Calling all Pregnant Mamas! Join us for a very special 3-day immersive retreat in the beautiful mountains of Topanga.
We’ve curated this retreat especially for YOU, a fully immersive experience where we’ll spend each day dropping into our our deep subconscious in a container of ritual - Working through our fears, moving our body through yoga and dance, meditation, journaling, sitting and learning from some of the most powerful and legendary birth workers, doulas, midwives, and birth educators that work in and around LA.
Birth is the most profound rite of passage we as women will ever get to experience. Unfortunately, we often walk alone into the prenatal journey greeted with fears, scary stories and our own trauma.
To slow down the external noise and projections about our bodies, to drop into the truth of our own power, and to taste our own potential in a sacred container with a community of others while being held by powerful teachers and guides, this retreat has the potential to give us the autonomy to inform and personalize our birth experience in a powerful and potent way. When we birth our children having prepared ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically, we no longer are asking permission from the establishment to do something outside of medical protocol: we become our own guides. Our own inherent guidance system is so finely tuned that we are able to speak the truth of our own experience.
This retreat is for people who will be pregnant during the time of the retreat, and who are
Each day has been carefully designed to take you on a journey of ritual and exploration. We will drop in through the elements and use tools of our lineages to honor the three arches of the Ma*Tri*Arch Retreat:
Roots: Nourishment/Self-Care/Mental-Emotional Tending
Branches: Community/Container of Fellow Travelers / Lineage of Inheritance
Aleksandra Evanguelidi is a Licensed Midwife and has been working as a birthworker for over 25 years. She began attending births as a doula while maintaining her presence as a nutritionist and as an herbal educator for Gaia Herbs. A firm believer and proponent in living a sustainable lifestyle, she draws from her years of education and experience in nutrition to support her clients in having an extraordinary sense of wellness. She is a GAPS Certified Practitioner and utilizes the principles of the Ancestral Diet in her preconception work as the basis for supporting her clients reaching the highest level of nourishment and vitality. Having studied Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Birth, Aleks works as a trauma informed provider, working to integrate the perinatal experience and transform how trauma impacts us somatically. She also is a student of Ellen Heed’s STREAM program which supports the healing of the perineum and remediation of scar tissue, trauma and pelvic floor repair. Over the years Aleks has worked with over 3000 clients, opened and operated as Clinical Director The Sanctuary Birth & Family Wellness Center, trained over 25 student midwives, and has contributed to several documentaries and publications on birth related topics. She is co-host of the podcast “Under the Hood,” which opens the dialogue on taboo subjects around women’s bodies and the politics surrounding them. Over the last few decades Aleks has also been initiated in several lineages of sacred studies and has been working as a Priestess facilitating rituals, new moon circles, and when called, facilities rites of passage ceremonies. She is also an avid biohacker and loves integrating her work and her passions. She is currently expanding her offerings to Pregnancy and Preconception retreats, online virtual classes as well as birth mentorship and virtual consults.
Kimberly Durdin, LM, CPM, IBCLC
Kimberly Durdin is a Licensed Midwife, Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Childbirth Educator and Doula Trainer. As a mother of six and grandmother of five, Kimberly credits her children as her greatest teachers.
Over the last 29 years, Kimberly has interwoven her life with the lives of thousands of families throughout New York City, Washington DC Metro Area & Los Angeles. Be it through her work of providing lactation care, postpartum support, groups, counseling, childbirth education, labor support or through her work mentoring current and future birthworkers, her dedication has allowed her to fully enjoy the fruits of her labor in the faces of the communities served. She and business partner Allegra Hill are co-owners and co-founders of Kindred Space LA, South LA’s only Black-owned Birth Center and hub for midwifery care, doula support and training, lactation consulting, education, parenting support group, enrichment and movement.
Her non-profit the Birthing People Foundation empowers People of Color by providing free and low cost education, training and certification pertaining to pregnancy, birth and postpartum; such as doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, birth assistants and midwives. It is designed to address the maternal and infant health disparities in communities of color and other marginalized groups and to help change birth outcomes for marginalized people, while bringing Black and Brown women/people back to their roots as the original wellness providers
Carmen is a birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, Somatic massage therapist, STREAM (Scar Tissue Remediation Education and Management) practitioner, Reiki healer and Kundalini prenatal/postpartum and family yoga teacher in Los Angeles. Carmen has been doing Bodywork for 30 years and is highly sought after to help heal and clear blocks and obstructions to fertility. Carmen uses several techniques from the many schools of education and various lineages she has been trained in to support her clients during the birthing process as well as postpartum.
