How Breathing and Yoga Can Cure Your Pregnancy Stressby Eve Hand
Hi, my name is Eve and I´m the recent founder of breathwith.eve - a portal I have set up literally in the last 2 weeks to share some of the amazing teachings that have helped me in my life! I left a very fast-paced role in the corporate world around 12 years ago, after a major life trauma and have since trained as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher. I combine yoga teaching with my other passion which is travel. I'm lucky to also work as a Freelance Travel Director leading folk from around the world on cultural tours of Europe! I'm going to tell you a little more about me and my experience and then explore why breathing is so important, especially to you all right now!
I've been teaching and practising yoga for almost 15 years and it is an integral part of my life. It has been key in helping me overcome trauma and remain calm in stressful situations which, let's face it, can arise from time to time. It is also a massive help in everyday parenting and indeed in the birthing journey to bring my two gorgeous kiddies into the world!
[Read more: Tips for Self-Isolating While Pregnant)
I'm mum to a 7-year-old girl and an almost 3-year-old boy (who's telling everyone he's going to be 6 on his next birthday!)
I've practised and continue to practise various types of yoga over the years including Hatha, hot yoga, vinyasa flow, yin and the aerial yoga! However, Kundalini just really struck a chord within me. It's a very healing yoga and I was in major need of that aspect, having lost my beautiful younger sister to a very sudden death in 2006. This particular yoga was brought to the West by a yogi from the northeast of India (near Amritsar, home to the amazing Sikh Golden temple). He landed in Canada but ended up in California in the late '60s. Here, he encountered many people trying to reach nirvana through chemical methods, and he felt compelled to share these special teachings that had previously only been known about in closed or Raj (meaning Royal) circles. As such, it's an honour to be able to share these teachings with you today.
Yoga is the union between mind, body and soul. We are one of the few mammals on the planet who can consciously breathe. What that means is that we have the ability (via our mind) to direct our breath in a certain way. One could say that BREATH is the link between our body and mind. We humans breathe on average 12-20 times per minute. The optimum is 3-6 cycles per minute so the key is to really slow the breath down, and ensure that we are breathing to our full capacity, into our lower lungs.
Place your hands between your breast and your navel. This is where your lungs are and this is where we need to breathe into. The exercises I share on my platform are to help you to get in touch with your breath. Mindfulness as a pursuit is sometimes made easier by having a focus in a breathing exercise. That might be a hand position, known as a mudra. Or indeed the use of mantra is highly effective in meditation. Mantra helps us to stimulate various meridians or energy channels located in our mouth (an area where we have a huge amount of these, 84 in total!) so there is a scientific benefit to chanting even though it may seem strange or silly if you're not accustomed to doing it!
What have you got in store? This week, I'm going to share a simple yoga and breathing exercise with you via Your Baby Club's IGTV channel that will help you on your pregnancy journey. Maybe you're in the first trimester and have employment uncertainty….perhaps you're later in the pregnancy and are enjoying the opportunity to work from home and adopt a slower pace. If your due date is imminent, maybe you're worried about hospital staffing levels or coming out to Lockdown. Don't worry! Lockdown isn't a bad place to be as we generally enter a natural nesting state once we bring home our new family member and many cultures have a 40 day period where mother and baby stay at home to bond! :)
[Read more: Pelvic Flood Exercises You Must Try]
Perhaps you have already been practising mindfulness techniques for pregnancy?
If so, that's fab! I'll start each session with a gentle yoga warmup and then introduce the breathing exercise of the day. They will benefit you and your baby. If you are 120 days into the pregnancy (4 months), research suggests your baby will also experience the benefits of the meditation. I hope you enjoy these. Calm Mumma and calm bubba.
Here's my first video - #BreatheWithEve Prenatal Yoga & Alternate Nostril Breathing