The number of times I have heard “I can’t meditate” is astounding but not at all surprising. People think that because we have a mind, we should know how to meditate. Meditation is a skill that must be learned and practiced like any other skill. Jimi Hendrix was not born a phenom and Taylor Swift did not just wake up a successful songwriter. None of us knows how to ride a bike, drive a car, or parent until we’ve learned – and none of us know how to do it well until we have practiced.
Meditation during pregnancy but also postpartum offers a variety of benefits that should not be underestimated such as regulating your blood pressure or simply calming your nerves.
Related: Resources for Moms in Tampa
Definition of meditation
My preferred definition of meditation is “transforming the mind”. To me it means we can transform it into whatever we want – a manifesting machine, a peaceful place to daydream, a focused, goal oriented beast.
We all already have this potential, it’s about harnessing and directing it. Unfortunately, in a world of 3 minute TikToks, 90 second Instagram videos, hustle culture, and multitasking mania, it’s becoming harder and harder to still the mind long enough to transform it. Or perhaps you have little ones tugging at you and needing your attention as a distraction.
The trick is to start small and find ways to incorporate it into your regular schedule.
Including kids is an excellent way to give them a wonderful headstart in the world. Meditating while pregnant is a major plus for the baby including keeping your blood pressure normal, establishing neural connections that have healthy responses to stressors. It also reduces the risk of premature birth and eliminates the fear around birth that creates muscle tension and emotional stress during labor and delivery.
How to incoporate meditation in your busy life
Here are my suggestions for successfully beginning your own meditation practice:
Set time aside in your schedule for meditation. Make an appointment in your calendar and set it to repeat. Consistency is very important. Also, start at 15 minutes with the intention to meditate for 5. This gives you a few minutes to settle down and be present.
I find it easiest to set time aside before bed or first thing in the morning before or after the chaos of daily life. Starting in the morning sets the day up for more peace and success because you will be more focused and present the rest of your day. Meditating at night brings the body into a calmer state, improving sleep and setting you up for a better day the following morning.
Clearing the mind is not that simple as our mind is meant to be alert and aware of potential dangers. This is a meditation style I don’t usually encourage for beginners as most don’t understand HOW to clear the mind.
There are a variety of ways to prepare for deeper meditation that are better tools for beginners. I recommend a few different starter techniques.
Sound – either mantras, vibrational beats or your favorite kind of music. Take the time to actually feel the music. It’s also an excellent idea to move with the music. Allowing the vibrations and energy to move through you in whatever manner feels good – all the while allowing thoughts to be carried away by those same sounds.
Breath – doing breathwork consistently is a great way to give the mind a singular task while simultaneously relaxing the mind, body, and spirit. Breath is also always accessible to us no matter where we are.
Go Outside – one of my favorite activities to get present is to go outside. A park, the woods, beach, mountain, your backyard, or community garden. Any place or activity that puts you in contact with natural surroundings is going to help naturally ground you.
Yoga/Tai Chi/Qi Gong – All of these traditions will help you learn to control your breath, mind, and body in preparation for meditation.
Any technique you choose should be enjoyable and accessible to you. Meaning if chanting mantras isn’t your vibe, choose another style. Meditation styles are a buffet, and you can pick and choose what fits for you.
I strongly recommend finding a teacher/mentor, podcast, author, or youtube video to help you learn and master the basics as well as guide you on how to progress as you get more and more skilled. As I stated earlier, meditation is a skill that must be learned and practiced. While all of the potential lives within you, guidance will put you on the right path to meeting your meditation goals.
About the Author
Dr. Jenni graduated from Florida College of Integrative Medicine in 2012 with a Master’s in Oriental Medicine and has more than 10 years of experience. She offers acupuncture in Carrollwood which can help with morning sickness, heartburn, and sciatica, and is even helpful for turning breech babies and inducing labor. Dr. Jeni also offers online yoga sessions and nutritional consultations. She has a holistic approach, treating body and mind alike.
For more information on meditation, yoga, mentorship, or all things holistic, stop by her page and book your clarity call: