Shamanic Yoga

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Pregnancy Rituals and Why You Need Them

Hello lovely ladies!

Rituals are seriously underrated in our western societies. I work a lot with them and witness how much power and clarity they can bring into our lives. Here I want to talk about why I feel that pregnancy is the best time to introduce rituals into your life. Enjoy!

Pregnancy is a time of intense change. Our bodies, our moods, our babies inside of us, what we like and don’t like to eat, what we feel we need to do and prepare for - everything changes all the time. It is hard to keep track of what is happening and to be mindful about it. But this is exactly what we need to do so as to be balanced and well!

How can we do that? Here’s where the first kind of ritual comes into play: A daily ritual in the form of a mindfulness practice will bring new awareness and energy into your life, will help to keep both you and your baby happy and healthy and will even help you to remember your pregnancy in more detail later. Take 10-20 minutes in the mornings just to yourself and do what nourishes you and clears your head, whatever that might be for you. It can be a meditation practice, a mindful walk in your area, sitting calmly in your favourite chair while watching your breath, taking a bath or anything else that helps you to arrive in and enjoy the present moment. Make it a daily ritual that you look forward to and never want to miss!

And then there’s a second kind of ritual that is important during a pregnancy. If you are mindful, you will feel that there are different cycles within a pregnancy, and when one comes to an end, something different starts. These moments call for a ritual, so that we can process what has happened and move on into the next phase with gratitude and clarity. These moments will not be the same for every woman. With mindfulness, you will feel when the right moment comes. But there are definitely two times during a pregnancy when every woman might profit from a ritual: the beginning of a pregnancy and the end.

Here are some ideas about how you can set up a ritual for these special occasions:

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First be clear about what you want. Do you want to celebrate the long anticipated pregnancy that has just begun? Do you want to consciously mark your journey into motherhood? Do you want to face a fear you have about the pregnancy or the birth ahead? Do you want to celebrate that the pregnancy is coming to an end and welcome your baby into this world?
Now think about how you can express your goal for this ritual. What symbolises that which you want to express for you? Maybe you want to burn a piece of paper onto which you wrote something you want to let go of, maybe you want to paint a onesie as a symbol to welcome your baby into this world, maybe you want to recite a poem from a book, take a symbolic walk in the woods or swim in the sea. Be creative and go with your instinct!
Next, pick a time and place for your ritual, making sure you will be undisturbed and make the spot you’ve chosen cosy and prepare everything you need there, like candles or flowers or crystals.
Do it!

Here’s an example from my own pregnancy: Ever since the beginning of my pregnancy I had the feeling that my baby would come early. About two and a half weeks before my due date I got nervous. This was the time I felt my baby wanted to come, yet nothing had happened so far and I felt that my baby was waiting for a move from me to get going. Suddenly I realised that I needed a ritual to make the end of my pregnancy conscious to myself and process what was happening. I was going to be a mother!! So I decided then and there to do a ritual and just sat down and feeling my belly I talked to my baby and told him how much I enjoyed carrying him around with me and expressed gratitude for this time we had together during which it was so easy to keep him safe and happy. I cried, tears of joy and sadness mingling. That night my baby shifted lower in my uterus and a few days later my water broke and my baby arrived two weeks before the due date, as I had felt he would and as was perfect for both of us.

So you see how powerful these rituals can be! I really hope you will enjoy them and I’d love to hear about your experiences, just reply to this email or write a comment and tell me all about it!

All the best to you and your baby, love, Lily