Eleven Moon Centers: Introduction

If this is your first introduction to the Eleven Moon Centers, congrats! This is perhaps one of the most powerful things I have studied on my path as a yogini.

Whether you have been studying your centers for some time or are just looking to get them mapped, this site should help you on your journey.

I was first introduced to my moon cernters during a Kundalini Womenen’s gathering at the home of Yogi Bhajan in New Mexico. With many ancient spiritual teachings, when I am clear and ready, information often feels like it is downloaded in an instant. As with this, the moment I heard “all women have eleven moon centers..” I knew it to be an instinctual truth and one that would change my mind in perspective from that point on.

So what are they? Eyebrows, Clitorus, Vagina, Earlobes, Cheeks, Inner Thighs, Back of the Neck, Nipples, Hairline, Navel and Lips

The eleven centers are unique pulls of energy within the female body that shift throughout our being every 2.5 days. Each woman has her own unique pattern of movement, that draws her attention, energy and focus in a rhythmic way every 28.5 days. Perhaps the most inspiring piece of this understanding was that I was able to fully resonance and experience confidence with my ever-fluctuating emotions. I can now forsee what my energy will be like in a coming week, day or time frame. I am not surprised by the times that I feel more tired or more sensitive and I can care for myself in new ways that empower me to live the highest divine expression of life that I can.

Yogi Bhajan taught us that women are 16 times more sensitive than men. Meaning they are 16 times more intuitive and 16 times more emotional.

To live confidently and resonate with a flow of life, I highly recommend you study your moon centers, connect with other women on the same journey and above all, trust and love yourself.

Namaste, blessings and love to you!

Eleven Moon Center: Thighs

The action addict in me looks forward to this time so much. It is a beautiful time of productivity, internal affirmation and strong energy for me. I often move out of it with greater confidence in myself and hope for the future.

A magic rule I live by: Spend more time doing things than thinking about doing things — and if you find yourself thinking too much, put it out of mind until your next Thigh cycle!

The productivity that courses through my aura during this time is so much fun. At the end of my 2.5 days I find myself looking around with amazement at all that I have accomplished. Often there’s still a voice of “More! Why can’t I be like this all the time?!”. This is the addict speaking.

If you aren’t able to feel centered during this time yet, consider the following;

1. If you find yourself disappointed in others or your surroundings: Β Are you controlling your environment too much? Others? While the confidence and affirmation that we feel during this time is very valuable, if not channeled internally it may allow us to think we know better than even the universe. I am very intuitive about what is right and wrong during this time. I love that! And I have to be careful not to let my inner knowing enmesh the reality of my world in any moment.

2. If you’re spending time doing things you don’t want to be doing: Β Ask yourself what you may be avoiding in those moments instead. This is a beautiful practice to take on in any cycle — I once realized that I was in a bad habit of over eating when I was avoiding cleaning my house. I caught it once when I was asking myself, “what am I avoiding doing right now?” As I reached for the fridge. Too often we are busy giving ourself a hard time about what we are doing rather than looking at what we are avoiding doing. Lean into the things you avoid even a tiny bit and you’ll find the other things loose their grip.
3. If you’re stressing about getting it all done: Β Relax. With high energy we can trigger anxiety. Notice if you’re in this patter and relax. Look at the things you have accomplished! Can you really acknowledge yourself? If you’re reading this, I know you are a woman created to growth and evolution, there’s no doubt about that. Love yourself. This is your journey and it’s going by fast. Enjoy it, you amazing, talented goddess you.

Clear periods?

Whoa, I am writing a blog! The boys are in bed and I’m up late(r than normal).. This hasn’t happened in a long while. Little man is intoxicating with his sleep vibes at night. I love how chill he helps us stay.

While I haven’t been posting blogs, I have been working on them a good bit! A friend is helping me compile some thoughts and challenging me to practice writing in new ways. I have had some really cool experiences with words this year. Putting some big things on paper in a healing way. Grateful Indra’s birth sparked that growth, among so many other things. More to share in time.

Until then, back to this post, which yes, is titled clear periods.

