As mothers, we are asked to level up and have the mental, physical, even spiritual capacity for everything.
This call to duty is part of the beauty and privilege of motherhood, so we embrace it the best we can. But what if you could embrace day-to-day life with clear, balanced energy coming from a place of blissful pure awareness, with a full cup of self care?
Ayurveda emphasizes two important elements when it comes to mothers: Ether and Air.
Ether is the mother’s element, it is where we all want to be. Expansive, free of resistance, clear, and able to engage with the world from a heart-centered place. Air is the energy (prāna) that directs your mind in the movement of thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations, and perceptions. As a mother, energy is constantly moving through your mind in the form of to-do lists, running on tired, multitasking, choosing to care for others over caring for yourself, and the list goes on. It can become exhausting and even chaotic. Especially when life throws us twists and turns which – let’s face it – sometimes happens more than we would like. And when it does, things become wild, messy, unpredictable.
The wild messiness of motherhood is part of the beauty of it all and should absolutely be embraced.
Whatever way you embrace it, there is a way to add more expansiveness and balance to your experience.
Meditation is an encouraged practice for mothers because of the mindfulness it brings to your life when you are not meditating, as well as the incredible scientifically proven effects on relaxing the mind, reducing stress, and expanding your capacity to take on life full force.
Meditation is one of the sister practices of Ayurveda, coming from similar philosophical roots.
The practice provides us with tools to direct the flow of energy through the mind to take control of how we want to feel. More specifically in terms of Ayurveda, the goal of meditation is to calm the movement of energy (prāna) through the mind to a place of stillness ultimately bringing you to a state of “pure blissful awareness”.
Mothers are expansive by nature:
The way we expand to create life not just physically, but spiritually and mentally. The unconditional love we develop for our child while they are still in the womb. And the way that love blossoms to unmeasurable heights when they are born. Even the experience of birth itself shows us that we have the ability to be in the expansive realm of Ether.
We just forget sometimes. And that’s ok. Because we have meditation to redirect us back.
Not only does a meditation practices give you the ability to take control of how energy enters your mind, but it is proven to fill your self care up. A few minutes of quiet contemplation and breath can do wonders for your level exhaustion and your sense of self care.
When Will I Find Time to Meditate?
Take a moment alone whenever you have one. This can be while in the bath, before you go to bed, first thing in the morning, or during nap time. Flexibility is key. A nice goal is 20 minutes. Do what you can. If you get 10 minutes in – amazing. If you split it up throughout the day, that works too. Setting a timer is a great way to stay on track, or you can just let the practice flow.
Successful meditation practice often depends on our ability to be flexible with it while finding a way to seamlessly fit it into our lives.
What if I Get Interrupted?
Interruptions are no big deal. They are part of the flow of life and motherhood. Your meditation practice should be a natural part of your life without causing any extra stress. If your little one pulls you out of meditation, try to take the calm you have already cultivated and direct it toward them. If you are able to get a few minutes later in the day to try again, great. And if not, there is always tomorrow.
Urgent situations aside, avoid answering phone calls or texts and reduce excess noise to a minimum during your meditation.
Simple Meditation Technique for Mothers
- Find a comfortable seat where you can sit with your back straight, either in a chair, against a wall, or on a pillow on the floor.
- Before you start, take a moment of reflection and ask yourself: “What type of energy do I want flowing through my mind?”
- Now the practice begins… take a deep inhale through your nose, a full exhale out your mouth, and then allow your breathing to be natural.
- Thoughts will most likely move through your mind, and you might even find yourself wanting to follow those thoughts to more thoughts. The practice is to let each thought go as it comes and not attach to them. Ultimately, creating a stillness of thought which leads you to “blissful pure awareness”. However long you can hold onto that blissful state is golden, even if it’s for a few seconds. Those moments will build and you will eventually take that feeling into your day when you aren’t meditating. It just takes consistent practice.
- Use a mantra to focus your thoughts. In this context, mantra is something to focus your attention on instead of your thoughts. A mantra can really be anything that resonates with you. Some examples include: a phrase that inspires you or a simple saying that supports your reflection (ie: “Be Love”, “Let Go”, “I am Truth”, “I am Light”). One treasured mantra from the Vedic tradition of meditation is “yam”. “Yam” is the bija (seed) mantra associated with the heart chakra. Whichever mantra you choose, repeat it silently yourself over and over so it becomes the focus of your awareness. This practice will eventually allow all other thoughts to fall away when you are meditating. Should a thought pop up and distract you, don’t worry. Just redirect your focus back to your mantra.
Danielle Kramer is passionate about self care, holistic health, and the magic of intuitive living. With over a decade of experience in the yoga industry, 1,000+ hours of training in various styles of yoga, she holds a Masters of Arts in Yoga Studies from Loyola Marymount University, is a certified massage therapist, and health coach. Danielle is a current student at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, lives in Venice, CA with her husband and is expecting her first baby.
Connect on IG: @danielleekramer
Personal photos courtesy of Nena Complo. Photographer: Whitney Pelfrey of Native Iris Photography.