Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Grace Theresa’s Birth Story as told by her mother, Megan Ridge Morris:

My mom, Theresa, died in 2013 from brain cancer at the age of 58. She was the best mom and I miss her every day. Grace Theresa’s due date happened to be on my mother’s birthday, November 12th. 

Throughout my pregnancy, I never imagined that I would actually make it to November 12th because I had my first child, Ridge Michael, exactly a month early for reasons unknown. Thankfully, he didn’t spend any time in the NICU, however, he did need to spend about five days in a biliblanket at home due to concerning jaundice levels and breastfeeding a preterm baby came with some extra challenges. 

When I became pregnant with Grace, I didn’t even consider that her birth would be pre-term or come with complications associated with being pre-term. However, after my first ultrasound, the doctor recommended I take weekly progesterone injections to help prevent pre-term labor from happening again. This surprised me and launched me into a deep investigation regarding the safety and effectiveness of the drug they were offering, Mekena. After much contemplation and hesitation,  I agreed to the shots. And though I was now doing something to help avoid an early delivery,  I was more paranoid than ever that I would end up with a baby in the NICU this time around. 

All that said, I fully expected to deliver early or at least shortly after the last shot at 36 weeks, no where close to November 12th.

So when November 5th rolled around and I realized I only needed my baby girl to cook for one more week to make it to my mom’s birthday, I started fantasizing about the possibility of actually making it to my due date. I even wrote down an intention for how I wanted labor to go:

“In my ideal fantasy, I start contracting heavily around 8pm on November 11th, right after we put Ridge to bed. My dad and Evelyn get to our house by 10pm, we go to the hospital and I’m 7cm dilated and have a baby shortly after midnight on November 12th.”

I shared this intention with my doula, my husband, and a few others, hoping that putting it out into the universe would make it a reality. I also considered some super non-invasive, natural induction techniques that I could do the weekend before Monday the 12th to help get things going. I had declined cervical checks at every weekly OB appointment so I had no idea if I was dilated or not. 

So on Saturday the 10th, I walked around the block in the morning, did a shortened version of the Miles Circuit to help with Grace’s positioning, did a few squats in the afternoon and took another short walk in the evening. 

My husband and I watched a movie in bed with our 3.5 year old that finished around 9:30pm. We put him to bed and even though the plan was to have sex the following night, knowing that it could help with dilation, we were both in the mood and didn’t feel like waiting. 

So at 9:45pm we had sex, and let me just say, that shit worked.

At 10pm, super mild cramps began. By 10:15pm, I thought maybe I was just having gas pains. At 10:30pm, sitting on the toilet, I summoned Chris to start making calls because I was finally accepting the fact that the pain I was feeling was not gas, but in fact moderately unpleasant, rather frequent contractions. 

I rinsed off in the shower and while attempting to get dressed in our bedroom in between contractions, my water broke at 10:35pm. I quickly stuffed a towel between my legs, leaking, naked, while our roommate Victoria and Chris put fresh sheets on the bed.

My doula, Sally, texted me at 10:40pm with simply, “I’m here.” So I called her and realized I couldn’t talk through contractions! 

By 11:05pm, Chris and I began the five minute drive to the hospital. About half way there, Chris didn’t know where his keys were. My keys were in the ignition and he thought his were in his pocket, but they were no where to be found. In the 15 years I’ve spent with Chris, he has NEVER misplaced his keys and never leaves the house without them. This is not an exaggeration. So at 11:10pm, he stopped the car on corner of High St & Church St to look for his keys! I promptly got out of car to endure the craziest contraction yet, aware of the fact that cars were driving around us. I convinced Chris that his keys were not a priority and getting me to the hospital was definitely a priority (incidentally, Victoria confirmed his keys were on his nightstand safe & sound) and we continued on our way. 

We arrived at the hospital entrance at 11:15pm, just 45 minutes after I had determined the fact that labor had begun, and as soon as I exited the car, I saw Sally standing there (thank God!) and then immediately dropped down to the pavement on hands and knees for a contraction that literally floored me. Was I actually feeling the urge to push? In that contraction, I could hear my own moans starting to shift from low groans to long grunts. 

Chris entered the building to get me checked in while the hospital staff offered me a wheel chair. Initially, I refused and said I wanted to walk. I figured things were going well and I didn’t want to stall now that I was at the hospital, so walking would probably do me good! They told me they didn’t want me to have a baby outside on the sidewalk. I finished up a contraction, laughed and said, “Oh that’s definitely not going to happen,” and then another contraction immediately began. At this point, I agreed to the wheel chair. 

My ID bracelet says I was admitted to hospital at 11:20am. In the ten minutes from arrival to triage, Sally and Chris started working their magic, providing back massages and hip squeezes wherever I found myself in a contraction (at the front desk and a few times during the walk down the hall). 

