Lis White, Co-Founder at Mukti Mats, sharing her personal experience of yoga and community supporting her through her pregnancy.
With a steady Yoga practice over the past few years I feel confident in my body entering my first pregnancy. I am able to trust in my body that it is doing was it is designed to do, to nourish and support the baby that Dave and I have created.
I embrace the changes in my body and energy levels and modify my practice. I farewell inversions and arm balances and welcome Goddess poses and mantra. Waving goodbye to my daily coffee is not so easy. What I didn’t expect when expecting, is the growth in my practice off my yoga mat, supported by a wonderful community.
I'm sharing this piece with you to possibly inspire some additional supports through pregnancy and transition to motherhood. Please pass this on to anyone who you think may enjoy the read, I would love to hear your comments from your own experiences too.
A Mother's Blessing
I was inspired to have a blessing for our little family after attending a nurturing day retreat for pregnant Mummas. Evolving from a traditional Navaho ceremony, a mothers' blessing is a sacred gathering to celebrate the creation of life. The spiritual intention behind the gathering is to honour the mother and give blessings to the family and the unborn baby. I chose to do this in lieu of a Baby Shower.
With guidance from a dear friend and my prenatal Yoga teacher, we created a blessing that included Mantra, stringing of beads, the sharing of wisdom and reminders of the teachings of Yoga. It was a ceremony of empowerment and connection, supporting each woman in our many different roles as lovers, daughters, grandchildren, aunties, sisters, nieces, carers and mothers.
With only a few days before labour I feel held by the strength and support from the women who attended, knowing that I can call upon this strength during the birth.
Mantra and Devotional Music
Including mantra in a regular practice either in the form of Japa meditation or to be added to a playlist for Yoga and during labour. Here are my two favourites.
Sa Ta Na Ma
For Balance and Transformation
This mantra describes the continuous cycle of life and creation. It can be used during times of transition throughout the stages of labour, and in motherhood by strengthening our intuition. A nice version of this on iTunes is by Purusha from the album Sounds of the Universe.
Poota Maata Kee Aasees
The Mother’s Blessing
This mantra is a shabad (a sacred, devotional song) that is a mother’s prayer for her child. It can be repeated for a child’s protection and blessing. Poota Maata Kee Aasees embodies the purest prayer that a mother can wish for her child. Subconsciously, it helps the woman and the child understand the purpose of their relationship to one another. This prayer from the mother to her child talks about the beauty of a life spent devoted to meditation on the Divine. It talks of deep peace, love and happiness. A nice version of this on iTunes is by Snatam Kaur from the album Divine Birth.