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Moon Time Magic: Making Use of Your Menses

Part of the process of reclaiming our femininity, is honoring and respecting all parts of ourselves. In a culture where menstruation has been hidden, demonized, and shamed, it as an act of revolution to change your relationship with your period.

 

One of the many benefits of using a menstrual cup, is that dissolves the disconnection that comes with many conventional feminine hygiene products. Instead of hastily taking out your tampon, or ripping your pad out and burying it in the trash, you connect with the beauty of your body.

 

Cleaning and emptying your Mahina Cup can become not only a necessary part of your period, but a ritual to embrace. An incredible way to create these rituals, is to look beyond the toilet for emptying your cup. Understanding that the sacred fluid that seeps from your body during your cycle is also high in proteins, phosphate, iron, calcium, and more! 

 

So instead of immediately disposing of your mystical menses, consider some of these as a way to utilize the magic your body creates. 

 

Feeling inspired? Go ahead and get in there! This your body, it’s nothing to be scared of. Embrace the beauty that is you and your menstruation. 

 

Get Artsy With It:

 

Embrace your artistic nature and utilize the medium that nature gave you, by using your period blood during your next art session. 

 

Break out the Canvas, or your favorite (durable) multi-medium sketchbook, and let it flow! Use your hands for some finger painting action, designate a paint brush for fine details, mix it with acrylic medium or other texturizers to create a variety of effects. Decorate a mandala-rific coloring book, make a self portrait, let them juices flow!

 

Here’s one that got me jazzed at the mere thought of it…body painting! Adorn and anoint your vessel with your own self made body paint. Create intricate circles, sacred symbols, and beautiful blessings on your being. Follow up with a nakey dance party. Get wild in the markings of your own moon. 

 

Write on:

 

On the topic of artistic expression, use your blood as a medium to let your heart pour out through words. Use a fine tipped paintbrush to create poetry with your own ink. Share your manifestations, let it all come to the surface, and speak it into existence with your own magic paintbrush. Your words may bleed together (pun intended tehehe), but the intention is what matters. Release yourself from your self imposed restrictions, and let your expression roar.

 

Beauty and Bathing:

 

With such a high nutritional content, your moon is the perfect substance to use in your home spa time. Lovingly apply to your face for a potently packed mask. Lavish your body in your loving flow by massaging your menses into your body with a mix of coconut oil. Dump into your bathtime to create a mystical, moon experience. There are few things more powerful than floating in the magic that your own body created (this may require some extra clean up).  

 

For other home spa tips, check out our blog post on DIY Spa Tips and Tricks.

 

Nourish Your Garden:

 

A trend that’s been floating around the internet for a while, is the practice of using your menses to feed your plants. Don’t just pass this one off as another internet trend! Your potent power is concentrated in your moon, use it to nourish your plant babies. This practice allows you to connect deeper with our foliaged friends. Giving back to them, after all they do for us in this symbiotic cycle of reciprocity. No need to spend money on expensive plant food, use what your mama gave you and give it back to Mama Earth!

 

Sensual Spells:

 

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re into the magical. The mystical. Things that may be considered a little taboo- they work to fuel you. 

 

Using your moon as part of your ceremonies and spells is a way to pay reverence to the magic of your body, and use it to create more magic in your life. 

 

Set up your candles, incense, crystals, Tarot Cards, pull out all the stops. Pour your moon juice into a glowing glass, place it on your altar, and move through your normal rituals or whatever is calling to you. 

 

Red-y?

 

Take these recommendations one at a time, or all at once (supplies permitting). Pay honor to your period. To the amazing creation that is the female body, and all that comes out and through it!

 

The Magical, Mystical Cervix

As talk of female anatomy becomes more and more common, we hear different terms being thrown around. One of those being cervix. 

 

Many of us are familiar with the magic of the cervix during labor. While navigating the portal that is childbirth, a birthing person’s cervix goes through a process of softening, dilating (opening), and effacing (thinning). This is to allow an opening for the baby to travel from the uterus, through the vaginal canal, and out into the world. 

 

What many people don’t know, is that the cervix plays a powerful role in our reproduction, besides during the process of birth. 

 

Although technically, the cervix is its own distinct anatomical structure, it is the lower part of the uterus, extending from the bottom of it. It is the gateway from the uterus to the vagina. 

 

The cervix maintains sterility of the upper reproductive tract. Protecting the female reproductive organs from a bacterial infection. 

 

The cervix is not stationary. Throughout your menstrual cycle, it intelligently moves up and down, as well as changing in opening and moisture levels. 

 

During your period, the cervix stays low, and is firm like the tip of your nose. This is to allow blood to flow through freely. When your periods ends, the cervix closes tightly, but tends to stay low. During the luteal phase when the egg starts to travel down the fallopian tube, the cervix may stay soft, while your cervical mucus gets thicker, as well as cloudy and sticky. As our bodies move through our cycles, and closer to ovulation, the cervix moves up. It becomes soft, wet, and open- making it easier for the passage of sperm. A good way to remember this, is by using the acronym SHOW- soft, high, open, and wet. After ovulation, the cervix becomes firm, dry, and closer. While Progesterone plays a large part in our cycles, estrogen is the magical hormone that helps facilitate this process, causing uterine lining to thicken, and softening your cervix throughout the month. 

