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You don’t need expensive yoga props to support a restorative yoga practice at home. Here are a few household items you can use instead:

Bolster: rolled up blanket, sturdy pillow, couch cushion, sleeping bag

Blanket: blanket from your bed, a throw blanket, or towel

Block: shoebox, big book, tightly rolled blanket, large soup can, water bottle

Strap: bathrobe sash, long towel, scarf, belt, stretch band

Sandbag: bag of rice or dried beans (anything under 10 pounds that can mold shape)

Eye pillow: folded cloth or item of clothing (you can place light bag of rice or dried beans over for a bit of weight)

Yoga mat: folded blanket, towel, or area of your rug


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During the coronavirus pandemic, many movement professionals have moved their offerings online. In pre-recorded audio or video tracks, or in real-time classes, we’re finding ways to connect with each other, practicing embodiment during a very ungrounding time. While the virtual class experience can be quite different from an in-person offering, it’s still important to hold ourselves as practitioners to ethical and trauma-informed teaching.

Here are a few considerations specific to virtual movement practices to consider:

Choice is still key.

Even if you can’t see your students, it’s still important to infuse choice throughout your teaching. Offer multiple versions and modifications as you go. And it can be nice to normalize taking breaks throughout the practice, tending to basic needs, and only taking from the practice what works for them in that moment. …


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This article was originally published by Modern Fertility. Modern Fertility provides a fertility test that women can take at home to measure ovarian reserve, ovulation, and other fertility hormones. We have a way to track almost everything in our lives–steps, cholesterol, bank statements, and family trees. Something as formative as fertility shouldn’t be a mystery.

In her memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama writes, “[if] I were to start a file on things nobody tells you about until you’re right in the thick of them, I might begin with miscarriages. A miscarriage is lonely, painful, and demoralizing almost on a cellular level. …


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How would you describe your journey with mental health?

When I was in 7th grade, my dad was hospitalized with polycystic kidney disease. My mom has always struggled with bipolar and she was hospitalized around the same time. It was a time in my life when I felt like no one was really taking care of me–I felt like I had to just take care of myself.

I developed an eating disorder called orthorexia, which is centered around health and clean eating. In my hometown, it’s not caught very quickly because clean eating is part of the culture here. …


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This article originally appeared in The Broadcast, a women’s health content platform from LOLA. LOLA delivers organic cotton feminine care right to your door, in addition to period kits and cramp care.

You remember the sex ed scene in Mean Girls, right? Coach Carr famously spouts off, “at your age, you’re going to have a lot of urges. You’re going to want to take off your clothes, and touch each other. But if you do touch each other, you *will* get chlamydia… and die.” It’s funny because it’s absurd. But lately I’ve been wondering — what exactly is mandated for high school sex ed? Could someone really stand up in front of teens and tell them chlamydia is spelled “k…l…a” and that sex will kill them? …


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This interview was originally published on All Mental Health, a technology-driven nonprofit with a mission to improve mental health literacy.

Valentina, Age: 27

How would you describe your journey with mental health?

I’d say my journey is definitely still going. It started when I was younger, like teenage years. A lot of it had to do with my upbringing and how I saw myself, or how I thought other people saw me. Around 13 or 14, I was really focused on body image, like how slim I was. To me, being slim meant being beautiful and healthy and happy.

Before I talked to anyone about it, I started keeping a food log. I was always so worried about what I was eating. There were moments when I would be in a restaurant, when everyone was ordering food. I’d get in my head, my heart would start racing. I felt uncomfortable and lonely and couldn’t express myself. I’d have to leave to go to the bathroom or outside. I was trapped in a cycle (starving, bingeing, throwing up), and it became second nature. …


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This article was originally published by Modern Fertility. Modern Fertility provides a fertility test that women can take at home to measure ovarian reserve, ovulation, and other fertility hormones. We have a way to track almost everything in our lives–steps, cholesterol, bank statements, and family trees. Something as formative as fertility shouldn’t be a mystery.

About five years ago, I decided to stop taking the hormonal birth control I’d been on for ten years. I’d been on many different pills — from Ortho Tri-Cyclen to Apri (dubbed the “monster pill” for my wacko mood swings) and finally to Tri-Sprintec. I’d done my fair share of experimentation and I wanted to know: What does my body feel like on its own? How’s my mood? My sex drive? What’s my period like? …


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The women in my life are torn: Do we park ourselves in front of our screens and witness every moment of the news? Do we click on every article (and every article linked to that article)? Do we watch and listen to the coverage about the coverage?

Tarana Burke’s decade-old Me Too movement erupted this past year. Industry by industry, private pain is becoming public allegation. Sexual assault and gender-based violence have been more widely covered than ever.

And we want to be informed. We want to say Nia Wilson’s name and call her murder what it was: a crime against black women. We want to stand witness to Dr. Blasey Ford’s every word in solidarity. We want moment-by-moment updates on the unfolding of horrors we’ve come to expect from this administration. …


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This article was originally published by Modern Fertility. Modern Fertility provides a fertility test that women can take at home to measure ovarian reserve, ovulation, and other fertility hormones. We have a way to track almost everything in our lives–steps, cholesterol, bank statements, and family trees. Something as formative as fertility shouldn’t be a mystery.

We’re at the end of September, which is PCOS awareness month, so you might have been hearing more buzz lately about this common hormonal imbalance. We’ll start off with a refresher: polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a common imbalance in a woman’s reproductive hormone levels. It’s now estimated that 1 in 10 women have PCOS, though each person’s experience of the syndrome can be different. …


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This article was originally published by Modern Fertility. Modern Fertility provides a fertility test that women can take at home to measure ovarian reserve, ovulation, and other fertility hormones. We have a way to track almost everything in our lives–steps, cholesterol, bank statements, and family trees. Something as formative as fertility shouldn’t be a mystery.

PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting women of reproductive age. According to NCBI (National Institute for Biotechnology Information, part of the National Institutes of Health), it’s also the most common cause of infertility, since some people with PCOS don’t experience ovulation (a necessary ingredient in conception). It’s estimated now that about 1 in 10 women have PCOS, and there’s a whole month dedicated to PCOS awareness. And you guessed it: it’s September. …

About

Ryann Summers

Oakland-based writer and yoga teacher focused on mental health, trauma healing, and women's reproductive health ryannsummers.com / ryannsummersyoga.com

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