Last week we shared about the incredible benefits of Mindfulness in Pregnancy and how it can contribute to a more positive and peaceful journey. It's one thing to read about it and know how it can benefit you and it's quite another to actually put these practices in place! That's why, today, we're sharing some practical tips on creating consistent space for mindfulness.
Research suggests that it takes a minimum of 21 days to form good habits. We encourage you to keep this in mind when beginning any new practice so as to keep realistic expectations. We also encourage you to be gentle with yourself while creating consistentcy in this new practice. Any amount of mindfulness is good for you. Some days you may have 3 minutes, some days you may have 30. Focus on creating space, not the length of time and 3 minutes may feel like 30!
Back pain, hip pain, swelling, round ligament stretching, headaches... oh the joys of pregnancy. Yoga has many benefits, especially in pregnancy, and those benefits aren't only physical. Regular yoga classes have been shown to improve flexibility in preparation for birth, ease pregnancy discomforts and support mental clarity and calm.
Don't have time for our weekly Prenatal Yoga class? Look into our in-home private yoga options. Or try group classes every other week and utilize the poses you learn at home. We also offer personalized prenatal yoga plans that are fully customizable for your body, activity level & commitment level. These plans can be practiced in the comfort of your own home as often as you like!
Whatever you choose, allow yourself to slow down & connect to your breath, your body, & your baby. The benefits are felt almost instantly and you will be so grateful you took the time out of your day for yoga!
In the midst of the chaos going on in your world, researching choices for your birth, the "what-ifs" of what is to come and the fear of the unexpected it is easy to become overwhelmed and create anxiety by staying inside your head. Using a regular mindful activity such as journaling forces you to slow down and allows you to process your anxieties and gain perspective. Writing may also help you gain clarity on some of your birth choices and calm your mind in preparation for your birth.
We've pinned some ideas for a DIY pregnancy journal on Pinterest, but we also love Sacred Pregnancy: A Loving Guide & Journal for Expectant Moms, Kate Spade's Expect the Unexpected, and Expecting You: A Keepsake Pregnancy Journal.
A gratitude list is another great way to shift your perspective and help settle your mind during pregnancy. Set aside time each morning, make yourself a cup of tea and list everything that you are grateful for. Focusing on the positive in your life has the ability to reduce anxiety, instill a hopeful outlook & give you renewed energy for your day.
Whether you approach breathing techniques as a meditation practice or as preparation for birth, the great thing about them is that you can practice them almost anywhere! If you find your blood pressure rising during rush hour on the 405 or your toddler is testing your patience at the mall, it can only take a few moments to bring your awareness to your breath.
One of our favorite techniques is a simple deep belly breath combined with silent or vocal counting. Inhale in through your nose as you count to three then exhale out of your nose as you count to three. Take a minute to continue this rhythmical breath and as you do, relax your jaw and shoulders, the muscles in your face, neck, hands & feet. With each breath allow your stomach muscles to relax and feel your belly rise and fall to the rhythm of 1-2-3, 1-2-3.
Maintain this relaxed, rhythmical breath for as long as you need to begin to feel the benefits. Above all, don't overthink it. With each breath, focus on your baby and releasing tension in your body.
While the focus on our blog today is mindfulness in pregnancy, know that these practices are beneficial in all stages of life. Whether you're trying to conceive, newly postpartum or are done having babies these practices have the potential to contribute to a more peaceful, enjoyable life! Give yourself a little compassion and understanding and allow yourself regular your moments throughout your day for soothing practices such as these.
What is your favorite mindfulness technique and how do you incorporate it into your daily routine?