At 11:30pm in triage, I clocked in at 7cm dilated, 80% effaced. They couldn’t determine station, likely due to me being checked on hands and knees. 

At this point, I simply could not open my eyes anymore. It was one contraction after another with perhaps a 10 second break in between, each more intense than the last. They wheeled me into a delivery room and after only a few minutes, I couldn’t catch my breath. I had eaten a banana just before leaving the house, thinking I could be in labor for a while and needed nourishment for the long marathon ahead, and now as a result I was experiencing such intense heartburn during contractions that I was having trouble breathing and finally started vomiting. 

Not only that, I also distinctly remember announcing, “Well, I just want everyone to know I’m about to shit on the floor in front of 15 people.” Which I then proceeded to do. 

I vaguely remember one problem medical provider who seemed to want to run things her way in the delivery room. As soon as I entered, just moments after being checked in triage, she wanted to check me again, which I refused. I remember hearing Chris speaking up for me about not wanting a hep lock or post-birth shot of pitocin. He was so on and the perfect advocate for our desires. He thanked the staff repeatedly and was so positive and kind. 

After only 15 minutes in the delivery room, I was fully dilated and fully effaced. Her heart rate was low, and the same problem medical provider threatened the use of a vacuum to get her out if I couldn’t push her out soon. I changed positions onto my back which seemed to solve the heart rate problem and after only 10 minutes of excruciatingly intense pushing (I burst blood vessels in my neck!), Grace Theresa Morris was born at 12:03am on 11/11 (Ridge was born on 5/5!), weighing in at 7 lbs 2 oz, 20 inches long. 

When she came out and up onto my chest, I started weeping. But they weren’t tears of joy. They were tears of terror! I couldn’t believe what had just happened and I finally had a moment to catch my breath. With Ridge on my chest, I remember feeling absolutely euphoric, high and accomplished, like I could take on anything in the world and no one could stop me. This time, I was shaking like crazy, in shock, disoriented, my rectum felt like it was now external from my body and I was left with the overwhelming feeling that this wasn’t something I had done, it was something that was done to me. It wasn’t particularly empowering. And it was humbling. 

I finally had a chance to look around the room and really see the faces of the people that were present. I didn’t even know that the on call doctor, Taverna-Miller, who delivered Ridge, wasn’t there! A resident whose name I never learned delivered Grace and Taverna-Miller didn’t show up until the resident started stitching my tear.

On a more positive note, Grace breastfed immediately, like a total champion!

Now that I’ve had time to process my precipitous birth, I think I kind of always knew it would be fast. My little girl had been giving me signals from the very beginning that she would have things her way. As soon as I could feel her move in my belly around 16 weeks, she pushed, kicked, punched and flipped unlike anything I had ever experienced with my first. My body did not respond well to this pregnancy in general. It’s like she moved in and took over. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I even found myself googling “fastest labor in history” and listening to birth stories focused on rapid labors. My curious intuition knew that my little Scorpio was going to make a bold, fierce entrance. 

I believe my rational mind was in a bit of denial about how fast this labor was going simply because my first took about 9 hours door-to-door. The first time around, my water broke first thing and contractions didn’t pick up for about an hour. It took me about 5 hours to fully dilate and 3 hours to push. It was fast-ish for a first time labor, and I figured it was reasonable to say I could cut that time in half (like maybe a 5 hour labor next time?) but never in my wildest imagination did I think a 2 hour labor was in my future. 

Bringing Gracie into the world was definitely the most intense thing I’ve ever gone through physically and maybe mentally too. Everyone says a quick birth is ideal and in some ways it is, but it can definitely wreck your body more than a longer birth. That said, I’m still recovering very well. My tear was the same degree and same place as it was with my first so I know what to expect there. And my uterus is shrinking faster than it did the first time around which is good in the grand scheme of things, just more painful. However, when I reflect on the events of the evening, I don’t always have a super positive feeling about it. If I were a first time mom, I wonder if I would be struggling more with the way things went since it is not typical or expected in any way. I can see why they say precipitous births can be traumatic. 

I requested early discharge from the hospital since she was born three minutes after midnight (just like my ideal fantasy— everything happened pretty close to what I had asked for. Just 2 hours shorter and exactly 24 hours earlier!) so I was back home just 36 hours after giving birth, settling into our new life as a family of four on what would have been my mom’s 64th birthday. 

I am totally OK with these two powerful women in my life having their own, separate, though consecutive, birth dates. I’m sure neither of them would have it any other way. I am also intrigued by Grace’s numbers: 11/11/2018. Adding up 2 + 0 + 1 + 8 also equals 11. The time “11:11” has always had special significance to me, and I have heard that 11-11-11 signifies a time of strength, unity and peace. Perhaps Grace is here to move this planet along in a better direction. 

