The Simple Ayurveda Podcast
Welcome to the simple Ayurveda Podcast. I'm Angela Tiger and this is a place where we discuss how ancient wisdom can be applied to your everyday life so that you can be your happiest healthiest
Thank you for tuning into Episode 33. Today I have Kira Malone, she is a maternal wellness coach that infuses Ayurveda and traditional Chinese Medicine into her practice. I know that you will love her just as much as I do.
I do want to apologize that the audio goes out a little teeny tiny bit because I am still in the RV out of campgrounds. And my Wi Fi just doesn't work that great no matter what I do. So we can catch mostly everything that Kira says. But when you hear a little bit of a bump here and there you'll know why. Thanks for your patience.
Welcome to the simple Ayurveda Podcast. Thanks for being here, Kira.
Thanks for having me, Angela. And glad we're finally connecting need. Me too. And for everyone listening and Kira and I connected online. And we have a lot in common. And I'm so happy to have her here today as a guest. So can you introduce yourself?
Sure, well, my name is Kira Malone, I live on the beautiful central coast of California with my husband and my two small children. And I consider myself a true Pisces, I have way too many interests and not enough time to really go into all of them. But in this context, I am a maternal health coach and holistic energy coach for women postpartum. And for that refer anytime after a woman has a baby, we're forever postpartum. And I've become quite passionate about helping support women to really thrive in motherhood and kind of cut out the noise of what we're being told we need to do as parents and who we need to be as mothers and really get back to a place of feeling good and parenting from this place of innate knowing and our intuition.
What was your journey like to get you to do this sort of career path?
Wild? Yes, it's so funny you asked because I was just talking to my husband yesterday about my postpartum story, and just how many layers kind of all come together to get me to the place where I was, where I really kind of had to surrender postpartum with my second child. But from the beginning, I was always an overdue or kind of self described overachiever. And from an early ages got really used to working really hard but that would pay off, I'd set goals, I'd work really hard to achieve them, and I would achieve them. And it was just kind of this way of life that I understood well. And all through my athletic career and in wine making, which is a very kind of male dominated career. And I always just worked hard to get where I wanted to go.
So fast forward to becoming a mother for the first time. And I was trying so hard, working so hard to do all the things, a quote unquote, 'good mother should be doing and also trying to keep up with my career at the time'. And I really struggled. And I kept thinking, gosh why is this that I'm trying so hard? I feel like I'm making so many sacrifices, which was something I did before to be successful, and nothing was working, it was really unfulfilling, I felt exhausted. And that time period eventually led into having a few miscarriages between my two beautiful children I have now and I kept thinking why am I struggling so hard, Is this is such a painful experience for me, me, then this must be part of my life's journey. There must be something here that I am to learn so I can bring this to other women. I know I'm not alone in the struggle. But I didn't really know how I wanted to help women at that time. And after my second daughter was born. She was born, let me back up just briefly, my first daughter was born with a fairly traumatic birth, we were planning and out of hospital midwife supported birth. Yes, our first birth story, it did not go the way I had envisioned. And that was a fairly traumatic experience for me, although at the time, I didn't really understand what trauma was, I just felt so guilty that I had this beautiful child who was very healthy, and yet I felt so sad that I didn't have this birth that I wanted. And she had ended up being born several hours of pushing. So it was hard for me. And then I kind of use that in my mind is perhaps that's why I struggled so much in motherhood, I had this birth trauma. I hadn't really here and I had a very sensitive child. And it was hard. And then when my second daughter was born via a beautiful, beautiful VBAC. It was really my dream birth, it was kind of textbook labor, and just so supported with midwives and doulas around me. And I felt like "okay, yes! I'm off to this good start, my previous trauma feels here good now, and I have what was at the time, even even from the moment she was born, just an easier Baby, slept easier, less sensitive, I thought 'okay, I can do this. And to condense that down a little bit, within eight weeks postpartum, I was already at high risk for being diagnosed with postpartum depression, I was completely burnt out, exhausted, and frail, experiencing signs of anxiety. And I just didn't understand what was going on. Because again, I had been kind of doing all the things to feel good in motherhood, and I thought I was doing all the things to take care of my older child, my younger child, trying to get myself to yoga, trying to meditate every day writing in a gratitude journal, and I just could not get to a place where I felt good. So after I had my midwife who was also a naturopathic doctor looked at me and asked me if I wanted to go on medication, because she thought that I was really at such high risk, I was pretty shocked thinking 'Oh, my gosh, this is my very naturally minded practitioner'. And she's looking at me in the eye and she's saying, I have something going on that's very serious. And that was really really difficult for me. But I knew at that time, I just needed to surrender into this possible diagnosis and get brave and face it head on, cut out any stigmas around what it meant to be experiencing postpartum depression or be on the brink of and just start healing. So I led myself through, where I really felt good and rebuilt my energy and started learning a lot more about the importance of postpartum care and why I was experiencing such heavy levels of depletion, anxiety, brain fog, difficulty sleeping, all of these things. And I can hear some birds chirping in the background. Sweet. So yeah, I know, it just really became this period of immense self discovery but at the same time, I was also taking care of a newborn and a three year old and my work and living my life. So it was a very difficult time for myself and for my family and my husband, but eventually led to what I talked about now, as this journey of mature essence, this journey of becoming a mother. And I realized that throughout my own mothering in the past several years, I'd never really allowed myself self to be changed by motherhood or to surrender into motherhood in this way. And that becomes -- that allows motherhood to become a transformative process. And that was really where the journey led to was healing myself physically and then mentally and then spiritually and emotionally, to have the motherhood experience that I really wanted to have.
