Yoga to me is the art of being present. Living in the present moment has been my greatest tool throughout pregnancy and now, into motherhood. When we hear the word yoga we oftentimes think of posture or a series of postures performed in a set sequence. While this is certainly an aspect of the practice it is only a slice of the pie available to you when you practice yoga. We practice yoga through movement, meditation, mindfulness and awareness. By becoming more aware of what is happening inside of us we are better able to tune into our needs and respond in a way that bring out love, joy, peace and presence.
For me, I find my yoga while moving on my mat or closing my eyes to meditate. But you might find your yoga doing something else such as painting, cooking, walking, being outside immersed in nature, etc. Whatever it is that you do to become more mindful and present, do that with intention and purpose. It is when we start to add intention to our everyday lives that we discover our purpose and live in alignment with our truth. Yoga helped me immensely throughout my pregnancy.
Here are some of the ways it made a big difference:
Be more mindful
During the first few months of my pregnancy I was plagued with morning sickness. I would stay in bed for hours on end only to get up for a few moments to eat or walk outside. For me, yoga became about easing the nausea and being immersed in nature. It meant eating mindfully and being compassionate with myself as I started to transition into the role of mother.
Because I believe yoga is the art of being present, I used my practice to ease feelings of anxiety and fear. My pregnancy was a bit of a surprise and while my husband and I were overjoyed to find out we were expecting, we dealt with a lot of feelings of uncertainty in the beginning. Yoga and meditation helped me to return to the present moment and embrace the journey that was unfolding before me.
Connect to my Body
Certain postures in the yoga practice can be very beneficial for aiding discomforts associated with pregnancy. You may experience lower back pain, round ligament pain, fatigue, increased flexibility, etc. as a result of your body growing a baby and preparing for birth. One of my favorite poses throughout my pregnancy was trikonasana, triangle pose because it creates space in the side body, builds stability, opens the hips and elevates your mood! Throughout the pregnancy, I modified my practice to meet my needs and help relieve tension + stress in the body.
Ease the Mind
One of the greatest gifts of yoga is the ability to calm the ‘monkey mind’. Oftentimes I would catch myself thinking about the past and the life I was leaving behind or thinking about the future and worrying how everything would unfold. Meditation teaches us to return to the present moment, “the only place where life exists” as Ekhart Tolle puts it. When we live in the present moment we are better able to address our needs and take care of our minds + bodies.
Connect to my Intuition
If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to trust your intuition. The bond between a mother and her child is like no other. You will feel your baby growing inside of you, moving and kicking in ways that he/she will continue to do outside of the womb. During the beginning stages of my pregnancy, I practiced a beautiful meditation where I visualized myself in a hammock in the sky, supported by the sky above and holding my little girl in my arms. It eased any worry that I had of the days to come and brought me to a place of peace. From there I could see the angel of my intuition and choose the course of action that was best for my baby and me. I believe you can read all of the parenting books in the world but ultimately you must trust yourself, your journey and your path.
Yoga has been a lifesaver in my life in many ways. Yoga has led me towards a path of self-discovery and peace that has allowed me to embrace my journey and all of the obstacles in it. It’s no secret that pregnancy can be challenging at times but it is by far the most rewarding journey especially with the ending being a little bundle of joy who will land on your chest and change your life, for the better, forever.
If you’re a momma to be, I have a program available on YogaGlo.com for women who would like to practice yoga during their pregnancy and a few meditations for moms on the UnplugMeditation app. Thank you for reading and I look forward to connecting with you in the months to come!
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