While trauma can occur during childbirth for the baby and/or the Mother, it can be processed for mama and baby in a compassionate manner through the intensity that is geared toward healing and bodily release of traumatic scars. Carmen utilizes the tools of somatic massage therapy, meditation and yoga with different modalities to customize an experience for each mama and the whole family.
Carmen's Ayurvedic 42-Day Postpartum Program has evolved into a collection of ancient wisdom and techniques from different cultures including Bengkung Belly Binding and the Latin American tradition "Closing of the Bones” initiated and trained by Miriam Avalos and Naoli Vinaver. . Carmen has created a Dream Doula VIllage to have a community of doulas to support families at all different stages in fertility, pregnancy, postpartum and Beyond. The Dream Doula Village also supports doulas seeking mentorship and training to expand their tool-bag of tips and tricks to help families.
Meaghan had been working in the field of clothing design as a developer for Patagonia, working her “dream job” when she became pregnant at 21 with her first child, Sol. It was during the process of raising him that working the corporate lifestyle no longer felt resonant. Raising her babies became the most important thing for her and finding a career path that included them and allowed her to be closer to them as they were young became paramount. She birthed both her children with midwife Karni, both at Sunrise birth center and at home. Midwifery felt so resonant and familiar to her.
She has always felt a strong draw to herbal medicine and has studied both Chinese herbal medicine, Italian folk herbalism, and western medicinal herbs. She has also gone on to study Ayurveda and has found a way to incorporate her witchy ways into caring for new mothers pre and postpartum with herbal blends and remedies as well as ancient practices for the care of new mothers which include belly binding, yoni steams, abhyanga, and the Closing of the Bones ceremony. Meaghan also works as a postpartum doula while she finishes up her midwifery studies.
Meaghan has a strong connection to her lineage of Italian/Latina grandmothers. When studying her matrilineal line, she was thrilled to find out that her great great grandmother, a curandera, and her great grandmother were a mother daughter midwifery team in Texas and that the blood of healers pumped in her veins. 3 years ago she committed to the path of her ancestors and began studying midwifery.
Nicole "Dancing Moon" LaCour-Wordlaw
For the past 13 years, Nicole has worked as a certified birth doula, childbirth educator, and Dancing for Birth instructor, supporting and educating expectant families and birth workers by sharing a remembering of who we all are as embodied people and encouraging all persons to live life ‘full out’ with every ebb and flow that life brings.
Holding a BFA in Dance, Nicole’s prior formal education, training, and passion for performance dance shifted to focus on the art of motherhood when she first became a mother 15 years ago. Not feeling the same in her body after birthing two children led her to explore how movement IS possible, beneficial and healing in her new, different body. She now loves to share the benefits of movement expression with expecting and postpartum mothers and birth workers ~ so they too can share with their friends, families, clients and communities!
With a strong administrative background, Nicole has also worked with birthing centers and other holistic health offices in the LA area since 2008. These environments further nurtured her belief that we are all whole beings that need ALL components acknowledged and cared for.
Nicole’s additional loves and offerings include vaginal steaming and essential oils to support the whole body at various stages of life.
Patti Quintero is a mother of two + founder of UMA MOTHER. Patti has been teaching Yoga + Meditation since 1998, and has worked as a Birth Doula in the Los Angeles area for the last decade. Born in California and raised in Colombia and Miami, Patti has had a lifelong passion for teaching and working in the healing arts.
After completing her Masters in Education at the University of Miami, Patti moved back to Los Angeles to teach Kindergarten. It was there that she discovered the importance of sharing the practices that brought so much joy into her life with children and with every human. In 2000 she transitioned to teaching Yoga full time and became part of Yoga Works in Santa Monica, California where she taught and led teacher trainings for 20 years.
In 2003, during her first pregnancy, Patti shifted her focus to working with Mothers and specializing in Pre + Postnatal yoga. Her practice and teaching have served as the greatest tools to embrace and navigate the powerful metamorphosis into Motherhood from pregnancy to present day. Since having children, Patti has continued to create projects that help support Mothers as they serve as the lighthouse of their families. Patti launched SoulShine Colombia, a nonprofit project designed to bring Yoga, Meditation and Clean Water to underprivileged adolescent mothers and their children, created Pre + Postnatal trainings, and am part of the faculty in the Loyola Marymount Yoga Therapy Program.