 

These changes in your cervix make inserting your Mahina cup that much easier! With the cervix lower, it is more accessible. Your menstrual cup should sit just below your cervix. So during your period (with clean hands), you will fold your Mahina cup into a tulip shape by pressing the side edge all the way to the bottom with a finger. In a relaxed state, and on an exhale, you will insert your folded cup into your vagina, letting it sit just below your lowered cervix. 

 

A great way to become more familiar with your body and your cycle, is by tracking the changes in your cervix. You can make it a ritualistic practice, by creating a calm, sensual space. Feel free to use a mirror, to be able to actually see your cervix. If you’re unable to see it, you can try using a flashlight, or wait a few days until you are in a different part of your cycle. Recording changes in your cervical positioning and discharge in a journal (or handy period tracking app), will give you an accurate picture of your cycle. This can also help you in the journey of conception- or preventing conception. 

 

Understanding your reproductive organs from the inside out, gives you the freedom to understand yourself, and your fluctuations on a deeper level. Educating ourselves on our bodies and cycles is part of the path of liberation for female bodied people. 

 

Fun facts about the cervix:

 

  • The cervix can change positions after vaginal intercourse, despite where you are in your menstrual cycle. 
  • During pregnancy, the cervix may go through all sorts of changes. Some people say it changes colors- to blue or purple. It is also totally normal for it to become enlarged and puffy. 
  • The cervix often looks like a little pink doughnut. It also resembles the head of a penis! 
  • During ovulation, the consistency of your cervical mucus helps sperm travel to the egg, helping aid in conception. 
  • While HPV, human papillomavirus, is incredibly common, it also the leading cause of cervical cancer. Pap smears are important, as well as safe sex! 
  • And just for fun…Aardvarks have two cervixes! 

 

I encourage you to start getting to know this hard working piece of equipment. Understand your cervix and your cycle, to take charge of your fertility- and your body!

 

What do you call yours?

Vagina. Some people squirm with discomfort at the sound of the word. For some, it’s an average word in their vocabulary. Some say it every chance they get. No matter your relationship with the word, and the organ, vaginas are a subject that need to be discussed for many reasons. 

 

Part of building a discussion around our vaginas, is creating vocabulary around what we call them. Pussy, cunt, yoni, bits, coochie, the list goes on. Some of these words are more charged up than others. Some are seemingly lighthearted family words. 

 

We’re here to give you some background on where these words come from, what they truly mean. As well as how you can feel empowered, no matter what you call your vagina.

 

Let’s start with an obvious one…

 

Vagina: Latin origins. This refers to a sheath. Specifically one that someone would put a sword in. Ouch. Not the most empowering of origins, but we decide a word’s value and meaning. Technically, the word vagina refers directly to the internal structures, but we often use it to describe the vulva as well. Read more about this in our previous post Tour de Vagina.

 

Pussy: While the exact origins of this word and how it got around to be used as slang for vagina are unknown, sources say that one possible place of origin is from the Old Norse word puss, which means “pocket”, or “pouch”. The Old English Dictionary cites uses of the word pussy back to the 1500s, and defines it as “A girl or woman exhibiting characteristics associated with a cat, especially sweetness or amiability.” It began to be used as slang for female genitalia in as early as 1699. Maybe it’s my affinity for cats, but this is one of my personal favorites. 

 

Yoni: In its original Sanskrit origins, Yoni means “the divine passage” or “source of life”. I’m a fan of the term “yoniverse”, to reflect the macro of what we call the source of life. The Hindu Goddess Shakti, represents the source of life or creation, or “Divine feminine life force energy”. When you bring these words together, Yoni Shakti means “source power”. It is worth noting, that while this word may be used in some places in Northern India, and other predominantly Hindu based areas, it is not used everywhere in the incredibly diverse country of India. 

 

Cunt: Possible origins of the word “cunt” referring to the vagina may be from the Hindu Goddess Kunti, or “Great Yoni of the Universe”. Worshipped in shrines across the Eastern world, Kunti encompassed life itself. From India, to Old Norse language, the word “kunta” refers to vulvas in many Germanic and Scandinavian languages. Other possible origins stem from the Latin word “cunnus” meaning vulva. Amongst other pop culture figures such as Jack Kerouac and D.H. Lawrence, Eve Ensler, creator of the legendary “Vagina Monologues” reclaimed the word stating; “I call it cunt…I’ve reclaimed it ‘cunt’, I really like it.”

 

Some other slang for Vaginas throughout history are Love Glove, Bits, Breakfast of Champions, Love Taco, Hoochie, Coochie, Vajayjay, Muff, Fanny, and many more.

 

Whatever you choose to call your sacred parts, is your decision. Language evolves and grows over time. So while some of these words may not have the most feminist backgrounds, they carry different weight depending on the social and cultural context. We get to choose how words affect us, and have the ability to empower ourselves through redefining our relationships to certain words.

Reconnecting With Our Natural Rhythm

I have big goals, ambitious dreams, a neverending drive to create, and make an impact on the world. Sometimes in the midst of all this production and creation, there’s a lapse in what we’re truly here for. Sometimes we lose sight of our “why”.

 

Connection.

 

Connection to ourselves. To our loved ones. To nature. It all comes down to connecting to the world around and within you. Those times of complete bliss. Of fully surrendering to the moment. The joyous, depth of the moments that make up what we call life. 

 

Last week, I spent three days away from my loving daughter Andara. After returning from my work trip, my baby was feeling anxious and clingy. It was apparent that her nervous system was over-stimulated, after days of worrying if her Mama would ever come back.

