Ep 56: How to create space to allow our children to thrive with renowned Ashtanga Yoga Instructor Lea Marie Perfetti
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Today’s guest, renowned Ashtanga Yoga instructor, surfer and mommy of four Lea Marie Perfetti, knows all about having to shed and rebuild our identities as mamas and how motherhood is a rebirth in so many ways. Lea is a mama who knows how to give her children enough love, presence and enough outdoor space to really allow them to thrive. In fact, you’ll see pictures of her children roaming the land near their home in Southwest Portugal riding horses, running around barefoot and joining their parents in their surf, yoga and travel adventures. Her and her husband Tarik, who met in 2008, lead reputable OCEAN WYSE YOGA retreats all over the world and create a sacred space for brining their children along for the ride.
One picture on her social media account that particularly stands out to me is the image of her young son jumping off of a stack of yoga blankets piled up high while her parents look on with amusement. You can see that their kids are quite integrated into their lives and they make as much effort as possible to let them be the free little beings they came on this earth to be.
Lea believes in nurturing presence with our children, particularly in the early stages of motherhood to provide them with the most confidence and trust possible. In fact, she nursed all three of her kids until three years old. Lea, who was quite passionate about women’s studies and feminism in her youth, after being raised by a young single mother, admits that motherhood and marriage has softened her and reframed her experience with femininity.
It is in nature where she feels the most free and the safest. This is why she has built her life around open space. Today she is going to talk to us about integrating children into living the life of our dreams, femininity, rebirth, changes in identity, and mother/child attachment.
Growing up with a single mother who had her at 16 made her nervous to dive into motherhood, as it was always seen as a “challenge” growing up.
How Ina May Gaskin inspired Lea to purse extended breastfeeding and take a more “attachment parenting” approach.
How she experienced naysayers when she decided to breastfeed her daughter for an extended period of time.
How her third baby made her realize just how hard breastfeeding can be.
Reflections on the physical and mental jarring changes that go along with motherhood.
How she maintained a consistent yoga practice with a nursing child.
Living off the grid with adolescents and teenagers
How clear communication has helped her and her husband as business partners.
“You cannot have confidence in your mothering skills until you have actual mothering experience.”
“When I started doing yoga in my twenties, I think that started putting me into contact with my own feelings for the first time and suddenly I thought, okay, I really, really want to have a baby.”
“It really was a huge lesson for me. I thought I was like a nursing specialist after the first two and my son showed me the whole other kind of dark side too-Not being able to facilitate that connection in the beginning.”
“That idea of “enough-ness” was a struggle for me probably. That’s probably why I’m so regular about my yoga practice.”
Connect with Lea: