Meditations for New Mamas
I am a new mom and by no means an expert at motherhood. But, over the last several weeks I have found that my years of yoga and meditation practice have made the last several weeks less scary / stressful / chaotic and more joyful / humorous. Below are three everyday meditations for new mamas.
1. Visualize Love. This is an extension of #5 from 5 minute meditations for busy mamas. Hold your newborn against your chest. Close your eyes. As you breath in visualize your body filling up with warm, white light. Envision this warm, loving energy extending through your newborn's body, too. Repeat for up to 20 minutes (but be careful not to fall asleep 😉)
2. Be Here Now. There have been moments in motherhood where I have been completely overwhelmed by my ever-mounting to-do list that some days feels impossible to complete. When I feel this coming on I stop myself and focus in on the baby and her needs in that moment. Once she falls asleep, whenever that may be, I keep a prioritized list and slowly work through it. If I don't get to something I forgive myself and try again the next day.
3. Just Breathe (and Laugh). Motherhood has brought about some intense moments. One such moment: I am changing the baby's diaper and the dog comes and steals it from the table and proceeds to run across the house strewing baby poo everywhere. Another such moment: I am trying to squeeze in a work call before leaving the house. The baby wakes up mid-call, starts crying, needs a diaper change, proceeds to pee and poo on the table while I am changing the diaper diaper (and still on the phone with client), twice. Again, I have found the best way to take on these inevitable chaotic moments is to stop for a moment, take a few deep breaths, try to find humor in the situation, focus in on the most important task at hand (probably the baby) and take care of the rest when I can get to it (even if there is poo strewn across the floor for a few minutes).
+ Bonus Asana: Carrying the baby and breastfeeding / pumping have caused me to do some serious slouching and has triggered a lot of upper back pain. Engaging in some simple heart openers can help alleviate this. Since I've been recovering from a c-section and can't really exercise, I usually do one of the following:
- Stand up straight and clasp your hands behind your lower back palms together. Place your thumbs right where your tailbone begins. Pull your shoulders back and feel your chest opening.
- Sit down on the edge of a couch or or chair. Sit up straight. Place both arms behind you fingers facing away from your body. Straighten your arms and feel your chest open.
If you're feeling more bendy, try this exercise:
3. Lay down on your back on a mat or towel. Now turn to one side knees stacked on top of each other, arms straight out in front of you, palms together. Trace your top hand over the bottom arm, then your chest, then itself as you open up in to a twisted position. Repeat on the other side.
or one of these yoga heart openers as outlined by Yoga Journal.