Rest & Relaxation … Anu Loma Viloma Kriya

Begin by lying in Savasana (supine relaxation pose) if you are in your first trimester & still comfortable like this or Matsya Kridasana (lying on your left side, with left arm supporting your head, left leg stretched out to relax and right knee bent and supporting you on floor) if you are not comfortable on your back or especially during your third trimester ~ you can support either position with pillows, blankets & cushions to feel more comfortable. 

Keeping your face relaxed and soft, close your eyes.  Watch your breath for a few moments: note the rhythm and nature of your natural breathing without trying to change it in any way.  If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath.  Stay mindful of your breathing and without any stress or strain, begin to gently deepen and slow your breathing until the inhalation and exhalation are as deep and slow as they can comfortably be.  You are aiming for a wavelike, rhythmic feeling to your breathing.  As you inhale be aware of drawing in prana, life energy, to nourish and nurture yourself & your baby, bringing with it new strength, stamina, fresh energy and healing.  With your exhalation, feel a release, allow your body to soften, as you surrender to gravity, sinking into your mat, the earth beneath you embracing and supporting you.  Let the outward breath cleanse you.  Breathe out and let go…

 

Once you feel you have begun to relax, you can start to visualise an oval of light surrounding your body, reaching above the crown of your head and below the soles of your feet.  Imagine the oval is split into two halves down the centre line of your spine.  Light flows upwards through the right side and down through the left side.  As you breathe, flow your breath with the light, so that your inhalation flows up the right side and your exhalation flows down the left side…

 

Now work with 9 complete breaths visualising this oval that extends around your whole body.  Let the oval of light wrap you in protection so that you feel that the negative attitudes and emotions of others cannot penetrate the light around you.  Feel safe and secure,feel this light creating sanctuary…

 

When you are ready, bring the oval of light to touch the crown of your head and soles of your feet.  With the next 9 breaths feel that you are self-contained, self-reliant and able to take care of yourself.  As you breathe feel a deepening sense of well-being…

 Once you feel that you have established your feeling of well-being, bring the oval of light in to touch the centre of your brain and the root of your spine and with the next 9 breaths settle into deep rest and relaxation…

 

Finally bring the oval of light to your baby and as you breathe you can surround your baby with protection, gifting well-being and relaxation to your little one, knowing that as you nourish and nurture yourself, so you nourish and nurture your baby with every breath…

 

You can stay here, simply breathing into deeper relaxation with your baby for as long as you wish, or you may like to bring the oval of light back out to surround your body and work your way back in again…

 

When you are ready to close the practice, gently release the visualisation of the light, remaining mindful of your breathing as you allow it to settle back to its own natural rhythm ~ here you may like to notice whether your natural breathing has changed in any way since the outset of your relaxation.  When you feel ready, if you are on your back, roll onto one side for a moment and bend your knees up towards your chest, then making small movements before you push slowly back up to sitting, rolling to all fours to feel fully supported and using a deep breath in to avoid feeling light headed as you rise…Or simply rest where you are & let yourself relax, even falling asleep if now is a good time…

OMx 

Advertisements

Something for everyone…Find your quiet centre

Whether you are pregnant or have recently given birth, whether you have a vivacious toddler or a spirited adolescent, taking some time out to find your quiet centre can be an essential part of being the mother (or father) you want to be.

Try this as a meditation or relaxation…take 1 quiet minute or half an hour, whatever you want to spend or what time you can spare will do.

Close your eyes, keeping them softly closed, no tension held in your forehead or face, space between your upper & lower teeth to keep your jaw soft, your tongue released away from the roof of your mouth & your teeth.

For a moment or two, simply watch the natural rhythm of your breath.

Be aware as you inhale…aware as you exhale…

As you watch your breath, notice that you connect to your breath, it slows & deepens, and you gently become calmer (it lowers your blood pressure, slows your heart rate and as your breath deepens, you improve your lymphatic drainage, massage your abdominal organs to support effective digestion, and bring more oxygen into your body, helping you to feel more energised & improving your well-being).

Now visualise a velvety darkness behind your eyelids, and slowly begin to lay down a golden thread in the soft, serene dark, circling around and gradually inward to create a spiral.  Inhale deeply and exhale slowly as you journey from the outer most point and in toward the centre of the spiral.

When you reach the centre, rest your awareness at the centre of the spiral.

And in the words of the wonderful Snatam Kaur “Breathe, my love, breathe in your quiet centre”.

Take as long as you can to connect with your breath, to feel the calm that you can create, to feel the quiet within your heart centre at the innermost point of your spiral.

When you are ready, slowly retrace the spiral, gathering in your golden thread, returning your awareness to your physical body by taking a breath to the soles of your feet, another to the crown of your head, breathe into the palms of your hands and to the root of your spine.  As you become aware of the space that your body occupies, try to remain gently conscious of the quality of your breath and remind yourself to breathe with freedom & ease, as you did in your quiet centre.

With love, and with thanks to all the teachers, real & virtual, book-based & web-based whose words & teachings have inspired this simple practice Lx