This is a centering practice that can be done at any time for just a few breaths at a time or for longer periods (e.g. lying down for relaxation). It also forms the basis of many of the moving sequences we do during the Pregnancy Yoga classes.
This breathing practice can be done in any position, standing, seated or lying down. If you wish to you can bring one hand over the centre of the chest and one hand over your baby, or rest both hands over either your heart or your womb!
In summary: in to the heart, out for the baby!
- Begin with a deep, slow, centering breath – connecting body, mind and breath all together in the same place at the same time.
- See if you can allow your breath to settle in to a naturally arising rhythm – no need to breath especially deeply or slowly – just watch as the breath rolls in and out.
- Remember that breath flows all day and all night without us having to remember to do it – its miraculous – just like your body’s ability to grow a baby, birth a baby and heal.
- Enjoy a deep, slow, centering breath whenever you feel you need it.
- Call to mind something you feel grateful for or glad about – allow the thought to make you “warm-hearted” and as the breath flows in, bring your attention to the centre of the chest.
- On the exhalation, send some love from the heart down to your baby. Know that unborn babies can feel and hear their mother’s breath and that experiencing this conscious breathing will noticeable for them.
- Allow the inhalation to guide your awareness back to the centre of the chest – resting within the “soft, warm, heart”, letting the breath nourish yourself and your inner wisdom.
- Send a little more love down to the baby on the exhale along with some apptreciation for the uterus, placenta and the amazingly powerful repoductive system making this pregnancy possible!
- Carry a little of this power back up to the heart on the inhalation, noruishing yourself and connecting with your inner wisdom.
- Conitnue in this way – breathing in to the heart and out to the womb and the babe within.
- If you are using this as a practice for deep relaxation allow the exhalations to softly and slowly lengthen, gently breathing you down into rest or sleep.
- Heart-Womb breathing – enjoy!
With thanks to my wonderful teacher Uma at Womb Yoga for sharing many variations on this practice and all things womb-y.