The Sādhanā of Pregnancy & The PostPartum Year

By Dr Sairupa Krishnamurti, N.D and Ayurveda Practitioner

The child-bearing year is a sacred season of a woman/ birthing person’s life. How do we awaken into this time with a little more tender awareness, consciousness, and love? Is it possible to consider this time of pregnancy, birth and early parenting a sādhanā (spiritual practice)? In the very least, this perspective has supported me through the rollercoaster of my “Amma-moments” ranging from deep loneliness, to playful -peace, bliss, anger, fear and much more. Of course, throw in a pandemic, and it’s been immense journey in so many ways. Holding life, birthing life and cultivating the growth of life is deep commitment.

One thing remains true- the child-bearing year moves quickly despite how we get here, and a common expression is “It all goes by so fast, doesn’t it”? Perhaps viewing the mundane as sacred allows us to explore some daily moments as sādhanā, especially when we may not be able to carve out time for daily meditation or ritual in the same ways we did pre-parenting. Perhaps, this view also invites time to slow- or at least, for our mind/body to slow. Yes, parenting can be intense and messy- however, grace seems to become more palpable in these moments of mindfulness.

ayurvedic rituals - pregancy-2

ayurvedic rituals - pregancy

The philosophy of Ayurveda, the 5000 year old science of life from India/ South Asia teaches that pregnancy is a season for moving inward, cultivating ojas (essential energy), and listening to the body as it contains 2 hearts (yours and baby’s). This is a time to practice receiving care from close family or friends as well as exploring self-love rituals such as sensory care and pranayama (breathwork). The self-care established during pregnancy can provide grounding into the early years of parenting.

Ayurveda teaches self-care rituals that encourage presence in the body, presence in each moment. These practices can promote compassion for the massive transformation occurring from pregnancy to birth and into the fourth trimester. Enjoy the following pranayama (breathwork) practice as something that can be used in specific moments, or even during mundane moments [lying down to body-feed, holding baby on your chest, doing floor time, etc].

Exploratory Practice:

Brahmaree Pranayama (Humming bee breath) For New Mamas/ Parents

*Traditionally Brahmaree Pranayama is done using a specific mudras and covering one’s eyes. However, in this modified version— you can create a “Humming” sound with your eyes closed, eyes opened, seated or laying down. The sounding in itself can help bring a lot of regulation and calm. If you have time, space and hands available— you can use your hands to take a mudra like this image.

pregnancy pranayama - bee breath

-Inhale normally and naturally through your nose

-Exhale AND with your mouth closed create a humming vibration until the end of the exhale.

-Repeat for 10 breaths

Interested to learn more? Join us for the course The Nutured Way- Ayurveda for Perinatal Care with Dr. Sairupa.

Dr. Sairupa is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and Ayurveda Practitioner. She is also a home-birth mama of 2 sweethearts and an advocate for peaceful birthing and nurtured postnatal care. She has a clinical practice that focuses on Reproductive Health, Fertility, Pregnancy, Postnatal-care, Pediatrics and Mental-Emotional Health. Dr. Sairupa has had the great privilege of walking with many women and families through pregnancy, IVF, donor pregnancies, miscarriages, loss, and many births of different kinds. Dr. Sairupa received training in Ayurveda from the Center for Ayurveda and Indian Systems of Healing, and Naturopathic Medicine at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

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