After six months of teaching
prenatal yoga and 3 months of post natal yoga and meditation practice, witnessing their growing love and dedication to the practice of yoga. They are being more humble, constant with lessons that bring more joy at times which I feel within them.
I give them these three exercises of Mindfulness –
- Mindfulness writing
I told them to write down what are their ideas of a “good” mother, partner, and person. Then, writing down how they feel about this writing ideas. Finally, to write down where they would like to place their attention on a day-to-day basis. This can be as vague as the notion of having more compassion, or it can be as specific as saying three kind things to yourself, your partner, and/or your children each day.
2. Mindfulness wake-up :
Here is another small practice that I tell both of them is – mindfulness – Upon waking up, no matter who’s crying for attention, to sit upright, “washing” hands over their face (perform the motion as if washing their face), place your feet on the ground, and take 9 slow, intentional, even breaths, either reciting a mantra that resonates for them/ you (one that grounds me is om gan ganapataye namaha, or “I bow to Ganesha, lord of the senses and remover of obstacles”) or pausing to listen for the feeling of the day.
- Warrior: Warrior I (virabhadrasana I), Warrior II (virabhadrasana II), and Tree (vrksasana). These poses help strengthen joints and improve balance. Warrior poses can also ease backache and sciatica.
- Downward-Facing Dog (adho mukha vrksanasana) can energize whole body, but it’s best not to do this position in your third trimester.
- Pelvic tilt or Cat-Cow: This position helps relieve back pain, a common problem during pregnancy.
- Cobbler’s or Tailor’s pose (baddha konasana): This sitting pose helps open the pelvis. If you are very loose-jointed in your hips, make sure your “sit bones” are well grounded on the mat or blanket (gently pulling the flesh on each side of your bottom out a bit will help you find the right position). Place pillows or rolled-up towels under your knees to avoid hyper-extension of your hips.
- Squatting: Recommended prenatal yoga students squat every day to relax and open the pelvis and strengthen the upper legs. As you start to feel heavier in pregnancy, use props such as yoga blocks or a few stacked books on which to rest your bottom. Focus on relaxing and letting your breath drop deeply into your belly.
- Gomukhasana with Garudasana arms: To represent mindfulness, I chose the pose Gomukhasana with Garudasana arms. Gomukhasana in the legs brings to light all we hold in our hips (emotions! feelings!), and Garudasana in the arms can help us remember to find perspective.
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose) is another option. And I highly recommend a blanket or meditation cushion under the hips.
- Side-lying position: This is a good resting pose for the end of a practice.
- Lie on your left or right side with your head resting on your arm or a blanket.
- Put a body pillow or blanket roll between your thighs to give your hips some support.