Archive for the ‘Guest Bloggers’ Category

Yoga & The DivaCup

Monday, December 10th, 2012 by Madeleine

daniellesea Yoga & The DivaCupDanielle Hoogenboom, Love Light Yoga

Danielle Hoogenboom is one of my favorite teachers at my home studio YYOGA. I have always resonated with her story of self-transformation from being an cynical artist with some self-destructive habits to embracing her health and personal development through yoga. She is a Yin yoga specialist (Yin is the feminine principle, or “side”, in contrast to the masculine Yang, in the Chinese tradition), and you can also catch her classes at Unity Yoga in Vancouver.

She is a longtime advocate of natural menstrual products (in fact, when she learned where I worked she practically shouted “Lunapads? I love Lunapads!!!“) and so I asked her to share her thoughts about her relationship with her cycle, as well as how the DivaCup serves her yoga practice.

Our cycles are to be honoured as part of our practice. They remind us that there is an ebb and a flow to all aspects of our life.

My physical practice changes dramatically depending on my cycles. The few days before, I feel quiet and need time to rest, restore and prep for the days ahead! I need more sleep, heavier food and lots of water. The first days of my cycle, I have way less energy, and really reminds me that I need to slow it down, feel more in tune with my body’s requests and to back off a bit.

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Menstruation in the Military

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 by Guest

Some of you may remember the Period Makeover we did for Krys, a while ago. Krys is an active member of the US army and faces some pretty unique challenges when it comes to managing her period. She send us this update on her LunaRevolution and what it’s been like to use Lunapads.

kyu pic 21 Menstruation in the Military

“To say having a period in the military sucks is a severe understatement.” That is what I would say to civilian girls before making the switch. Lunapads turned that sentence into, “Nah, having a period doesn’t even cross my mind, let alone get in the way of work.”

I’ve been in the army for 7 years now. I certainly get distracted by my wishy-washy Aunt Flo who tends to appear (she has never represented the punctual side of me) late, early, or not at all sometimes, depending on the training and how it is affecting my body. The last thing you want is to bleed through your uniform. I’ve had it happen before, and it took a good amount of washing pants while not wearing any in a sink, toilet paper, and dumping a bottle of water on my head to make the top part of me soaked as well… On top of that embarrassment potential, there’s no privacy. You work with the same people, day in and out. You shop with those same people. It doesn’t matter WHEN you buy that box of pads or tampons, everyone takes one look and assumes what time it is. Latrines (bathrooms for you civilian types ) are hard to come by on missions in Iraq or other third world countries.

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Renee’s Luna Revolution: Switching to Cloth

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 by Morgan

lunapadpic1 1024x705 Renees Luna Revolution: Switching to Cloth

Renee is a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, natural parenting mama who blogs at Thebabyandtheartist.wordpress.com. Renee had her own Luna Revolution after the birth of her son.

Recently I was listening to a podcast interview with the founder of Lunapads, Madeleine Shaw (you can listen to the interview here), and discovered that many mothers who use cloth diapers also switch to cloth menstrual pads. Apparently, I am not the only mother to make this connection.

Some of you may know from reading my blog that I use cloth diapers for my baby as a back up for EC (elimination communication).  It was this use of cloth diapers that started me thinking about other items in my life that were disposable, but need not be.  I was familiar with Lunapads, but never really gave it a second thought, that is until after giving birth.

Initially after the birth of my son, I used the disposable pads and mesh panties (not very environmentally friendly) found in my home birth kit for my lochia (flow of blood after birth). While every postpartum women experiences lochia, the fact is that no matter how short and light it is, the use of disposable pads, yes even “natural” disposable pads, are just plain uncomfortable.