A couple months ago we stayed the night at a friend’s place in Madison County. She was traveling and we had her big farmhouse to ourselves, with big bookshelves and nothing to do but eat and read on a cold country day. Michael picked up one that was written in the ’70s by a group of hippy farmers while Indra crawled around on the floor and explored a new place. The book had great thoughts about living natural, healthy and happy lives. Michael would call out to me anything he found interesting as he read, including, “he says here that if you eat all organic, primarily sprouted, fermented, non-processed foods you will have a clear period”.

What? Yeah right, my mind protested. I shook it off but found myself stuck with that thought. And here I am a few months later writing a blog on it..

Red bird flew over me again on exactly Indra’s six month birthday. Many mommas go up to a year with breastfeeding. I was a bit surprised to see it so soon with my little guy has been direct from the tap milk on-demand his whole life, and that is what this whole parenting journey has been so far. One surprise after another πŸ™‚

Before I got pregnant I was still using tampons. I cringe when I think of that now. I spent so many years putting chemically bleached cotton from China inside my body without batting an eye. I knew I should have switched sooner but I didn’t have the enthusiasm to make it happen. If you are one of these people now, trust me, it is time.


Note, This is not meant to scold anyone still doing that. It is meant to highlight a shift that is available to you should you chose to care for your moon cycles in a new way. Years ago I started being a more conscious consumer and the past couple — buying way less clothes and products, But for some crazy reason feminine care was the last big shift.

So here I am today, using cloth pads and watching my cycles more than ever while on the mission for clear periods. I will let you know when I get there, until then, here are my biggest tips for a pleasant and blissful flow,

  • Use organic cloth pads. I have been purchasing mine on Etsy. There are some really great handmade options there. I can go on and on about why to do this, but in summary, the main points are your health, your comfort, your finances and our environment.
  • Balance your primary dosha for the lightest flow. I am primarily Kapha and a gentle asana and walking routine is very helpful for me to maintain throughout. This will vary person to person. Diet wise this also means that balancing sweet impacts my cycle the most. I can eat all the fruit and concentrated fruit I want as well as honey, but add in any kind of syrup or sweetener with sugar and my flow increases 30-70% as quickly as overnight.
  • Be extra kind and sweet to yourself. This means baths, self hanging out with people you love (ladies, primarily for me) and reserve more down time to rest and sleep. There is a reason a beautiful reason why we tend to have increased emotions during this time — process your sensitivity. Use it to care for yourself and those around you. Channel this energy into a more patient, kind and loving version of you.

That is it for now and feel free to reach out with questions or thoughts. As always I have loads more to say with little screen time and lots of interest in you and your spirit. Sending love beyond time and space.

Xo,
Alexandria

6 Months of Breastfeeding

I was very curious about what breastfeeding would be like while I was pregnant. I felt bombarded with information and yet clueless on what it would actually be like. Inspired by Ina May’s encouraging writings and her seemingly daring statements about breastfeeding being “love making” between Mother and Child, I was still quite unsure about the whole having someone sucking on my boob regularly thing. Previously a strictly intimate-only action, I asked myself many questions:

Will it seem sexual?
What if it’s a girl, won’t that be weird?
What if it’s a boy, won’t that be weird?!

Time and experience melt all insecurities. Looking back, no wonder it was weird then — I didn’t have a child then! Now, we have Indra, and no, it is not weird at all.

Feeding a little person from my body has been an extremely natural and easeful thing. It forces me to take extra care of myself first (a parenting theme for me), including food, mental state and rest. And temperature! When my feet are cold, my milk practically halts. Welcoming Indra in Arkansas in July, that one stumped me for a night during an October vacation in Colorado. We were camping in Estes Park in our van and in the middle of the night my milk seemed to just stop coming. Indra was not happy and my mind was racing with what was wrong. Is the travel throwing this off? Did I not eat enough? Alas, it was socks. What an awesome, easy fix.

“Where you awareness goes, your energy flows.”

Frequently stated by my first teacher, Baron, and a common study throughout the practice of Yoga, this statement has been oh so true for all elements in life, including breastfeeding. When I am taking the time to stay present with the current state of my body, eating regularly as Indra does, resting when he does, breastfeeding is like a dream.

Holding my little guy in my arms and sensing his calm, satisfied presence trips all this Mama’s happy switches.

Indra’s been trying lots of foods lately, there hasn’t been anything he doesn’t like and it has been such a delight to watch his expressions when trying things. And it’s mostly just all for fun. It is still the boob providing nutrients for now. Straight from the breast, too! 100% bottle free. I am proud of that fact. Did you know that a mother’s nipple actually reads what her baby needs during a feeding?

