There are moments in life when we need to slow down and bring our self back into our self. That’s what these practices are for.
Yogic practices are ancient methods purposed to bring harmony and grounding back into our lives. When we allow ourselves the time and space to slow down and apply these practices to our daily routine, the space that is created enables bliss to flow through. These are the crucial elements that can be integrated into the daily lives of postpartum families in order to beat the overwhelm.
Studies show that yogic practices can not only affect your emotional well being, but also the physiological well being. This is shown in improved cognition, blood pressure, respiration and more.1
Left Nostril Breathing
Sit in a comfortable seated position with the spine upright. Rest the left hand in Gyan Mudra (touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger). The left arm is straight on the left knee. Raise the right hand in front of the face with the palm flat facing to the left. The fingers of the hand are together and point straight up. Press the side of the thumb on the right nostril to gently close it. Begin long, deep, complete yogic breaths through the left nostril. Inhale and exhale only through the left nostril. Continue for as long as is required.
Benefits: This breath brings a sense of calm, nourishment, rejuvenation and rest.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
In this pranayam, the breath is always relaxed, deep and full. Have the left hand in Gyan Mudra (touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger). Use the thumb of the right hand to close the right nostril, and the index finger or ring finger of the right hand to close the left nostril. Close the right nostril and gently and fully inhale through the left nostril. Then close the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Then inhale through the right nostril. Close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Continue repeating, alternating nostrils after each inhalation for as long as is required.
Benefits: This breath brings balance, a sense of wholeness and clarity.
Meditation For a Calm Heart
Sit in a comfortable seated position with the spine straight.
EYES: Either close the eyes or look straight ahead with the eyes 1/10th open.
MUDRA: Place the left hand on the center of the chest at the Heart Center. The palm is flat against the chest, and the fingers are parallel to the ground, pointing to the right. Make Gyan Mudra with the right hand (touch the tip of the index (Jupiter) finger with the tip of the thumb). Raise the right hand up to the right side as if giving a pledge. The palm faces forward, the three fingers not in Gyan Mudra point up. The elbow is relaxed near the side with the forearm perpendicular to the ground.
Breath: Concentrate on the flow of the breath. Regulate each bit of the breath consciously. Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils. Then suspend the breath in and raise the chest. Retain it as long as possible. Then exhale smoothly, gradually, and completely. When the breath is totally out, lock the breath out for as long as possible.
Time: Continue this pattern of long, deep breathing for as long as is required.
To End: Inhale and exhale strongly 3 times. Relax.
Benefits: For moments when you feel overwhelmed, stressed or tense, practice this meditation to bring a sense of calm to the heart.
MEDITATION ON CHANGE
Posture: Sit in a comfortable seated position with the spine upright. Lift the chest.
Mudra: Curl the fingers in as if making a fist. Place the fingertips on the pads of the hands, just below the fingers. Then bring the two hands together at the center of the chest. The hands touch lightly in two places only: the knuckles of the middle (Saturn) fingers and the pads of the thumbs. The thumbs are extended toward the heart center and are pressed together. Hold this position and feel the energy across the thumbs and knuckles.
Breath: Begin Long Deep Breathing. Follow the flow of the breath. Time: Continue for as long as is required.
To end: Inhale deeply, exhale. Relax
Benefits: Change is inevitable after you have birthed your baby. Practice this meditation to flow with those changes instead of resisting them.
MEDITATION FOR A TRANQUIL MIND
Posture: Sit in a comfortable seated position with the spine upright.
Mudra: With the elbows bent, bring the hands up to meet in front of the body at the level of the heart. The elbows are held up almost to the level of the hands. Bend the index (Jupiter) fingers of each hand in toward the palms, and press them together along the second joint. The middle (Saturn) fingers are extended and meet at the fingertips. The other fingers are curled into the hand. The thumb tips are joined and pointing toward the body. Hold the mudra about 4 inches from the body with the extended fingers pointing away from the body.
Eye Focus: Focus on the tip of your nose.
Breath & Mantra: Inhale completely and hold the breath while repeating a mantra of your choice 11-21 times. Exhale, hold the breath out, and repeat the mantra an equal number of times.
Time: Continue for 3 minutes.
Benefit: For moments when the mind is full and busy and you need to bring peace so that it is free and available.
Homeopathic and Āyurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Teacher
Katerina Nestorovska is a Homeopathic and Āyurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Teacher based in Melbourne, Australia. She has been practicing and teaching since 2013 and loves to share the wisdom of these teachings to serve others on their path. BHSc (Homeopathy), Dip Āyurveda & Panchakarma, BA (Psych/Crim)
1 Balaji, P. A., Varne, S.R., & Ali, S.S. (2012). Physiological Effects of Yogic Practices and Transcendental Meditation in Health and Disease N Am J Med Sci., 4(10), 442-448. https://www.najms.org/text.asp?2012/4/10/442/101980