Then around the time that my son was two months old, a shift in my thinking happened. My lochia had long since subsided, but somehow I found myself looking at various products for the postpartum women. During this research,  I came across cloth pads, particularly Lunapads in the form of the postpartum kit. If only I had used these instead of disposable pads!

 lunablog 1024x682 Renees Luna Revolution: Switching to Cloth

I knew at that point I had found my answer to not using disposable pads anymore. However, since I am breastfeeding my child, my period had not yet returned at this time. Instead, I sent a sample of Lunapads to each of my sisters as a test run.  One of my sisters who had not yet considered using cloth pads, tried them out and found them to be incredibly comfortable. In fact, she excitedly called me on the telephone to report that Lunapads were indeed the most comfortable pads she had ever worn and was also thinking about switching. If I needed any confirmation, this was it!

The use of cloth pads for me is more than just about being comfortable, it is about the connection between my period and my body’s ability to grow and sustain life as well as give birth.  In essence, I see using cloth pads as a way to reclaim and honour certain aspects of my womanhood that are directly linked to my menstrual cycle.

Now that my period has returned, I am excited about using my cloth pads from the Lunapad’s starter kit. More importantly though, I seem to have arrived at a place where I now view my cycle as positive event, and that is something worth noting if not celebrating!

New Blood Book Review

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 by Guest

Hi everyone, Lisa here! When I read the review posted below, I immediately wished I’d written it myself — so I contacted the writer, and she was gracious enough to let me share it here. Thanks so much, Anna! What do you see for the future of menstrual activism? Tell us!

newbloodchrisbobel New Blood Book Review

When I first picked up New Blood, I immediately thought about Sarah Haskins, the feminist comedienne who does the segment ‘Target Women’ (on Current TV), in which she uses humour and sarcasm to draw attention to ridiculous media representations of women and female stereotypes. Watch ‘Target Women: Your Garden’—in which she exposes commercials that dare not name ‘lady parts’ and you’ll understand why I thought of her and now, after reading New Blood see in her a great representation of the contemporary feminist movement.

In New Blood, Chris Bobel, an associate professor and chair of women’s studies at the University of Massachusetts and the author of The Paradox of Natural Mothering, shines a timely and important spotlight on the small menstrual activist movement. Borne out of divergent feminist leanings that shape contemporary menstrual activism, it is based on the effort to speak openly about menstruation, the bleeding body, and to rebel against the notion of period as a ‘dirty little secret’ as well as to act against negative campaigns and build an environment in which alternative, environmentally sustainable and body-positive feminine health care is mainstreamed.

Bobel’s research for this book brought her in contact with two strands of menstrual activists: feminist spiritualist who celebrate the inherent female experience of menstruation (think: red-tents, menarche rituals at moonlight); and the radical menstruation activist who, choosing the term ‘menstrator’ to replace ‘woman’ to free themselves of the sex/gender dichotomy and resist the exclusivity of static gender identity. Bobel calls them ‘revolutionary’; (think: radical cheerleaders; anti-corporate rallies, eco-warriors, and dressing up as Tampons to cause stir in campuses across the US).

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Why I stopped Using Tampons

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 by Guest

I remember seeing a popular tampon ad when I was a girl in Israel, which said: “With tampons – every day of the month is the same!” At the time I thought it was a great thing. Wow! I thought, imagine that!

This was when my Mom still didn’t allow me to use tampons, saying I was too young. This left me feeling small, even though I was “officially” a woman. Tampons seemed like a mysterious prize, reserved only for the elite grown girls, of whom I wasn’t a part. The tampon ad served to cement my mystification with this forbidden fruit that came to symbolize adulthood to me.

Maiden crescent cyclesWEB  Why I stopped Using Tampons My Mom was afraid of my hymen breaking by a tampon. Her unspoken communication conveyed much more than this. Underneath her words, the message seemed to say that once I was pierced by a man and lost my virginity, I would be free to insert a similar man-made contraption into myself. Of course she never said this, or even thought anything of the sort, but it occurs to me now that this is what lies behind it all: Penis-like, a tampon encapsulates clear societal messages that say: Plug yourself! Hide your flow! Become linear – let every day of the month be the same!

And for many years I did… I loved the convenience of being able to go swimming with a tampon. I liked that what I considered to be “A Mess” was under control. I easily forgot I was on my period, and surely I had all the days of the month be the same… Or were they?