 

We are made of this Earth. So when things seem just a little (or a lot) off, one of the quickest ways to reset is to return from where we came from. After a beautiful camping trip, I am reminded of the profound power of grounding down.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the incredible ways spending time in nature can reset you on a physiological level.

 

Fresh Air

 

Living in smog filled cities, means having our lungs and bodies be constantly filled by muck and mire. Sometimes we forget the power that concentrated oxygen can have on our well being. The healing power of being surrounded by the never ending dance of breath between us and the trees.

 

Sweet Sunshine

 

Like we discussed a few weeks ago in our blog on Safe Sun Optimization, the Sun is our friend. We live in harmony with it, and are by the definition of the word- solar powered. So when we give ourselves time to (safely) soak in its radiant rays, we are rewarded with endless benefits. Better moods, clearer skin, clarity of mind, and so much more.

 

Screen Free Time

 

We are surrounded by screens. So much of our lives are through these little devices that live by our sides. But as we become increasingly more dependent on them, we need to make an extra effort to spend time away from them as well. The blue light in screens affects our hormone levels such as dopamine and melatonin. Over time, this can have detrimental effects on our moods and sleep. And while there are so many incredible tools offered by the internet and social media, we cannot live our lives through our screens. Sometimes we need reminders that this isn’t all that life is about. 

 

Being Barefoot

 

We are designed to work harmoniously with nature. We are nature after all. When we wear shoes, and walk on concrete all day, we disrupt this gentle pattern. The Earth has a negative ionic charge. Our bodies are about 60% water. When we walk barefoot on the Earth, our bodies ground to this negative charge. This can reduce inflammation throughout the body, calm nerves, soothe anxiety, regulate hormones and physiological cycles, and detoxify our beings. 

 

Sleeping Under The Stars

 

As creatures of the daylight, we are made to rise and fall with the Sun. Fluorescent lights, unnatural schedules, and alarm clocks all take us out of our natural circadian rhythm. When we sleep under the stars, we naturally wake when the sun rises. Watching the sunrise, energizes and syncs us up with the natural cycles of the universe. 

 

Socializing 

 

There’s nothing more fulfilling than spending time in nature with the ones you love. We are social creatures. Yet are often so busy, that we don’t give ourselves space to connect without these distractions. Camping is the perfect time to do this. Time where the only things on your mind are what’s for dinner and what song to jam to next. This is what we’re here for.

 

So I encourage you- take the time. The time to be in nature. To reconnect with what and who we are. To be with the people that matter most to you in life. Savor the sweetness of fresh bodies of water. Of slightly overcooked campfire food. Of cuddles under the stars. Take in the best gifts life has to offer.

 

Tour de Vagina

Vaginas. About half the world has one. Many of us come into the world through one. Yet there is so much misinformation around them, that many people don’t even know exactly what a vagina is. When it comes to the female reproductive system, we’re often kept in the dark. This lack of understanding of our basic anatomy, keeps people from being able to truly connect with their bodies. The more we understand just how magical these bodies are, the more we respect and cherish them.

 

There are many variations, and things that make different vaginas unique and beautiful in their own way. But before we celebrate the incredible differences that make us who we are, we need to first understand the basic anatomy of female bodied people.

 

First things first. The whole area that people often refer to as a vagina, is not necessarily the vagina. There are many parts we must encounter and see first, before we even get to the actual vagina. 

 

If you are comfortable doing so, an amazing activity for getting to know your body, is the mirror exercise. As you are reading this, try laying in front of a mirror, or using a handheld one, to examine your own anatomy (or your partner’s)- to get a front row seat on this Tour de Vagina.

 

The first thing  you see when examining your genitals (besides maybe pubic hair), is the vulva. This is the outside area of the genitals, that includes the mons pubis (latin for pubic mound), labia majora (outer lips), labia minora (inner lips), the clitoral head, and the external openings of the urethra and vagina (introitus).

 

Underneath the mons pubis, lies the joints of the pubic bone, making up part of the pelvis.

 

Take a turn south, directly in between your legs, and you will begin to see the labia majora. Unless you choose to remove it, these are often covered in pubic hair. They serve to protect the more sensitive areas just beneath them.

 

Behind the gates of the labia majora, lies the labia minora. They are hairless, and made of more sensitive tissue than the labia majora. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They also can change throughout someone’s lifetime, from pregnancy and hormones, and swell when you are turned on.

 

At the top of the labia minora, and just below the mons, lies the clitorial hood- a fold of skin protecting the head of the clitoris, or glans. Like labia, the glans comes in all different sizes. This magic button is a powerful tool for arousal and orgasm. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the whole clitoris, in fact, it’s just the beginning of it.

 

If you are on the glans, and move up, you begin to feel the clitoral shaft. It is a hard, rod like structure. The clitoris then makes a wishbone shape, dividing into two parts. The shaft and crura (roots and legs) of the clitoris, are about 5 inches long. On either side of the vaginal opening, under the labia majora, are the clitoral vestibules. When aroused, these engorge, giving a bear hug to the vaginal opening, and tightening it.

 

Below the glans, is the urethra. This is the end of the urinary tract, and it’s the tiny hole that you pee out of. 

 

Just below the urethra, is the vaginal opening. This is the opening to the vagina, or vaginal canal, which goes into the internal parts of the female anatomy. While babies and menstrual blood can come out of the vaginal opening, other things such as menstrual cups, fingers, penises, and dildos can go in. 