I am excited to see who she will be. I feel honored that she chose me to be her mother. I am grateful for the experience.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Turn Grief into Loving Action.

Image result for paulo coelho love with no boundaries

It's been two weeks since the presidential election.

Over the past two weeks I've been feeling an overwhelming sense of loss and depression much like the way I felt when my mom died. But this time, it doesn't feel personal to me because I see it in the eyes of so many people that I come in contact with every day. People are genuinely hurting, and not just the people that voted for Hillary— Everyone.

If you are still grieving, give yourself time to move through that. I feel I gave myself a lot of time and then my grief started to take on a shape that I wasn't proud of and that wasn't productive for anyone. It wasn't helpful for me, it wasn't helpful for the people grieving beside me and it certainly wasn't helpful for the people I now intend to reach.

An immediate, good thing that as come out of this election is that we can no longer ignore the fact that this country needs some attention and we all need to discover a new way of being. We are all waking up.

If Hillary were our president elect, I don't know that we would be so fired up to make things better. Her win would've allowed us to keep focusing on ourselves. For those that voted for her, it would've confirmed our egos were right and it likely would have created further separation. Now, we have no choice but to be the people we were meant to be. I can talk a lot about loving others, especially when it's hard, but now I have to do that. It's time to practice what I preach.

Practicing love, compassion and empathy is not the same thing as dissociation and complacency. We can still love, not agree and do our best to contribute to a better world. So this is not the time to settle down and let things sink in. This is not the time to be quiet about what is happening. But trying to find the balance of being truthful about what we're feeling and still being kind and loving is necessary. And I know that will not be easy for everyone right now. Because the ego wants to feel right, which means someone else has to be wrong. But this need to feed the ego creates more of the separation that we are seeing all over the world.

If I am so easily willing to write off 59 million Americans as "deplorables," then I am part of the problem.

People that voted for Donald Trump are going through something that I don't understand. I've been so focused on my own pain that I haven't acknowledged that ALL people are hurting. For us to say that all Trump supporters are racist (or xenophobic or homophobic, etc) is the same as Trump saying that Mexicans are rapists and Muslims are terrorists. There is something more going on here. I have a hunch that we need some collective, deep healing to occur.

If we are truly one, then Trump is a version of all of us. Regardless of who you voted for, I hope we can all agree that we have heard Trump say some terrible and disgusting things. I too have thought, said and done some terrible and disgusting things in my life. It's not excusable, but I do know that the more we spread hate, the more we become hate. If all we throw at Donald Trump is hate, we're going to get hate back. That's simple and inevitable.

Love is a choice. In this case, it may be the harder choice. Choosing to love the bully on the playground is a choice. Choosing to love a bully in the White House is a choice. We can raise the vibration of love or we can raise the vibration of hate. We can come together or we can separate. It would be much easier to separate. So I challenge all of us to consider, what if we all cared more about loving each over being right?

I encourage you to go out and find someone that doesn't agree with you on most things (maybe this Thursday over dinner?) and have a conversation with that person. Most importantly, I dare you to not judge them. Ask questions based on your own curiosity so that you can see from someone else's perspective. Allow your desire to understand someone else be stronger than your desire to be right. Isn't this the respect we seek from others? If so, we need to positively engage first. Listen, without formulating an opinion while the other person is talking. Truly listen to and understand another person and then they may want to understand you back.

This is the time to rise up and live as an example of what yoga can do. We have been presented with an opportunity to grow and become even better versions of ourselves. I am excited for the opportunity to have uncomfortable conversations, to express my gratitude for my privilege in every moment of every day and to be a voice for the voiceless.

The last piece of this is action. We have serious work to do. No one's going to do it for us. If you are ready to start participating, here are some simple and effective things you can do today and every day, regardless of who you voted for:
  1. Google "congressmen + your state" and you can easily find a state representative to contact. Tell them your concerns. Ask for what you want.
  2. Donate or volunteer with a credible organization that is working for what you believe in.
  3. Do one self-care thing every day. Even if it's just meditating for three minutes. We must make daily self-care a non-negotiable if we expect to lead by example.
In a couple days, when you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner at a table with a group of people that might very well represent the divide that we are currently seeing in this country, I hope you all take time to go around the table and say what you are grateful for. When I'm having a hard time loving someone, I remember my gratitude and eventually, love naturally flows.

We are not denying or ignoring the injustices that we are seeing, we are navigating a different way of approaching these injustices so that positive change can take place. And it's going to take a lot of time and patience. We didn't create this mess quickly. We can't clean it up quickly. You're not going to change anyone's politics over Thanksgiving dinner. But you can get to know your loved one a little bit better, learn something and then translate that knowledge into loving action.

"Love with no boundaries. Your future depends on your capacity to love." ~ Paulo Coehlo

Friday, April 1, 2016

September Retreat, Mommy & Baby Classes!

