Ahara is a national Massage CE provider for 5 of our courses, an Ayurvedic Post Partum Doula, 40-Day Yogic Savadar, Pancha Karma Therapist, B.A. (Psychology), an Advanced Alchemical Aroma-therapist, Severe Trauma recovery specialist, Watsu, Healing Dance and Aquatic Bodywork instructor, has worked with Hawaiian Kahunas, taught yoga for 20 years and used yoga, meditation and water for her own personal rehab from debilitating accident. She works in Santa Fe NM with her trauma and life transitions team, seeing firsthand the lifelong difficulties in intimacy resulting when mothers and babies are not bonded. Ahara is often called on to support adults for deep mother/child bonding. She is a gifted teacher and healer, and will be presenting at the APPPAH International Congress this year.
Hello and thank you your interest in an Ayurvedic perspective on Postpartum Care.
I am in deep respect of pregnancy and postpartum care needs and practices. In the 1980’s I began a journey of yogic/ayurvedic based prenatal and postpartum sevador/doula care, education and teaching. My emphasis has always been to ‘Mother a Mother so she can be the Mother.
In Ayurveda there is a 42-day window of rejuvenation postpartum, known as a Kayakalpa. If a mother does not have the time she needs postpartum for R&R, for her own rejuvenation and to bond with her baby, it is sited in Ayurveda that it takes 42 years for the body and psyche of the mother to repair, additionally this impacts the baby, family and society. Thus the postpartum Kayakalpa time is known as 42 days for 42 years.
A Kayakalpa is the term for the times when the body is in a transition and change, where the psyche can through its nature re-invent itself most easily. It is working intelligently with the timing and natural knowing of the body by giving it needed support. This is a time for rest, tender-loving-care and settling, and slow pacing for a postpartum mom’s body. It is a natural time when it is possible to rejuvenate and change everything about oneself more easily than at other times. When a mom comes through a Kayakalpa, she is different than when she went in. How do we become a layer of support in the transition so that as she goes through this time, she is resourcing deeply from within and with intentionality that is supported in her body awareness (settling in our physical body, hormonal and nervous system)? How do we support her intuition and knowing as well as the rekindling of her energy and inspiration?
For each of us the major Kayakalpas are birth and death; for women they also include: beginning of menses, marriage, birth and menopause. How do we ready ourselves for such profound changes? How can we transform through these changes with needed support and knowledge and the honoring of our innate wisdom and body intelligence. Ayurveda offers time honored simple practices for this support.
When I gave birth to my daughter in 1972, I did not have a 42-day bonding time, though I did receive rejuvenative supportive layers and reinforcement for life and new creation. Later, when my daughter was in her 20’s and 30’s, we worked to re-establish the deep connections that we were not able to have earlier. Now she is 43 and we have changed everything about our relationship through these reconnections.
I also went through a kayakalpa time following a serious auto accident. I had to rest. My physical body mandated bed rest. I went through my own re-enactment of my infant growth stages: rolling over- not until 6 weeks, scooting and crawling at 2 months, walking unsteadily by 9 months. During this time I understood that the same conditions of the 42-day postpartum time is needed for PTSD and trauma.
Postpartum time and PTSD are conditions that, in Ayurvedic terminology have excess Vata Dosha in the body and mind. Vata is defined by airy, cold, expansive, dry, subtle and empty, which exhibit as fear, anxiety and mental looping. Balancing aggravated or excess Vata requires opposite qualities: warm, oiliness, slowness, steadiness, moisture, grounding and simple connectivity. Furthermore the imbalances that predominate during postpartum time and during PTSD, when there is an excess of Vata, are nurtured, in Ayurvedic terms, by Sattva Mahaguna, which is environmentally experienced as compassion, quiet, easy to digest food, and nurturing supportive spaces.
Since 1999 I have collaborated on faculty at Sacred Windows School to further the education of the black hole in health care, postpartum care, and its compadre prenatal care, coming from an Ayurvedic standpoint. I also work extensively with people who have not had the early reinforcements of a nurtured mother and who did not receive mother/baby bonding and care. They exhibit a base of trauma, intimacy and trust issues. How much it means to have this supportive nurturing for mom and baby earlier on.
At the APPPAH Congress we are offering some simple Ayurvedic understandings that support a new Mother. We will cover the specific practices and environmental supports needed for mom and baby during the postpartum time. Our discussion will support how this specific care supports long term physical and relationship health, the growth of maternal as well as newborn consciousness, baby’s confidence and ability to thrive, along with family and societal well-being.
See more about Ahara at http://sacredwindow.com/