 

With clean, possibly lubricated fingers, you can begin to explore the vaginal canal. The soft folds of the mucous membrane, stretch and mold to accommodate things like those listed above, to come in and out. The natural lubrication of the vagina, varies depending on arousal level, age, and where you are in your cycle. 

 

A few inches inside your vagina, is the legendary G-Spot, or Gräfenberg Spot. It’s located on the belly side of your internal structure, and can be incredibly sensitive when aroused. 

 

If you keep moving upwards, you will reach the cervix. This is the opening from the uterus to the vagina. When you touch it, it feels bulbous, almost like a nose. This incredible piece of our anatomy, thins and dilates during childbirth. It also descends during ovulation, and can be a powerful tool in tracking your cycle. 

 

The uterus is a muscular, pear shaped organ. Normally, it is about the size of your fist. This area, often called the womb, is where the fetus (or fetuses) grow during pregnancy. 

 

Extending from the uterus on each side, are the fallopian tubes. They are the pathway that eggs travel from your ovaries, to the uterus. During conception, sperm travels through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries, in an effort to fertilize the eggs.

 

These ovaries, are the storage house for the eggs. They also produce powerful hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. These help regulate puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy. 

 

There are so many more layers and details in understanding female body’s anatomy, and as a society, we are just starting to scratch the surface (The first published information on the clitoris didn’t come out until 2011)! 

 

So I invite you, to do your own hands on research. Get to know your unique anatomy, and understand that it is going to change throughout your lifetime. With that, I leave you with some fun facts about the female reproductive structure: 

 

  • Female bodied people have the same amount of erectile tissue as male bodied people do (1).
  • The area of the clitoris that is visible, contains 8,000 nerve endings.
  • Female bodied people reach orgasms in all different ways. From clitoral, to vaginal, to everything in between. For some people, breast stimulation does the trick, others can think themselves to orgasm. 
  • When turned on, the lower part of the uterus, moves towards the belly button. This is called “tenting”, and makes the vagina longer.
  • Female bodied people, are born with all the eggs they will ever produce.

 

Citations:

 

  1. Women’s Anatomy of Arousal. Sheri Winston. 2010.
  2. https://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book-excerpts/health-article/self-exam-vulva-vagina/

We are Solar Powered: Smart Sun Optimization

“The Earth has received the embrace of the sun, and we shall see the results of that love.” -Tatanka Iyotake

 

The ancient Greeks called it heliosis. Today we call it Heliotherapy. Have you heard of it? It’s the use of natural sunlight for the treatment of various disorders. Original Olympic athletes would sunbathe to strengthen their nerves and muscles. In the 1800s, it cured people of smallpox and tuberculosis (1). Indian Ayruvedic doctors use it to treat everything from arthritis to eczema. It helps treat acne, boost mood levels, and gives us the precious gift of life.

 

As humans, just like everything else on this planet, we have evolved and continue to grow with the never ending gift of love the sun provides. We’re designed to rise and set just as the sun does, our circadian rhythms gently falling into a peaceful harmony. To eat the nourishment that grows under the sun’s rays. To be charged up like a battery, from our radiant energy source. And yes, to spend time letting the sweet vitamin d be absorbed deep into our cells.

The sun allows us to blossom, just as it does the sweet flowers we so lovingly enjoy.

 

Today we are constantly bombarded with fear filled messages about sun exposure. And while yes, we do need to be conscientious about how we spend our days in the sun, avoiding it all together is not the answer. Like every other thing on this planet, we need the sun to thrive. So let’s have a discussion around how we can do this safely. 

 

Conventional sunscreens tend to be chock full of parabens, petroleum, and chemicals we can’t pronounce. They contain endocrine disruptors that harm our natural production of hormones, and ingredients that harm our planet’s bodies of water, while seeping into our bloodstream. While we of course want to avoid sunburns, when we begin to turn red from sun exposure, it is our bodies’ warning sign to find shade.

When we block this warning sign, we are exposing ourselves to excessive amounts of sun damage. 

 

Instead of thinking of sun protection, let’s think of sun optimization. How we can best optimize our time spent in the sun. So how can we get our helio-cake and eat it too?

 

Diet. How we interact with the sun is more than skin deep. Our diet directly effects how the sun’s rays interact with our skin. Eating a diet full of leafy greens, fresh veggies, fruits, and healthy fats is one way to help promote healthy sun exposure. Going for organic, and minimal processing if you have access to that.

 

Time outside. If you’re not used to spending time in the sunlight, start little by little. A few minutes at a time can work wonders. Your needs are going to vary depending on where you are in the world, the time of year, your genetics, and many other factors. Bare as much as your body as you feel comfortable with, keeping in mind that some areas may be more sensitive than others. Use your intuition, and pay attention to your skin. If it begins to feel warm, move out of the sun, or cover yourself. 

 

Coverage. Not only are hats the ultimate accessory, they can also be a crucial component in your sun optimization plan. Layers, light scarves, and umbrellas can also come in handy. 