Dear Friends in Yoga,

Happy Spring! I am so excited to announce my next yoga retreat! I only have 6 spots left, so be sure to let me know if you're interested. Details below!

Many of you have been inquiring recently about my Gentle DVD ($10) and Gentle - Progressing Beginner CDs ($10). Let me know if you'd like to purchase one and I can bring it to class! 

I have some mommy & baby classes coming up. Please share this info with the new moms in your life! 

See you on the mat,

View my weekly schedule here.

Sweet September Yoga Retreat
September 16-18, 2016
Bloomsburg, PA

The Inn At Turkey Hill, established in 1839, is reminiscent of an Old World European bed and breakfast and is located only 90 minutes from Bethlehem! Enjoy a relaxing, weekend getaway that includes yoga with Megan Ridge Morris, hiking in the colorful autumn foliage, beer tasting at their newly renovated micro-brewery and rejuvenating spa services! 


Check-In anytime after 4pm
7pm Group Dinner 

7am Coffee, Tea, fruit available
9am Yoga
10am Breakfast
12pm Group Hike
2pm Meditation
4pm Tasting @ Turkey Hill Brewing Co.

7am Coffee, Tea, fruit available
9am Yoga
10am Breakfast
12pm Check-Out


Included in your stay: Two nights at the Inn, Friday night group dinner, full breakfast Sat & Sun, yoga classes, hike and beer tasting. 

Double Occupancy In Courtyard Room: $339

*The Courtyard Rooms include two Queen beds, high speed WiFi, mini fridge, coffee/tea maker and a flat screen TV w/ DVD player. These rooms are reserved for participants that want to room with another yogi to cut down on costs. *2 rooms left! 

Single Occupancy in Courtyard Room: $499

*These Courtyard Rooms include a King bed + fold out couch, high speed WiFi, mini fridge, coffee/tea maker and a flat screen TV w/ DVD player. *2 rooms left! 

Single Occupancy in Stable Room: $599
Double Occupancy Stable Room: $390

*The Stable Rooms include a King bed + fold out couch, large whirlpool, bathrobes, gas remote-control fireplace, high speed WiFi, mini fridge, coffee/tea maker and a flat screen TV w/ DVD player. *1 room left! 

See everything the Inn has to offer at:

The Wind-n-Sea Spa (http://www.windnseaspa.com) is located .4 miles (1 min drive/8 min walk) from the Inn and offers exceptional services - Call to schedule your appointments in advance!

Please note that Saturday lunch & dinner are not included, however there are two restaurants located on the Inn's property. The Farmhouse (fine dining) requires a reservation in advance. The Brew Pub seats guests of the Inn the day of. There are also microwaves & mini fridges in every room if you prefer to bring food. 

Attendees can pay with credit or debit card, check or PayPal. 

*This is a Family-Friendly Yoga Retreat. Non-yoga practicing adult family members that would like to participate in the Friday night group dinner, Saturday's hike & Saturday's beer tasting will be charged $55 per person. Kids are FREE! 

Mommy & Baby Yoga! 

At the Motherbaby Naturals Store
6 weeks - Pre-crawlers
April 11-May 23 *Skip 5/2
Every Monday from 10:30-11:15am
Cost of series: $80

We will massage and stretch baby and then find ways to incorporate baby into poses that benefit mama! 

BYOB (baby!) plus a yoga mat, blanket and 2 toys 

Mommy & Toddler Yoga! 

At the Motherbaby Naturals Store
Crawlers - 24 months-ish
April 11-May 23 *Skip 5/2
Every Monday from 9:30-10:15am
Cost of series: $80

Get ready to get moving with your little one! We will stretch, sing and play! Bring a yoga mat. 

To Register: Email meganridgemorris@gmail.com

Monday, February 1, 2016

Get Back On The Mat! ~ February Newsletter

Dear Friends in Yoga,

We Survived the Blizzard of 2016! Winter came and went, so it seems, and this week I'm committed to getting back into my regular routine. If you haven't been to yoga in a while, know that your breath is your constant companion-- always waiting for you, even if you've forgotten about it for a while. There's no judgement on the mat. It doesn't matter if it's been weeks, months or years since I've seen you in class. I'm always happy to see familiar faces come back to their practice. So get back into your routine and come see me this week! All of my public classes are held at the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem:

And for 6 weeks only I am teaching a series at Azzatori Chiropractic on Stefko Blvd-- "Yoga for a Healthy Spine," from February 22 -  March 28, every Monday night from 6:45-7:45pm. Only $60 for the entire series! Space is limited, so reply to this email to learn how you can register in advance. 

With gratitude,

Megan Ridge Morris

Yoga Instructor, E-RYT 500, RPYT

District Manager, Arbonne International
Independent Consultant ID#22367179

Monday, November 30, 2015

December ~ Big Changes!

