EP28: Uma Dinsmore-Tuli on Yoga, Feminism and the Postpartum Period

“If you actually understood what a woman has been through: the conception journey, pregnancy, birth, the whole process—what’s happening demands full respect and a deep care. To imagine that people would just snap back into their size 0 jeans and walk out, it begs disbelief. There’s no respect for what’s arisen. And in the yoga world, we’ve fed right into that.”

Uma Dinsmore-Tuli is a yoga teacher, a yoga teacher trainer, and wrote the tome Yoni Shakti: A Woman’s Guide to Power and Freedom through Yoga and Tantra, which connects feminism, blood rites, and yoga.


What You’ll Learn:

  • The postpartum woman just did the biggest stretch there is – Birth
  • What yoga IS appropriate for postpartum women
  • About the yoga patriarchy
  • About why it matters to be a woman and what stage of life you are in for yoga practice.


What You’ll Hear:

-She needs stability nurture and a real sense of being mothered

-Postpartum period is 5 years.

-Deep inner work of breath and awareness to the pelvic floor and breastfeeding

-Stability practices, using the closing practices of yoga in a community, grassroots environment.

-When the advice “take care of yourself” is all you get when you go to a group yoga class doesn’t meet a woman’s needs

-What is the yoga patriarchy?

-The feelings of exclusion in the yoga sangha

-The yoga can subtly welcome the whole range of our life as humans

-Postpartum is messy, dirty, tiring and grumpy, and the extraordinary capacity that yoga has to help us through this.

-Anchara mauna- Inner silence, tuning to the present moment, while breastfeeding and tuning in to the senses.

-The Fourth Trimester- whole process of healing is being overlooked

-You can’t tell how healed a woman is after having a baby — “All those ladies that look so great in bikinis, you don’t know what’s in their underwear”

-Postpartum energy is present after miscarriages, stillborns, and near-death experiences

-The goddess of the Fourth Trimester

-Postpartum care is not a mental health issue: it’s a body issue

-Even if you don’t have a traumatic birth, birth is still a heartbreaking, heart-opening experience

-The yoga world hasn’t helped with judgments around birth

-Birth images: to hire a photographer, or not

-If you have great postpartum care, you’ll metabolize the birth experience, no matter how it went

-Even the most gentle birth is a powerful experience and needs healing at a cellular level — you are in shock during the fourth trimester

-You are a new woman after birth — you need the presence of wise women, to help you make the best choices for your healing

-New mothers need everything new babies need

-Learning to be okay in the not knowing, and learning to rest: menstruation, birth, postpartum, and menopause

-Repair is always possible

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