It’s an amazing thing, meditation. If you have practiced meditation before then you can understand what I mean just from that simple sentence. If you haven’t, now is the perfect time to begin.
During meditation, even if only for just ten minutes a day, your mind has this wonderful chance to slip away briefly, leaving the thoughts that dance through your head throughout the day to float through and out like dark clouds passing through the sky to reveal the hidden sun (the sun is you!).
Who needs meditation though, you ask? I believe we all need meditation, every day. A little blip of time in your day to do just that, to let everything go, to let those clouds of worry pass through and out. All of those thoughts, worries, fears and to-do lists are able to just fly out the window in those few sacred moments, allowing you to just be. Be what? Be you, your true self, your higher self, your sacred self, stripped away of the ego and all conditioning of the world.
This is what makes meditation during those blessed months of pregnancy so beneficial, so vital for you and your sweet baby.
Giving yourself that gift of time alone for you and your growing baby is the most amazing gift you can give yourself during this special time. Meditation during pregnancy can give you exactly what you need to relax, let go and allow yourself to connect with your little one that is growing inside.
So often during pregnancy, it is easy to forget to take time for yourself, to let go of some of the worries and anxieties that often naturally build up in our minds. Your body is changing, thoughts are scrambling around, jumping from one idea to the next. Baby names are scurrying frivolously through your head and you are forever creating those never ending to-do lists for fear of forgetting something vitally important for the arrival of this new little person into your family. All of this on top of the fact that you may still be working and taking care of the rest of the family and running everyday non-pregnancy related errands as well.
For all of these reasons and more, you need meditation.
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day—unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” –Old Zen adage
When you stop to meditate, you give your busy mind that chance to let go of the thoughts that may create stress in your body, creating muscle tension that may also carry over to your baby as well as your labor and birth.
Meditation allows you to stop, breathe and bond with your baby, to connect with your body and your higher self, leaving you grateful for the present moment instead of jumping ahead to the next appointment or the next number that needs to be checked off the list.
It allows you to just be you, everything that you are in the raw, without conditioning. It allows you to dive deep into the quiet stillness of the water of your mind, reminding you of the quiet, safe, soothing water that your baby lives in as well. Here, together, the two of you are able to bond without having to swim through the surface waves of thought and outside influences. This is your time, the two of you, and there is nothing else to get in the way in this very moment.
This is meditation, a quiet, peaceful and relaxed mind and body, completely present and aware, confident and safe. You in your raw feminine beauty as all of your fears, anxiety and tensions melt away. In these precious moments, you are able to take all of those worries about your pregnancy, fears about your birth or your baby, of becoming a mother, of your changing body and allow them to all melt away with the tension. Allowing them to fall to the ground as Mother Earth opens her loving arms and catches them, taking away all of the worries that don‘t serve you on this sacred journey.
The sooner in your pregnancy that you begin this practice, the better, and the more you do it, the easier it will become.
As you become more familiar with meditating, the longer you will be able to do it. Meditation is not only extremely beneficial during your pregnancy but it will also serve as an invaluable practice during your labor as well. When practicing meditation, it is also important to practice deep breathing which will also carry you through your labor, allowing you to stay free from that tension which can often make labor more difficult or prolonged.
It has been proven time and again that when beautiful mamas in labor practice meditating, they have shorter and easier labors due to the release of tension and fear and the ability to trust in their bodies and their babies because of their deep connection through meditation practice.
When beginning a meditation practice, it’s important to set aside at least ten minutes to receive the full benefits.
- Find a quiet place that is sacred and special to you, a place where you can really connect with yourself and your baby. If you have a pregnancy altar, sit in front of it and if you do not, this may be a great time to set one up. When you find yourself getting caught up in the surface waves of everyday life, it’s so nice to be able to reflect back to this altar or sacred space and allow yourself to dive deep down into the quiet waters and step back for just a moment.
- After you’ve determined where your sacred space will be, sit comfortably either cross-legged or legs stretched out in front of you, preferably on a pillow or blankets for comfort. If you are more comfortable lying down, you can lay on your side with pillows under your head and between your knees. Just make sure you won’t fall asleep! If you only have a certain amount of time to set aside, set a soothing alarm to go off quietly when you need it to. Once you have set this clock, let all worries of time go. The clock will take care of it, you no longer need to be in control of that.
- Light a candle to remind you of the sacred and pure light that shines within you, allowing you to feel the warmth of this light radiating throughout your entire body and bringing your mind to focus on this light.
- Closing your eyes, begin to take deep, slow breaths through your nose and into your belly, allowing your belly to expand with the inhale.
- Slowly count to 4 as you inhale and counting to 8 as you exhale. Imagine that as you are inhaling, your breath is traveling into your belly and surrounding your baby, creating a safe sacred space for the both of you. Continue to breathe this way for a couple of minutes.
- As you inhale, surrounding your baby with your breath, love and light, feeling that strong and sacred connection between the two of you.
- As you exhale, feeling any fears and anxieties slowly begin to melt off of your shoulders, allowing your shoulders to fall even further away from your ears. Imagine that Mother Earth is sitting right under you with the palms of her hands open to accept and catch all of your fears and worries. As you feel and notice your body becoming more relaxed, know that your baby is relaxing right along with you.
- Any thoughts that seem to be lurking in your mind, imagine that they have turned into clouds and just as if they were passing through the sky, they pass through and out of your mind. When thoughts persist, thank them for coming, let them know you will focus on them later and then send them on their way, bringing yourself back to the rhythm of your breath once again.
There are many different visualizations that you can use once you have allowed thoughts to escape your mind and you have connected with your body and your baby.
You can imagine yourself in a place that is safe and soothing to you or possibly a favorite place outside such as a beautiful field of flowers or the ocean. Once you are there, continue with your slow, gentle breaths and allowing yourself to take in every detail of where you are, the sights, the sounds, the smells. You can stay in this place for as long as you’d like and when you are ready, bring yourself back to your breath, back to your sacred space. Once again noticing your breath and your body and taking notice of your belly and your baby. Allow yourself to notice any feelings of love and gratitude for this amazing life that is growing inside of you and for your womanhood and the amazing ability that your beautiful body has to create life.
Open your eyes and focus on your candle’s flame once again, feeling the warmth and the light that radiates within you, loving and empowering you on your journey into motherhood. Allow yourself to carry this empowering strength and love with you throughout your day.