Wow, there's so much in there. There's a lot in there. I know. I've been trying to write my story down and I just there's so many angles, there's so much to it, but for every woman I'm sure it's the same, just so many things that bring them to where they are now.
Yeah, I feel like there's so much Ayurveda philosophy and perspective. And your story that's relatable. I feel like we live in such a pizza culture and it sounds like you're a pitcher constitution. Absolutely. How did you know? \ I'm a Pisces with a lot of different interest Yeah, so I can relate to a lot.
It could be dangerous if we were in the same room. Love it. Like really excited about one thing and then really excited about the next and get totally burned out and exhausted Yeah, yeah. Story of my life. I have a massive water imbalance which all actually all women, no matter what their primary constitution is all women experience about to imbalance postpartum. And if we don't heal that within the first 40 days, or the first six weeks postpartum, we are left with lingering vodka imbalance for several months to many years after giving birth and working on healing right now as well.
Same here, I have years of pizza, but then layered on top of that I have years of vodka that started before having babies. And then with a six year old and a two year old. I've got some deep layers of vodka that I'm working on too. And yeah, we can jump right into some of the things like I wish that I would have known more about postpartum nutrition and care. Yes. Like after my son was born who six, I went back to drinking green smoothies and kale juice and all of that, which is super bottle elevating.
Yes, I did the same thing and it's so fascinating. The more I learned about postpartum care and I'm actually in an Area Vedic postpartum, doula training right now. So it's really fun to bring all the data into kind of the functional nutrition knowledge and the holistic health knowledge that I've been bringing to Mama Manifest to this point. Now I'm bringing in the Area Vedic and it's amazing how much synergy is between the two. But yes, just learning that these foods that we thought were healthy or they may have gotten us back into shape in college, or when we're first starting out in our careers as young 20 somethings where we have our lettuce and our raw carrots and our green juice and we're going to hot yoga, and we're doing all these things. And then after we have babies, and we don't really know, no one really tells us this information, but we're actually bringing ourselves further into depletion and further out of balance with the same foods and exercises that we before relied on to be "healthy". And so I was right there with you, taking my my three year old to preschool with the newborn in the car and I would make an icy cold blueberry banana almond butter smoothie on my way to pick her up thinking I was fueling myself. And now I know that I was further depleting myself. It's fascinating work there. I think there's also a bit of a grieving process for me, the more I learn, and realize that I didn't, I wasn't able to embody these practices, I didn't have the knowledge of these practices after I had both my children and even during the several miscarriages that I had, those are also postpartum times. And there's a bit of a grievance for just kind of realizing that this information is there. And these practices are there, the Wisdom is there. And yet we mothers, we families, our partners included we just don't know about how to rebuild the mother postpartum.
I feel like that this is all a part of our society at large that has these huge Pizza imbalance and ____also this like constant need to do do do and that idea of even needing to bounce back into shape after the baby. Think the kale smoothie, and it's like, actually, you need a warm soup to nourish you and you should stay in bed and not worry about the way. And according to _____ to get massaged every day for 40 days.
