An Ayurvedic and Yoga Lifestyle Perspective
By Cerise Binns
The earlier you can get up out of bed the better. Try to be up by 6-7 am at latest. This can only be happily achieved if you go to sleep earlier than normal. So to get into this pattern try to avoid sleeps during the day (10-15 min) naps are ok, but nothing longer.
In these mini-naps you want to be resting with your legs elevated and your eyes gently closed even if you are not ‘asleep’.
Your Daily Ritual
- First drink to be warm or boiled water.
- Rinse eyes and mouth.
- Evacuate bowels if possible.
- Walk around house with as much natural light to allow a gentle wakening .
- Yoga asana – even if it’s 10mins allow yourself time on your mat/ blanket time for breathing at least.
- Walk daily trying to include a barefoot grass walk
Read as many natural holistic books to empower your birthing experience.
You can do this at nap time. This is a time to work on eliminating your fears of birth and trusting your innate wisdom that knows exactly what to do.
Talk to an older person who seems to hold wise counsel maybe a mother or grandmother. Look up websites or Facebook pages of groups for empowered pregnancies. I like Sacred Pregnancy on Facebook and Sacred Birthing Practice (U.S) which has lovely inspiring photos and articles.
Think about all our false pre-conceived ideas of birth gleaned through T.V or other media, and eliminate these from your mind-set. Remember the space for you to birth through is your true nature and it’s important to realize your body is a vessel for this and take trust in what has been gifted to us.
Consider mid wives and health care facilitators that encourage the woman’s natural abilities in birth. Avoid birthing stories as every birth is different and each of us is at a personal and unique stage of our birthing experiences…
…so instead read inspiring stories of births.
Watch a film if you can that is uplifting and encourages you.
Find ways to let seeds of doubt to be released from your experience. A few woman that I have so far benefited from through their experiences in conscious birthing are:
- Cate Stillman (U.S) Yoga healer and Ayurvedic practitioner and mentor.
- Joy Lake (N.Z) ‘Birth into Being’ natural holistic therapy.
- Ana Davies (Aus) ‘Baby Bliss’ pre and postnatal yoga training.
- Anna Watts (Aus) Doula .celebrationsofbirth.com
Most of all don’t be hard on yourself especially when things don’t go to plan.
Instead be prepared for all the hurdles that can block your flow of confidence about your birthing experience.
Medicated Milk for Sleeping During Pregnancy (Night)
- Watch pot while doing this.
- Boil half a cup of milk with quarter cup of water.
- Can add spices directly or use mini pan to lightly heat spices to release more aroma.
- Spices: ¼ of each or just a pinch to start with.
- Cardamon – great for fluid retention and a gentle digestive aid.
- Fennel – cooling and gas releasing spice.
- Cinnamon – helps maintain blood sugar levels. Use minimally if you are prone to high blood pressure.
- If you have ghee use 1/4 to to heat spices then add to milk.
- Allow milk to heat and rise up 3 x while stirring gently.
- Sieve spices out if you wish.
- Sweetener – honey, only add to warm drink – never hot (i.e. do not cook the honey).
- Alternatively use Rice Syrup or Jaggery.
- Best enjoyed before bed
Note/caution- Nutmeg (a common spice added to warm milk drinks) can be taken in the third trimester but just as a pinch, there are mixed ideas about whether this spice is ideal during pregnancy so if in doubt just avoid it.
Energizing Protein Milk (Morning)
- Night before:
- Soak in water (enough to cover) 10- 15 almonds over night (skins removed).
- Soak in water (enough to cover) dates excellent for ‘Rasa’ – the liquid that is supplied to all the tissue in the body a great tonic food for the body.
- Soak in water (enough to cover) fennel seeds, to taste.
- Add all to blender in the morning with cup of pre-boiled, room temp water.
- Sieve and serve.
- So yummy and I swear it energizes like a coffee. A great coffee alternative during pregnancy anyway :).
- Spiced apples with soaked dates.
- Soak dates overnight or for a few hours until soft in enough water to cover.
- Cook apples with cardomon and a small amount of the spices you enjoy (but less us best).
- Heat through until apples are soft.
- Blend apples with softened dates and eat. Soyummy. Nourishing, and very satisfying.
Ayurvedic concepts for nourishing the body pre-natal and post-partum ideally all food must always be:
- Warm and light.
- Oily – include fats from vegetables – avocados seeds and nuts (always pre-soaked and rinsed).
- Well seasoned with spices
- Liquid or watery
Funnily enough eating mushy food might seem like something you would be feeding a baby but is in fact great during pregnancy especially in the later stages as it’s difficult to eat normal meals without feeling uncomfortable in your tummy or having acid reflux or just a sluggish digestion.
I hope you enjoyed soaking up some or all of this information. This is the last of the three parts each of which have featured in each edition of the New Zealand Yoga Scene magazines. I look forward to any feedback or questions you may have. You can message me on Facebook – Pro-yoga and Beauty Therapy or World Organic (N.Z).
Bio: Cerise Binns is an Holistic Therapist with over 15 years in the Beauty and Massage industry combined with Yoga and Ayurveda to mix things up a bit. She enjoys working through guided one on one plans with individuals looking to improve general body and mind wellbeing with breathing techniques, asana and lifestyle tips to get you back to beautiful you. Cerise extends ‘Many thanks and best wishes with wherever you are’.