I can't believe that I am about to have a 4th baby!This year has been so full of abundance and creativity in all its forms. I feel the loving support of staff, students, community and family as we all excitedly await a sweet love baby into our Ohana. The past couple of weeks, I have been able to nest, rest, and spend some really special quality time with Justin and the Keiki. There has been so much love and anticipation in my household. I know this baby feels herself being surrounded with Aloha. The kids can barely keep their hands off my belly, kissing my huge opu every chance they get!
I never thought it could feel so good to hear, “Mommy, your stomach is so HUGE!”We have all tried guessing who she will look like: will she have black hair like mom? Blue eyes like Kala? Long lashes like La'au? Lei wants to name the baby Anna and change her own name to Elsa so they can duet "Do you want to build a snow man?” from Frozen. How I feel in my body is crazy! I forgot all the little things about being pregnant. The effort it takes to simply roll over in bed, the raging hormones, the constant heartburn, the sensation that your pubis is ripping open with each step you take and that if you cough or sneeze the baby might just fall out of your Piko. When I'm lying awake in the middle of the night, I feel like baby and I are the only ones awake in the whole house. If I give her a little rub, she'll poke back at me and sometimes even follow my hand.
We have our own special bond that is just ours.I am imagining looking into her eyes for the first time and feeling her tiny little fingers and toes. This will be the last time that I will get to experience this miracle of life in this way. Birthing, nursing, and smelling that sweet baby smell is an opportunity that I am so grateful for. As the moon waxes to full between now and Sunday, I ask for prayers of support for her journey, for our journey.
I feel all the Kupuna standing behind me. I am supported by all the women who have participated in this sacred ritual ceremony of Birth throughout the ages.Thank you for all your thoughts and well wishes and know that they are felt. I can't wait for you all to meet her. LEARN MORE
January 22, 2016 No Comments Uncategorized
As we enter into this new year, many of us are thinking of ways to start over, excited about having a fresh start. It’s a time for setting intentions for well-being and personal growth – a time for cleansing. But what we often leave out of our New Year celebrations is how we intend to equip ourselves with the tools we need to succeed in creating whole wellness in our lives.
Our favorite tool: pa’akai – salt.Salt, like many natural resources on the islands of Hawai’i, has a long history of both meaning and exploitation, making traditional harvesting a rare practice. Luckily, there are some groups dedicated to preserving the sacred harvesting methods that our ancestors used. (See how Hawaii Kai has adapted traditional harvesting methods to suit modern-day FDA standards with these video links.) Since the beginning, Hawaiians have harvested pa’akai with the help of the sun and sea, allowing the precious ocean gift to retain its mineral-rich mana.And since the beginning, Hawaiians have used salt in ceremonies, cleansing rituals and healing practices - and for preserving fish. That is why we only use traditionally-harvested salts in our baths, scrubs and body treatments: These ancient harvesting practices are not only sacred, but the salts are richer in nutrients as well.
It is believed that pa’akai purifies the body, mind and spirit as it absorbs harmful energies. A pinch of salt on the tongue can bring a sense of spiritual clarity.At Ho’omana Spa Maui, we always have small bowls of Hawaiian salt available for anyone who feels they need to refresh, and our Pa’akai Spa Ritual offers a rich purifying experience, as the session begins with a clearing ti leaf ritual and a soothing soak in our Purifying Lemongrass Sea Clay Bath Salts. Our therapists often take a pinch of salt between lomi lomi sessions to renew their spirits before greeting their next guest. In our lomi lomi classes, we offer salt to students as a way to bring themselves back to their center when this potent and powerful healing work begins to feel overwhelming. This feeling that pa’akai brings – that feeling of returning to ourselves, cleansed of impurities – is a ritual that we can use every day as we move forward through the year with intention. As we let go of doubts, stresses and fears with a pinch of salt on the tongue, we can feel pure again, remembering that everything we need to accomplish our goals, to be strong, to be well – is already within us.
What are your intentions for bringing whole wellness into your life? How do you intend to grow this year?Sharing your goals is a great way to make yourself accountable for your intentions, which in turn builds self-trust. Share your goals with us in the comments below, and have a happy new year all year long. LEARN MORE
January 1, 2016 No Comments Uncategorized
“There is something important for us to understand,” begins kahuna Hale Kealohalani Makua, as transcribed by anthropologist Hank Wesselman. “The word mana is not some impersonal supernatural force that is spread out across the universe... Mana is a personal creative force that is manifested within the individual and that can flow out into the world. And the more mana people possess, the more they can accomplish—and create. When we prefix the word mana with ho’o, it turns into a verb that means ‘to empower’—ho’omana.”To empower individuals to embrace their unique gifts and fill the world with their mana is exactly our intention at Ho’omana Spa Maui. And with every passing lomi lomi retreat, I am reminded of how blessed we are to be a part of just that. My life has changed, and was impacted quite a bit since the immersion, so I thought to write you. This is a letter from Koa Ramos, a student who joined us this year for Lomi Lomi Immersion. Stories like these are beautiful confirmations for us of the powerful work that we’re doing, to which I can only say, Mahalo Ke Akua! The immersion was deeper than I ever could have thought! Aside from the learning the modality of Lomi; you have awakened and activated a huge portion of my heritage and life that I was ignoring, and has been otherwise dormant. Also, I have become a happier person overall. I have noticed a major lift in my outlook since bringing into practice what I have experienced from the immersion. My few remaining amounts of family on Maui have been torn apart by everyone fighting for land. Going through this process gave me the courage to repair some of those relationships which I never thought possible. In between classes I also went to great lengths to trace my lost genealogy down in Lahaina back over 200 years now, and that has awakened a bigger sense of connection and happiness for me. So, on a personal note; thank you for providing a platform for me to find the courage to repair that link! This, combined with your training, Chucky, and Kumu Mike, Roy, even with Kumu tatau Samson & Kuaika, has connected me to the culture I always wanted to know, but thought had just been lost...I had been so disappointed with aspects of local culture growing up, and although I loved some of it, I turned away from it because of things that happened within my own family all in the face of negative sides from local culture. I always hoped to find a deeper more impactful side to the real Hawaiian culture. I never did, until this immersion. Going through all of this gave me such an overwhelming since of pride! To see, hear, and understand how extremely advanced and beautiful the culture is, has totally changed my life. You have also connected me with people that actually practice this, and I was floored to see this side of the culture being lived. For this alone, I am so grateful. I think there is a renaissance happening, and I feel the need to be within that.
