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Why the breath is just as important post birth

posted in: Postnatal, Yoga | 0

Aussie YogaMama breath work

In the beginning, the middle and the end, there is always the breath, our inner life-force and our connection with the universal energy flow.

There is an integrated relationship between our bodies and our breath. Think about when you are feeling unwell, you’re body isn’t feeling 100%, or you’re stressed out. When we find ourselves in these situations our breath it is often shallow and as a result our mind & body immediately suffers.

In yoga, we regularly practice pranayama or breath work as it more commonly know. It simply means controlling the breath and it is just as important post birth as it is during pregnancy & labor.

When we learn how to control the breath, we can control our emotional state.

‘Pranayama is an opportunity for you to break your unconscious breathing pattern and make the breath long, easeful and smooth’ Patanjali

As mamas, our minds are often racing with a million & one things on our to-do list. The overwhelm quickly creeps in and before we know it we have hit breaking point. Think major meltdown!

It can be almost impossible to recover from this state and often just have to ride it out. Adding a regular breath practice into your day will help you deal with the times when overwhelm sets in.

This is one of my favourite practices and I do this for just 5-mins when I first jump into bed, but you can practice it at anytime of the day that suits you best! I for sure still have my meltdown days but they aren’t as crazy as if I didn’t have this practice.

Breath practice

Increase your Exhale

This is a 1:2 breath practice where we are aiming to make our exhale twice as long as our inhale. Why? Because with each breath out, we are slowly relaxing our nervous system.

Benefits

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Promotes relaxation

How to

  1. Start by lying on your back
  2. Take the hands just out from the body, palms face the ceiling
  3. Bring your awareness to your breath
  4. Begin to take deeper breaths in and out through your nose
  5. When you feel like the inhalation & exhalation are of equal length gradually extend your exhale
  6. Continue to work with this practice for as long as you like, or at least until you feel a state of deep relaxation

We never want the breath to feel strained or uncomfortable. If this occurs you should stop the practice, or decrease the length of your breath and slowly increase again when you feel ready.

Note: some people like to count the breaths but I find this stresses me out so would rather work with ‘feeling’ – it’s up to you if you want to count your breaths, do whatever is best for you.