Dear Friends in Yoga,

Change is rarely easy. Sometimes, we welcome something new because we instantly see that it will make things better for us and those around us. But often, we encounter denial, telling ourselves that change is not happening or that it is not necessary, until we reach the moment when it's no longer possible to ignore. As often as I've embraced change in my life, I've probably resisted change twice as much. Next month, I will face a big change that will also effect many of you. 

Beginning on January 4th, I will no longer be teaching my night classes. This was such a hard decision for me! With this change, I will have more time to nurture my own yoga practice and be a part of my son's bedtime routine more often. This option was never available to me in the past. I am grateful that my Arbonne business is providing financial freedom so that I can now enjoy more time freedom. 

For those of you that have regularly attended my evening classes, I hope your schedule will allow you to join me in the mornings. If not, please come see me in the next few weeks so I can give you a big hug and thank you for sharing your practice with me over the years. Sally will be teaching a Level 1 class on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6pm starting January 4th and I highly recommend her class! I hope to be practicing along side many of you in the coming months. 

This month will also be my last "Breathing and Meditation" class. If you haven't tried it yet, please join me on Sunday, December 13th from 4-6pm

I will still be available for private sessions. Please don't hesitate to contact me if that would be a better option for you at this time in your life. 

With gratitude,

January Schedule:

Arbonne International
Megan Ridge Morris
Independent Consultant ID#22367179

Why start your own Arbonne business?
The Arbonne Opportunity call with
Executive National VP, Debbie Neal

Try Yoga!

Monday, October 5, 2015

October Newsletter

Dear Friends in Yoga,

My son is five months old today. If you can't believe it, trust me, neither can I. However, one thing I am now sure of and quite clear on are my priorities. I've often said in class that we must take care of ourselves first to better serve the people that we love. That has entirely new meaning to me. Now, it's absolutely necessary that I make time for yoga, walks in nature, massages, healthy eating and meditation so that in a challenging moment at home, I'm not reactive or resentful. My #1 priority is making sure I give Ridge my best, which also means I need to give myself the best. 

My job is awesome because everyone I'm seeing "at work" has made the conscious choice to engage in self-care. Carving out time for ourselves isn't always easy, but it's always worth it. And thankfully, it's not about being perfect. It's about practicing without an attachment to the outcome and knowing in our gut that we're doing our best for our soul and for every soul we have the honor of intertwining with in this life. 

Hope to see you on the mat this month!

With gratitude,


Weekly Schedule:




Wednesday...4:30p...Inspired By You




I am teaching an "Art of Teaching Beginners" workshop for teachers on November 1st from 9-5pm! If you attended last year, there will be plenty of new information this time around.

I am back to teaching Pre/Post-Natal yoga on October 25th11:30-12:45pm. Pre-crawlers welcome! 

I teach a Breathing and Meditation classon the 2nd Sunday of every month from 4-6pm at the Yoga Loft. This is a great thing to try at least once! You will learn techniques to practice at home and things you can apply to your regular yoga practice in class. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Arbonne Launch!

Dear Friends,

Owning one business just ain't enough for this lady! In addition to teaching yoga, I am now officially an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International.

This opportunity feels meant to be. Arbonne is in total alignment with my yogic lifestyle. There is a Sanskrit word in yoga philosophy called "saucha," or, "cleanliness." Many people equate saucha with attention to one's personal hygiene. While showering is one important aspect of saucha, I think the concept is rooted in something much deeper. It includes an awareness of what kinds of foods we eat and the quality of the ingredients that touch our skin. Each time I ingest or apply something to my body, I try to ask myself, "Is this product truly clean? Is it pure, safe and beneficial?" Arbonne's mission embodies the very essence of saucha and it's what makes me proud to spread the word about their brand. 

If you'd like to learn more, please join me at one of my launch parties! There will be absolutely no pressure to buy anything at these events. It's just a chance to learn more about the company, be in community and try out some of Arbonne's phenomenal health & wellness products. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided. Baby Ridge will also be in attendance. Come squeeze his rapidly growing, chubby cheeks! 

Both launch parties will be held at my home (please PM me for my address) on: 

I will also be having two Facial Presentations at my home. Let me practice on you!

If you can't attend any of these parties or presentations, no worries! We can schedule a private spa party with a group of your friends or a one-on-one consultation anytime. 

Please know that nothing about my yoga schedule is changing. I am still deeply committed to my yoga business and cherish each and every student that's ever walked into my classroom. My Arbonne business only consists of 10-15 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to nurture the many other loves in my life!

I made some updates to my website, including some new, upcoming yoga classes and workshops! I've got a "Mommy & Me" series running in September, monthly "Breathing & Meditation" classes and a "Teaching Beginners" training in October.

