Each year I look forward to offering The Gift of Rest for Mother's Day because it gives moms permission to get some deep rest, the yoga nidra meditation kind.
According to Swami Satayananda Saraswati, "yoga nidra means sleep after throwing off all the burdens." Doesn't that sound just like what every mom wants?
This year, I was thinking a lot about the Gift of Rest for Mothers Day, and how it could help mothers rest, throw off those burdens, and also lift some burdens off of mothers who are experiencing extreme stress in a vulnerable part of the world. That's when I turned Sera Bond, mother of two and founder of Circle of Health International. Ironically, Sera was in the FIRST yoga nidra meditation "NapQuest for Moms" rest program that I offered years ago. I remember how tired she was, and how much she fell in love with yoga nidra. Over the years, she's sent me notes about her yoga nidra practice now and then saying things like, "this shit really works." (Yes, it does!).
Sera's nonprofit felt like the perfect match to give 50% of the profits from our Gift of Rest for Mother's Day - they help refugees, mostly women and children, and right now they are partnering with women-led organizations on the ground in Syria to help mothers and babies who are so deeply affected by the dangerous situation.
An estimated 200,000 women will get pregnant in the next 12 months in Syria. The Al-Iman Hospital helps in obstetric emergencies and in other life-saving needs of mothers and babies. Keeping a hospital functioning in Syria is not easy. In 2016, there were over 250 attacks on medical care facilities and, according to Jason Cone, executive director of Doctors Without Borders’ U.S. branch, these attacks are "part of the war strategy” in Syria. Your Gift of Rest purchase will help keep the Al-Iman Hospital open.
You can get to know Sera better below, and the important work of Circle of Health International.
founder of Circle of Health International
- Mom of two
- Lives: Austin, Texas
- Best part of being a mom: The love, oh, the love I feel for these kids. So big, so raw, so real
- Mom superpower: Reading. I read, on average, 200-500 pages a day. I read fast, and I read everything!
You’re a busy mom who has founded an organization that is known for helping mothers and babies in disaster zones and in crisis. You’re also clear that your mission is to partner with local women leaders in communities. Tell us what Circle of Health International is up to lately.
We are supporting the last hospital in Aleppo, Syria, we are staffing a refugee clinic in McAllen, Texas, for mothers and babies as soon as they are released from border patrol, we support a national indigenous women's forum in Nicaragua, we are replacing the community of midwives in Sierra Leone who were killed during the Ebola outbreak, we support family planning outreach efforts in Haiti, and we are paying for the education of a group of midwifery students in Nepal who are also survivors of human trafficking. We are also working hard to build an organization that supports its staff: pays for gym memberships, unlimited PTO time, flex hours, and paid family leave.
Fifty percent of purchases who click on this link for our Gift of Rest for Mothers Day will go to Circle of Health International’s work. Tell us how a donation to CoHI will make a difference for mothers and babies.
Our Syria is one of our top two funding priorities (our border refugee clinic in Texas is also in need). The Al-Iman Hospital in Aleppo costs $1400 a day to run, this pays the Syrian staff and provides medicines for the 5000 mothers and babies cared for there each month.
Do you practice yoga nidra meditation? How has it helped you?
I do, most days. I started about 6 years ago, but not in any committed way. Now I practice most days from 2-3 PM after work before I get my kids. It's transformative. It enables me to rest, decompress from my work day, and mark the transition before heading into my mom shift.
If you know a mom who needs rest, consider giving her the Gift of Rest for Mother's Day. When you do, we'll donate 50% of the profits to Circle of Health International in your gift recipient's name to help keep the Al-Iman Hospital open in Syria.