Yeah, well, that sounds amazing to me. Yes. I know. And yes, the more when I was going through my own recovery of trying to heal my body with this adrenal fatigue and the anxiety and what was happening with me within a few months postpartum. The biggest things that I put back into that I added to my diet was fat. And I talked about this a lot with my clients, and I try to make it a game for myself, but just to make getting healthy fats a game for you, because our bodies are so depleted. And every single cell in our body has two layers of fat that encompass the cell. And that fat needs to be replaced somehow. So if we're not replacing it with healthy fat, it's getting replaced with poor quality fats, and then that adds to the sluggishness in the body. And there's just so much to it, where if we really --- the more I learned about it as if you really took the first 40 days seriously and added in warm foods and nourishing fats and adequate protein and just warm grounding nutrition that helps build the blood and rebuild the tissues. Then the woman goes off into motherhood thriving and with true vitality, not fake energy from coffee, and hyperactivity, from anxiety and things like that.
Yeah, it's, it's really, there's so much wisdom there, that we, even myself, I'm still learning about and I love sharing with other moms so that they can understand why they don't feel like themselves and and why they haven't been able to "bounce back" after having babies. What's really behind that, but I hundred percent agree with you on it being culturally driven. We live in this patriarchal mentality of work hard, achieve very linear thinking. We value people who don't rest. I mean, that's just -- there's like this whole tired mom persona where mothers are wearing badges on their chest, like I'm exhausted but hey I'm doing life over here. And meanwhile they're depleting and depleting and depleting and self martyring. And it's nobody's striving from that. And I love that about Ayurveda really talks about the mother being the pillar of the household. And when the mother's well, being as good, the family's well being as good, and just having that information, it's gives the mother permission to really nourish herself and take care of herself, as it comes from a place of wanting to help the whole family thrive.
Yes, I think about that, the putting on the air mask on yourself before helping others, like on the airplane, because yes. Still working on it.
Yeah, we're so depleted, but we can't help anyone and then. I agree and it's hard because our mothers and our grandmothers didn't exactly get this nourishing postpartum period, either. And so we're looking for guidance from older women and often our own family members. And they're like, their responses like yeah, it's hard. I was exhausted too. And this is just kind of what it is. And it's exhausting. But aren't the kids worth it and I think our generation is going to pump the brakes, there has to be a better way to do this, to do modern motherhood, to come together, to nourish ourselves, to know raise our families while raising while we're raising ourselves up in motherhood. I think that's really the forefront of where the postpartum cares is going. And hopefully, over time, we can break these constructs.
Yeah. So what are some practical ways that you suggest new moms or even moms of toddlers or older kids nourish themselves?
Yeah, well I think the biggest thing is understanding the cyclical nature of the female energy cycle. And we're so used to having this very linear way of thinking of work hard achieve, work hard achieve, keep working, keep working. And the women's energy body needs to have a rest period to come to really maximize our energy. And so a lot of places that I start with moms is to help them understand how our female energy is connected to the moon cycles, to the seasons. And then the different periods of our lives that are connected to needing to rest more and recuperate more versus the outward in the world and doing. So the postpartum period is this time of yin, in Chinese medicine, they referred to it as Yin. And that's a time where we really need to embody the female energetic characteristics of rest and surrender, slowing down, moisture, nourishing, hydrating, so that we can come into a place where we can be out utilizing more masculine energy, which is the doing the action, the activity moving quickly. And the basis of helping women heal a postpartum are understanding that how they need to heal postpartum is starting out by explaining this energy piece. And then from there, I like to help women understand how it is cyclical. And I remember for me when I was recovering postpartum, there would be a week where I felt, oh, I feel great, I have this energy, I'm starting to feel good, I would do too much. And then the following week I would crash burn and feel terrible about myself. Because, 'Hey I thought I was getting better. I had this energy last week. And now this week, I can barely get off the couch. I can't keep my eyes open'. And so understanding that there are different weeks throughout the month, where we are more primed to be more energetic and different weeks throughout the month, where we need to slow down rest, meditate journal, to help cultivate more energy for later in the cycle. And that it does continue to repeat, there's an abundance of this energy cycle, we don't have to feel like we have to get everything done, in these two weeks that that energy will come back every month and we can even plan our life around it. So that's that's the first place I like to start. So we can kind of get away with that rushing women syndrome, which is where we're like rushing around all the time, there's not enough time, we got to get to so many things that we're all doing. And just getting people to slow down and realize how important it is to have a sacred pause.
Oh, I love that phrase sacred pause.
It's a juicy, isn't it?
Yeah. It's just something that I personally try to do like before each meal or transitioning from doing something else into cooking so that I can take that sacred energy basically into what I'm preparing to eat for myself and for my family. And to let go of that frantic attitude around everything that I think I need to get done.
Yes. And it's so hard to do. I know for me, I still struggle with that. I would love to have them be even more built into my life and more frequent. It's amazing how hard it is to slow down.
Yeah, I feel like this is where just simple practices can be so powerful of just taking three breaths during the day, rather than saying you're going to meditate for five or 10 minutes.