See you on the mat (or at the party!).

With gratitude,

Arbonne International
Megan Ridge Morris
Independent Consultant ID#22367179
Cell: 484-350-1180

Listening to this call could change your entire future. It already has for me. Do you have 20 minutes to invest in the rest of your life?
Arbonne Opportunity call with
Executive National VP, Debbie Neal

Try Yoga!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June Newsletter: Return to Teaching, Meet the Baby, Childcare Needed!

Dear Friends in Yoga,

I'll be back to teaching on the evening of June 17th! I've missed you all so much!!

If you'd like to meet baby Ridge, you have three opportunities to do so. My husband Chris will be bringing Ridge to the Yoga Loft after my classes on June 17, 18 & 19!

For those of you that practice with me at Inspired By You, please note that my Wednesday class will now begin at 4:30pm.

Chris and I are looking for reliable people to take care of our baby while we're teaching. I would like to exchange childcare for yoga. We'll need sitters to come to our home in Bethlehem starting August 24th.

Here's how it works:

1 childcare shift = 1 free yoga class

If only one shift a week works for you, that's fine! You'll get one free class per week. If 2 shifts work, you'll get 2 free classes per week. Our only request is that you commit to the same childcare shift and the same yoga class each week to make scheduling easy.

Childcare Shifts Available:
Tuesdays 9:15-11:15am
Wednesdays 8:45-10:45am
Thursdays 9:15-11:15am
Fridays 8:45-10:45am

Yoga Classes Available:
Mondays 6-7:15pm (G/L1)
Tuesdays 9:45-11am (L1)
Wednesdays 9:15-10:30am (G)
Wednesdays 4:30-5:30pm (G)
Wednesdays 6-7:15pm (G/L1)
Thursdays 9:45-11am (L1)
Fridays 9:15-10:30am (G)

G = Gentle
G/L1 = Gentle/Level 1
L1 = Level 1

If you or anyone you know might be interested, please contact me at your earliest convenience.

See you on the mat,

Megan, Chris, Baby Ridge & Horatio (our big, friendly dog!)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ridge's Birth Story.

On May 3rd, the morning after my 31st birthday, my mucus plug fell out. The day that followed, the doctor checked my cervix for the first time and at 36 weeks pregnant I was two centimeters dilated. The next day, at 9:40am, at the studio where I teach yoga, my water gushed. Not just broke, but dramatically, movie-style gushed. My students wished me well and I drove home to see what would happen next.

My doula told me that there might be drawbacks to going directly to the hospital before contractions intensified. Sometimes doctors grow impatient (especially with the many first-time mom's that commonly have 24-48 hour labors) and pressure women to take pitocin to make contractions happen faster. I had expressed a strong desire for a natural birth throughout my pregnancy, no drugs what-so-ever, and had a detailed birth plan. So at home, I took a shower, ate some food, my husband walked the dog (he had taken the day off from work to paint the upstairs hallway), and I did my best to tidy up a very dirty house. 

My water kept randomly gushing and I started to feel light cramping. I felt nervous, anxious and excited. At 10:45am, I decided to go to the hospital knowing that I could always leave if I felt I wasn't progressing fast enough. 

It was on the 10-minute drive to the hospital that it became clear I had made the right choice to go. I had two contractions in the car, which meant I was suddenly within the range of where I should be to go to the hospital. In triage, contractions started to come every three minutes. After I was admitted, I couldn't walk to my room without doubling over in pain. When the doctor checked my cervix, I was four centimeters dilated. 

I tried to unpack my hospital bag, thinking that in all my downtime I would enjoy some of the DVDs, books and music that I brought. But things escalated so quickly, I almost immediately found myself on the floor, on hands and knees, writhing and sighing heavily. 

I instructed my husband to put on Neil Young's "Cowgirl in the Sand." This marks the point where things got a little hazy. 

I was not mentally prepared for how intense labor would be. I had heard so many conflicting opinions about what a contraction feels like that I honestly didn't know what to expect from my own body. I was also under the impression that a contraction lasted approximately one minute with breaks in between contractions. 

This was not my experience. 

From 11:30am until 4:30pm, I would have three or four contractions in a row, followed by 30 seconds to a minute of peace to catch my breath and process the fact that I was still alive. I went from four centimeters to six in four hours and then jumped from six to ten in less than an hour. I screamed and wailed. Deep moans, primal, uncensored sounds and instinctual movement overtook my body. 

Then the pushing began. With each contraction, I started to feel a natural urge to push. The doctor confirmed that I was fully dilated and she stayed with me for three hours while I slowly moved my baby down. My husband sat behind me in the bed and held me, encouraging me to keep going. My aunt and doula made sure I stayed hydrated with quick sips of water and apple juice. The nurse set up a mirror so I could see my progress. His tiny head became more visible with each contraction. 

The burning I felt in the final pushes that brought my baby to the other side was both excruciating and sincerely welcomed. I knew I was finally close to finishing this marathon. I pushed his head out and in the same contraction barred down with all my might and with animalistic fiery pushed the rest of his body into this world. The feeling of fluids and flesh sliding out of me was such a strange and exhilarating relief. 

At 7:21pm on Cinco de Mayo, after only nine hours of labor, my baby, Ridge Michael Morris, was immediately placed on my chest. Everything else faded away. It was the greatest moment of my life to hold in my arms the life that had lived inside of me for eight months. 

We stayed skin-to-skin for an hour. My doctor stitched a tear. My husband kissed me furiously with great admiration and passion. The nurses fluttered around us. I counted Ridge's fingers and toes while he breast fed. I talked to him and cried with him. 

I fell in love.

Throughout pregnancy, women are encouraged to rest and take it easy. On the final day, they are expected to do the most physically challenging thing they will ever do in their lives. It's a paradox.  

Now, that part of the journey is suddenly over, much sooner and faster than I had ever anticipated. My baby shower hadn't even happened yet, and for the first few days of Ridge's life I was overcome with all that needed to be done. 

A week later, I'm writing this story with Ridge sleeping peacefully on my lap. I can say with complete honesty that it was all worth it. I would even entertain the idea of doing it again. I loved being pregnant. I love that labor showed me what I am capable of and how strong I can be.

I don't care that I'm not getting any sleep or that I spend eight hours out of 24 breastfeeding, pumping, burping and diaper changing. When Ridge opens his brilliant blue eyes to explore his blurry new world, I am reminded that I have already learned so much from my time with him and I will continue to grow because of him. 

In one week, my entire life has dramatically shifted for the better. I have overwhelming and abundant gratitude. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

May Newsletter!

Dear Friends in Yoga,

On May 2nd I turned 31 years old. This birthday was completely different compared to my 30th. Last year, losing my mother to cancer was still fresh in my raw heart and I was also mourning a recent miscarriage. I was finding every opportunity to check out and numb out so I wouldn't have to feel the pain of these losses. My 30th birthday was not a particularly healthy experience. This birthday, I am eight months pregnant and feeling great! Over the past year, I've shifted away from self-medicating and into acceptance, clarity and contentment. I feel I've grown up a lot and I owe a lot of it to my healthy choices. I've been practicing yoga for nine years now, and my commitment to yoga seems to save me from myself every time. Life has many ups and downs. I am thankful to have a consistent mindful practice that helps me restore and remember what's most important in life. The mat is always there waiting for us when we've lost our way. This year, it brought me home.

With gratitude,

Come practice with me this week! Who knows when this baby is coming...

Mon: 6:00-7:15pm G/L1 at Yoga Loft
Tue: 9:45-11:00am Level 1 at Yoga Loft
Wed: 9:15-10:30am Gentle at Yoga Loft
Wed4:00-5:00pm Gentle at IBY
Wed: 6:00-7:15pm G/L1 at Yoga Loft
Thu: 9:45-11:00am Level 1 at Yoga Loft
Fri: 9:15-10:30am Gentle at Yoga Loft

Private yoga sessions may be a good option if you're new to yoga, recovering from injury, have a hectic schedule, or if you're simply interested in advancing your practice privately. I have a small yoga room in my home that is perfect for private sessions or I will gladly come to you! 

1 Private Yoga session: $75
3 Private Yoga sessions: $210
5 Private Yoga sessions: $325
Phone/FaceTime/Skype session: $50

Breathing and Meditation Practice
Sunday, May 17th from 4-6pm
Cost: $20
At the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem

In this 2-hour class we will explore breathing techniques that can be applied to your physical yoga practice, as well as exercises to calm, balance or energize the nervous system at anytime, day or night. Meditation with a focus on breath and/or mantra with also be included. Expect some brief, light movement. 

Pre / Post-Natal Yoga Series
April 5 - May 24, 2015
Sundays, 11:30am-12:45pm 
At the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem

The Art of Teaching Beginners
November 1, 2015, 9:00-5:00pm
At the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem

During this day long workshop, we will explore how to continually be creative with beginner sequencing, dissect great beginner poses that can be taught in stages, learn essential modifications and intelligent uses of props and breakdown the basic guidelines and differences between teaching intro to yoga, level 1 and progressing beginner classes. We will refine our instructions so that we are speaking clearly, concisely, and specifically to the beginners’ mind. Megan will also spend plenty of time answering specific questions you may about teaching beginners. 


Monday, April 6, 2015

April Newsletter

Dear Friends in Yoga,

IT'S SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather today (even if it's just a walk around your office building at lunch time!) and soaking up some much needed Vitamin D. 