“When a baby suckles at its mother’s breast, a vacuum is created. Within that vacuum, the infant’s saliva is sucked back into the mother’s nipple, where receptors in her mammary gland read its signals. Everything scientists know about physiology indicates that baby spit backwash is one of the ways that breast milk adjusts its immunological composition. If the mammary gland receptors detect the presence of pathogens, they compel the mother’s body to produce antibodies to fight it, and those antibodies travel through breast milk back into the baby’s body, where they target the infection.”

Pulled from one of my favorite articles on breastfeeding, here. SO many reason to love breastfeeding.

So much thanks goes to my husband for making our breastfeeding journey so wonderful. It it wasn’t for him feeding me to being with, I know this wouldn’t be the same story. And thanks go to our whole village to supporting us! From the patient yogis at Deza who have offered nothing but smiles mid-vinyasa, to the ONF staff and shoppers who cheered us on in the early days when on-demand feeding meant holding up the check-outline. This has been a wonderful journey and I am so grateful for it.

Nothing but love,
Alexandria

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Let’ο»Ώs talk Placenta Smoothie

Yep, you read that right. In response to many blog requests! I said yes to placenta smoothies post birth and here was my experience.

First off, I have to point out what a beautiful badass thing the placenta is. My body grew another organ! And shed it in the birthing of my son. It was freaking cool. It takes a few minutes post-birth before the body releases the placenta and for a for brief moments I held Indra to my chest while he was still physically attached to me through his cord. There is no other experience like that.

The placenta is the bubble that holds baby until his time to enter earth side. It was the layer between Indra’s body and mine, through which all nutrients and energy passed.

The choice to consume the placenta post-birth is typically a nutrient driven decision. The seemingly most popular process is placenta encapsulation — where it is dried and placed into capsules to take orally. For me, I recognized the natural animalistic nature of it (all mammals other than some humans consume post birth) and felt that it was something I wanted to try immediately following the birth. My midwife prepared small pieces into smoothie post-birth. Raspberries, blueberries and other fruits allowed for a blind consumption. We froze a handful more for later as well.

Flash forward four nights later. I woke up around 3am freezing (note, the middle of July and our house was not cold..). I turned to Michael who was already on high alert to help Indra and I as needed, and he jumped up to get me an extra blanket. As he did, I felt even colder — chills that started to make my whole body convulse. I was working to stay calm and not freak Michael out terribly. I knew I was okay and my body’s reaction was intense. I could tell he was stressed. He called Maria, our midwife, who had him check my blood loss levels and temperature. All were okay, and we identified the moment as a hormone shift. All a little freaked out, I bundled up even more and everyone drifted back to sleep. I continued to wear socks and layers the next couple days and eventually felt my body temperature settle to normal.

While the intensity of fluid, blood and tissue loss post birth is to be acknowledged (think almost passing out biological explosion) my body healed miraculously within the coming weeks. My mind was also incredibly stable (post coming soon on my thoughts about postpartum emotions). This being my first babe, hard to tell what affect the placenta consumption had on me overall, though I do suspect the abrupt shift in my hormones in the middle of the night had something to do with it.

All-in-all definitely glad I did it. Would I do it again? Likely that I would, once, immediately following birth. Not sure about extending it any further than that.

Happy to answer any more questions! Keep your post suggestions coming. Screen time is getting easier as the family and I settle into more and more of a routine.

Lotsa love and healthy vibes,
Alexandria

Letting Love Flow

I have never felt love like this. It is definitely different than any other love I have known so far. Just as crisp fall air has begun to hint its way into our days, I am feeling gentle reminders each day of how deep this love will continue to go. Most of the relationships I have have built until now have been through interaction. The majority of that interaction formed through senses of sight, touch, smell. This new love also has senses of its own; Indra’s sweet baby smell, his beyond soft skin that I cuddle next to at night, the sound of sweet coos and giggles that evolve every morning.. And still it is built on something much deeper.