 

Sunscreen. There are some great options out there. Go for zinc-oxide based organic sunblocks. Or use one of these DIY options:

 

  • Mix pure vitamin C powder in 10% solution with water. Mist onto skin, and allow it to soak in. Repeat again before going outside.
  • Jojoba, sesame and coconut oils, as well as shea butter offer a small amount of protection from the sun. Can be great for day to day use, but use cautiously. 
  • You can purchase non-nano zinc oxide to make your own sunblock at home. It is essential to buy non-nano, as these particles are too big to be absorbed into your bloodstream. You can mix this into your favorite lotions, or make your own with one of the oils listed above, as well as Vitamin E. While essential oils are a great addition, be sure not to use citrus. These are photosensitive, and may cause negative interactions with the sun. 

 

Got too much sun? It happens to the best of us. I know how hard it is to peel yourself off the beach when you’re blissed out from those glorious rays.

 

Here are some tips if you get a bit too toasty:

 

  • Aloe vera! Fresh is best if you can. If you buy bottled, try to find one with minimal ingredients. A drop or two of peppermint and lavender essential oils in the aloe, will help to cool and soothe the skin.
  • Rehydrate from the inside out. Drink plenty of fresh water, herbal teas, aloe water, or coconut water.
  • Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar with water, spray onto skin as often as needed. You can also make a cool compress with this mixture and apply to skin as needed.
  • Vitamin E oil helps repair damage from the sun. It can also be ingested orally, and is in many foods like nuts, avocados, and mangoes. 
  • A cool bath may help soothe the intensity of your burn. 
  • Some people swear by raw yogurt, whose probiotics may help heal the skin. 

 

We are so lucky to be supported the brilliant life force that is the Sun. Let’s honor it, while we honor ourselves, by practicing safe sun optimization.

 

Now get out there. You’ve got rays to soak up. 

 

References:

  1. http://broughttolife.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/techniques/heliotherapy

Summer of Self Love: DIY Spa Tips and Tricks

In this summer self love session, we’re diving in head first into a pool of coconut oil and body scrubs. 

 

That’s right- a full breakdown of how to do a DIY spa day. All with goodies you can find in your kitchen and garden!

 

Do it step by step, or pick and choose what works for you and your schedule. 

 

First things first: Set your sacred space.

 

  1. Make space for a cozy zen zone, where you can relax while you lather yourself. Lay out some blankets (maybe a towel- it could get messy). Make some tea. Light a candle. Put on your diffuser. Burn some sage, or your cleansing tool of choice. Make the space. Your space.

 

  1. Place one hand on your heart, one on your belly, or wherever feels meaningful. Take a few moments for deep breathing. Settling into your space, and into your body.

 

I like to start off my spa session with a simple hair mask. You can let this soak in while you treat yourself.

  1. Melt half a cup of coconut oil (avocado or jojoba work wonders as well) slowly over low heat.
  2. Pour into a bowl, and put a couple drops of essential oil in. Rosemary, peppermint, and sandalwood are my favs.
  3. Slowly work the mixture on detangled hair, from tips to roots, massaging the scalp once you get there.
  4. Leave in for the duration of your spa session. You can even leave it in overnight, or as hair protection when you swim in the pool or ocean.
  5. When you’re ready to wash out, use your regular shampoo and conditioner. You may need to wash twice!

 

Let’s get that beautiful mug of yours shining and glowing with a full facial. I like to do two masks back to back. Feel free to do both, or one or the other.

 

  1. Use your favorite exfoliator, or make your own by mixing a tbsp of ground coffee (you can utilize your used grounds from your morning cup), a tbsp of coconut or avocado oil, and a drop of essential oil. Gently massage into face. You can make extra to use on your body- careful, this can get messy and slippery!
  2. Put a few inches of water in a medium sized saucepan, bring to a simmer. Drop in one or two drops (not too much!) of essential oil. Eucalyptus for clearing and energizing, lavender for relaxation. Fresh herbs work great as well. Sit with the saucepan in front of you. Place a towel over your head and the water to create a mini sauna. Sweat it out, stay for as long as you feel comfortable. This is also great for congestion and sniffles.
  3. Make a clarifying and toning facial mask by mixing 1 tbsp of activated charcoal powder, a teeny dash of apple cider vinegar (this can be astringent, you can just use water, or a little bit of both). I also add a dash of iodine or spirulina powder. Place a generous layer on your face. I like to paint it on with a clean makeup or paint brush. Leave on for ten minutes, wash off with a washcloth you don’t mind getting dirty. A great alternative to this is a plain egg white mask. You can use the yolk in your hair!
  4. My biggest skin secret is a honey mask. Use raw, organic honey. Put ¼ tsp of probiotic powder into the honey (you can break open a probiotic tablet and use that). Apply generously to face and neck with hands or brush (again- mess warning!). Leave it on for ten minutes to an hour. Lick off whatever drips on your mouth!
  5. Once you’re fresh and clean, finish with your regular skin care routine- no cleansing necessary. I like to use my favorite rose spray, serum, and facial oil. Take extra time to massage your lotion or facial oil into your face and neck. Use a jade roller or Gua Sha tool if you have. 

 

Take a relaxing bath or steamy shower to wash out your hair mask, and exfoliate using your coffee body scrub.

 

Massage more warm oil or lotion into your body. Start with your feet, slowly working your way up, all the way to your shoulders. Don’t be afraid to be sensual with your loving self. Take time with your feet, thighs, stomach, and breasts. Show yourself all the love you deserve.

 

Breathe.

 

Now that you’re silky smooth and buzzing all over, nurture your mind with some meditation, music, writing, art, reading, or whatever tickles your fancy face.