Spring is a time of rebirth and a perfect time to look at how our yoga practice can represent a cycle of life. In the beginning, as we sit or lie down in quiet to focus our thoughts, we are born again. As we warm up, we get to know the body just as a child learns to navigate crawling and walking. Sun Salutations are like our teenage years- a demonstration of strength, power and stamina. Standing poses are like our 20's-40's-- exploratory, and a time to learn more about how we want to show up in the world. Back bends must be approached with the knowledge of all that as come before-- much like our 50's and 60's, when we must apply the wisdom necessary to tackle the harder things in life. Our quiet, long-held and contemplative seated poses mirror our 70's and 80's, a time for reflection, understanding and enjoying life from the broad lens of experience and acceptance. And, of course, Savasana is death, the ultimate rest. But not a death to fear, because every time we come to our mat, we begin again. 

I have some great offerings coming up this month that I hope you can attend! 

See you on the mat,


Brain Tumor Foundation of the LV Fundraiser!
At St. John's UCC in Emmaus (139 N 4th St)

All proceeds from this event will benefit brain tumor patients in our area, helping patients' in need pay their healthcare insurance, chemotherapy, other necessary cancer medications and respite care. 

$10 entry fee
$1 per raffle ticket
$1 per minute massage

1:30-3:15pm ~ Raffle / Massage with Johnny and Kim / Snacks

2:00-3:00pm ~ All Levels Yoga Class with Me! (Beginners welcome)

3:15pm ~ Announce Raffle Winners

The Mindful Breathing Practice
April 19th, 2015, 4-6pm
Cost: $20
At the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem

In this 2-hour class we will explore breathing techniques that can be applied to your physical yoga practice, as well as exercises to calm, balance or energize the nervous system at anytime, day or night. Meditation with a focus on breath and/or mantra with also be included. Expect some brief, light movement. 

To register and learn more, click here

Pre / Post-Natal Yoga Series
April 19 - May 24, 2015
Sundays, 11:30am-12:45pm 
At the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem
No pre-registration necessary!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Newsletter

Dear Friends in Yoga,

Let me guess, you're sick of this weather. 

That's all I've been hearing lately. Let's change the record! Weather is one of those things in life that we have no control over, but we can control our perspective. We happen to live in an area of the world where winter weather is expected for four out of 12 months. I personally love the changing of the seasons. I always look forward to each season when it arrives. Spring seems to be the most anticipated, which makes it that much sweeter to step outside on those 60 degree days and maybe even see a flower sprouting! We're not too far away from that daydream. In the meantime, what can we do to banish winter blues? I think you know my answer... YOGA! Don't let ice and snow dictate your mood. Instead, use this time to turn inward and see what's real and true for you today. Slow down. Generate warmth and contentment from within. Peace is always inside waiting for us. 

See you on the mat,

Weekly Schedule:
Monday...Gentle/Level 1...6-7:15p...The Yoga Loft
Tuesday...Level 1...9:45-11a...The Yoga Loft
Wednesday...Gentle...9:15-10:30a...The Yoga Loft
Wednesday...Gentle...4-5p...Inspired By You
Wednesday...Gentle/Level 1...6-7:15p...The Yoga Loft
Thursday...Level 1...9:45-11a...The Yoga Loft
Friday...Gentle...9:15-10:30a...The Yoga Loft

For the next 5 weeks I am teaching a FREE class for prison staff and first responders on Thursdays, 3:15-4:15pm at Easton Yoga through the Shanthi Project. Please spread the word!

My breathing class this month is Sunday, March 15th from 4-6pm at the Yoga Loft. This is a great class for learning how to breath more efficiently in regular yoga classes and for learning techniques to help calm, balance and energize the nervous system anytime, day or night. Give it a try! 

Mark your calendars now for the 2nd annual Brain Tumor Foundation of the Lehigh Valley Fundraiser! Saturday, April 11th at St. John's UCC Church in Emmaus. All proceeds from this event will benefit brain tumor patients in our area, helping patients' in need pay their healthcare insurance, chemotherapy, other necessary cancer medications, and respite care.  

Each year in the United States, nearly 200,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumor.  The lack of awareness and funding for brain cancer research is simply unacceptable.  This fundraiser is in honor of my mother, as well as the many others that have lost their lives to this vicious cancer. 

$10 entry fee
$1 per raffle ticket
$1 per minute massages

1:30-3:15pm ~ Raffle / Massages with Kim Kane-Santos and John Pilotti / Snacks

2:00-3:00pm ~ All Levels Yoga Class with Megan Ridge Morris

3:15pm ~ Announce Raffle Winners!

**Please bring your own yoga mat or beach towel!**

Kids aged 10+ are welcome to practice yoga with their parents. 

We are in need of raffle items for this event! 

Read my newest articles here and follow my new fan page on Facebook, The Writing Yogini