From the sheer excitement that comes with carrying a baby to the underlying stresses and dare we say it, slight fears, pregnancy in itself is a whirlwind. Doing what you can to stay calm, cool and collected during these precious nine months – and through labor, too – will help you to center yourself in a peaceful state of mind. From our friends over at Fit Pregnancy, here are their five meditation techniques that are simple to do, yet reap great mental, physical and emotions rewards.
- Deep Belly Meditation – Place your hands on your belly, gently cradling the baby. As you breathe, observe the sensations felt beneath your hands – warmth, movement, etc. Continue to breathe slowly, in and out. If your mind wanders off or if a thought arises, breathe deeper into your belly and let it float away. Try doing this for five minutes each day, gradually adding more time each week.
- Mama Mantra – Delve into your inner strength by giving yourself words to live by. Whether to get you through a difficult yoga pose or while enduring a strenuous labor or stage of pregnancy, there is power in your own words. Tell yourself what you need to hear, as only you know it best: “Push through the pain; breath deep, mama. Stay strong for baby.”
- Visualization Technique: See the Wave – Through visualization (meditation combined with mental imagery), our strong bodies can actually decrease the intensity of pain – an invaluable tool during labor. The plan: “View each contraction as a wave in the ocean. Watch it slowly peak in intensity and then allow it to slowly come down. See yourself as a jellyfish, allowing that wave to wash through you.”
- The “Blossoming Lotus” – A sacred flower representing all that is pure and deeply spiritual in many cultures; use the lotus flower as a visualization tool during labor: “Visualize your cervix as a blossoming lotus flower. Upon every contraction, visualize and chant, “’Open, open, open.’”
- Relax the “Third Eye” – During labor or stressful times in your pregnancy, do your best to relax your “third eye”, the space between your eyebrows. Lying directly behind it is the light-sensitive pineal gland, which produces serotonin, the hormone that affects your wake-sleep patterns and energy levels. Doing your best to “control” this offers the chance for maximum relaxation.