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The Birth Journey

Last night I began my 2nd series of The Birth Journey classes at my yoga studio in Haleiwa.  I have been really passionate about birth ever since I gave birth to my son 6 and a half years ago.  I had no idea how transformative the experience would be and how I would be a changed woman after giving birth. 

After completing prenatal yoga teacher training a little over a year ago (January 2013) with my beloved teacher, Gurmukh, I realized that I needed to share my passion with other people, and to be a birth educator. I began by teaching prenatal yoga to a group of friends on my lanai (porch in the Hawaiian language), my boyfriend (who was so supportive that he dressed up as a woman) and shortly after on a yoga platform at a local organic farm overlooking the ocean and surf break V-Land (thank you Jenny and Nate at Positive Energetics for providing a beautiful space), and then soon after at my new yoga studio in the quaint little town of Haleiwa about 20 minutes from my home.

 

Prenatal yoga on my lanai with my beautiful pregnant friends Kendyl and Chanel.

Prenatal yoga on my lanai with my beautiful pregnant friends Kendyl and Chanel. 

 

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Dusty dressed up as a pregnant wahine! Thanks for the wig Mom!

Yoga at Positive Energetics at V-Land

Yoga at Positive Energetics at V-Land

Prenatal Yoga at Noelani Studios

Beautiful pregnant women at the Noelani Studios in Haleiwa

I have loved connecting with the women in my prenatal yoga classes, and encouraging them to be in their bodies and in their power as women. There is a magical motherly intuition that kicks in when we are pregnant, and as we continue on as mothers. Sometimes, in our modern day culture, it is hard to tap into that space of knowing, and we continually search for answers outside of ourselves…from our doctor, from our neighbors, or from even strangers. But their experiences are different from ours; we all have our own journey and our own paths we must follow. In my classes, it is my wish to guide women to get back in touch with that inner wisdom and listen to their own bodies and their own truths. 

I continued on the birth education journey to complete a doula training, and then to find Sacred Pregnancy Workshops, and attended a Teacher Training on Maui with the creator Annie Daulter. I was immersed in the knowledge of how to share this special journey of pregnancy and birth with women in a way that empowers them to birth with  choice, with allowance to surrender to the magic of birth.  The 22 of us gathered each day for 5 days in learning, in sharing, in growing, and although many of us didn’t know each other before the trip, we were all best of friends by the end.

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Photo by Alyssa Wood-Tozzi

Photo by Alyssa Wood-Tozzi

Photo by Canary Lane Photography

Photo by Canary Lane Photography

Some people traveled from Finland, Canada and even Oklahoma to share the experience. By the end of the trip, we were doing full moon naked yoga, and I was the instructor. What a trip!

Sacred Pregnancy Fall 2014

And so…I begin the journey with 8 lovely couples.  I will be teaching four classes total, on Friday nights from 6:30-8:30pm. We will be discussing birth plans, birth positions, we will be drawing our idea of pregnancy/birth, dance with our babies and partners, and connect with ourselves and each other, among many other things.

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I am so excited to share this journey with my students. To empower, to educate, to change the vision of birth as we know it.

I will be sharing more birthing information on my blog as the journey continues…

Namaste…Om shanti Om

 

 

 

 

There are some things in life that we really want to do, but actually doing it seems a lot harder than it really is. And once we decide to take initiative and just go for it, it seems like things start to fall into place. Thank you synchronicity.

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Ever since I heard about this magical place “Na Pali” on the northwestern shore of the island of Kauai, I have wanted to be one of those crazy hippies that hikes the 11 treacherous miles into the valley. And yet I was extremely nervous to actually go for it. My first trip to Kalalau was in a tour helicopter about 12 years ago with one of my best friends when we visited the island with my family. Well, we didn’t actually go to Kalalau, but we flew over it. Yup, we were one of those annoying helicopters that constantly flies over the valley… Then I visited again about 4 years ago with a group of 18 women for one of my friend’s bachelorette parties. That is a whole other story. Most of us boated in and a few of the ladies SUP’d (stand-up paddled) into the valley from the end of the road.

