Mama Essentials: What I Wish Was Attached To The Pregnancy Test Kit I Bought

If you’re a mom reading this (which I’m guessing you are) this stat from Dr. Oscar Serrallach might not surprise you, “on average mothers lose 700 hours of sleep in the first year".

OK, so I’ve never done the math but if I quickly do it I realize that even more surprising to me is that I think that number is low (!) … for many of the women I’ve worked with it’s actually more …

Truth is we know that we are getting less sleep and that we are tired and most moms I know feel there is nothing they can do about the tiredness … there is. I teach moms 6 foundational principles to help motherhood be a nourishing rather than depleting time. One key foundational principle is around rest … restorative rest. There are actual several pleasurable ways that mothers can enter a restorative restful state that they (and I) had no idea about but I always start with this. Drum roll …

This healthy-happy mama hack that addresses the ‘less sleep’, imbalanced nervous system and adrenal glands and gives your body and mind a true rest (well according to Jana Roemer “it basically makes motherhood possible”) is Yoga Nidra.

I hope to see the day when attached to every woman’s pregnancy test is a little USB with some Yoga Nidra recordings as well as some core instructions on how to use this tool to the maximum benefit.

“30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is said to be equivalent to 4 hours of rest.”

6 years ago when I heard the above quote I was in. Since then every client of mine gets Yoga Nidra woven into their healing protocol as in the same way that stress can negatively impact most disease, de-stressing can positively affect everything from headaches, to weight gain, to thyroid problems, to PMS, to infertility, to digestive problems and … well basically. kinda. everything … really …

Here’s more on what it is and how it works …

Yoga Nidra (YN) is the mindfulness meditation of choice for moms and moms-to-be and moms going through peri-menopause and menopause. Anytime you’d like to be sleeping more than you are or feel stress accumulating.

Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 9.33.35 PM.png

Basically YN is a guided, restorative mindfulness technique that you do lying down that has you aging well and keeping you resourced and connected to your joyful, relaxed, loving, confident, content Self.

What is it and how is this possible? Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep and basically our bodies are taken through the biological process of sleep during this guided mediation.

What does that mean? It means that the changes that happen to the brain and body during sleep happen in yoga nidra with the difference being that you are awake during the changes. What are these “changes”? Brain wave changes which affect everything else. Essentially the brain waves slow down - going from Beta, to Alpha, to Theta, to Delta. To give you an idea of what this means let’s talk about thoughts per cycle. Say in Beta you experience over 40 thoughts per cycle and as you progress through a sleep cycle (and a nidra) these decrease with as little as 2 thoughts per cycle happening at the Delta brainwave state.

So? So all the energy that is normally tied up in the Beta wave 40 thought per cycle state is free to (among other things) 1. heal, restore and repair the body, 2. to work on completing unresolved/uncompleted emotions of the day … just like when we sleep ... and 3. to increase our ability to response vs react in our day-to-day. We are in the subconscious brainwave states of theta and delta so we can use this to a great advantage in terms of affecting our back ground self-talk in a way that uplifts us rather than unconsciously running default tracks of judgment.

Here’s a recording from one of the group mama yoga nidra weekly classes. Just lie down in a comfortable position with arms to the side, palm up and maybe pillow under your knees, press play and enjoy!

To learn more about when the next yoga nidra retreats/classes are or to host one in your community contact us at retreats@opentowellness.ca. Below is a picture of November’s Retreat location in Mexico. It was voted in Yoga Journal to be the ‘best place to have a yoga retreat.’ This won’t be your average yoga retreat! (-:

Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 9.35.14 PM.png

This She Shines 2019 Event: Eat. Play. Love. Connect. is the week of November 23 - 30, 2019. Best time ever to reset. This will change your December and how you start 2010 - big time. It’s a Restorative Women’s Retreat with Mindfulness, Art, Dance and Yoga & Yoga Nidra Retreat at the gorgeous Xinalani Eco-Yoga Retreat Center in Mexico.

This retreat is all about you. Taking a pause to replenish and to connect with who you are beyond the roles of mother, wife, caretaker, business owner, healer, daughter, etc. that define you in your day-to-day life is a gift you give to yourself and everyone in your life. Many women I work with have lost connection a little or a lot to their true selves and it is the road to burnout/regret. When mama is happy and healthy and centered it affects everyone. Bring a friend or meet new ones! www.opentowellness.ca. Early bird prices till June 21, 2019.


Take time to nourish your feminine soul…xo.

Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 9.36.08 PM.png

Simple Test to Short-cut Your Path to Weight-loss and Adrenal Health Recovery

Adrenal health is an area I work with every day in the office and preventatively in the work I do with my group mindfulness and yoga nidra programs and kids programs. Basically we are working with moving the body out of habitual patterns that favour 'survival mode' as the mode of operando and into a better balance of our rest, digest and restore physiology. Age better, think clearer and feel good. Do I hear a "Yes please!!!!!"? (-;

Bigger picture is that our current society-at-large lifestyle is depleting and overstimulating for our adrenal glands and nowadays being intentional about incorporating ways to destress our lives and nourish ourselves is essential to our physical, mental and emotional health. From fluorescent light to processed foods to increased screen time to increase toxin exposure and electromagnetic radiation on a daily basis it's kind of no surprise adrenal health is a key area to incorporate self-care for those wishing to thrive in their work, play, parenting, relationships ... life.

One of the easiest, most powerful ways (aside from mindfulness practices like yoga nidra!) to keep ourselves well and able to do the things we love for a long time is through diet.

Good fats, fiber, healthy proteins and resistant starches are key in this for most people.

To really get your daily diet dialled in your favour (short and long term) IgG Food Sensitivity Testing is super helpful in identifying the foods you are eating on a regular basis that are affecting your metabolism and adrenal cortisol rebalancing.  Those foods are good to identify and ditch from your diet as they can cause inflammation in your body leading to sleep disruption, contributing to difficult fat loss (especially abdominal), joint pain, headaches, and low energy. They really affect adrenal health and our ability to deal with the normal stresses of life.

The good news is that this blood testing is available through a lab in Calgary so it only takes 10 days to get your results. We usually have a full stock of kits at the office (403)609-8385 and it doesn’t take long to do. For many clients we fit it into the initial naturopathic consult as nutrition is a foundation on wellness and this way we can get specific about what foods are best for your body at this time.

FYI - Pregnant moms and moms planning to breastfeed are especially great candidates for this test as knowing your IgG reactive foods and avoiding them will prevent the passing on of these immune responses to babe and I’ve noticed has decreased digestive discomfort in babes of moms who have this information. Yah! (-: