If you're looking for inspiration on recharging your self-care rituals, look no further than our conversation with Patti Quintero. A yoga and meditation teacher of more than 20 years, Patti is a renowned Birth Doula and women's health and wellness educator. She is also the founder of Uma Mother - an center for expectant mothers in Santa Monica that has blossomed into a soon-to-launch online platform. Patti has said her mission is to support and help all women to connect with their feminine essence, which she does beautifully through all of her teachings and endeavors. Read along for her take on simple, natural beauty, the power of meditation, how to spark your sensuality - plus, her secret to looking youthful at every age.
What is your hometown, and where do you live today?
I was born in California and raised in Bogota, Colombia where both my parents are from. I spent most of my childhood years in Colombia then moved to Miami in the mid 80’s during junior high and lived there until I graduated college. I left Miami to live in NY where I spent two years diving deep into Yoga and Meditation while juggling different jobs including working at a music video production house and waiting tables in Tribeca. I returned to Miami after a terrible snow blizzard to find some beach and sunshine and got my Masters in Education before moving to Los Angeles where I have lived since 1998.
Please tell us a bit about Uma Mother - your work and mission.
Uma Mother was born about 6 years ago out of my home studio in Santa Monica and was inspired through my own Motherhood journey and work as a Birth Doula and Pre/Postnatal Yoga teacher. I dreamt of creating the space I wish I would’ve had in that tender transformational time of Matrescence.... a supportive community, a nurturing space to learn about birth and postpartum, practices that help me tune inward and connect to my body, my breath and my baby, a space to grow my maternal roots. As Mothers we yearn for this mentorship, guidance and community, especially in the early stages of Motherhood as we find our way.
As the Uma community grew so did the classes and workshops including a Pre and Postnatal teacher training, and The MOTHERSHIP, a group meditation and restorative experience for all mothers. In 2020, during the pandemic days Uma expanded into a beautiful virtual community inspiring me to launch an online platform where I will offer on demand content, live classes and community experiences for pregnancy, postpartum, and before & beyond. My wish is that every mother is able to access the support, guidance, education and consciousness expansion that will help them navigate Motherhood from the inside out.
Can you tell us a bit about SoulShine Colombia, the beautiful non-profit you launched to amplify the reach of your values and teachings?
My mother has been a long time philanthropist and has always worked to support people in Colombia. Her work inspired me to create my own mission to support underserved Mothers in my hometown. In 2013 my best friend from childhood Michelle Frohlich and I founded Soulshine Colombia. Our mission was to travel to the slums of Cartagena (a coastal city in Colombia) and bring adolescent mothers Yoga and Meditation while joining forces with the non profit organization Waves For Water to bring each of them water filters. This was such an incredible experience, I look forward more of these projects in the future.
In a few words, how do you define your approach to beauty?
Simple, Clean and Natural.
How have your Colombian roots influenced your beauty philosophy?
Like my mother, I have always been told I look youthful. I attribute a lot of that to the joyful and celebratory essence that we carry within. Colombians know how to celebrate and are quite festive. :) So I guess I am a firm believer that beauty shines best from the inside out when we are happy and enjoying life.
What are the highlights of your skincare routine? The products or steps that are non- negotiables?
No matter what time I get to bed, I always wash my face and moisturize. My nighttime ritual is a moment to love my face up. I only use cleanser in the evenings and it’s usually a very gentle cleanser, at the moment I am loving Natureofthings cleanser and face polish, then I’ll choose from a favorite toner and serum before moisturizing, a favorite is Wildling’s Empress tonic. I usually like to moisturize my face with a clean oil, like the luscious Hydrating Glow Oil by Joaquina Botánica. I apply oil to clean hands, take a deep breath of the oil and spend a few minutes massaging my face from neck up using my fingertips to move lymph. To end my little ritual I use an Ayurvedic beauty balm for lips, eyes and hands.
Tell us about your favorite beauty destination - spa, store, practitioner?
I don’t get many facials but love a good body scrub and massage. My favorite place in LA is Olympic Spa. I am also a fan of Abhyanga massage, which is a very nourishing warming Ayurvedic oil massage which is great for postpartum. My picks for Abhyanga are in home by Aleila Allen of leilove.com and Surya Spa at the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica.
Do you have any DIY home beauty or wellness remedies that you swear by?
I really believe our gut health shows in our skin. Eating colorful foods high in vitamin C, antioxidants and probiotics like Kraut, Electrolytes for hydration and Broth for joints and skin are essential for me. Good nutrition is one of Uma’s main pillars for well being especially during pregnancy when we are building a human and a blood rich organ, and in postpartum while making milk and healing from birth.
What beauty concerns have you noticed in new mothers, and do you have any advice for how to treat them?
Our body will undergo a lot of new changes and shifts in pregnancy and postpartum including stretch marks, scars, hair loss. I feel like these shifts are part of our unique evolution. Nutrition plays a big role in how our body adapts. I encourage my clients to eat good fats and protein, to hydrate (a lot) and to use clean non toxic oils and butters on their body. Massage and Meditation are also tremendously helpful because they increase circulation and reduce stress on the body and mind.
I love that your work involves helping women reconnect with the feminine essence within them. How can we connect with this force in our everyday lives, may it be in our creativity, work, or simply our sense of self?
A simple but powerful practice is mindful breathing. Your breath invites you back into your body and back into the present moment. When you pause and get still to focus a few minutes on a slow inhale and exhale you are able to feel your life force and a connection to your entire body. Another favorite way to ignite the feminine essence is by dancing. Dancing and fluid movement sparks our sensuality and a deeper connection to nature.
What is your favorite way to stay active?
I have had a long time yoga practice which always keeps me active. I weave in some light weights and bands and add time on my rebounder and on the treadmill for some cardio. Now a days I like to get outside for long walks with my dog listening to music or a podcast.
What is your favorite self-care or mindfulness ritual?
I practice Vedic Meditation which for me is the ultimate form of self care. Getting out into nature is also a great reboot whether it be for a hike or watching the sunset, and taking a long bath after I get home from a birth will help me move all that energy through and release. I have become a lot more disciplined about my self care, so I make sure to book in my massage and acupuncture treatments before I really feel I need them. ;)
What is your favorite fruit?
Avocado and Papaya.
Favorite escape in Latin America?
Follow Patti at @umamother