Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
Claudia Fernandez is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Postpartum Doula and End of Life Doula with a focus on holistic and compassionate care. She is currently serving clients in Wassenaar, Netherlands.
Claudia Fernandez of ShravaniAyurveda's Mission Statement
To be of heartfelt service to all of her clients by uplifting and empowering them with the tools for self-healing, nurturance, acceptance and peace. In short, she believes that we all deserve to experience our infinite potential!
Center for Sacred Window Studies: How did you get into this work? What drew you to Ayurveda and to postpartum care?
Claudia Fernandez: Ayurveda presented itself to me unexpectedly about five years ago.
I met an Ayurvedic counselor and began taking mini workshops with her. Very soon after that, I felt and knew that I could not get enough of this abundant wisdom! It brought many things that were important to me, together.
From then on I went on to study Ayurvedic medicine at the Ayurvedic Institute with Dr.Vasant Lad. Throughout my studies, my passions for women’s health began to grow as my own personal needs within my own feminine health were calling to my attention. Between that, and my love for babies (I can’t help it, they’re so cute!), postpartum care called out strongly and clearly to me. It is a beautiful time of potential in a woman’s life. Postpartum care to me is the work of changing the world, beginning with the newest of generations.
CSWS: What keeps you going in this work?
JG: What keeps me going in this work is knowing that this is the work of pure love and light, and that that is what the world needs most today.
CSWS: How does your work impact your community? What resources do you enjoy/strive to provide for your community? How do you define your community?
JG: As of right now the way I believe my work is impacting my community the most, is through education.
I believe education is what truly empowers each individual to not only intellectually know, but to also experience their own divinity and their own potential for self-healing. I define my community to be anyone that I have some sort of interaction/relationship with.
CSWS: How do you work towards health equity? What do you think are the most important things caregivers can do to work towards health equity?
JG: I truly believe the most important thing a caregiver can do to work towards health equity is to begin with awareness.
I truly believe that the most important thing a caregiver can do to work towards health equity is to begin with awareness. It’s important to become aware of the inequality that is present within our own communities, which may look different depending on where you are in the world, so we can from there begin to explore ways in which we can incorporate even more conscious care within our own practice and the services that we offer. I believe it’s crucial for us to be willing to *see*, in a compassionate manner, and to become more sensitive and aware. With this sensitivity, I think we will begin to see our actions towards others begin to change drastically as our compassion grows. Sensitivity is our strength!
CSWS: Which Mother Principle(s) do you connect with most and why? What does that look like in your work?
JG: All of the mother principle’s find their way into my work, but the ones that I connect most with are listening, compassion/non-judgment, simplicity and flexibility.
Listening, because that’s the biggest part of the work that I do in my consulting; I’m simply there to hold space for the person for them to share whatever truth they feel compelled to express. Compassion and non-judgment because that is the only way in which I can truly show up and be present with my listening ear. Simplicity because it’s the simple things in life that make all the difference; the slower and more simply we work, the easier it is to integrate Ayurveda within our lives. And flexibility, because it is all about the client! My work is to mold the protocol and the service to my client’s needs, not to get my clients to mold to the service or the protocol!
CSWS: What’s your biggest challenge as a caregiver and what would help create more support around any challenges you experience as a caregiver?
JG: I believe that my biggest challenge working as a caregiver is making sure I invest enough care in myself so that I can continue to work sustainably.
I believe that for me, it’s a combination of making sure my schedule respects my own self-care, and a practice of stepping into a space of the heart. I notice that the more in my head/mind I am, the more fatigued I become. If I can stay present in my actions from my heart-center, I notice that the service I provide feels much more easeful.
CSWS: What’s your favorite bodywork technique?
JG: My favorite bodywork technique is marma therapy.
The way I learned to give marma is by doing a set of polarity holds before beginning the actual marma, which allows for the person to deeply relax and ground into the body before I begin working on the pressure points. It is truly my favorite therapy to give and to receive! It’s so incredibly calming and it just feels like a therapy sent from heaven every time I get one! It’s the energetic and physical worlds coming together!
CSWS: What do you see as the greatest need in the sacred window?
JG: I believe the greatest need in the sacred window is to care for the mother, and to allow her the freedom of rest.
I believe cultural change comes from within, and so it is our job to empower women to ask for, demand, and claim the rest that they need or want. The greatest need in the sacred window may be a change in perspective. A shift in perspective that can clearly see the power and strength that lies within resting, slow, sensitive and compassionate care.