 

There you are loves. Enjoy your spa-ing! x

 

Mess Free Menstruation: Cleaning your Cup in a Public Bathroom

Menstrual cups have endless benefits. From saving money, to cutting back on waste, to allowing more freedom during your period, and minimizing leakage. 

 

But with new practices, comes new questions. Especially when said practices revolve around the health of your yoni. 

 

One of the most common questions I get about menstrual cups is “How do I clean it when I’m out and about?”.

 

The thought of having to clean a menstrual cup in public, is enough to make many people blush. But there’s no need to stress. Cleaning your menstrual cup is as easy to clean at home, as it is at the bathroom of your local Yoga studio.

 

Mahina Cups are designed to last up to 12 hours without needing to be cleaned out. Which means you can run all your errands, go for a hike, and get brunch, without having to worry.

 

Try to clean your cup before leaving home. But if you do find yourself needing to clean your cup while on the go, there’s no need to be intimidated. Cleaning your Mahina Cup can be done in 5 easy steps.

 

  1. Start off with clean, sanitized hands. 
  2. Pour the contents of your cup into the toilet. 
  3. Wipe your cup with toilet paper to clean off excess menses. If you choose to wipe your cup with wet wipes, make sure they won’t irritate your delicate vaginal skin.
  4. Rinse off residual period blood with water. If you want to avoid using the sink, you can use simply use the water in your reusable bottle to rinse it in the stall. No one will suspect a thing.
  5. Make sure there are no pieces of toilet paper stuck to your cup, then simply reinsert. Voilá!

 

If you don’t have access to clean water, do what you can to wipe your cup down as much as possible. Then as soon as you get a chance, make sure to clean thoroughly with cool water (hot water may stain the cup).

 

Avoid using soap to clean, as it can throw off the delicate balance of your vagina’s pH levels.

 

All clean!

 

If someone does see you cleaning your Mahina Cup, awesome! Chances are, the other people in that bathroom currently menstruate, or did at one point in their lives. Periods are nothing to be ashamed of, they are to be celebrated.

 

This gives you a chance to strike up a conversation. Talk to your sink buddy about how using a Mahina Cup has simplified your period, and squash any concerns about making the switch. Bonus points for converting people to Mahina Cups, and even more if you make a new friend!

 

Like anything new, navigating using your menstrual cup takes practice. But before you know it, you’ll be a Mahina Cup pro. Telling all your friends just how easy they are to use.

 

Happy Menstruating!

 

How to have a Healthy, Luscious and Pleasured Yoni

Yoni is a sacred, sanskrit word that translates to “source of all life” or “sacred space” referring to a woman’s holy grail, aka vagina, between her legs. It is of utmost importance that we properly take care of our yoni.

 

Our sexual energy is power source and our pleasure is our gateway into the universe.

 

Pleasure has many forms. Pleasure is being in the company of a loved one, pleasure is dark chocolate melting on your tongue, pleasure is cuddles with your pup, pleasure is soaking in the sun’s rays and pleasure is getting lost and wild in nature.

 

Pleasure is a way that we move through life.

 

When we bring our yoni into balance, her potential for pleasure amplifies. Imagine cleaning out a dirty hose, or removing the kinks, this would lead to more water pressure. More water pressure is your juices flowing freely and ecstatically!

 

Below are my cherished tricks to amp up your pleasure portal with holistic self-care practices. Because let’s face it – you, yes YOU, deserve it!

 

Repeat after me, “Pleasure is my birthright.”

Again, “Pleasure is my birthright.”

And one more time, “Pleasure is my birthright!”

 

Ok, now you’re ready :).

 

1. CUCUMBER MASSAGE

This is one of my absolute favorite practices, especially living in the hot, humid tropics. Cucumbers are hydrating, ph balancing, alkalizing and anti-microbial. They are easy to find and extremely effective.

 

Pick a local, organic cucumber of medium size and width (play how you wish – the mini cucs are fun and easy too). Whatever size you chose, peel the skin. Take some time and space to yourself where you can really offer this practice as a self-devotion ritual.

 

Light a candle, put on some soft music, lock your door and prepare your temple.

 

I always begin with bringing one hand to my heart and one to my yoni/womb and connecting the two with my breath and intention.

 

Once you are ready, slowly bring the cucumber to your yoni lips and gently guide it in.

 

One of the great benefits of this practice is it naturally massages the vaginal canal while gently exfoliating off dead skin.

 

Slowly and with presence, bring the cucumber in and out of yoni while slightly rotating, it should feel cool and refreshing.

 

If at any point there is pain or discomfort, stop, check in and breathe.

 

I recommend this practice once or twice a week especially if there is any heat, yeast, bacterial imbalance or irritation from friction. It’s also a fantastic way to instantly bring down the body temperature!

 

 

2. Yoni Blossom Wand

This magical wand is not a luxury, rather a healing medicine! She is an herbal clay wand, antimicrobial and antifungal, that instantly exfoliates, detoxifies and tightens the vaginal canal.

 

As we cleanse out the yoni, things will come up – old lovers, traumas, trapped memories and emotions, ect. Our womb is our chalice, everything in our life creates a snapshot that is instantly stored in our sacred center. For this reason, it is important to leave time for emotional release and integration when using these tools and practices.

