Yoga practices for the knocked up.
“I don’t care what nobody says
We’re gonna have a baby”
“I don’t care what nobody says
No I’m gonna be her lover
Always mad and you’s a drunk
But I love her like no other” Knocked Up, Kings of Leon.
When I was pregnant my best friend bought me a personalised tile engraved with the sentiment, “Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit” and it made me cry, like most things when I was ‘knocked up’. And true it is, having a baby makes you feel indestructible with a heart so full that you just can’t help but begin to live totally governed by the loving forces of Mother Nature, and if that sounds like crazy hippy nonsense to you, well, seen as you’re going to be (sorry, but the following is true) part-knackered, sick, emotional, in-pain and at moments a crazy, anxious insomniac who can be found scrubbing the skirting boards at 4am while snacking on coal, all the while not being about to take so much as a paracetamol or nytol without guilt palpitations (of course, it things get really bad don’t suffer in silence, your Doctor can help you), now is the perfect time to embrace all things holistic and get hippied-up and blissed out.
Pregnancy yoga is, in my very humble opinion, the absolute best, effective and beautiful remedy and guide that you can embrace during these transformative 9 months, in which time you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with advice (wanted and unwanted) from all quarters. “Being pregnant seems to invite others to voice their, often conflicting, opinions about every aspect of mothering, and this can lead to confusion and a sense of insecurity about your capacities as a mother. Helpful antidotes to this experience are simply yoga practices that build and strengthen your connection with your own growing intuition about what is right for you and your baby” (Yoga for pregnancy and birth by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, pg 14). You can find many wonderful pregnancy yoga classes throughout the country at your local studio, town hall or even hospital, I would highly recommend any teachers that have been trained by Uma of Womb Yoga herself, here is a teacher directory you can look through http://www.wombyoga.org/teachers.
A few years ago I had the absolute honour of being trained by Uma who is a living embodiment of Mother Nature (I wish I could spend every day with her!) and as a result I’ve been lucky enough to have guided many of my dear friends through their pregnancy yoga experiences, pregnancy yoga is my go-to style of yoga when I’m feeling exhausted, emotional and disconnected, a treasure I’ll never loose, not even on a drunken hen do (not like my mind and telephone).
Pictured above is Gwen, now in the final trimester of her pregnancy, Gwen always thoroughly enjoys and appreciates her classes and tells me that the practices have eased exhaustion, cramps and emotional ups and downs. I will be posting various techniques and classes over the coming weeks but for now, here is a simple practice that you can do at any stage of your pregnancy, whatever your physical condition may be which is particularly useful if you have had a busy time and have almost forgotten that you are pregnant.
Heart womb breath meditation.
The heart-womb connection is said to enable the mother to nourish the child in the womb with the emotional energy of her loving heart.
Normally in yoga we breathe with the nose, however, during pregnancy if you feel more comfortable exhaling with the mouth, pursed into a small circle shape, then please feel free to do this. Follow your intuition mothers.
1. Sit comfortably, whether that be crossed legged or on a chair with your feet touching the earth, close your eyes and begin to breathe fully.
2. Place the left hand over the heart and place the right hand over your womb.
3. Begin to focus on your exhale, as you exhale completely feel the warmth on your right hand coming from your womb.
4. As you inhale slowly and completely feel the warm love coming up from the womb into the heart.
5. Exhale and send the warm love back from your heart to the womb.
6. Continue with this easy rhythm of breath anything from 5 to 20 minutes, moving awareness from the womb to the heart, feeling the unconditional love creating a deep inner connection between you and your baby.
7. When you are ready to finish remove the hands from the heart and womb and allow then to rest on your knees or lap, take three more rounds of breath and then open your eyes. Smile and feel happy.
One last thing to remember, your pregnant body is a physical embodiment of unconditional love for your baby, how beautiful and magical is is that? There really is no need to read horror stories on the internet, just make friends with your body and baby and you’ll know exactly what to do every step of the way.
Namaste mums-to-be x