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Yoginis talk periods with Girlvana

Monday, August 27th, 2012 by Madeleine

As is the case for most businesses, we get requests for sponsorships and donations all the time. Sometimes we say yes, sometimes we say no, and sometimes we are practically falling over ourselves to be part of something simply because the person making the ask is so totally, magnetically compelling. Alex Mazerolle and Girlvana yoga fall squarely in the latter category.

We donated gift bags and sponsored one girl to attend her recent teen girl yoga retreat and received this beautiful account of the powerful sharing that the girls did around their experiences:

I wanted to send a quick note to tell you just how thankful I am for the generous donations. I have attached a few photos of the girls reading their booklets and the discussion that took place.

It was such a beautiful opportunity for us all to share about the first time we got our periods, how we told our mothers and how we have viewed our bodies ever since. I was surprised about how open, honest and engaged all the girls were. We spoke about shame and embarrassment surrounding pads and tampons and sneaking off to the bathroom at school etc. The mentors and I shared stories about coming to love and listen to our bodies, how our cycles are actually an incredible occurrence and that we must begin to connect with ourselves in this way.

tree chain Yoginis talk periods with Girlvana

Some of the girls put on their “I love my Period” pins and others placed them on the alter that we created in the yoga room. We discussed all the beautiful work that you guys do like Pads4Girls which they all took a keen interest in. It was an enlightening discussion and fit so perfectly in the over all message of the camp.

I am deeply grateful for the support not only just for the product, but for encouraging these discussions to happen and raising the consciousness for not only these girls but for myself. I felt very privileged to deliver this information knowing that it was trickling down from such strong leaders such as yourselves.

I have also attached a photo of beautiful Sarah. Your generous donation went her way so she could attend the retreat. She is one of 10 siblings and it was her eldest sister who reached out to me for financial aid and really wanted for Sarah to have this opportunity.

sarah Yoginis talk periods with Girlvana

Sarah blew us all away with her presence. She was a sponge the entire week, soaking up all of the advice, wisdom and words that were shared. She spent time with each mentor to open up and learn. She was kind, caring, and brave. Her tears were all of our tears as she told her stories, expressed her worries and ultimately found her voice. She wrote letters to each of us on the last day and we all sobbed at her eloquence, her understanding and the promise of a stronger girl with more love for herself.

Without your donation, it would not have been possible. Your help and the impact that we made is such a miracle and I am eternally grateful. The impact we can make on each other’s lives with a little support makes me see just how important this work is.

Plastic Takes Practice: Learning to Use the pStyle

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 by Guest

standup Plastic Takes Practice: Learning to Use the pStyle

Hiya folks, Lisa (@lunaplaids) here! I’m so happy to bring you our 2nd guest blog cross-post from my friend Samson about their experience using the pStyle. What has been your experience with the pStyle? Did it click for you right away, or did it take some practice? Any tips or advice for others? I would also encourage you to check out this video review by Dr. Ruthie. Now, onto the post!

I wrote about having a period as a genderqueer person, and Lunapads asked to cross-post it, as I discussed reusable pads as an option I use in managing my period. (The cross-posted version is here!) As a thank-you, they asked to send me some goodies.

When the padded envelope arrived, I snagged it out of my mailbox on my way in the door. As I set the rest of my things down, I frowned, curiously squeezing it: there was something rigid inside. I couldn’t imagine what it was. As soon as I pulled the adhesive open, though, I knew it was a pStyle.

The first thing I did was whip out my phone to tweet Lunapads an ecstatically gleeful thanks. The second thing I did was whip out the pStyle and run to the bathroom.

I suppose everyone who pees standing up had a first time too, and you know that it’s awkward. It takes practice. I felt like a five-year-old: pants at my ankles, shins snugged right up against the bowl. I was probably squinting in concentration.

It was awesome.

And that surprised me.