 

If you’ve ever been on hormonal birth control or anti-biotics, suffered from candida, bacterial infection, yeast infection or recurrent UTI, Yoni Blossom Wand will be your best friend! As your vaginal canal begins to rebalance herself, your yoni will transform into a sweet succulent nectar blossom! Say goodbye to itching, burning, yeasty, uncomfortable, inflamed, and insecure yoni blues!

 

Take her slowly and consciously, light candles, play soft music and ask consent with your yoni beforehand.

For a user guide and purchase details: Journey Here

 

 

3. Let her Breathe!

Organic cotton undies is the way to go! It is a breathable material that also absorbs moisture. Wearing organic cotton undies is an easy way to keep your yoni breathing, dry and held in softness. Best to avoid tight, latex, and non-breathable materials for your sweet sister down below. This causes blood flow restriction, excess heat, moisture, and can trap bacteria that leads to infection.

 

There are some epicly awesome sustainable brands available that you can sport in style.

 

I prefer and recommend natural-made loose, flowing clothing with no panties as much as possible. Your yoni needs to breath and it’s amazingly sensational to feel the fresh wind blowing on her. Especially if you are following the above protocols for alkalizing and detoxifying your yoni, you will notice no more heavy discharge which allows for a confident panty-free experience!

 

It is especially important that you allow your yoni space to breath freely overnight. If you live in a cold climate, experiment with organic cotton loose fitting pj’s or a sexy nighty.

 

4. YONI STEAM TREATMENTS

Yoni Steaming is an ancient ritual, for healing and awakening of the entire pelvic bowl. Regular yoni steam treatments stimulate and clean out the lymph system, expel toxins and aid in cleansing the uterine lining of membrane buildup. It will also assist in thinning excess mucus leaving behind only vital, fertile sweet tasting and smelling fluids.

 

Steaming your yoni also increases circulation which in turn amplifies your sex life by increasing sensitivity and receptivity to touch and stimulation.

 

Creating a home yoni steam ritual is an easy way to honor your holy temple each and every week! You will feel more grounded, empowered, balanced and an overall sense of vitality from this deep self-care practice. Yoni steaming is not only a physical practice, it works on an energetic and psychic level as well.

 

It is truly inside out healing.

 

For a detailed guide, benefits and to purchase your very own home yoni steam spa set: Journey Here.

 

 

5. YONI SUN BATH

Open your legs and let the Light in, literally! This is one of the most ancient and potent tools for awakening energies in the yoni while giving her a sweet, warm sun soak. Your yoni lips (labia) will absolutely adore the vitamin D and it has been shown to actually boost the immune system and help alleviate yeast.

 

In the 1930s, before antibiotics, sunlight therapy (heliotherapy) was favored by the medical community and was proven to be the most successful treatment for infectious diseases.  The sun’s rays are deeply healing and also extremely activating. This practice invites and calls in the golden glow of life-force vitality into your whole being.

 

For a detailed guide on Yoni Sunning: Journey Here

 

6. YONI + PELVIC FLOOR MASSAGE

Just like a full body massage, a yoni and pelvic floor massage has many amazing benefits. The yoni is no different from the rest of the body in the way that she stores tension, memories and trauma. Due to her extremely sensitive nature, she is more susceptible to store unhealed emotions of the past and present. Most diseases, imbalances, sexual shame and inability to experience joy and pleasure steams from build up and/or blockages in the yoni and pelvic bowl.

 

A compassionate and intentional massage will assist in unlocking these holdings, freeing you to experience more of who you Truly are.

 

Your yoni has a “voice” of her own. She has secrets to share, ancient remembrance, soul-filled guidance, deep feminine wisdom and emotions and pain to release. By giving her this Gift of presence and loving touch, you will begin to tune into and hear what she is yearning to tell you. You will become your own guide and Guru.

 

Always start with consent and intention.

 

Remember- the slower you enter, the deeper you go.

Start with light touch, moving and stimulating the lymph system.

 

You can do this solo or with a partner you trust, safety is Key!  

 

A dear sister of mine always says “the yoni is shy, you have to open all other channels first before she is ready” – this is especially true if there is any sexual trauma. The most important thing here is to relax and follow your breath, only go as far and deep as you feel safe to do so and know you can always come back.

 

Leave lots of space for emotional release and integration. This is a primary part of this practice that often gets left behind. It’s nice to work the entire pelvic girdle, thighs (inner and outer), buttock, and womb area before going inside.

 

I also recommend some focus on jaw, neck and craniosacral release to assist in total surrender. Approach your body holistically, every part of it has a unique role and essence to discover. Grab your favorite essential oil, dilute into coco oil, flip on some juicy tunes and enjoy your sacred self!

Feel welcomed to reach out with further questions, to share discoveries or to book a private session and go deeper into any of the feminine landscapes.

 

Blessings Beautiful Angel.

Cheers to your yum yum yoni!! xx

 

In gratitude,  

Alila Grace, founder of Mahina Menstrual Cup

 

3 Potent Practices to Blossom with Spring

As we welcome spring into our homes, our gardens, and our wardrobe, we can also invite spring into our Being.

Spring is a time of clearing out the old to make space for the new. It’s a fluttery, flirty energy that feels like a blossoming, open to embrace the increase in sunlight. In the sacred cycle of the Archetypal Feminine, spring time can be linked to the Virgin/Maiden energy. The Maiden is the lightness of heart and body that emerges after a heavy, dark winter of blood/moon time. The Maiden represents new beginnings and a purity of heart, womb and spirit. She portrays the innocence of childhood, where the soul’s dreams, magic and make believe, are alive. The Maiden Goddess appears when a woman is pursuing her own desires and ideas for herself. The Maiden puts herself first, she does what she wants, when she wants to do it.

