If you’re already a mom, you know it’s true: there’s no way to fully understand how overwhelmingly difficult the days, weeks, and months are after having a baby until you’ve experienced it. If you’re becoming a mom, please read on and don’t say “no worries I got this.”
I’ve definitely tried. I’ve talked to my prenatal classes about my years making movies, the 14 hour days (these were low budget movies) and said, “picture working like this but even more intensely because it’s actually life or death for this little being, and you actually never got to go home in between work hours, and do this for 6 months.”
People just look at me like I’m nuts.
I’ve explained to students that before I had a baby, I understood that being a mom would mean no more spontaneous trips or even easy nights out with my honey. What I hadn’t understood was that I wouldn’t get to shower and do yoga – and other activities I considered necessities – when I needed to.
If you’re pregnant for the first time, you’re probably thinking:. “Yeah, but I am amazingly productive and I know I can make it all work and still keep my toes pedicured and the dishes done all by myself.”
It’s just something you just can’t prepare someone for. But in my experience there is one powerful way you CAN get ready.
In addition to the number one most important class I recommend taking – a breastfeeding class (this is not instinctive for us, it’s really something we need to learn from other mamas), and another super beneficial class to take – a birth prep class, so we understand what’s happening and can relax about it – and my the 3rd most important recommendation – talk to a 3 doulas, to see if having one might help you and your partner feel more supported and calm – besides these that are all super helpful, to prepare on a deep level for being a mom:
IF YOU’RE BECOMING A MOM, GET INTO THE HABIT OF CONNECTING TO YOUR INTUITION.
Our inner wisdom, our guidance system that we will use to become the mom we want to be, is often a place we don’t access normally because we often mistake our thoughts for complete reality. We can forget there is more to us, and then suddenly we have to make all these choices, and we can feel lost and confused by our busy brain.
But while it’s not easy to connect to our intuition, yoga offers us a map.
In yoga there are 5 “bodies” or “sheaths” (koshas). You can picture them like concentric circles with the physical body made of tissue, bone, blood (the anamaya kosha, or “food body” – the more you eat the bigger this becomes).
Then comes the mental and emotional body. This is where we spend most of our time, but without awareness that can bring us deeper: just lost in our thoughts (manomaya kosha).
But just beneath that lies our intuitive or wisdom body – vijnanamaya kosha.
This is what I’m talking about.
That’s where a consistent meditation and yoga practice is like no other prep for motherhood.
When we move the breath powerfully through the physical body consciously, or we when we rest in awareness in meditation, we can often get beyond our thoughts and experience hits of a deep, authentic goodness. Like the buzz that happens on a good run.
And when we learn how to consciously move breath and awareness through our body during pregnancy, we can access our intuitive Self more easily as a new mom. We can trust where we are and how we want to love and nurture our little one, instead of comparing ourselves to others and constantly coming out lacking.
Here’s a simple, quick way to get out of your thoughts and into this place. This is a quick visualization that can start you on a meditation anytime that I call “Stepping Out of the River.”
And here’s another – come to yoga!!!
Whether you’re pregnant or a mom, moving prana and awareness through our body as we do in yoga helps us move through the levels of the Self to our deepest wisdom.