Then there is the experiential element. It is often easy to fall into love with people whom we share deep experiences with. The biological explosion that is birth would be enough to do that on its own. Retelling the story with Michael to others often brings laughs, tears and a tension in my body when I remember the most fierce moments. And pregnancy was an extremely transformative journey for me. The next level of self care and reflection I began to practice daily allowed me to love myself so much more. Those experiences provide a special aspect of our family’s bonding process. And it is still not the reason that I have this incredible attachment to Indra River.

Simply put, it is hard coded into me to love this little being and his existance. I tell people all the time that when your baby is born, it’s like a software simultaneously downloads to your brain. Women who say, ‘I don’t know how you do it’ are spot on. They just haven’t gotten the download yet. Instantly you know how to care for a baby. In such a natural and present way that it cannot be ignored. And this kind of compassion has allowed me to presence love in all areas of my life. I am love drunk. I can walk around and picture every one I see as a baby, then just smile and be with them. It is pure bliss.

And, of course, being the dynamic human that we all are, an extreme experience can also appear in the opposite direction. With great love comes the ability to experience great pain. The moment I sense a threat to my baby bliss (whether “reasonable” or not)  just as naturally the Mama Bear wants to take over like an angry tiger. It is almost comical at times and more than that it is incredibly valuable. I am doing everything I can to fully embrace ALL of these instincts and not label any of them “good” or “bad”. As I do that, I feel my intuition stronger than ever an all of my experiences in flow.

In the practice of Yoga, we look at this energy within the Root Chakra. The base of the energetic body, at the tip of the spine, holds our connection to our family and sense of safety. Linked to our sympathetic and parasympathetic response systems, we find ourselves in flux between reaction and relaxation based on how safe we feel in our current environment. Our instincts tell us how and when to feel these two ways. 10 weeks into this journey, I can share my biggest peace of advice to new Mamas: Follow your instincts.

If you suppress your normal instincts, ignore them or try to change them, they will do what you are asking them to do:  suppress. And being a new mother without strong instincts, well that would be a tough job. This applies to every area of life for me, by the way. If you have suppressed instincts in the past, don’t worry, we all do and there are ways to build it back. One of my favorite is to start asking myself simple yes or no questions and ignore the noise of thoughts after. Yesterday I messaged back and forth with a Mom-to-be about prenatal testing. When you really need answers, ask yourself a yes/no question. There is always space for “yes, but..” or “no, or..”. Focus on going with your first response and soon the chatter will quiet.

Love, love, love
AJP

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Rest for the Soul

Last weekend Indra attended his first [of many!] Yoga workshop — an awesome Restorative program focused on relaxation and led by a long-time local Iyengar teacher. Our amazing little boy slept and cooed either on or next to Mom + Dad while they got some much needed deep rest time in. He is by far the most chill and confident baby I have ever met.

At one point during the workshop we looked at a stress chart. It basically offered a point system to calculate the affects of major life events on the body and mind. I love evaluating stress this way. So often people, myself included, tend to ignore stress when they feel happy and busy. The idea that stress only exists when we’re upset or On the chart, the most extreme level mentioned equaled 300 points. This current life expansiom, in addition to others life shifts the past year (marriage, moving, career shifts) put our family well above that mark. We are in a high risk zone for disease and emotional distress. The good news? We’re also doing all the things that counter those risks:  Talking about our experiences, eating good food, sleeping, casual walks, massages, singing, gardening, etc.

I am so proud of how our postnatal experience has gone and the way our family is forming. It has not been without it’s challenges though for sure. One of the biggest things I have learned is that ever persons’s stress during this time looks different. And while there are always going to be more effective ways for some individuals to process than others, the fundamental stress that comes from the experiences like pregnancy and birth will need to be processed in some way. For me, the physical healing, sleep changes, hormone shifts and heart expanding emotions have been balanced with meditation, visualizations, walking and healthy eating. And there are plenty of other challenges coming my way right now — all those things I was warned about are starting to make sense, but not in a scary – what am I going to do kind of way. In a heart opening – bigger than life kind.

Whatever lies ahead, I know rest and restoration will be a steady practice for me over the next few years. I’m talking about that ahhhhh feeling, heavy body, ease melting face kind of relaxation where the world and my mind stop spinning all at once. Cheers to that πŸ™‚

Here’s a cute baby sleeping video for a taste: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3mTalBi4qiOR1ZCbS1mc0h6Nlk/view?usp=docslist_api

xo,
Alexandria