Saturday, April 19

Yoga for the Second Trimester

Whether you're in your second trimester or you're a yoga teacher, you should read the Yoga Journal online article "Tools for Teaching Prenatal Yoga: The Second Trimester."

It's written by the author of one of my favorite yoga blogs, Grounding Thru the Sit Bones, and gives clarification on what poses are available and/or modifications (such as backbends against a wall versus on your stomach) during the second trimester of pregnancy.

One of the article's suggestions is to begin focusing on pranayama or breath exercises during this trimester to prepare for labor and maybe even utilize during delivery. One such practice is alternate-nostril breathing. Found a short clip on YouTube to demonstrate - it's a little weird at first, but you will feel the calming effects afterwards. Great for opening up your sinuses too.

Prenatal yoga pranayama: Alternate-nostril breathing (1:40)

Friday, April 18

Give the gift of gratitude to Yourself

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
- William Arthur Ward

This is exactly why I have "Thankful Thursdays," although obviously this is Friday but give a pregnant girl a break! Expressing gratitude is the key to receiving even better experiences and joy in your life.

After searching "gratitude" on Yoga Journal's Web site, I discovered a wonderful article on various ways to be mindfully thankful and how this practice can alter one's life called "
Selfless Gratitude." Here's an excerpt:

Practicing mindfulness of gratitude consistently leads to a direct experience of being connected to life and the realization that there is a larger context in which your personal story is unfolding... It also elicits feelings of generosity, which create further joy. Gratitude can soften a heart that has become too guarded, and it builds the capacity for forgiveness, which creates the clarity of mind that is ideal for spiritual development.

I found in the article some ideas on how to practice being thankful:
  • Actively notice things you are grateful for throughout your regular day. For instance, when you're stuck in traffic and it's making you late and irritated, you notice you can be thankful you have transportation and that other drivers are abiding by the agreed-upon driving rules, which prevent chaos and unsafe conditions.
  • Practice being consciously grateful to your family, friends, teachers, benefactors, and all those who have come before you who have made it possible for your existence to be comfortable, informed, and empowered.
  • What is your gratitude ratio? Are you more negative or more grateful? The purpose of this inquiry is not to judge yourself but rather to motivate yourself to find a truer perspective.

Wednesday, April 16

Explore your sun and moon

If you're looking for a good source for yoga workouts, go to Hillary's yoga practice.

I practiced Podcast #61 - Exploring the Sun and Moon Level 1/2 Class 40 Min weeks ago before my belly sprouted. This practice is probably not suitable for most pregnant ladies, but Hillary leads the class well and has photos of most poses to guide you during the practice.

Tuesday, April 15

Enlighten Up

Have you ever heard of an idea, such as a book or an invention and ponder, "Why didn't I think of that?"

I feel this way about the movie "Enlighten Up." It's a documentary following a guy completely green to yoga to see how it transforms a person in six months. Sounds like it will begin showing this summer in a few theaters. Plus there are so many great yogis and yoginis featured in the movie, such as BKS Iyengar, Baron Baptiste, Rodney Yee and Judith Lasater.

Hopefully it will come to Kansas City, but if not I hope Netflix will carry it! Not only for myself, but I'd love to watch it with all my friends and family who think, why is Yoga Mama so crazy about yoga? This might help them understand my passion and the powerful affect yoga has on one's mind, body and spirit.

(Thanks "Let it Flow" for sharing this movie in your blog!)

Monday, April 14

Heart meditation for expectant mamas

With the encouragement of the book "A New Earth: Awaken to your life's Purpose," I've been concentrating more on the present moment. The key seems to be starting my day with meditation, however I am so lazy when it comes down to it or maybe it's my ego derailing me. Admittedly, a few weeks ago I fell off the wagon. But in the middle of last week I began waking up and immediately going to my meditation mat, even for three minutes. It seems to help my day go more smoothly and picks me up out of the doldrums.

I found a simple meditation for expectant mamas.

Bring your right hand to your heart and the left to your baby. Inhale and focus on your love and absorb the feelings in your heart. Exhale and focus it towards your growing baby. Continue this conscious breathing and focus for five to 10 minutes.

If you're not pregnant, check out all the meditations available on Oprah's "A New Earth" page. This one is called
Relaxed Awareness Meditation: Breath.

Namaste and enjoy Monday!

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