Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Finding Balance

At 32 weeks and officially 8 months pregnant I'm still going to yoga regularly and loving it. I am in much, much better shape physically this time around than I was with Landon and definitely owe it to my regular vinyasa flow and hatha yoga practice.  Besides being in better physical shape, my mind has also been in a much better place. I am have much more energy and motivation, I'm overall much happier, and more relaxed and less anxious than before. While a 3 year time difference and greater sense of self I'm sure has played a big part in this, I am 100% sure that my yoga practice has played a huge part in this difference, and I also give a lot of credit to Kayma Englund for all her amazing guided meditations she's been offering.
But ever since hitting the third trimester though I've noticed a bigger (literally) difference in my body and I'm noticing I'm having a harder time doing poses and transitions that I once had no problem with at all. I've noticed a much harder time sleeping at night, a surge in hormone levels, and as a result have been getting irritated and frustrated much more easily. My sense of balance is definitely physically compromised right now as the baby is about the size of a small watermelon in my belly right now, but I've also noticed that my sense of balance mentally has been compromised as well. I find myself obsessing over one thing one minute, getting very easily distracted and OCD about the next thing that catches my eye, lots of bouts of forgetfulness, and overall not keeping things in their right perspective and priority. When Kayma sent me this guided breathing & relaxation post and audio files it was like she had completely been reading my chaotic preggo mind. For any expectant mothers, or anyone striving to gain a greater sense of balance in their lives, please take a few minutes to listen to these new audio files from Kayma below, they're guaranteed to make you feel more relaxed and completely refreshed, and go about your day with greater sense of perspective and calm. It still blows my mind how much of a difference these guided meditations can make in that present moment, and even more, throughout my day, thank you Kayma!

{Finding Balance} Guided Relaxation & Breathing
by Kayma Englund

As you may know (and if you don’t this may just blow your mind) we have many different, even complete opposite sides to our personality and our overall physical, mental and emotional being. The relief is… this is completely normal! I find that quite often we favor some qualities or traits and disregard others we have deemed less favorable for whatever reason. The truth is, we were gifted with these opposite qualities and to ignore certain sides of ourself can actually lead to imbalance. Beyond these personal qualities, every day we are riding a wave through the many different aspects lives – the ups and downs, negatives and positives paired with the dual nature of the weather, responsibilities, work, love, feminine cycle – just to name a few. Realistically we are always going to be experiencing these dualistic qualities which is why tools like deep breathing, relaxation, yoga & meditation are so important to bring us back to a more balanced and aware state of mind.

Interesting facts…

Our breath links our body and mind

The Right Brain (associated with left nostril breathing) is the “creative thinking” hemisphere of your brain. It corresponds with the moon, feminine energy, emotions, relaxation, nurturing, calm and cooling, expressive and creative tasks.

The Left Brain (associated with right nostril breathing) logical thinking hemisphere of your brain corresponding with the sun, masculine energy, logic, action, heat, competition and force.

So, breathing in through your right nostril, will access the left brain and vice versa. Consciously alternating your breath between either nostril will allow you to activate and access your whole brain because now both sides are receiving the oxygen they need to perform.

A few helpful tips…

Favoring one nostril more than the other can effect the heat or coolness of your body. So, breathing through your left nostril (cover the right) will help cool you down (pregnancy? hot flash? heated argument? you name it).

If you can’t sleep at night lay on your right hand side, gently close your right nostril with your right thumb and breath through your left nostril. This will activate your parasympathetic nervous system which will calm you down and slow your heart rate.

A few rounds of alternate nostril breathing (audio track included below) is a quick pick me up if you are feeling tired or stressed. It provides your body with a dose of extra energy.

Alternate nostril breathing is great way to remove stale air and impurities from the bottom of your lungs. Did you know that 70% of our body’s waste products are eliminated via our lungs?

A few minutes of focused alternate nostril breathing (or any deep belly breath) is helpful in calming an over-thinking, over-worked mind. It truly is the best way to calm the mind and nervous system.

Hope you enjoy and feel free to leave comments below!

Peace & Love

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