Yes. And we were having a conversation online about certain types of meditation and how they can increase the bata energy. And I believe we were talking about my Kundalini practice, that every time I've hopped back into trying to do a Kundalini practice, where you have to show up every day for 40 days and do the meditation for a set number of minutes and chanting and all these things. Every time I've tried to do that postpartum it has actually driven me into this spiral of anxiety and overwhelm. And I've gotten back to instead of feeling like my meditations have to be something that I also"accomplish", I've gotten back to just honoring stillness, and having more of a somatic experience in my body and just tuning inward without feeling like even my meditations have to be something to check off my to do list every day and I have to do these 40 days in a row to achieve the results that I want to achieve. That just was not good for my Dosha at all.
I totally relate to this. I feel like a lot of those like the discipline, building practices of yoga and meditation, are really geared toward someone with a lot of Kafka energy. Yeah, they need the scary part they need to check off, they did it every day, or else they don't have the motivation to do it. But when you're someone that has a strong inner fire, and you just have so much that you want to do in a day and the meditation or the yoga just becomes one more check off or that you have to complete this series of poses for your yoga to mean something that day, then exactly like adds to what you're trying to get rid of. More pressure is one for achievement.
And one of my yoga teachers described, like asana practice, the physical poses, like rocking a baby, like the goal is to get the baby calm and sleeping. And so the baby needs to be rocked and moved. And the whole reason behind yoga in the physical form is so that we can just sit and relax and stillness and be one. And so we have different layers of I think of what we need at different times in our life in order for that to happen.
Yes, and that's where really this sense of intuitive knowing comes from and tuning into our own bodies cutting out again, cutting out that noise of what we should be doing, who we're supposed to be what exercises we need to do, meditations we need to do and just tuning inward and and asking for higher guidance of what is it that I need today. And today, it might be a walk in nature and tomorrow, it might be a run, but just learning to move our bodies and align our activities more intuitively with what our bodies are telling us they need is huge. And I remember again, part of my postpartum burnout story was I knew I needed some time to myself this, hashtag self care, trying to figure out how to take care of myself now with two children and a husband working a lot and my own work obligations. And so I thought, well how am I going to take care of myself and my husband and I had agreed that he could go to CrossFit, few mornings a week at 6am and I would go to hot yoga, a few mornings a week at 6am. And let me tell you, hot vinyasa flow is the absolute worst exercise any postpartum woman should be doing. And I'm sitting there like 'Okay I'm going to set my alarm after I was already up all night nursing, I'm going to get to this hot yoga class, so I can have this hashtag self care, take care of myself, do yoga. And I mean I just crashed so hard. It's it's painful to look back sometimes.
I taught power yoga myself for a couple years because I ended up living near a studio and meeting friends. And I think that again it's a great practice for someone with excess coffee energy. And for a younger period of life, like in the 20s, it's a great practice to become disciplined, and commit and create that fire. But then once you're at this point where the fire is blazing and now the winds of bata are yelling it out. We want to do things to keep our juiciness not to let it go.
Yes. And on top of that, this studio where I love, I actually host a monthly moon circle at the studio but the woman fantastic woman has the hot yoga studio and also makes fresh pressed juices. So I would go to hot yoga, vinyasa away and sweat and then grab a fresh green juice. And that was like my postpartum self care. I had to completely change my definition of what it meant to take care of myself. Yeah, very shortly after.
I had the same experience, I would go to my hot yoga class and I would pack my own smoothie and my glass. Glass straw and I would post pictures of my smoothie every day.
Oh, yeah. Okay, well we know so much more. Now I joke that if I were to have a third child that I would finally get the postpartum period. Some bone broth, some warm nourishing foods, not chugging ice water and green juices and smoothies. Lately I've been playing with because, of course I got my kids addicted to smoothie. So they're asking them for a meal from me all the time. So you've been playing with cooking fruit because it makes it sort of mushy, like we put some berries in the pan, and we just put water and warmed it up for five minutes and made sort of like a mushy berry juice and it was delicious. And they loved it. And that's totally I made that postpartum friendly.
I need incorporate that I for my own kids, of my children's she's so much like me. So she's pitta, very pitta, but she has a lot of anxiety. And I've been noticing lately that the food she's been gravitating towards are just making her anxiety worse. So I that's a good tip, I should definitely incorporate that in my own home.
I have a pitta child as well. He was born with red hair. So that's like, Oh yeah, very fiery.
So I know that you have some information about moms that struggle with hormone balance and fertility after the first baby. Let's jump into that.
