Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
Don’t you just love when people tell you to “sleep when your baby sleeps”? For most moms, this is not the easiest thing to do.
I’m sure this situation sounds familiar: You finally get your little one quietly sleeping. You tip toe to your bed and crawl under the covers to try to sleep. Then you lie there, doing your best to get comfortable. But you keep tossing and turning, thinking about what needs to be done around the house. You know your body needs rest…but for some reason, you feel guilty for lying down. After a failed attempt to sleep, you decide to get up and fold the laundry instead.
I currently have a 2 year old and a 1 year old. Getting rest and staying balanced is my #1 priority to stay sane.
One of the best tools I’ve found to help me feel refreshed and centered when I don’t have the luxury to nap (or when my mind won’t let me) is Yoga Nidra.
Yoga Nidra is an ancient meditation practice often known as “yogic sleep”.
This practice guides you into a “hypnagogic state”, where you are in between being asleep and being awake. In this state of being consciously relaxed, you are able to switch off the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight) and switch on the healing qualities of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
How does Yoga Nidra work?
Lie down comfortably and bring awareness to your breath. Then bring your attention repeatedly to sensations throughout different parts of the body. The repetitiveness and hypnotic rhythm of the meditation allows you to forget the outside world (aka the laundry that needs to be folded), drawing your attention more inward.
Aside from feeling AMAZING after a Yoga Nidra meditation, studies reveal other positive benefits from this practice such as:
- Regulation of hormones
- Stabilization of glucose levels
- Improving blood pressure
- Decreasing depression and negative thoughts of self-blame
As a mother juggling so many things in life, Yoga Nidra is the perfect postpartum self-care practice.
It doesn’t have to be long either. Some say 20 minutes of Yoga Nidra equates to a couple hours of sleep! This practice is easy to do and there are many free Yoga Nidra guided meditations you can try. I’m sharing one with you today. I hope it helps you feel rejuvenated and rested. You deserve it!
CLICK HERE to check out Maureen’s “Yoga Nidra for Deep Postpartum Rest” on Soundcloud!
Maureen Zwierzynski is the founder of Lotus Mother Care and is a trained Ayurvedic Postnatal Caregiver (Ayurdoula). She is also the founder and yoga/meditation teacher at AwakenYogaStudio.com (Riverside, IL’s underground yoga studio). In addition, Maureen is a reiki practitioner, a life coach, marketing professional and an entrepreneur. She is devoted to creating an empowering, positive and balanced postnatal experience for every mother.
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