I’m back from spending 3 intense days learning about the art of birth, rebozo techniques and Mexican postpartum (including closing the bones) with Mexican midwife Naoli Vinaver.

Naoli had been in the back of my mind for many years. I had heard about her via French doulas a long time ago, because she is very well known in France (she speaks Fluent French as well as Spanish, English and Portuguese). I also read the book she co-authored about rebozo. I remember thinking how lovely it would be to meet her.

In 2021 I discovered that Naoli was active on Instagram. This led me to discover her online platform. I signed up, and I have been learning from her for 18 months.

When I found out Naoli was planning a tour of Europe this summer I was very keen to meet her, and I even started the process of organising for her to come to Cambridge. I was delighted when I found out that someone else had organised for Naoli to come to the UK in September, because running training for other people is something I have done in the past and found quite stressful (the admin side isn’t my strength, and I get stressed feeling responsible for everybody’s wellbeing).

The 3 days training was about the art of birth, rebozo techniques for birth, and the traditional Mexican postpartum ritual, which included closing the bones with the rebozo.

Having trained with Naoli online since early 2021, including attending several live zoom calls with her, I knew her to be a wise, deeply knowledgeable, yet humble and approachable woman. I have found that true masters of their craft usually have these qualities. I was delighted to meet her in real life. She as she was as warm, wise, kind and easy to talk to as I had hoped she would be.

Twenty two of us met with Naoli for 3 days in a beautiful barn in a place called the Fold in Malvern.

The first day was about the art of birth. We learnt about the importance of presence, of being versus doing, or tuning into the mother and of not having set ideas about how to support her. Naoli also explained about the importance of moving “cold” from the mother, that is stuck energies or upsets that prevent the labour from progressing. She illustrated this with many birth stories. She then showed us rebozo techniques to relax the mother, release stuckness, and help stimulate labour, as well as help reposition a baby during labour when labour stalls or takes too long. Naoli invited me to lead a song with my drum at the end of the workshop which I loved.

On day 2 we worked further into this topic, exploring ways to move “cold” feelings from ourselves, talking about sexuality and birth, and looking at more techniques to help engage a baby, stimulate labour, and unblock stuck labour. We finished the day singing and drumming together, and Naoli played one of my drums as we did 🙂

Day 3 was my favourite, because we worked on many more rebozo techniques in the morning, including techniques invented by Naoli to realign a malpositioned baby, and to unblock the second stage of labour. My favourite part was the afternoon, as Naoli explained what the traditional Mexican postpartum ritual entails (a whole body massage, followed by a steam herbal bath, followed by a sweating session under blankets, and finally the closing ritual with rebozos. You can watch a beautiful video about it here. We practised the rebozo closing ritual in groups. As someone who teaches and gives this ritual to others, it is quite rare for me to be at the receiving end of this ritual and it felt very special and quite powerful.

I found that words don’t do justice to this workshop as it was a deep, emotional, and spiritual workshop. I hope the pictures below convey better than words of the spirit of what was shared during these 3 days.

If you’d like to learn from Naoli, her online platform contains over 40 videos and include a monthly zoom meeting, and is very affordable at $19.5 a month (or $195 a year).

A side note:

Yesterday and today I feel quite tired. It was a busy week-end. I left on Friday morning, spent the last 3 days in deep intensive learning, and also drove 3h both Friday and last night, only getting home at 9h30 in the evening. The workshop was exhilarating. It fed my soul and I thoroughly enjoyed the learning and the company of the women who attended the course.  It meant that I didn’t get the normal rest that I get at the week-end. So as I was driving home I made a mental note to get it very easy the next day or two. It feels very important to give myself the time to recuperate. I have blogged about this in the past .

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