Mindful breathing for life - and birth!
Over the coming weeks I am going to be sharing a series of short videos demonstrating some mindful breathing exercises, which you may like to use as part of your birth preparation.
These simple techniques can equally be used in any aspect of life ! Not just pregnancy ! They will help to calm and focus the mind, releaving anxieties and stresses.
Our minds are often busy and can easily run away with us into a state of constantly thinking, planning, anticipating, judging, and equally lead us into a spiral of worry or anxiety.
As we tune into the sensations of the breath, we can allow the mind to rest, as well as gradually learning how to re-directing our actions and reactions. Taking control and re-orientating our experience and feelings, as apposed to letting the mind run into overdrive and off in it’s own (sometimes harmful) direction !
Connecting with the sensation of the body and the breath helps to draw us into the present moment, and over time develop gratitude and appreciation for the subtle yet powerful sensations of simply ‘being.’
Coming back to the breath can feel like coming home, back to our true nature or essence : the simple fact that our heart continues to beat, and our chest continues to rise and fall - we continue to feel very much alive - can be both humling and nourishing.
Breathing for birth
Such an understanding of harnessing the breath can be be a particularly powerful tool in birth, as well as in life at large. Long deep breaths in labour will help to calm the nervous system and aid the release of lots of lovely oxytocin – which assists the natural and swift progress of birth.
At the same slow gentle breaths can help to calm the mind , thus helping us to avoid drifting into a fear response - which ultimately provokes adrenaline, slows the birth process, and can make it less managable or comfortable.
By practicing these connections through mindful breathing exercises in pregnancy, and integrating them into your way of living, they will come more naturally and freely to you in labour.
I often use these techniques during my pregnancy yoga classes as a way to start bulding connections with the body and breath, in preparation for birth. I also use them as a starting point to my hypnobirthing classes if a mum or dad-to-be struggles with staying alert or focusing the mind, ready for guided visulaisations and deep relaxations.
With these video’s I hope to provide you with different techniques to try out and experience the different ways in which you can connect with the breath and the body ! They are by no means prescriptive so the idea is to use them as a starting point for your own personal journey and exploration. Gradually you might add your own visulations / affirmations or adaptations to them which is wonderful ! Once we make these connections we often find that our intuition guides us to focussing on a certain aspect that we particularly need to build on or strengthen, especially where labour and birth are concerned !
I hope you enjoy them ! I would love to hear back from you if there is anything you find particularly powerful or useful so please do get in touch !
Happy breathing !!!