Meditation for Moms

While you’re busy caring for your baby, I’m over here trying to figure out how we can squeeze a little self-care into your day. In previous posts, we’ve chatted about how yoga can bring balance into your life (click here to read about the healing benefits of postpartum yoga and here for a lil’ sequence you can do at home). Today, I’m excited to offer you a brief meditation practice.

If you’re new to meditation, that’s okay! It’s also okay if you have tried meditating before and it felt like a total train-wreck. The menagerie of worries, regrets, fears, and to-do lists we harbor can make calming the mind a seemingly impossible task. Fortunately, there’s no such thing as bad meditation. Making the effort to sit still and breathe is totally perfect. We just want to cultivate a tool you can use to calm your busy mind and provide a little relief from the stressors of momhood.

If you only have five minutes to spare, you can still meditate — while nursing your baby, pumping breast milk, rocking your baby to sleep, while she naps, on the train, at the beach, in the bathtub, or in bed. There are a ton of different styles of meditation to choose from, too — we can focus our attention on the breath, bring an image to mind, or repeat a phrase (or mantra) over and over in our minds. These different techniques all serve to focus the attention on something other than our thoughts.

Today, I’d like to offer you a loving-kindness practice called Metta meditation. In Metta meditation, we work with both visualizations and mantras to send loving-kindness to different people in our lives. It’s a really calming, positive practice that’s good for newbies and pros alike.

To begin your meditation, please find a comfortable seat. Many people choose to sit cross-legged on a cushion on the floor, but you can also find a spot on the couch or a bed. If sitting cross-legged isn’t your thing, you can also sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor, or even on a rocker with the little one in your arms.

Once you’re seated, close your eyes and take five deep, calming breaths – inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your nose. Breathing in this way helps harness your energy (or prana). I know you’re exhausted, so let’s harness that energy, shall we?

After your five centering breaths, bring someone you love dearly to mind. This could be your baby, a partner, a sibling, a pet – anyone you’d like. Once you’ve got their image at the forefront of your consciousness, repeat the following three mantras in your mind:

 

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be safe.

 

Now, think of someone you don’t know too well – your mail carrier, barista, a new neighbor. Picture this person and repeat these same mantras in your mind:

 

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be safe.

 

Next up, please bring to mind someone with whom you experience conflict. This can be a co-worker, a family member, a friend, or even a public figure. Although it might be difficult, please send mantras of loving-kindness to this individual:

 

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be safe.

 

That one can bring up weird feelings – just try to breathe and repeat the mantras the best that you can. Finally, I’d like you picture your own beautiful face, as though you’re looking at yourself in the mirror. The last piece of this Metta meditation is to send these wishes of loving-kindness to yourself:

 

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be safe.

 

After directing this healing energy toward yourself, please take a moment to bring all four people to mind:

  • Someone you love
  • Someone who you don’t know too well
  • Someone you have a conflict with
  • Yourself

Imagine you’re all in the same room together and take a moment to repeat these three mantras one final time– this time directing them to all four of you.

 

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be safe.

 

My hope is that as you emerge from your Metta meditation, you’ll feel a little lighter and more open-hearted. As with all forms of meditation, some days will be easier than others. No matter how your meditation goes on a given day, please be kind to yourself. I know it can be frustrating at times, but just remember that taking the time to administer self-care is always a win. Each time you take a moment for yourself, that’s one more ounce of energy you’ve created for your baby.

 

Photo credit here

 

Please use caution when attempting any of the carries, exercise or activities highlighted on this blog, social media or any other content channels.  Please use common sense and caution when using a baby carrier.  You should consult a physician before starting any diet or exercise program.  For more information, see our Disclaimer.

Chelsea Nenni

Chelsea Nenni

Chelsea Nenni is a New York City based writer, musician, and yoga teacher. Chelsea became certified with YogaWorks in 2012 and specializes in Prenatal and Kids’ Yoga. She’s also got a band called Late Slip, an Etsy shop called Rock n’ Resistance, and a rescue pup called Beni.

   

September 5, 2018

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