By DeLora Frederickson, ECPRYT500
Therapeutic Pre/Postnatal Yoga
Many women find themselves faced with a level of anxiety they are unfamiliar with during their 10 months of pregnancy. With the sands shifting under their feet the sense of apprehension grows. How will I know what to do? Will the baby be healthy? How will I cope with the pain? Will my partner be able to deal with me and my mood swings? The mind can turn quickly and frenetically at times. In our culture these days, women are independent, self confident, and successful at their careers. With these two circumstances colliding, mothers come to their mats for solace. Asana is one crucial component of meeting the physical challenges of pregnancy and is the most familiar in studio prenatal yoga classes.
A more veiled practice is that of mantra, which is the use of sound to create inner peace, tranquility, and to activate the intrinsic power women have within. Mantra is not often included in public classes because of the mysterious quality it carries with its unknown language and unknown meanings. However, cultures all over the world use sound with birth. From the deep guttural organic utterances of a woman passing through the depths of her birthing time to the first sounds from baby after birth, sound is an integral part of this passage. Increasing your level of energy, calming the vrittis, and building confidence can be of great importance in prenatal yoga. Delving into the art of the sacred utterance brings one to their true self – beyond the worries.
Mantra with the Breath
Throughout the day many anxious thoughts move through the mind taking the self-esteem down with a vengeance. Life goes on, there is no time to sit and meditate. In a sense one could call this a moving meditation.
With the inhale say to yourself Sat (Truth) and on the exhale say to yourself Nam (Name or Identity). With every breath – Truth is My Identity. Bringing your self into the moment, being present. Sat Nam.
Another challenge of pregnancy takes place in the brain. Researchers at England’s Hammersmith Hospital have found brains of healthy pregnant women shrink by up to six percent. This means the capacity for logical thinking is altered. Women find themselves in unfamiliar territory. This can be confusing and disempowering.
Creating Healing Space
Find a quiet beautiful space and lie in a reclined position. Surrounding yourself with a circle of supporters and friends chanting:
Ra Ma Da Saa
Saa Say So Hung
Sun, Moon, Earth, Impersonal Infinity
Totality of Infinity, Personal Sense of Merger & Identity, The Infinite
Due to the nature of birth many women are washed over by the unknown. They develop deep-seated fears that perseverate, fears that go round and round and are difficult to stop. The use of mantra can balance the fluctuations of the mind to offer less stress. Less stress means baby develops in a ‘cleaner’ environment – one comprised of more oxytocin and less cortisol.
Creating Inner Peace
Find a quiet space where you will be uninterrupted and come to a comfortable seat. Focus your mind with a few minutes of conscious breathing. When you are ready begin.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Om is considered to be the primeval sound, the sound of the universe, the sound from which all other sounds are formed.
Shanti is peace.
On this journey into the Laborynth of birth mantra can be an untapped resource for many women. Harmonizing with the Universe, vibrating with the Cosmos, becoming attuned in a deep visceral way can lead to a sense of calmness, a relief of tension, easier sleep, and a healthier happier baby.