Meditation can be an enlightening and extremely effective addition to your health plan, and can have profound effects on your pregnancy, labor, and life beyond birth!

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Meditation often conjures a picture of sitting cross legged in Lotus pose (Sukhasana or Padmasana, often called ‘Easy Pose’)– which evidently isn’t as easy for many moms-to-be!  In reality, meditation can look infinitely different for each individual person, and those differences help illustrate why practicing meditation has been instrumental to so many people for generations.

If Lotus pose isn’t your thing, or if you are experiencing joint pain or other physical limitations during your pregnancy and after baby, don’t fret! Pregnancy is responsible for an increase in the hormones that loosen your joints to help open your hips to prepare for birth, but this process can also cause discomfort, which may make you feel a little intimidated by certain poses. This is why so many moms find great success in meditation– you control the intensity of your experience.  There are no expectations, and the only real goal in mindfulness meditation is to finish your session feeling better than when you started.

Pregnancy brings both physical and emotional strains, and there are many channels by which moms try to balance their regular lives, plus the additional excitement and challenges faced during pregnancy and motherhood.  We know that there are countless physical and emotional benefits to exercise and eating healthfully, which provide emmense immediate and long-term benefits, but often moms ignore the need for reflection and relaxation within their health plans, that’s why Erica includes it in her 21-day program which is part of her Digital Programs {available for pregnancy and after baby}.  Moms forget that they are first and foremost people, and therefore must care for themselves in order to set the right example, and to feel fantastic while doing so.

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Moms have found additional benefits of mindfulness meditation in labor, noting that the frame of mind, peace, and relaxation practiced in meditation throughout pregnancy empowered them to labor with intention. Many yogis include meditation in their classes, styles such as Vinassana meditation, mantra meditation, and deep breath awareness meditation provide differing benefits and focuses. To get the most from your meditation, talk to your yoga instructor about your goals for your practice.

Meditation can be done in almost any position, if you’re cleared for exercise, you can work your way up to some poses that provide a gentle stretch. If you aren’t cleared for exercise, you can still reap the benefits but taking a quiet moment for yourself.

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To get yourself started:

  1. Sit or stand with good, straight posture
  2. Slowly and quietly count a deep breath in for 5 seconds
  3. Then slowly and quietly count an exhale for 8 seconds
  4. Repeat for 1-5 minutes, relaxing your mind and clearing your thoughts.

This most simple form of mindfulness meditation for relaxation can provide a great sense of calmness and strength.

Regardless of your level of fitness– from beginner to advanced, you can benefit from taking even just five minutes in a comfortable position to reflect on your feelings, your personal goals, and your intentions in your daily activities.  Being mindful and acting with intention gives purpose to everything you do, keeps you accountable, and keeps you on track with your goals.  When we experience the importance of reflection, we become aware of who we are– and this has an especially profoundly calming effect for moms who spend such a great deal of time trying to keep so many other people on track, that their own needs and purpose can get lost in the mix.

Parents often say, “The most important thing in the world to me, is my children.” We hear this so often that we forget, that the most important thing to our children, is their parents!  Being emotionally and physically healthy go hand-in-hand, and by taking a few minutes out of your day to reflect on your feelings can help you become a well-rounded, happier, healthier mama!

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