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(The photo above is of the group of ladies I traveled to Kalalau with in 2010)

This summer, my son went to visit his biological father in California for a few weeks, so I decided it would be a great opportunity to take some time to do some adventuring that I can’t normally do with a 6 year old around. My boyfriend and I decided we would do the unthinkable: hike all the way into the valley (although the only camping gear we have combined is 1 sleeping bag.) Magically, a few days before we left for the trip, we scored a tent and camping packs from our friends, and we packed a lot of dehydrated foods and a few changes of clothes. We invited our friend Brianna to come, who is an avid camper, and she had all the cool camping accessories, such as a Jet Boil and a water purifier. None of us had ever hiked the Na Pali Coast, and we figured that if other humans could do it, we could. I enjoy hiking, beach running and I used to run cross country in high school, so endurance training is something I’m used to.

Lately I have been running in the woods near my home barefoot, and I decided that for this hike I might need some kind of footwear, but I didn’t want to squeeze my toes into tennis shoes since my feet are used to spreading out when I exercise. So I finally ordered myself some Five Finger toe shoes!!

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And I LOVE them!

When Monday, the day of departure into the valley arrived, our lovely hostess and friend Jaime dropped us off at the end of the road. We said our goodbyes and “see you on Thursday between 3-4PM. We knew our flight was leaving Thursday night at 7:30, and we somehow had to get back to Lihue for our flight, so somehow we would make it back to the end of the road at Haena by then. Everything always seems to work out how it is supposed to anyway, right?

So we began our first ascent up the 1st of many mountains on our 11 mile hike into Kalalau. Each of us carrying a 30-40 pound bag on our backs, with sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Start time 8:25AM. The weather was hot with nice tradewinds, and we quickly climbed up the trail through the woods to warm up our bodies.

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Hala plants, used by the native Hawaiians to make lauhala baskets, fans, mats and other items lined the trail, along with Jamaican vervain, a petite purple flower that tastes like shiitake mushrooms. The scent of the humid forest was intoxicating. As we arrived at the first scenic overlook, a beautiful rainbow arched over the ocean, expanding wider than a typical 180 degree rainbow. It seemed fantastical. I took it as a good sign to our beginning of our adventure.

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We continued onto the 2 mile point, Hanakapi’ai Beach, a popular local and tourist destination, where there is a river crossing to get to the large stretch of beach with great waves. Dusty, Brianna and I found a nice spot on the beach to plop our bags down, strip off our sweaty hiking clothes and hop in the ocean. Brianna and I assumed it was safe to get topless (no lifeguard on duty here) and Dusty decided to keep his britches on. After a refreshing dip in the cool ocean and a few sweet rides in the shorebreak, we dried off, had a little snack and moved right along.

9 more miles to go and it’s 11AM already. We cruised right along through the jungle, ascending, descending, in and out of more than 20 valleys total. “Na Pali” means ‘the cliffs’ in Hawaiian, and there are no roads, no grocery stores, just simple rugged terrain where wildlife flourishes and God calls the shots.

As we trudged further along the trail, and we were thick into our green surroundings, far away from cell phone service and checking emails, I remembered that just a few hours prior, on the drive from Jaime’s comfortable cabin in Kilauea, we had seen thick rain clouds hovering above the coastline, and the sky looked ominous, perhaps an uninviting trail awaited us. I said to our crew: Maybe we should go to Jaime’s Yin Yoga class tonight and then start our hike tomorrow in the morning. My ego, not wanting to take this soul adventure, was trying to discourage my spirit from letting go of the comfort and control I have in my safe world of life’s luxuries: cars, restaurants, refrigerators, shingled roofing, my queen size bed. But the crew disagreed: “Noooo, we are starting the hike today Noe. You can’t get out of this one!” “OK, just kidding,” I half joked.

And now the simple chirping of birds and the occasional views of expansive ocean created a deeper sense of comfort, of letting go of everything I feel like I need in a typical day. I don’t REALLY need my cell phone, and I don’t REALLY need to check my Instagram comments. We pushed on, finding many small waterfalls to refill our water bottles, a few ripe guava to quench our hunger, and some nice spots to capture the beauty of nature enveloping us.IMG_6281

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Around 3pm, we finally reached mile 7, the supposed most dangerous part of the hike, nicknamed “Crawler’s Ledge,” with it’s narrow loose dirt trail and steep cliffs above and below. You have to hold on to the side of the cliff as you walk forward. This actually ended up being my favorite part, because you had a view of the ocean the entire time, and 20mph gusts of winds kept me cool in the afternoon heat. I nicknamed it “The Goat Crawl” because it seemed like billy goats had made the trail, and we simply crawled along, holding onto the edge.

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And finally, a view of Kalalau beach. I felt lighter on my feet knowing we were getting closer to the finish line.

