Photo by H. Koppdelaney

Having just finished teaching the first Mom and Baby class of a new session, it is apparent that the moms that made the conscious effort to pack up their babies from 6 weeks to 6 months and drag car seats and diaper bags through today’s cold rain to take class, had more than just stretching on their minds.

When baby enters the family, all of the sudden your intentions come second to your child’s needs. But in truth those needs don’t disappear. One of those needs is feeling a sense of community. Becoming a mom is like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. We have nine months of physical metamorphosis while our baby grows and then upon delivery we are permanently transformed into “mom”. The mental changes are not even fathomed until that baby is in your arms.  We must make an instantaneous mental adjustment as well. Going from working on projects with deadlines, we now find an endless day of watching our child for signs that signal their need for sleep, for food or for diaper changes. The sense of gratification we once achieved from completed work is substituted with the delayed gratification of raising a well-adjusted person. We went from lunches with friends and colleagues to picking at leftover Cheerios while watching the endless cycle of laundry begin again.

Mothers need a moment. They need time to connect to their new bodies, new responsibilities and new dreams. Without stopping to put that time in the schedule, it is easy to run on autopilot. Moms need to stop and be mindful and to listen to their hearts. They need to connect with others who are in the same situation trying to make sense of this new life experience.

My mom and baby yoga class is a fusion of baby massage, yoga and strengthening poses for mom, and the blessing of taking that moment—time to connect with other moms with babies of the same age, time to connect with the voice inside that may sound different. It is a time to connect with one’s body, one’s baby and one’s breath.

From the book Mindfulness: Mother with Mindfulness, Compassion and Grace by Denise Roy:

Today, take some alone time. Even if it’s only five minutes.

• Light a candle. Go for a walk. Sit outside.

• Lock yourself in the bathroom.

• Create a little zone of quiet.

• Congratulate yourself for taking this time. It’s an act of love.

• Now imagine that life is like an ocean.

• At the surface, there can also be a lot of turbulence. Life’s busyness and demands and ups and downs can be like rough waves that whirl around us.

• Now imagine that deep down in the ocean, thirty or forty feet below the surface, is a place of constant stillness.

• Take a breath, and drop down into this place of quiet and calm.

As you keep practicing taking this alone time, it will get easier to practice in the midst of the chaos of a day. You will be able to drop into that place of stillness wherever you are.

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