Let's get cosy and chat with Priyanka Das, a certified yoga instructor, who helps Individuals build sustainable healthy lifestyles through yoga, meditation, and habits. She has been practising yoga for more than 5 years and she believes it is more than exercise, it is way of life. Today, we're diving into why meditation can be a mom's best friend, helping to smooth out those new-mom bumps, dial down the stress, and make the mom-baby bond even stronger.
Read till the end to learn a secret mudra for back pain you must try!
In conversation with Expert Priyanka Das, let’s find out all how meditation can bring calmness to the chaos of motherhood!
1. What are the simplest meditation techniques for new or expectant mothers with limited time?
Priyanka: If we're talking quick wins for busy new moms, 'Breath Awareness Meditation' is the game-changer I always recommend.
Picture this: you, taking a moment to just breathe in deeply, then out, feeling every bit of tension melt away. You don't need a whole hour; five precious minutes can do wonders. I've seen it time and again, especially when the little one's down for a nap. It's like hitting the reset button on your day. Trust me, it's a small step that can lead to big, beautiful changes in how you feel.
2. Which meditation practices are best for reducing stress and anxiety during pregnancy and early motherhood?
Priyanka: When it comes to tackling stress and anxiety, 'Mindfulness Meditation' is my go-to suggestion. It's all about being here, in the now, soaking up the moment without any harsh judgement. What I've found really works for my clients, and honestly, something I swear by too, is carving out just a bit of quiet time each day. Sit back, tune into your breath, and let your thoughts and feelings drift by like clouds—no need to hold onto them. This practice of mindful breathing and giving your full attention to the moment turns meditation into a super tool for navigating those postpartum waves of emotion. I will tell you a simple way to do this- Just start by finding a comfy spot, taking a deep breath, and as you let it out, allow your mind to gently watch your thoughts and feelings, like leaves floating down a river, without diving in after them. It's that simple.
3. Can you recommend any meditation practices to improve sleep quality for new mothers?
Priyanka: In my experience, 'Guided Visualisation'works wonders for sleep. I often guide moms to picture a tranquil spot, diving into those sensory details to make it feel real. It's like giving your mind a vacation before bed. Adding some soft, ambient sounds can really elevate the experience, making it easier to drift off. Now, if you're new to this, having someone to lead you through it can make a huge difference. It's a bit like learning to ride a bike; having a guide can help you find your balance.
The payoff? A beautifully calm mind and a body ready for deep, restful sleep. I recommend trying this right before bed, switching off all screens afterwards. Trust me, it's a game-changer for easing the day's stress and anxiety. And if you're looking for something a bit different, Yoga Nidra is another fantastic option that's incredibly beneficial for moms.
4. How to practise Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra" translates to "yogic sleep" in English.
Start by lying down in a comfortable position on your back, known as Savasana, ensuring you are warm and won't be disturbed. Close your eyes and follow a guided meditation, which will lead you through a systematic relaxation of every part of your body, from your toes to your head. Focus on your breath, and allow yourself to drift into a state of deep relaxation and awareness, letting go of all tension and entering a state between wakefulness and sleep. 5 minutes of this before sleep is enough to feel calmer!
4. How does meditation contribute to strengthening the bond between a mother and her unborn or newborn baby, creating a deeper connection?
Priyanka: Ever tried 'Loving-kindness Meditation'? It's like giving a big, warm hug with words. You just send lots of love and happy thoughts to yourself and your baby. Whether you're still expecting or already holding your little one, saying sweet nothings like, 'I love you, I'm proud of you, I love being your mom,' really does wonders. It's like these words gently wrap around your baby, making that special mom-baby connection even stronger. And the best part? It helps you be super present, soaking up every little moment with your baby. It's about turning those everyday cuddles into something really special, deepening that amazing bond between you two.
5.What are some meditation techniques that can help with physical recovery after giving birth?
Priyanka: You know, postpartum recovery really gets a boost from something called 'Body Scan Meditation.' It's like taking a journey through your body with your mind, spotting any tight or tense spots, and then... just letting them relax. It's fantastic for spotting and soothing those aches and pains that come with having a baby. The trick is to do it alongside a yoga expert who can show you exactly how to get those benefits.
And for all the incredible moms tuning in, I've got a little gem for you—a simple mudra that's a game-changer for back pain. Sure, there's a whole world of mudras out there, but let's start with one,the Merudanda Mudra. It's something I can teach you right now, and believe me, it can make a world of difference in your recovery journey
6. How to do Merudanda Mudra?
Priyanka: “Meru” means sacred mountain and “danda” means staff. Merudanda is the name of the spinal column - representing the central axis of energy in the body
To perform Merudanda Mudra, sit comfortably in a seated position with your spine straight, embodying the essence of a strong and flexible "merudanda" or spinal column. Hold your hand in a loose fist with your thumb pointing skyward resting on thighs facing for 5-10 natural breaths. Breathe deeply and evenly, focusing on the flow of energy along your spine, and hold this mudra for several minutes to promote a sense of balance, stability, and inner strength.
6. Any useful advice to mothers practicing meditation for the first time?
Priyanka: Consistency is where it's at. Meditation can seem like a tough nut to crack, especially at the beginning or even as you keep going—it's not something you just pick up overnight. That's why I'm a big fan of guided meditation. Having someone experienced to lead the way, giving you cues to follow, can make all the difference. And you don't need to carve out hours; just a few minutes each day can work wonders. Invest in good postpartum leggings as the right attire for yoga and meditation goes a long way in making sure you stay comfortable.
It's also super important to make your meditation spot as cozy and inviting as possible. And hey, be gentle with yourself. Meditation is a skill, something that gets better and more rewarding the more you do it. So, remember to give yourself some love and patience along the journey. Trust me, being kind to yourself is a huge part of the process.
We are happy that Priyanka shared her invaluable experience with us and stay tuned for many more insights from her in the series of Expert Discussions.