We too feel a great awakening of Hawaiian culture, after decades of oppression.In 1896, the Hawaiian language was banned in schools, and teachers were threatened with unemployment for using Hawaiian to teach. In my own family, my eldest son is the first fluent speaker since my tutu— three generations denied their native tongue. But today, because of the efforts of our recent ancestors to spread Hawaiian teachings to non-natives, opening up their wisdom to the world with care and determination, Hawaiian culture persists. The heartfelt and strong protectors of Mauna Kea, the island-to-island Aloha ‘Aina Unity March, the torchbearers and the ‘aina warriors of the Keawanui Fishpond—each remind our global community of the ancestral wisdom that fuel our fires, and the responsibilities we have to care for our ‘aina and our resources for future generations.
Brother Koa was filled with this fire and empowered to act in his community.Since coming back, I felt an uncompromising pull to immediately make room for the gifts I had been given during the immersion. I have organized a monthly beach clean up with my daughter, and have a pull with my martial arts followers that make it a large contribution. We chant every time before we start! I have also started contributing donations from my martial practice to Hawaiian cultural efforts like Mauna Kea, etc. I am starting Hula next month, and have undertaken (attempting) to learn the language, while also imbedding it into daily life with my daughter. I also felt an instant transmission on day 2 of fundamentals, in which I had an immediate clear vision of Lua, as a part of healing arising from Lomi and healers. I think the normal outlook on most Lua is slightly off from what I saw and felt. It was like an instant download. So, I am following that vision as a hobby in my off time to share what I have, and putting together some pieces that come to me. We have decided to start putting plans in place to purchase land on Maui in the act of stewardship, not necessarily to live on; but simply to hold as conservation. Most importantly, I have resumed sharing cultural things with my daughter and calling her by her Inoa again. This was something I have forgotten... This activation, means the world to me. I immediately got a table, oil, and supplies! I make it a practice to do at least 1-2 massages per week on family/friends (hopefully more!). If nothing else, Barbara and I give/receive! I still teach full time martial arts, but have since cancelled all of my personal fights. I intend to use all that time dedicated to learning and helping promote Hawaiian cultural efforts (or giving massage!) It is so important what you are doing. I hope more people with Hawaiian heritage, especially Kanaka (I am hapa!) start finding this. Thank you again, you are without a doubt, my kumu. Only the beginning!
Mahalo nui to you, Koa, for sharing your story of activation and action. May you continue to spread your mana across the universe, into the world, and inspire others with your light.LEARN MORE
November 20, 2015 No Comments Uncategorized
Each year, when the cluster of stars Makali’i appears in the night sky, Makahiki season begins. It is a time for celebrating abundance, gratitude and peace, in honor of Lono, god of rain, thunder and harvest. The four-month-long Makahiki season brought bounty and unity to ancient Hawaiians through festivities and the banning of war.Ancient Hawaiians celebrated Makahiki in many ways, partaking in ceremonies and games surrounding themes of abundance and sustainability. Across the islands, Hawaiians would take stock of their resources and make sacred offerings to the akua loa, “long god”. If the ho’okupu tribute was sufficient, the festivities would begin. The Makahiki games allowed ancient Hawaiians to compete in tests of strength and intellect in peacetime – that is, without any thought of war. Today, on the island of Moloka’i, Hawaiians gather to partake in traditional festivities and compete with aloha. In celebrating Makahiki, people can reconnect to that which is sacred – to the ‘aina, the land, and to ancient Hawaiian culture. Makahiki reminds us of our connection to past, present and future, and that our malama, our caretaking, matters.
In ancient Makahiki times, ‘awa flowed freely, and the Hawaiians celebrated the season with sacred ‘awa rituals, to celebrate the abundance that the natural world will supply when it is cared for.‘Awa holds a special meaning in Hawaiian culture as a medicinal plant and sacred treasure. At Ho’omana Spa Maui, ‘awa is central to a few of our healing treatments. Our Relaxing Sacred Awa Root Hawaiian Healing Bath deeply relieves tension throughout the body to bring calmness to mind and spirit. Our soothing ‘Awa Alae Body Masque carries warmth and relaxation to every muscle. In honor of Makahiki, we are featuring the ‘Aina Spa Ritual this November. This Transformational Hawaiian Spa Ritual is a deeply enriching experience reflecting the love and connection that the Makahiki season celebrates. In the ‘Aina Spa Ritual, guests are invited to select medicinal herbs from our native Hawaiian botanical garden, experiencing the ancient style of gathering that our ancestors practiced. Feel grounded after soaking in a Relaxing Sacred ‘Awa Root bath. Indulge in an ‘Awa Alae Body Masque, followed by a deeply soothing Lomi ‘Ili ‘Ili Hot Stone Massage. These authentic healing treatments are steeped in ancestral teachings and ancient wisdom. There are few better ways to celebrate the start of Makahiki than by reconnecting with the ‘aina and renewing your mind, body and spirit.
Welcome gratitude and abundance in your life, and let your aloha shine.LEARN MORE
November 1, 2015 No Comments Uncategorized