Embracing physical and mental change: A post-natal journey

Post Natal Journey

In this article, I want to address the importance of acceptance, space and letting go. Although as the title states my focus is more on the post-natal journey, my story and the techniques I suggest can be applied to all walks of life, especially for those who have experienced something that has taken hold of their mind which just won’t shift and in many ways negatively impacts on ones quality of living.

I begin with a little bit about me…..

After having my second child, I was overwhelmed with emotion. From happiness of having another beautiful healthy child blessing my life once again, to an opposite sense of loss. Loss of my pregnancy bump and in a way loss of purpose. I felt defeated by the birth which yet again did not go the way I envisaged ending in another Cesarean which was hard to recover from physically and mentally. I hit a low! The famous phrase began swirling through my head ‘baby blues’. Could it be? So many questions began to take hold, leaving me feeling rather unsettled and imbalanced. Would I be a good enough mum to two? Will I ever get my body back to what it was? How will my marriage be affected? Some thoughts seemed rather irrational looking back but at the time I felt quite trapped and consumed by such worries. Needless to say those thoughts and feelings brewed, taking over my rationality until I eventually said enough is enough. I needed to get out of the funk and begin living my life with positivity as I always had done. I began gently easing back into my yoga practice with deep meditation, accepting the modifications I had to make for my post-natal body, using meditative techniques to gain further clarity and acceptance of my life for all the beauty within it. This is not to say it was easy but with regular practice, came deeper acceptance and appreciation for the journey I had been on, from pregnancy and beyond.

Now, twelve months post birth, I still find myself getting trapped in irrational thoughts. Am I doing enough for my children? Am I a good mum? However it is only now that when these moments occur I am able to take a deep rhythmic breath, accept, acknowledge and let go! The strength I have in my body and mind has blossomed!

The key message I am giving in this article is to make time for space and meditation. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a quiet moment every day, even if only for a minute or two, to take a breath, clear the mind and recognise the beauty and strength in oneself and ones’ life. Parenthood, relationships, in fact life in general despite the beauty it possesses, does not come with a manual and life can be tough! That said, with the tools to deal with the trials and tribulations of life, one can definitely lead a happier and more fulfilling life. A pranayama technique that I use in all of my classes is rhythmic breathing with movements, as a way of centering the body and mind, before, during and after practice. Many of my students find this helps to balance and take control of their thoughts when they begin to drift. Begin seated with crossed legs, or however is comfortable for you, take in thoughts and worries that drift into your mind as you breathe in deeply through the nose and raise the arms up by the sides. Bring the palms together above the head and hold for a few seconds. Breathe out and lower the arms down, letting go of the stress and imbalance through the out breath. Repeat as many times as you wish before sitting with hands lightly rested on the knees, palms up. Take time here to embrace the quiet and that well deserved ‘me time’. Give it a go! See how you feel, it may just bring the clarity you need in your day to day life.

To end this article I leave you with a quote from the highly inspirational Maya Angelou:

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Maya Angelou

Peace and love