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At 6:30pm, we arrived. About an hour before sunset, we found a nice little wooded area to camp, plopped our bags down and headed for the beach for an evening swim. A little beach yoga on the sand to stretch our strong and exhausted bodies, and a rinse in the nearby waterfall to cleanse the salt off of our bodies was a perfect way to complete our long day. We encountered a few other humans, but not many words were exchanged, as we were ready to draw our senses within for the night. We prepared a quick and simple dinner of our premade rice and our dehydrated black bean soup, and passed out for the night. No fire, no socializing, just a simple good night to rest our bodies.

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In Kalalau, there are no rules. People, for the most part, seem to mind their own business, and as long as you are respectful of those around you, it’s all good. Adventures abound: there are many trails that you can go on that stretch back into the valley, there is a fresh water cave to bathe in, a waterfall to drink fresh water from, and a wild beach break to play in.IMG_6346

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And there is Honopu.  Honopu means “conch shell” in Hawaiian, and is named that because of the sound the archway makes when the winds blow through. It’s a short swim past the end of Kalalau Beach, and worth the trip. Dusty and I are avid ocean swimmers, so we were excited for the adventure.  But when I mentioned it to Brianna, she said she would see how she felt when we got to the end of the beach. She seemed skeptical, but didn’t vocalize her swelling fear. Dusty and I recognized her sentiment, and kept encouraging her that she would be fine, not focusing on the rising swell and tradewinds. Our swim was intense, as the water surged up and down the shoreline, and choppy seas swished us back and forth. Thankfully, the current flowed in the direction of Honopu, so we arrived on the beach in a short 10-15 minutes.  Once we made it onto the sand, Brianna was happy, but almost more anxious, because she knew she still had to make it back. We said nothing to multiply that fear, only giving her words of accomplishment and pride. The long sand beach has a long small tidepool and a magnificent archway on the other side beckons you to see what lies beyond. And if your legs can take you there, you will find the waterfall and small pool at the base.  I imagine hardly anyone goes there, for fear of braving the rough ocean. 

A few years ago when I went with the group of women, a bunch of us swam to Honopu on a calm ocean day, and found the giant arch. Here is a picture from that trip in 2010.

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Here is an ariel view photo taken from http://www.pulpanddagger.com/canuck/Kong_skull.html

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This year, after the three of us arrived, we all took a cleansing bath in the waterfall, and started to head back to the beach as the tension began to rise upon our return to Kalalau. Brianna remained somewhat silent and found a nice rock to sit and meditate on before our return to the ocean. Dusty and I ventured around the beach to discover the plant life and the landscape. When we returned a few minutes later, I asked if Brianna was ready. She said “We better go while I’m feeling up for it.” So we all jumped into the shorebreak, and began our swim. Big sets of waves were coming towards us, and out in the giant ocean, I felt really small. Brianna’s eyes got big as she watched the waves coming in towards us, hearts pounding. I noticed her fear, and turned around to face her, and put my arms out in front of me like a mother calls to her child, “Come to me, look at me, not at the ocean. Swim towards me. You’ve got it.” And she did. She looked into my eyes and swam straight towards me as I swam backwards, kicking with my legs and holding my arms out in front of me. “Don’t look out there, look where you are swimming, to me.” I just kept smiling an encouraging smile to her, letting her know that everything is fine. The mind is so powerful when we are afraid. It can be our worst enemy. We get to choose our thoughts and how we react.  We finally made it into the toilet bowl flush of the next small beach before Kalalau and we landed safely, squeezing between rocks to make our way back to Kalalau.  Only then did I realize that I too had mounting fear that I wouldn’t allow myself to focus on, because I knew I had to be strong for my friend. I was afraid too. The waves were big, the ocean is powerful, and we are but gentle creatures.  I hugged Brianna, telling her I was so proud of her, our hearts pounding together, and both of us smiling our giant grins.

That night we practiced some mountain yoga at sunset to prepare our bellies for a delicious meal of hummus, dehydrated greens, instant soup above the heiau on the top of the cliff overlooking Kalalau.

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We made a nice fire at our campsite and made a delicious tea of ginger, turmeric, maca, kava and alaea (red clay) to warm our bellies.  At dark, the three of us headed out to the beach to gaze upon the brilliance of the millions of stars. Citylights far away, silence abounding. Just us and the Universe. 

We started our final morning with a dip in the ocean and some beach yoga beneath the giant green cliffs, gratefully saying our goodbyes to Kalalau, hoping to be back again soon.

