Meditation is very beneficial during your pregnancy as it helps you relax your mind and body, allowing your blood to carry nutrients and oxygen throughout your body more easily. Deep relaxation also helps you find peace and cope with the physical and emotional stress during pregnancy. Here are some meditation techniques that are particularly beneficial during pregnancy.
Deep breathing is one of the most effective ways to ease muscle tension, lower your heart rate, and help you fall asleep. Many expecting mothers perform this technique while resting their hands on their belly. Try lying on your side and breathe slowly through your nose. Be aware of your stomach rising as you take in each new breath and hold them for one second. Then exhale through your nose while counting to four seconds. Do this for about five minutes a day.
Progressive muscle relaxation helps releases the tension in your muscles. Lie on your bed, then tense your muscles completely and then let them totally relax. You can start by focusing one muscle group at a time. For example, start by tensing and releasing your hand and forearm muscles, then your biceps and triceps, and continue moving throughout your body.
Guided imagery relies on visualization and picturing yourself in a blissful place. Choose an image that relaxes you, such as the ocean waves, a field of flowers, or a blue sky and focus on its ability to create a serene feeling within you. Imagine all the details of that place, from the sounds, textures, and smells. Visualization helps you quiet your mind and drift off to sleep.
Vipassana meditation helps you become more aware of your environment. In order to perform vipassana meditation, sit on the ground with your legs crossed and back straight (if this is too difficult, you can sit in a chair instead). Next, close your eyes, breathe normally, and focus on the movement of your belly. As your belly rises and falls, you will become aware of certain sensations. Try to remain attentive to all the sensations you feel throughout the process of the rising and falling of your abdomen. When your mind begins to wander and think of other objects, focus direct awareness on them and the sensations they facilitate. You can continue this meditation for as long as you would like.
Mantra meditation takes advantage of words and phrases to help you focus on your body’s energy. You can use recorded chants or calming music as well. A common phrase that is used to mimic the sound of breathing is “so-hum”. When you breathe in, the vibrations sound like “so” and as you breathe out you hear “hum”. As you continue repeating this mantra, make your breath and sound quieter and quieter until the “so-hum” completely vanishes. Additionally, mantra meditation allows your baby to hear your voice and can feel uplifting. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed during your pregnancy, another great mantra to practice is “I am, I am” as it focuses on your being.