Love. The place from which all things are born. A four-letter word that is so honest and so pure but at times can seem so complicated and foreign.
When you become a mother you experience a new type of love that you have never known before. But as your heart expands, sometimes you end up putting all of your attention, energy and time towards taking care of your little one and often this leaves you feeling disconnected, depleted and alone.
Part of the reason this happen is because the relationship to your body changes.
What was once all yours has now become a mama machine. You use it to feed your baby, change your baby, play with her, console her, entertain her and cuddle her. At times you forget to show yourself this same kind of love and attention as your basic physical needs get pushed aside. Simple tasks such as showering, eating and resting now becoming somewhat challenging.
You might not feel comfortable in your postpartum body. You may struggle with the newfound stresses of sleepless nights, mama anxiety or feelings of loneliness. There may be a deep sadness within to grieve who you once were. There are so many things that happen in motherhood that make us forget about and, in some way, abandon our physical selves.
One of the first steps in healing and loving yourself is coming back home to your body.
And yoga cultivates the perfect opportunity to re-discover yourself in motherhood. It gives you all the tools you need to start a dialogue with your body and learn how to listen to it, how to appreciate it and how to love it.
So here are 4 simple yoga practices that will help you embody self-love!
1. Mindful breathing to check in with yourself
Motherhood is busy! Sometimes we start multitasking and running on autopilot that we forget to check in with ourselves. Love yourself the same way you do you child by caring for your needs!! Do the following everyday!
- Take a few minutes where you can be alone with yourself.
- Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath for 2-3 minutes.
- With every inhale feel your belly expand, and with every exhale feel the body relax a little more.
- When you feel ready place one hand on your heart and ask yourself, “How am I?”, “What do I need today?”.
- Don’t search for the answer. Just notice whatever feelings, sensations or desires arise.
- Stay here as long as feels good before slowly opening your eyes.
2. Restorative yoga to release stress and anxiety
Let’s be honest. Motherhood leaves little time for rest. But when you forget to pause and slow down you often find yourself feeling stressed, overwhelmed, burnt out and acting in ways you don’t want to! Restorative yoga gives you the perfect opportunity to meet your body, feelings, thoughts and emotions with peace and presence. The long holds in the poses help bring awareness to the places where you normally (and probably subconsciously) hold onto stress and it creates a safe space for you to explore letting go of tension, tightness and stored emotions throughout your body.
Click here for a quick 20 minute restorative yoga class to help you slow down, relax and notice how you feel completely renewed afterwards!
3. Embody the energy of Loving-Kindness for yourself and others
At times motherhood can feel very lonely. This loneliness leaves a subtle void within making in difficult to feel joy and peace. Practicing loving-kindness is a powerful techniques which will help you connect with your deeply-rooted, unconditional love and share it with yourself and others. This practice helps you to recognize the pure essence of love within which connects you to all beings.
Click here for a 15 minute guided meditation which will leave you feeling a strong sense of love, connection and belonging.
4. Celebrate your body with a flow yoga class
Many times we are doing something but don’t even realize what our body is doing. We get caught up in our minds, thoughts and to do lists which take us out of the present moment. Bring yourself back in to your physical body through a flow yoga practice. Practicing with awareness gives your the opportunity to recognize all the different parts of your body and to shed light and appreciation for all that they do!
Give it a go here with my Free Yoga to Gain Awareness Class!
Committing to have a relationship with yourself leads you down a road of self-discovery (or maybe re-discovery) as you begin to pull back the layers of who you are and slowly begin to accept that person with open arms. When you start to fill your body with love, compassion and kindness, you will naturally begin to take care of yourself. You feel more connected to your purpose and want to fulfill your desires. As you rebuild that connection to self, you learn to listen to your inner guide, trust yourself a bit more and gain confidence in your authentic self. And it is living in alignment with your true nature, with this essence of love, that leaves you feeling whole, joyful, inspired and fulfilled!