Do you remember the day you realized you were pregnant?
I still remember clearly the night I woke up at 1 AM to pee, and in my half-asleep state, reached out for the pregnancy test that I had left in the bathroom the night before. I wasn’t too optimistic, as I had been disappointed by the results for many months now. As I rinsed my mouth and glanced over at the test, my eyes suddenly widened, as the clear plus sign emerged on the test in pink. I studied it closely and checked the instructions one more time to make sure I was reading the result correctly. Then, with a gasp I woke my husband to say, “We’re having a baby…!” In an instant the joy I felt was met with a rush of panic , with the thought, “What does this mean? My life will never be the same again….” My husband and I lay awake for most of the night, contemplating the future that now lay ahead.
For many of us, while the desire to have a child may be clear, the implications on our life are not so obvious. During pregnancy, our bodies immediately let us know that there are many changes to come. As we observe our belly and baby growing and cope with the discomforts of our changing body, we also begin to make space in our homes for a new person to join our life. As the birth approaches, we begin to wonder, and often worry, about labor and birth. While our preoccupation with planning and physical adjustments often take precedence, we don’t always take this time to prepare mentally for the longer journey of motherhood.
During pregnancy, we are provided with the first challenges of motherhood – making space, adjusting to changes, and wondering if we are doing everything right. The most important task, which many of us don’t talk about, is that we are also making space in our minds and hearts for a special new relationship. The importance of this relationship, will inevitably affect our current relationship with ourselves, our partner, and with others in our lives. We can begin during pregnancy to use this experience to cultivate greater mindfulness and
The YO:MA:MI program has been developed based on these premises by two moms, psychologist Katrin Kristjansdottir and yoga teacher Asha Ghosh. We believe that practices derived from yoga and mindfulness and based on psychological theories can provide an essential toolbox for new moms to cope with their challenges during pregnancy and motherhood. Becoming a mom requires us to make many changes in our lives and face new challenges. We can use this time to acquire new skills which provide us with the opportunity to develop a stronger connection between body and mind, and the basis to adapt to changes with greater strength and joy.