Dreamy + Conscious Self Care with Kneipp


I called my best friend last November, a month before becoming a mother.
”I’m going to meditate every single day and drink only tea to prepare myself for motherhood. That way I’ll keep doing it”
She was so kind not to laugh. Instead she said, “Great.”

When our newborn baby boy arrived through foster care a month later my world turned on its axis. Meditation didn’t make it into my schedule but putting on a clean shirt and pants usually did.

Fast forward to today - I’m a mother of an almost one year old little boy and a yoga teacher and co-founder of a company who travels monthly, sometimes twice, to teach. I’ve since reclaimed my self care rituals, though they’ve changed, and adopted self care that feels doable but also nourishing.

A few of my non-negotiables -
+ Daily meditation, even if only for 5 minutes
+ A big delicious superfood coffee or tea with coconut milk, collagen peptides and cacao butter.
+ A bubble bath, whenever possible.

Though I may not have hours to spend at the spa as of late I am an absolute believer in conscious self care. I indulge in a bath at least a couple of times a week, usually with a good book and giant mug of tea.

I’ve recently fallen head over heels for Kneipp®, a plant-based bath and body collection.

The company’s founder, Sebastian Kneipp, was a pioneer in the naturopathic and hydrotherapy movements. He formulated hydrotherapy treatments by applying water through various methods, temperatures and pressures, alongside plant oils, which had therapeutic effects. These treatments still inspire the Kneipp® collections today, especially for their uses in and after a shower or bath.

All the products are made from plant-based ingredients, vegan, dermatologist tested and recommended, cruelty free and contain no preservatives, paraffins, silicones, or mineral oils.

Here are my favorites from this unbelievable line of natural products. All formulas are developed using top quality, plant based functional ingredients.

+ Aromatherapy Bubble Bath in Lavender and Vanilla
Natural essential lavender oil and vanilla extract develop a gently harmonizing fragrance which invites you to dream as it prepares you for a restful night’s sleep. As your tub fills with beautiful hues of blue, you will drift off into a relaxed mindset, making this bubble bath the perfect nighttime ritual. Natural nourishing oils of evening primrose and orange peel makes the skin soft and smooth.

+ Mineral Bath Salts in Lavender
Their bath salts are high in thermal spring salt, a natural crystal in pure form, free of any chemical additives and pollutants. Their salts not only nourish and detox the skin with natural minerals but also gently clean it while you soak. The bath crystals are then loaded with valuable lavender essential oil to stimulate the senses and provide a solution to those in need of peace and wellness. These high quality bath salts are obtained from the depth of a 250 million year-old ancient ocean to bring you wellness in its purest form.

+ Shower Foam in Mint + Eucalyptus
Experience the refreshing activity of mint and eucalyptus to stimulate the mind. When mixed with water, the gel transforms into a unique, creamy foam to lather up your body with a beautiful blends of essential oils.

Check out their products by clicking here.


Life Is Not To Be Tamed


This past week has broken my heart. Election vitriol, more shootings, fires that have killed many and left so many without a home. A sure reminder that nothing is certain and life is to be honored just one step, one breath at a time.

I’ve sat on the couch, with a sick kiddo, the majority of the week smelling his hair, looking at his tiny toes, watching his toothy grin light up his entire face every few minutes.

Today he’s eleven months old which means I’m eleven months old too. Eleven months of a freefall of wholehearted love and presence. Reminding myself to open my fists and allow life to rest in my palm. That uncertainty isn’t a condition or a choice or something you can protect yourself from but instead “the way” of it all.

Life is not here to be tamed or controlled. Life is here to unfold and take us with it. My heart is with you all. May we step toward what’s vulnerable and scary and take care of one other along the way.

Choosing to Be Here

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I received a message last night asking how I deal with so much uncertainty. I absolutely related to what she was saying. That she’s checking all the boxes - eating healthy, meditating, seeing a therapist - and she’s still suffering. Earlier this year I had so many voices in my head of how to handle each situation. Competing self help books and teachers and other people’s advice.

I took some time away from it all and came back to the work of Byron Katie and the simple, absolutely profound, idea that when I argue with reality, I suffer.

And when I’m here, meeting the movement with wholehearted presence, there’s just breath and space. (Though my ego often wants to argue otherwise and spin webs of stories and worries and fear.).

I’m want to be here for my life. My life that’s sometimes messy and a bit tangled up and unfolding as it should be. Right on time.

From Darkness to Light

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When my husband and I first began our journey to become foster parents it was all we could talk about. We learned about the numbers of children in foster care (438,000 in the United States and 28,000 in Los Angeles county alone). We learned about trauma and drug exposure and services and adoption. We talked about foster care a lot and we found a lot of people who were more than willing to learn and many who wanted to help.

A few months ago, after dozens of painful ups and downs, I started to bail on foster care. I was angry. I felt powerless. And honestly I got really depressed. I stopped having those conversations because I didn’t know what to say. You know that old adage “If you don’t have anything to say don’t say anything at all?” Yeah. It was a bit like that. And you know what happened? I felt awful. I felt more depressed. I wasn’t looking for the light workers or spending time with the people doing the work.

I dove deep into my heart and my thoughts and said ENOUGH. This isn’t about you. This is about the kids and you can do this. You’re meant for it. 

I’m a bit embarrassed I went so dark, that I got so scared, that I was thinking about my pain rather than these thousands of kids. But this is being human and what we must face if we are going to continue fighting the good fight.

There is no safety in hiding, in pretending that what’s happening in our country isn’t affecting you and that you aren’t somehow responsible for it. What does await you, however, is transformation and heart opening beyond your wildest dreams. Put yourself on the line. We must. And you’ll inspire others to do the same.