Standing or sitting to pee was never something I had dysphoria about. I’d been curious about stand-to-pee devices (hence knowing exactly what the pStyle was), but in my slow acquisition of things (Ace bandage, check. Packer, check. pstyle in hand Plastic Takes Practice: Learning to Use the pStyleActual binder [and never ever binding with an Ace again], check. Harness, check. Harness tools, check.) I’d never really considered getting one.

But man, this felt great. Was it gender-related? Maybe it was just something about standing. Maybe it was the particular nerves the STP was hitting. Maybe it’s just that I’d never tried it before, never known how cool it was–

I suddenly remembered being six and longing to stand up to pee. I remembered sitting backwards on the toilet, which was about as close as I thought I could get. I remembered how good that felt–good, but not enough.

I thought I’d never sit down to pee at home again. Then one day it was more convenient to just sit to pee real quick, and since then the pStyle has been in my bathroom cabinet. But I’m still intrigued by how great it felt, and I know it’s something I’ll try again.

And, six-year-old self: one day you’ll do it and it’ll be just as awesome as you imagined!

Community Educating about Menstrual Alternatives

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 by Guest

studentgroup Community Educating about Menstrual Alternatives

I wanted to thank you again for donating Lunapads samples along with some coupons and information for my program on reusable feminine hygiene products. I had the program tonight at 7, and it went over really well. I started by telling the girls my thoughts when I first heard about reusable menstrual products and how disgusting I thought they sounded but that after looking into the products more, I realized they weren’t so nasty after all.

On that note, I asked that the girls keep an open mind going into the program and said that they could judge the crap out of me at the end—after they had the information. That got a chuckle. I followed that by talking about the amount of waste generated by disposable products and then talked about the cost and savings of using green products. I had samples from three different companies, so I told my residents about the different brands and how they differ slightly in their construction and absorption. I know a lot of my residents use tampons and are also extremely active in the outdoors, so I spent the next half of the program telling the girls about menstrual cups and how convenient they can be because you don’t have to worry if you packed enough tampons for your trip and there is no waste to pack out when camping. That’s one thing I love about menstrual cups; it takes the guess work out of how much “supplies” I need to bring on trips!

The group of girls that came was really open to the concept of reusable products and that made the program run very smoothly. They were very interactive, and I discovered that two of the girls already use cloth pads and love them. That was awesome to know because they were willing to share with the group their experience with cloth pads.

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Lindsay’s First Period Story

Monday, March 12th, 2012 by Guest

lindsey coulter Lindsays First Period Story

Lindsay Coulter is David Suzuki’s Queen of Green, living in Vancouver, BC. A lover of nature and advocate of do-it-yourself, her first period came when she was 12.

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I got my period in grade six—must have been 12 years old.

It happened at school; I knew what it was right away. After all, our class had watched those awkward videos about growing hair in weird places, etc. At lunch hour I grabbed my best friend Kari to plot next steps.

We ran to my house, half a block away (kids in my day walked to school!) and sussed out the bathroom for my mom’s tried, tested and true products. Yeah. That’s wasn’t happening. Think of how small you were at 12. Now, picture a super-plus Tampax tampon with cardboard applicator! There was no way this thing was going to fit. I also had no idea what to do with it.

Plan B: my friend said her mom used pads. And it was the 80’s, so we’re talking Kotex pads that came with a belt! Unfazed, we grabbed a box of facial tissue and a roll of scotch tape—we were in the sanitary pad making business now! (I was a DIYer at a young age.)

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Changing Periods with the Queen of Green

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 by Lisa

queenofgreen Changing Periods with the Queen of Green

Check out Queen of Green (@davidsuzukiqog on Twitter)’s interview with Madeleine about having a “greener” period, thanks to Lunapads and The DivaCup. Post a comment on Queen of Green’s Blog to enter to win 1 DivaCup Kit with Mini PantylinersThanks so much for spreading the love, Lindsey! 

David Suzuki’s Queen of Green, Lindsay Coulter, answers your green living questions and offers tips and recipes to make your life easier on the environment. It’s all about green living made easy. Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest for the latest in eco-conscious living, delivered to your inbox once monthly.

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