Here are 3 potent and fun practices to Awaken your Spring Goddess:

 

  1. SHAKE LA BOOBIES!

This practice focuses on releasing tension, stored memories and trauma, from the heart chakra (Anahata). There is an ancient Egyptian myth, “When you transition from this life, your heart is weighed against that of a feather.” It often makes me wonder, “How light must my heart be to weigh less than a feather? How many lifetimes of hurt, pain and sadness am I holding in my heart?” and “How light is love to weight less than a feather?!”

This home-play is a perfect way to find spring lightness in your heart.

 

  • Put on your favorite tunes, lock your door and turn off your devices
  • Drop your shoulders and open your heart
  • Bring your hands to prayer in front of your heart center and take 3 deep, long, juicy breaths. With each open-mouth exhale, allow authentic sound to escape your tongue.
  • Set an intention to dust off the old cobwebs of your heart; perhaps there is a particular person, moment, or emotion you are ready to release.
  • Close your eyes and begin with a gentle bounce, inviting yourself to surrender to your wild inhibitions – play with the unlimited ways to jiggle, shimmy, shake, rattle and roll your beautiful breasts. If they are sore or tender, slow down and keep breathing.
  • Keep laughter on your tongue while inviting lightness in your heart.
  • Keep la’ boobies bouncing for 5 minutes, allowing the sweet sweat to drip like nectar.
  • Bring your hands to your heart – notice any sensations, notice any feelings, notice any memories arising.
  • Take 3 delicious inhales, and exhale ‘Ahhhhh’
  • Journal your experience.
  • For a deeper integration, leave space for a full breast massage. Check out some how to tips here.

 

2. WOMB CLEARING

This Womb Clearing  exercise helps to release stagnant energies in the womb. As woman, we are intrinsically open and receptive. We take on various energies constantly, without consent or consciousness. Mostly, we carry energies from past and present lovers, for up to 7 years.  We also absorb energy from family, community, friends, co-workers, etc. It’s imperative we ‘clean house’ often and reclaim our womb, our source of power, as our own.

This is an extremely powerful and effective practice – give yourself space and time to drop in fully. You will find that you may wish to do this few times, as deeper layers arise and certain characters need to be cut numerous times before the energy is actually released.

 

  • Be sure you are alone and uninterrupted – – turn off your cell phone and lock the door.
  • Lay comfortably on the floor with soles of the feet together and knees spread like a butterfly. You may wish to add a pillow or rolled blanket under your outer thighs for extra support.
  • Close your eyes and place your hands over your womb in an inverted triangle, thumbs and first fingers together.
  • Breathe down into her – listen for her pulse, her voice; feel for her warmth and tender softness.
  • Settle into a quiet space, let go of the day, the to-do list, what’s for dinner, what your last conversation was, etc
  • Take 3 deep, long juicy inhales and exhales. With each exhale, open your mouth and feel your body surrender to the earth/surface beneath you.
  • Invite yourself to journey back in time and invite one person, place, memory, or moment to come forth into your inner vision.
  • As an image appears, see all the places where energetic cords are connected and intertwined – the heart, womb, solar plexus, third eye.
  • Focus clearly on one cord at a time; feel it’s connection to you and all the sensations or memories that arise.
  • Take a big inhale and on a 3 part exhale, imagine cutting the cords with 3 ‘HA, HA, HA.’
  • Feel. Breathe. Notice.
  • Thank each connection for all the lessons and ways that they have served your evolution.
  • The trick and the truth is the connection will dissolve only when you find forgiveness and peace with it. When you can find gratitude, it will no longer have power over you.
  • Continue for 20-30 minutes or for as long as it takes to clear the memories or emotional charge.
  • Journal your experience.

 

3. COMMITMENT BALANCE

This is one of my favorite journal exercises that I do almost every moon. It allows us to see visually, where we are focusing our precious energy. We have the most amazing gift of unlimited potential, and the more we focus on the things that are of service to us, the more energy we have for creativity, play, love and connection.

I find that so often I say “yes” to commitments out of fear, boredom, lack of clarity, lack of direction, or just trying to please everyone. The Maiden energy is clear on what she wants, and unapologetic in her approach (think about your teenager self!)

This practice is an invitation to let your ‘No’ serve your “YES”.

 

  • Find a cozy, quiet and uninterrupted space where you can drop in.
  • Take out your journal and favorite writing utensil.
  • On the top of the first page write, ‘All the things I’m committed to.’
  • Give yourself some time to free write all the things that you are regularly committed to – this includes relationships, family, work, community, exercise and education classes, etc. Write down all your roles.
  • Now flip the page and at the top of this page write, ‘All the things I wish to commit to.’
  • Again, allow yourself to free write – this includes all creative projects, connections, travel, certifications, hobbies, various classes. Write down all your goals.
  • Now, go back to the first page, evaluate your priorities and begin crossing things off the list that you are willing to release in order to make space for your soul’s passions.
  • Remember, in order to add any new commitments, whether it be creative venues or that relationship you’re calling in, you must make space!
  • Clean out the closet of your commitments and begin anew.

 

Have Fun, be Silly – Keep it Light!!

In gratitude,  

Alila Grace, founder of Mahina Menstrual Cup