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We packed up our little camp and began our hike to the 6 mile mark, Hanakoa, to camp for the night.

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We arrived after about 4 hours of steady hiking. Hanakoa was amazing: a big river with giant boulders surrounded by thick jungle with plenty of campsites of terraced land from ancient Hawaiian rock walls!  The waterfall here is spectacular and definitely worth visiting. As we arrived at the end of the trail leading up to the waterfall, a giant pool awaited us with thousands of feet of cliff overhead, from which sprayed a beautiful feminine mist of water.  As we approached, we were mesmerized. Silence. Then the nakedness began. The three of us stripped down and swam across the pool to the waterfall, hoping that a giant mo’o wahine didn’t suck us down underneath the surface, and we bathed under the gentle yet powerful mist of water. Bliss.

After making a fire to keep the mosquitoes away, we slept peacefully in our last night along Na Pali coast.

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We hiked out early in the morning and made our way back to civilization as we know it right at 3pm. We went for a swim at Ke’e, the beach at the end of the road. Being around other humans in close proximity with their watchful eyes and funny stares at 3 dirty campers was amusing. We washed off our mud and changed clothes just in time for Jaime’s arrival at 4pm, and we said goodbye to Na Pali. 

 

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We did it. We accomplished the unimaginable and something that really scared me. I’m grateful I had my partner Dusty and my friend Brianna to support me on the journey and to give me strength to just go for it.

A few things I wouldn’t pack next time: less clothes (I ended up being naked most of the time) and soap (who needs soap when you’re camping?). What I would bring next time: a Jet Boil and a metal cup (for heating water).

 As we say in Hawaiian, “A hui hou,” (Until we meet again). I think I’ll be back soon, and next time I think my little boy will be joining us! He has no fear, and now I don’t either!

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It’s Sunday night before our first day of our month long Yoga Teacher Training!! My boyfriend Dusty and I decided to do the training together, so we’ve packed our lunches and figured out arrangements for our son to be dropped off and picked up from Sunset Beach Elementary school for the week. Whew! Here we go. It’ll be an intense month of learning, juggling and fun!! Hopefully we’ll squeeze in a few surf sessions in the weeks ahead.

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Dusty and I decided that this is going to be an amazing training for many reasons:
-it’s a simple 5 minute car ride from our humble hale on the North Shore
-2 of our favorite teachers from North Shore are co-teaching
-apparently there will be scholars from all different fields coming to educate us in their specialties
– and it’ll be a great learning and bonding experience for both of us.
– my parents are flying over from the mainland to help care for our son. Thanks Mom and Dad!

And what’s even more amazing is how much yoga has changed my life in the last few years. I’ve only been practicing about 7 years. I started taking yoga fairly regularly when I was pregnant with my son. At that point I was 24 years old and I found a pre-natal class that was appealing. I never considered it a goal of mine to become a yoga teacher; it just kind of happened.

I found myself in India in Feb 2013 for my first yoga teacher training. I really just wanted to immerse myself and dedicate myself to yoga more because I saw how much better of a person, a mother, a partner, daughter, sister and friend I was because of my yoga practice.
Upon returning home to Hawaii, Dusty and I opened up our first retail boutique and yoga studio in April 2013. It has been a busy year to say the least! I’m proud to say that we are celebrating our One Year Anniversary at the studio in 2 weeks! We have quality teachers that offer a variety of classes to the community here on the North Shore, we feature local artists and designers, the best bookshelf in our small town, and the vibe at our studio makes you want to hang out and talk story all day.

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And I LOVE teaching yoga! I am excited to learn with my boyfriend and to deepen our practice together. I think Dusty will be an excellent teacher and an excellent role model to men around the world. I feel like it will be a wonderful bonding experience and I am open to all of the lessons to help us deepen our connection. This is going to be better than I can even imagine!

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One of my 5 year old son’s favorite snacks are fruit leathers–they are basically homemade fruit roll-ups. They are a great heatlhy snack and super easy to make. They don’t have any chemical preservatives or artificial sugars and they still taste delicious!
This week I went on a hike with my boyfriend Dusty and my friend Lisa (and her 2 dogs) and we found tons of lilikoi! So we had an abundance of ripe delicious lilikoi that inspired the idea to make a batch of fruit leathers.
2013-08-18 09.05.03I simply sliced open the lilikoi and scooped out all of the pulp with the seeds into a bowl.
We attend our local farmer’s market every week in Waimea Valley (check out their website here: www.HaleiwaFarmersMarket.com.) We purchased a jackfruit from our farmer friend Lyndee.  Jackfruit is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron- all essential nutrients to maintain a healthy body system.
Jackfruit FUN FACT: It has been reported that jackfruit is the secret ingredient to the flavor Juicy Fruit gum!!
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A look at the inside of the jackfruit.
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Jackfruit on the tree.
 