Yes, I would love to talk about that. It's something that is so stressful for mothers when they're ready to grow their families, and it's just not happening. That's kind of becomes another thing on that to do list that we were talking about earlier. Here's my goal ready to have another baby? Why am I not getting pregnant? I got pregnant before and what's going on. And there's so much to this, there's kind of Western functional medicine reasoning behind it, then there's just women's energetic imbalances that are lingering from prior pregnancies and lifestyle. So the biggest thing that in my own experience has been bringing in that feminine energy, and that aspect of surrender and letting go and release and trying to negate that push, push, push, go go go mentality. So when I I did have a miscarriage before my first daughter was born, and for me everything is spiritual. I just knew it must not have been the right time. It was really painful for me, but I understood that it just wasn't the right time. And as soon as it was the right time for us a few years later, to have another child, we got pregnant right away and had our child and waited through -- my guess I nursed her for about for almost two and a half years, which I did not do with my second, but the first one I did. And when it came time to trying to get pregnant again, with a second child, we had two consecutive miscarriages. And that was pretty devastating for me to be in this place where I was ready for another child and have a miscarriage and then have a second miscarriage. And then having this total in my head, like oh my gosh in my lifetime I've had at least three miscarriages that I know of and what's wrong with me - what's going on here, what's the messaging here. So of course, because of just kind of doing our due diligence, we went through the testing and some additional ultrasounds and things that the more progressive obgyne wanted us to do to rule out problems with miscarriages. I just knew the whole time that it was everything is spiritual for me. Everything is energetic, everything is spiritual. So there had to be another reason for it. And I started seeing a local acupuncturist for fertility. And as soon as I went in, she's checking my pulses and she's going, Oh my goodness you basically have way too much young masculine energy and like zero feminine yin energy, and we need to balance you out so that you can carry a child. And so I began some extensive acupuncture, she promised me that within she said give me a at least eight treatments with you, and you'll be balanced and well on your way. And on top of that, she was giving me tips to nourish my body, more like going for barefoot walks on the grass, spending more time in nature and not doing what I wanted to do, which was go to hot yoga and run and do things that were very young masculine energy. So we started to rebuild that way.
And eventually in college, I had a test done that showed that I had incredibly low progesterone and that's something that's very common with women who have a lot of masculine energy is that piece of low progesterone. So we in order to carry the pregnancy with my second daughter Magnolia, we were on progesterone supplementation, which progesterone is a hormone that allows you to just stay the baby. So progesterone, and yeah I started thinking 'Okay, well, I'm glad I was able to have my baby, but there's still some energy imbalances here'. And when you look at that the hustle culture of the mother hustlers and the Go, go, go Go Slayer's, we're all incredibly low in progesterone, that's __________ hormone that allows us to carry and nourish a child in our body. And that was a huge piece of that puzzle. And on top of that, a lot of women are experiencing thyroid issues. I know that was the case for me as well, a lot of times, it's a hyper thyroiditism that's developed even before the first pregnancy, and gets worse through pregnancy and then much worse during the postpartum. And when it comes to trying to conceive a child again, after the first child, the woman doesn't have the right hormonal balance and thyroid support to not miscarry and to carry a healthy child into full term. So there's a lot of pieces there, where it's, they're all tied together. And that's where the holistic kind of energy piece comes in, where you have these Western medical terms like progesterone and thyroid health, and then you have this energetic spiritual piece of bringing in the feminine energy that allows us to conceive and carry and nourish this life that's within us. And that's really kind of the ultimate manifestation is this life. We take it, we take the manifestation of pregnancy and childbirth for granted because it's so common. But that's really what it is. It's this beautiful intention that we set to have children in our lifetime.
There's so much in there that you just said. Feel like I was babbling, I get so passionate. Yeah, it was so good. And just a little piece of my journey of having two children. My first child who's six was a complete surprise, unplanned, but I happy surprise, I was 30. So it was I was happy. With my now husband. And then two years later, when I wanted to get pregnant with my daughter, I felt like it took me seven months, which I know is nothing it's like a drop of water in the ocean, especially with many other people go through but to me, at the time, I just couldn't understand like how the first one could happen by accident. And then the second one, I could be so intentional and charting and taking my basal temperature and all of that and I wasn't very deep into it Aveda yet, and I could see that at the time I was looking at myself like I was the same person that I was before I had my son and that wasn't the case at all. I was a completely different person not to mention going through that bata experience of giving birth and not knowing about proper postpartum care and not taking care of myself and I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism during pregnancy. And I wasn't really taking into account any of that.