I have felt at different times that this baby has been urging me to focus on different aspects of myself in preparation for her/his arrival... and I've been listening.
So besides an emphasis on good nutrition, I've been delving into a lot of meditation.
I thought I'd share what I have been doing in hopes that it may inspire other mammas-to-be to get on that meditation pillow and shed the excess weight of existence... whilst putting on the physical pounds. ;-) (Sorry, I had to). Also, I want to remember what I did... So here it is:
:: THE FIRST FEW MONTHS ::
I had the honor of leading a 40 Day Global Sadhana in the first trimester of my pregnancy. I find that the first few months of pregnancy are the hardest for me, even though I had no nausea this time—just horrible food aversions and repulsion to certain smells.
It was really beneficial for me to just get over my pregnancy woes and lead a few thousand people in a meditation practice. (I did not disclose that I was pregnant until a few weeks later.)
Here is what we did: Meditation to Increase Your Energy
The title and purpose of the meditation could not have been more à propos considering how tired I was during that time.
I did about 20 days of this practice before the Global Sadhana began, took a break for Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration (in June) in New Mexico, and then did the 40 days with everyone.
It was really amazing how the group energy carried me through this. It truly helped lift my energy, even though I had to basically make myself do it!
Besides this meditation, I didn't do much else in the realm of yoga during this time given how tired and hot (Phoenix summer!) I was.
:: NEXT UP ::
At the end of the fourth month, I began doing more yoga. I was waking up early much of the time to do my sadhana in the wee hours of the morning, which felt great. I did a lot of stretching and some challenging kriyas.
I used Gurmukh's Bountiful Blissful Beautiful prenatal yoga book to select meditations that felt appropriate for that day, without committing to any. But then I decided to revisit and old favorite. It has a few different names, depending on the application. In the prenatal book she calls it "Healing Emotional Wounds from the Past." I LOVE THIS MEDITATION! I did this one for 40 days.
Here it is explained by Gurmukh herself:
During this time we had a 120th Day Celebration. I might do a whole blog on that tradition so I won't say too much here. Basically though, it was a day where I did NOTHING and we had a big party where we chanted and ate cake (because it was also my birthday!).
:: WINDING DOWN ::
After completing 40 days of the healing 9-minute meditation explained above, I began Kirtan Kriya, which I hadn't ever done as an extended practice before. I did this one for 11 minutes daily, sometimes doing the 31 minute version when time permitted. I passed day 90 and hope to make it to day 120 before the baby comes... but we shall see.
I've been using Nirinjan Kaur's beautiful musical version available here.
During this time I have also been doing some stretching and a few yoga classes here and there. I feel really great in my body.
So that's about it... I forgot to mention that I recite Japji and Kirtan Sohila daily, but I've been doing that since before I was pregnant. Blessed to know them by heart, or I would probably not get around to them with running after my 3-year old.