAH!! The worst part was over.

As I was pushing, they said her heart rate was falling. The fetal monitor around my belly kept slipping off, so it was hard to gauge. They wanted to put a little screw in the top of her head to monitor her heart. WTfruit?! George looked at me…and quickly told the doctor we wanted to decline. Don’t go pokin’ holes in my baby’s 7th chakra! Anywho, her heart rate was still falling and they told me I had to PUSH to get her out NOW. So I inhaled (oxygen mask on) through my nose, tucked my chin, and PUSHED with all my might…after a few times, there she was! With a room full of cheering people :) Still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. She was born at 7:58 p.m.

So, 3 hours of TOUGH natural labor, sans drugs…and then we were a family. Then I took a motrin :) Yes I did, I took one.

That’s her story and here she is. Her name is Alella (Spanish. Say Ah-lay-uh). And we love her more than anything.