In 2016 she founded her company, UMA MOTHER. UMA is a culmination of Patti's many years of working with mothers, as a teacher, a mentor, a community leader and a birth doula. The focus of all practices offered at UMA is to elevate consciousness and help each of us live in a more authentic and awakened state. This year UMA MOTHER will launch its online platform offering on- demand content for Mothers of all stages. --
Lori Bregman is a renowned doula, life coach, author of The Doula Deck, Mamaste, and The Mindful Mom To Be, as well as co-founder of Seedlyfe Superfoods. With over 20 years of experience, Lori works with moms-to-be and new moms on all aspects of their personal transformation from fertility through pregnancy and into new motherhood. She is unique in her innate ability to blend spiritual coaching, healing, and intuition which are fully integrated into her Doula practice. The delivery is just one part of the journey of birthing not only a healthy baby but also a healthy mother. Lori cultivates a strong relationship with her clients by supporting them throughout the entire process – before, during, and after the birth.
She is the founder of the Mindful Mom-To-Be Virtual Group Coaching Program, a complete mind, body, and spirit support program that helps women throughout pregnancy and birth as they transition into new motherhood.
Throughout her career, Lori has studied with and learned from some of the most renowned healers and spiritual teachers across the world. These teachers have shared with her their wisdom, from spirituality, intuition, body/mind awareness, herbs/vitamins, aromatherapy oils and the healing power of foods to doula work, bodywork, yoga, and numerous other forms of holistic healing.
Lori has always been especially drawn to working with moms-to-be and new mothers and geared much of her learning toward pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. She has built a thriving career based on her passion for fostering mindful and empowered mothers, healthy and happy babies as well as people at all stages of life.
Author, Transformed by Birth (2020)
Dr. Britta Bushnell (she/her) is a wife and mother, author of Transformed by Birth (SoundsTrue 2020), veteran childbirth educator, celebrated speaker, mythologist, and specialist in childbirth, relationship, and parenting. For over 20 years, Dr. Bushnell has worked with individuals and couples as they prepare for the life-changing experience of giving birth. Her work with parents has been enriched by her doctoral work in mythology and psychology, her years spent as a co-owner of Birthing From Within, as well as her dedicated study of solution-focused practice, storytelling, and sustaining sexual and romantic vibrancy even during parenthood.
Britta is an engaging teacher, speaker, storyteller, and presenter. Whether addressing a room of expectant parents, new mothers, or seasoned birth professionals, Britta has a way of captivating and inspiring them all. She has presented at conferences such as DONA International, MANA, ICEA, and Lamaze. Britta has also trained dozens of birth professionals through her Apprenticeship Program.
When not working with parents, Britta loves spending time with her husband, Brent, and (when they are available) their now grown children either adventuring in the mountains, playing games, or traveling to exotic destinations.
I am a Heart Led Spiritual Mentor Facilitator and Master Doula. My training began with ACHI and completed with ALACE. I focus on birth as spiritual, as a way to connect with all that is. Spiritual birthing and all that it entails is a way to release fear and emotional blocks in a way that allows for the most supportive, conscious and aware birth. Spiritual birth is connecting with yourself and Source. I also bring if desired an emphasis on nutrition, aromatherapy and lifestyle during pregnancy, birth and delivery. I am an hands on coach for birth parents and an extra set of eyes.
I feel that pregnancy is a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical journey. A Birth Family’s thoughts and emotions, the emotional changes witnessed by the Partner and the physical/emotional changes the Birth Mother feels within her body, all impact how she chooses to birth her baby, which will set the tone for their future lives. These sessions help to provide the mother with a safe place, a haven where she can ask questions, speak freely, and gain advice and support. I hold the counsel of women in their journey at this most sacred time of life, giving guidance through the emotional aspect of pregnancy and labor.
In private sessions, I offer birth counseling for birth related issues, including preconception and planning your pregnancy, fear in labor, fear of death in labor, birth trauma (yours or your mother's) and postpartum concerns. I also work with couples fortifying their relationships Phone and Zoom sessions are available for those not able to meet in person for a fee.
I am here to serve, I am here to be a blessing to everyone with whom I come into contact by sharing my gifts. That might happen through music, teaching, arts, healing, dancing, writing, speaking, cooking and even a gentle smile. I will be everything I have come to the planet to be always striving to show the magnificence of the Divine. Truly everyone I meet is the Divine and together we can change the world.
I offer to you the sum total of everything I’ve learned as a world traveler, educator, circle facilitator and leader of Sister Circles and Coming of Age Sister Circles and Rites of Passage, and mother - as it pertains to raising and mentoring girls and women to be profoundly activated, in tuned, strong, loving, grounded, luminescent in their lives.
At the end of the road, perched atop a remote valley of the Santa Monica mountains, there is the Topanga Commune. 10 acres of meandering paths, oak trees, palms and gardens abutting state land. Only thirty minutes from most of Los Angeles but it feels like a million miles away.