We also purchased a couple of hands of ripe bananas at the market.  A lot times our local farmers have an excess of ripe bananas and so we are able to get the bananas for a really good price. If we don’t buy them, they might go to waste since they are already yellow with brown spots.
 
Fruit Leather Preparation:
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First Aukai helped peel the bananas while I got all of the pulp and seeds out of the jackfruit and lilikoi.
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 We mixed all the fruit in our blender until it was smoothie consistency.
Of course Aukai had to sample it to make sure it tasted good!
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We then spread it out on a piece of parchment paper on a dehydrator tray.
We made a few batches of smoothie, so we had quite a few trays filled up, and we placed them in the dehydrator at 105 degrees for 16 hours. (If you make your own at home, when you take the trays out of the dehydrator, be sure that there are no sticky or soft spots in the fruit leather. You will want to make sure that the liquid has dried all the way.)
And VOILA!! Homemade fruit leather yumminess!!
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    We cut up the fruit leather into strips for good snacks for the kids (and adults too!). They will last about a month in an air-tight container on the counter OR in the freezer for about a year, but we usually eat them within about 2 weeks because they are so delicious. They are also a great gift to friends with kids!
    I love making fruit leathers with my son, because he gets to be involved in the creative process of preparing food that he gets to enjoy! He also loves the responsibility of being a wonderful helper which I think is super important for the development of young children.
    I hope you enjoyed learning about our fruit leather adventure! I encourage you to get creative and have some fun with all different kinds of fruit!
    Please feel free to email me with any questions: NoelaniLove@gmail.com

Tonight, August 6th, marks the new moon in Leo. From my favorite mystical readings at http://www.MysticMamma.com, I’ve read that this moon represents a chance for all of us to come into our power, to explore our hearts truest desires, and to have faith that these visions that we are having of our future are possible and to keep on.Image

Art by Matt French

 

How does this New Moon concern me?  Well, I’ve been challenged for sure in many ways over the last 4 months, as I’ve opened my own yoga studio and retail shop in Haleiwa town. This wasn’t a part of my plan…nothing really is anyway.  I’ve started to put intentions out into the universe with the bigger intention of allowing everything to flow in the best way possible.  When I returned from my Kundalini Yoga teacher training in India at the end of February, I had some intention of opening up a retail shop in Haleiwa to feature my jewelry. Little did I know that I would be opening up a yoga studio and inviting many of my favorite teachers and friends to teach classes and sell their products in this space. And little did I know that I would have such a great, supportive team of 6 wonderful female employees to help everything move in the right direction with great customer service, hard work and creative efficiency. Nor did I know that my handsome boyfriend would be so excited to demolish an old Pizza Hut from the inside out and create a whole new look and feel of the space. It’s been truly amazing!

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I guess for me for this upcoming Lunar Cycle, there are many dreams and visions to move forward with. I’d really like to start blogging and sharing my life with my fans and supporters. I know there is much that I have learned in my life that I would love to share with everyone! In the astral insight readings from MysticMamma.com, I see that it is especially important to shine from our hearts our truest passions and that if we do, we will succeed. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s so true:

“Shine your light. Don’t hide your truth. Share what you have learned with others. Teach what you know. We teach what we have learned in life. Your life lessons make you experts and Self-masters, when you use painful experiences for your growth…”
Be who you truly are. Be who you came to earth to be during her transition home. You are a Shining Star. You are the Sun Center of your universe. You are creating your reality. You are a powerful creator.”
“Live from your heart then you will be Authentic Love. You can have abundance, love and fulfillment.” – Kelley Rosano

So here I go, sharing my story!

