We wish to create a learning space for women to connect body, mind and spirit - therefore facilitating
health & wellness for an optimal pregnancy, birth & parenting journey.
KeiShana Coursey BM, RM.
As a teenager twenty five years ago, sweating profusely on a yoga mat, with a distorted view of my body following a childhood drenched in gymnastics, I realised that Lycra and puberty didn’t mix well. In the wake of a suffocating esteem, I traversed down many avenues of personal growth including a myriad of alternative retreats and therapies.
Finding myself pregnant whilst living in Australia, I had been sent a treasure box of books bursting with positive birth stories and philosophy strongly grounded in normal birth. This was the match that lit the fire still burning in my belly. I came home to New Zealand to birth my two babies who are now tall and incredible, and became an active member of Homebirth Association, attending and organising birth conferences as well as supporting friends and family in their birth experiences. Babes in arms I was soaking up all that was on offer in the area of Women’s Health.
With a zeal and zest for the footprint we place upon the planet, especially after experiencing firsthand the consumer frenzy that is thrust upon new parents, my husband and I designed a range of cloth nappies in a time where there weren’t any New Zealand made. We worked with councils nationwide to raise the profile of using sustainable baby products and became advocates for baby wearing and attachment parenting. I relished the connection with women. They would share their childbirth journey stories and I was often struck by their fear, and the trauma that ensued, noting the stark contrast of those who were calm and confident.
During this time of early parenting and developing a new business, I trained in massage therapy, Humanistic Neuro-Linguistic Psychology (HNLP), Hypnotherapy, Life Coaching, Adult Education and remain a Master Practitioner. Over the years of clinical practice where I often worked with women in their childbirth journey, I was most excited by seeing the change from fear to excitement, from resistance to surrender, from pain to joy and I wanted more. From this place I dreamed of facilitating groups of women in their graceful birth experience.
We sold our business and I took an enormous leap of faith, returning to school to complete a Bachelor of Midwifery. I initially worked with women in the community alongside a practice of incredible midwives www.ratamidwives.co.nz - who birth predominately at home or in birthing units and transitioned to working in the hospital providing tertiary midwifery care. It is in these settings where my midwifery colleagues and I see the irrefutable need for early pregnancy, quality education that offers women the knowledge they are far more than they ever thought possible.
I am a passionate yogini and lifetime learner therefore have recently completed a 20 year dream to train as a yoga teacher at Contemporary Teacher Training in Auckland, New Zealand. When I’m not working I can be found at any spare moment on my yoga mat or teaching at Flow Hot Yoga in Christchurch.
Over the years I have been surprised and delighted to reveal the depths of the learning available through an ongoing commitment to practising yoga, breath work, meditation and mindfulness; all of which have profoundly transformed the quality of my life and those I live in relationship with.
I am deeply humbled to be working with families who are willing to be gently guided through an extraordinary, yet ordinary life transition.
Lorna Davies (Co-founder and now previous Director of Opti-mum) has moved on to engage with other family and work commitments. We wish her all the very best and honour her co-creation in this unique programme: a mindful approach to the childbirth continuum.