It's All Going To Work Out

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This morning my meditation was simply me repeating to myself “It’s all going to work out.” Over and over again. I have to believe it, even if “working out” is different than the path I believe I need.

It was about a year ago today that we finished our foster parent classes. And a year in December of loving you from a tiny newborn baby boy to a rambunctious toddler full of joie de vivre and endless giggles. A year of living with the absolute uncertainty of our future with you.

You see in the classes I understood. I listened, I read the manuals. I made sense of this. And when I heard about people whose path was hard I thought “God bless them. Please not us.” What I didn’t understand then, and I certainly do now, is a mother’s love. Whether that baby comes via birth canal or phone call makes no difference. There’s a ferocity to this love, a deep well that cannot be contained. And it hurts. I wasn’t prepared for how much it would hurt to love you.

I wake up every morning and ask myself “Can I do this?” in regards to a number of things but mostly foster care. And then there’s the yes, sometimes barely whispered, and we keep going. We keep going because you are the teacher and we are the students and this love is everything. This love can never be taken away. This love can never ever be contained.

On Health: My Must Do’s

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Since becoming a mom almost nine months ago I know one thing for sure: I cannot skimp on my health rituals even the slightest bit. With the lack of sleep and the amount of daycare germs it’s imperative that I take care of me so I can take care of my family.

Here are three of my must dos:

Take Nature’s Way Immune Blend and Chaga: I take both of these supplements every single day. Immune Blend harnesses the power of ancient wisdom by creating an immune blend of 6 diverse mushrooms to support your immune system.* And this Chaga grows in the birch groves of Finland. It is wild harvested to support antioxidant pathways.

Meditate: I sit for meditation every day. Whether it’s for five minutes or twenty it makes such a different in my mental and physical health. By getting off the rollercoaster of my thoughts I press pause.

Drink Maca: I drink Maca every morning after my cup of matcha. Maca supports stamina and helps with vitality.

What do you do every day for your health?

The Gift of "I Don't Know"

The moment I wake up, I pad down the stairs and stand in the nursery. Light floods in through the window over the crib. I glance at the Ganesha statues and elephants I’ve nestled in every possible corner in hopes of removing some of the unseen obstacles that no doubt lay before us.

I will become a mom in the coming weeks. Like most new mothers, I’m nesting and excited and scared. Though unlike most new moms, this baby is not with me now. I haven’t had headphones on my growing belly, sending early good vibes from Van Morrison. I haven’t felt any kicks. I haven’t seen any sure signs of there you are.

That’s because my husband, Matt, and I will be brand-new foster parents, and we’re currently waiting for the call. Every time the phone rings, my hand goes instinctively to my heart. This could be it. While all new parents have no idea who they will meet until their little being arrives, we are preparing to foster children who’ll come into our home for a week, a few months, a year, and hopefully even longer, eventually adopting a child—or children—who will become part of our family. And now, after holding more anticipation than I could’ve ever imagined, all we can do is wait.

Matt and I started the journey to becoming parents last year. When we didn’t conceive, we saw a fertility specialist who recommended intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). That appointment was immediately followed by another with a financial advisor, who threw a lot of (big) numbers at us. Because so much was still unknown—we hadn’t spent that much time trying to conceive, and I hadn’t seen any of the alternative practitioners my friends had recommended—the paths being presented to us didn’t feel quite right. So we left, got an ice cream cone, and tabled the baby conversation.

A few days later, Matt and I were on a walk when I asked him, “What do you think about adoption?”

He looked at me with big eyes and said, “I think it’s beautiful.”

“Yeah, me too,” I replied with a big smile. “Really beautiful.”

Fast forward a few weeks and we’d sought the advice of a student of mine, named Taylor, who is a foster-adoption lawyer. She’d been coming to my classes for years, always setting up her mat front and center. Life is like that, not letting you miss the important people who will change everything. After talking to Taylor, Matt and I met with a foster-adoption agency and made the big, scary, beautiful decision to become foster parents. With more than 34,000 children receiving services in Los Angeles, where we live, we thought surely a few of these kiddos were looking for us as much as we were looking for them.

In addition to the unknowns all parents face, we’re staring down a few more. We’re not sure how old our baby will be, and we won’t know the gender, race, or even what kind of prenatal care this baby’s birth mama received. We may foster a baby who is ultimately reunited with his or her birth parents; we hope to foster a child who we’ll ultimately adopt. We will ask questions and get some answers, and amid all of the uncertainty, what we know for sure is that this will be an education in trust. Trust that no matter what happens, we will be united with this child who we thought my body would carry and who our hearts have always wanted to hold.

Back in the nursery that morning, as I looked into the crib and wondered about the baby who’d soon lie in it, I silently repeated my new mantra—I don’t know—a phrase that’s offered me more hope and comfort than I’d ever imagined it could.

When we met with a social worker to talk about the foster system, she warned us, “You’ll fall in love, and you might get hurt.” Scary, to be sure, but isn’t this true of so many things in life? After all, so much of what’s worth doing is a messy path for the heart.

I’ve spent most of my life bracing myself for the impacts of those messes. These days, I’m choosing to dance with uncertainty.

Becoming a foster parent feels a bit like a free fall, and of course one part of me wants to engage with the countless worries and what-ifs. Yet more of me is tapping some well of wisdom I didn’t even know I had, and one day at a time—even one hour at a time—I’m simply putting one foot in front of the other, trying to make the next right choice. And with my eyes and heart wide open, I’m reveling in the I don’t know. 


This originally appeared in the March 2018 print edition of Yoga Journal.