The Topanga Commune is a place for connection and discovery. It is a place to absorb the wisdom of the world’s greatest teachers. It is a place to slow down and move your brain into long-wave thoughts. It is a place to practice, garden and cook, But, most of all, it is designed to foster deep levels of connection between people in real life. From beautiful practice spaces, to a tea lounge, to countless nooks and epic perches, the Topanga Commune is a place to do just that: commune - with a higher spirit, with nature, and, most of all, with each other.
📍 Address to the property will be given the week before the retreat starts.
A substance-free environment is one in which all guests agree to keep their space free from substances at all times. Substances are defined to include alcohol, cigarettes, other smoking materials, and illicit and illegal drugs.
Close shared spaces
This is a very communal retreat with shared bedrooms and shared bathrooms. Some beds may only be 3 feet apart from each other. If for any reason, you do not feel safe being in such close quarters with other guests due to concerns about Covid-19, it's best not to join this trip and wait until a time that feels best for you.
Due to the exclusive offering of this retreat and the lead time to fill your spot. It makes it difficult for us to react to last-minute cancellations. Because of this, we must enforce a FIRM cancellation policy.
👉🏽 If you need to cancel more than 60 days before the start of the retreat, there will be a $700 processing fee (your deposit), and the remaining balance will be refunded to you.
👉🏽 If you need to cancel 30-60 days before the start of the retreat, you will receive a 50% refund of the full cost of your spot (less the $700 non-refundable deposit).
👉🏽 If you need to cancel 0-30 days before the start of the retreat, you will receive no refunds.
In addition, in the event of fires in Topanga or COVID-19, we may need to reschedule this retreat. If so, we will refund you for your full amount minus any losses we may incur due to unforeseen circumstances that are out of our control. It is in our best interest to refund you in this type of situation. We cannot be responsible for any losses with airfare, transportation, or any other additional costs incurred during the planning of your trip.
🚨Travel insurance is STRONGLY advised to cover you for any unexpected circumstances.
🚨There are no exceptions with our cancellation policy due to the contractual commitments
we have with our vendors. Unfortunately, we are not able to credit towards future offerings or transfer amounts towards online classes.
We appreciate your understanding of our cancellation policies
For those of you who would like to join us but are local or interested in making other loading accommodations, this is for you. Parking is very limited at our host site, so we'll encourage car-pooling.
These unique cabins comfortably sleep 2 in single beds. All are equipped with power outlets and space heaters for chilly nights. Our glamping guests have full access to shared outdoor showers.
NOTE: These prices are contingent on TWO people sharing the space. To reserve solo, please contact email@example.com direct.
Below The Nest (our yoga/gathering space) is a communal tea house where people can lounge, read and relax. Features (4) completely private single lodgings, each complete with climate control, and Murphy beds that convert into writing desks should you need to spend a little time with your work. Just steps away is a beautiful shared bathhouse with a private shower, commode, and extra outdoor sink.
THE TRIPLE sleeps (3) people in single beds and shares 1.5 bathrooms with The Double Room.
THE DOUBLE sleeps (2) people in single beds and features an epic skylight with wraparound windows. This lodging shares the 1.5 bathrooms with The Triple.
This is a deluxe suite in the master bedroom of the main house with a private bathroom. It contains one king bed and is suitable for 1 or 2 guests. Price reflects single occupancy. If booking for two people, please contact us for double occupancy reduced rate (per person).
**PLEASE NOTE: Price is based off occupancy for ONE PERSON. For double occupancy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for discounted rate per person.
La Casita is the sweetest little guest house, with its own outdoor seating area and front-of-house parking. It also has its own kitchenette including a refrigerator, Wolf convection oven, stovetop, and climate control in both rooms. It features a full bath with ceiling to floor natural light and a heating unit.
The space sleeps 4 people comfortably. There are two separate bedrooms, each containing two separate single (twin) sized beds.
Friday, June 9
1:30pm: Arrive + Settle In / there will be snacks avail at this time
4 - 6pm: Opening Circle into Sacred Space
6:30pm: Welcome Dinner
7:30pm: Story Around the Fire with Britta Bushnell
Saturday, June 10:
8 – 9:30am Breakfast
10:30 – 11:45 Meditation + Yoga Practice: Nourishment of the Mind & Body **Snacks Avail**
1 – 2pm: Lunch: Nourishment with Food Conversation with Aleks
2 – 4pm Break (Salt Bowl or Medicine Bag Making with Aleks)
4 – 6pm: Meeting of The Birth Workers: Lori and Carmen
7:30pm: Yin Practice
Sunday, June 11:
8 – 9:30am Breakfast
9:30 – 11:30 Dance Movement Practice + Postpartum Circle with Carmen and Meaghan
1:30 – 3:30pm Medicine Making Workshop w/ Meaghan + Water Ritual Closing Circle with