One of my deepest passions is Natural Childbirth, and I’d like to move forward in educating women about the empowering experience of birthing naturally. My son was born at our home at Sunset Beach, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Although it was, of course, challenging, after 19 or so hours of labor, when I pushed this little mammal out of my vagina, I remember thinking, “I could do that 10 million more times! How amazing that I just created this little being!! What a blessing!”  And my body was pumping with the natural hormone released during childbirth, called oxytocin. And my little man Aukai was so happy and so cozy in our little home. He was never taken away from me, but simply handed to me by my midwife, Dr. Lori Kimata, who caught him and passed him up into my arms, umbilical cord connected and everything. He didn’t make a peep, just looked at me with those little blue eyes. And I held him close, so proud. Then I realized I didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl…so I held him out and saw that he was a boy. That’s when he let out a little whimper, so I pulled him in close to my breast.  Pure happiness.

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Every woman deserves a chance to birth her child in her own power and as she desires.  Birthing babies is a part of the natural human process. Birth is not an emergency and does not need to be treated like an emergency, unless there are complications. Complications usually only occur when there is intervention. Women have been having babies for centuries without drugs and without hospitals. Hospitals are great in the event of an emergency, but again birth is a normal physiological process and can be amazing!!!

If you are interested in learning more about natural birth and hearing more about my amazing experience, please join me and 2 naturopathic doctors, (Dr. Lori Kimata (midwife) and Dr. Ye Nguyen (doula)) on Aug. 24 from 11am-2pm at the North Shore Women’s Expo at the Martell Home on the North Shore. Please email me for details: NoelaniLove@gmail.com

You’ve heard rumors…and it’s true!  We’ve opened up a shop in Haleiwa town! We are located right across the parking lot from the post office, behind the HE>I shop.

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Here’s all the details: We are open Mon-Fri from 10-6 and Saturdays 10-5, closed on Sundays.

Our entire jewelry collection is available here to view.  We are your one-stop shop for all of your jewelry needs- we can also do customizations upon request (there might be a small fee depending on the customization.)

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I am excited to be carrying Tiare Hawaii clothing (I LOVE and live in these clothes-pajamas, beach, work and play!). They are so feminine, comfortable, beachy and elegant–perfect for every occasion.

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We just brought in handmade cutting boards from local woodcrafter Jennifer Homcy. She uses all reclaimed wood from local trees such as koa, milo, mango, shower tree and more.  We love the HEART cutting board! So cute for a gathering with the ladies or a date night at home with your honey!
We are carrying local products such as Indigenous Soaps
(made by my good friend Love Chance) as well as lip balm by “Homemade by Husak”. Both of these are local companies and they use all natural products with no chemical preservatives and are super healthy for our bodies!
We will continue to add more local products from North Shore natives and other local companies. We hope you can stop in for all your personal or gift needs! (We have gift boxes available).
Hope to see you all soon!!
Love,
Noelani

 

 

 

 

You’ve been waiting, and I’ve been settling in so nicely to my island life and home.  Thank you everyone for your support during my soul-searching journey, and thank you for your patience as I prepare this blog.

Although I enjoyed my travels immensely, I am so grateful to be back on the North Shore after 5 weeks away from my home and family, and everything that I know to be so comfortable and love.

I went to India for 4 weeks to study kundalini yoga (the yoga of awareness) at an ashram in with many master teachers and 153 students from 29 different countries. We had an amazing time learning the philosophy of yoga and how to teach kundalini yoga.  I have many photos and stories to share, so  I am going to just share some of my adventures a little bit at a time so that it is not overwhelming.

We stayed in the small town of Rishikesh, nestled at the foothills of the Himalayas.  It was a beautiful town, well known for its yoga community, great shopping and delicious Indian and Ayurvedic food.  There were monkeys in the trees and elephants in the hills.  The Ganges River is relatively clean in Rishikesh, as it flows freshly from the snow of the Himalayan Mountains.  We bathed in the river, also known as the Mata Ganga (Mother Ganges) at 3:30 AM a handful of times before our morning sadhana (daily meditation) at 4AM. It felt refreshing and was a powerful way to start the day, getting our blood circulating quickly and activating our glandular system.

Myself and Erica enjoying the beauty, power and grace of the Ganges River.

Myself and Erica enjoying the beauty, power and grace of the Ganges River.

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One of the exciting things I did while I was in India (besides lots of yoga) was to touch a cobra snake.  I was shopping for some gifts when I saw a snake charmer on the street in Delhi.  He told me his father had taken the venom out of its fangs after he found the cobra in the jungle.  The snake was being handled by the charmer and it didn’t seem bothered, so I gave it a try…

Click HERE to watch the video.  Enjoy the video, filmed by my travel companion and fellow yogini, Erica Jago!  

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