15 May Yoga and Postpartum Depression
The feeling of being a mother is of pure joy and satisfaction that no other event can bring in our lives. However, some women go through intense fear and a feeling of frustration after pregnancy. These are extreme emotions women go through after pregnancy. And mostly happens to women who are first-time mothers.
A holistic approach with Yoga and simple practices rooted in sutra philosophy helps tackle Postpartum depression effectively.
Simple yogic tips and approach –
1. Eat well, live well
A balanced Sattvik diet helps in removing negative emotions in life. Eat ample of fresh fruits, seasonal greens, and whole organic grains; it helps to maintain the stamina required for taking care of yourself and the child. Eat small portions every four hours in a day. Chew your food well. Hydrate with at least twelve glasses of liquid every day and feel the change in yourself physically and emotionally.
2. The importance of physical and mental health
Asanas are extremely helpful when practiced with an experienced and certified Yoga teacher. Some incredibly beneficial poses are:
- Yasktikasana- This easy and simply lying down asana provides instant relief and a full body stretch from the tip of toes to your fingertips. The powerful benefits include stress relief and reduction of abdominal fats.
- SethuBandhasana / Bridge Pose – This powerful pose strengthens the back muscles and helps to relieve a tired back which is extremely common with a mother. It boosts blood circulation towards the head region and helps you to relax.
- Halasana – An extremely effective pose, it helps to reduce the strain on your back. It reduces belly fat, helps to tone the waistline, calms your brain, reduces stress and helps to keep headaches & insomnia at bay.
- Downward Facing Dog/ AdhoMukhaSvanasana – This incredibly different pose enables fresh blood flow into your body. It stretches and decompresses the cervical spine and releases the stress, thereby reducing anxiety.
- Shavasana (Corpse Pose) – Shavasana rejuvenates and helps your mind and body to relax. It reduces blood pressure and lessens stress & anxiety.
- Pranayamas- The Pranayama’s from one to nine help relieve stress, calm the mind and free your body for unnecessary trauma.
3. Yogic philosophy
- Let Go of Things (IshvaraPranidhana) – IshvaraPranidhana is a Sanskrit word that interprets ‘to surrender’. This practice reminds us that there is a greater force at work and something higher than us that keeps everything in order. We must always remember that everything is just as it is meant to be. We must inculcate a deep faith in higher consciousness and let go of thoughts and situations that are beyond our control.
- Mantra Meditation or Japa – Say mantras to improve your mood and decrease stress. You have the freedom to do it – all day or anytime you can. A simple repeat affirmation about life, “I am doing my best. And my best is good enough” works wonders to ease anxiety, improve your mood and help cope with stress.
- Curtail all your senses (Pratyahara) – Sometimes to focus or realign yourself it is important to withdraw all your thoughts and let go. It saves your energy and helps in recharging your senses.
- Cultivate Stillness – Meditation helps you calm your mind and let go of the abundant stress you feel. However difficult it may seem in the beginning, start by mediating a few minutes every day. Read more
Yoga helps in numerous ways to deal with the feeling and stress of suddenly having the responsibility of taking care of someone who is a part of you and is extremely special for you. There are no perfect answers or perfect clean rooms and baby. The most important thing to remember with the transition of motherhood is that you cannot get around it – you simply must go directly through it. When you slow down and breathe easy, you calm the numerous thoughts in your mind that help you relax. The feeling of being a mother is the most beautiful feeling in the world, cherish it to the most and go with the flow.
Each breath, pose, and step in yoga becomes a mindful step to deal with Postpartum depression in a positive way. It provides relief, comfort, and compassion into the beautiful experience of motherhood. Check out our pregnancy care workshops. Click here for details.