The 8 Limbs of Yoga in Motherhood: Pranayama

On our journey up the 8 Limbs of Yoga in Motherhood, the next limb we come to is Pranayama, but we'll call it PranaMama since we're bringing this all back to motherhood. Prana is breath, it's the life force, the constant inhale and exhale that brings energy to our being. Pranayama(Mama) is the control or regulation of this breath, often through exercises and specific techniques. This simple practice, this holds so much power, and it is a great tool for mothers!

Our breath is beautiful. It can be nourishing and energizing, bringing vitality to our bodies and clarity to our minds. Motherhood is beautiful too. But it a can feel depleting at times, leaving us exhausted and drained. Our prana is a guiding light out of this darkness and back into the light. Just like when we practice yoga, in motherhood we must also continue to come back to this powerful breath. We must acknowledge when the tides of motherhood are carrying us out too deep, and return to our inhale and exhale to feel grounded, supported and strong once again.

We walk through our days with shallow inhales and exhales that are cut short. We forget about this thing we have called breath, and we ignore the strength we can draw from it. The hours fly by and the days tumble into each other. We are scrambling to keep up and to be the best mothers we can be. It's so easy to forget to take time for this beautiful thing called breath. But we must.

So sit down mama. Relax the muscles your jaw. Draw your shoulder blades just slightly closer on your back. Breathe in through your nose and feel the cool air travel in through your nostrils. Feel your lungs expand completely, your belly rising. Embrace that fullness.

Pause at the top of that inhale. Can you sip in just a bit more? Now pause again.

Now move into the exhale. Releasing the air back out through your nose. Feel your belly release, your lungs emptying fully as the last of the warm air leaves your nostrils. Embrace that emptiness.

Pause at the bottom of that exhale. Can you release just a bit more? Now pause again.

Repeat if you like. Notice the shifts.

Draw strength from this practice of PranaMama. Feel grounded and supported. Welcome in that clarity and peace. We can all use a bit more of this in our lives. Now venture back out into that world of motherhood, and know that these inhales and exhales are always here, right here, when you need them.

Mom and Baby Pranayama

What yoga teaches us about duality and the importance of AND.

It’s inevitable. Duality shows up our lives through our emotions, nature, circumstance, energy and thoughts. Bringing a child into this world is both challenging and incredible, exhausting and euphoric. Stepping into motherhood is no different. In fact, parenting might be the most intense reflection of the highest highs and lowest lows.

Yoga is not the practice for maintaining the high, but rather oscillating between the two with grace and compassion. Practicing yoga does not make you a better mother, but rather gives you the tools to trust yourself.  

You need not choose between anything. You are a living, breathing, human caring for another living breathing human. There is an AND.  AND gives us permission to experience the [emotion, circumstance, environment, condition]. In the same moment you might be grateful for this little being AND frustrated that they don’t sleep, blessed with the gift of life AND stressed from daily demands, totally in love with your baby AND mourning your former freedom. These feelings carry information, offering awareness and opportunities for acceptance.  Damage happens when we deny our experience. You are not alone.

Power thoughts for coping with duality:

  1. This [emotion, circumstance, environment, condition] is temporary.

  2. Like nature, I am always changing, growing and molting. I give myself permission to release old identities to create way for new ones.

  3. I honor my spectrum of emotions as an emblem of being alive.

  4. I am not alone

Share about a time when you experienced an ‘AND’ in your life.  

Seed & Song: Our story

Moms are in demand. Period. Your body is sore. Your mind is scattered. Oh and you are responsible for a new human. Welcome to motherhood. And welcome your new “band of mothers” to help you through it all. Seed & Song is about connecting you to your body, your baby & your breath through music and yoga.

Sharing stories link us together. Stories help reassure us that we are not alone. In fact, your supportive community is waiting. Here is the story of how Seed & Song came to be. Allow me to introduce the wise women behind it all.

Laura Rose Anderson

Laura was born to be a music therapist. She was also born to help others learn to love themselves. It wasn’t until 2012 that her career path expanded to include yoga, sound and meditation for inner healing & self discovery. Both disciplines, music & yoga, blend effortlessly together offering profound tools to cope with daily life. She simply had to share.

Laura Music Therapy

Laura and Vanessa Contopoulos met in the field through their work with children who have special needs. Vanessa is a remarkable healer, mother, founder and director of Amplify Music Therapy and co­founder of a non­profit called the SongStream Project. Pictured below is her sweet Seed & Song baby, Eloise.

Vanessa and Eloise Drum

Through their shared passion of performing original music, Vanessa & Laura formed a band called ‘Red Willow Waltz’ in 2013. Playing music together was a creative outlet they cherished.

Red Willow Waltz

Once Vanessa learned she was pregnant, Laura guided Vanessa through prenatal yoga sessions in preparation for birth day and eventually helped support during childbirth. Since then, It felt like a natural progression when they began writing lullabies and songs for children.

Laura created the first version of classes in January 2015 when Vanessa came to experience yoga & music for the first time. Their dreams of collaborating on this project turned into real conversations and brainstorming sessions. From those conversations it became apparent they needed a strategic savvy mind to help make these dreams a reality.

Enter Melissa Kushnaryov; A beautiful yogi, mom, and marketing extraordinaire. Pictured above is her sweet little boy named Toren, who is now a big brother to his sister, Miela. When Toren was little he would fall asleep in his mother’s arms every Thursday listening to Laura’s Kirtan band. Which also happened to be where Laura and Melissa first met as they bonded over the soothing qualities of music and the affect it had on her son. As soon as Melissa was getting ready to move to Santa Rosa, Vanessa and Laura presented her with Seed & Song.

Melissa_Toren_Yoga_SD

Since joining the Seed & Song family, Melissa has learned how to play Ukulele and trained in the Seed & Song Curriculum all during her second pregnancy and living in Santa Rosa, away from her community in San Diego. Wow.

As mothers, yoga teachers, and music therapists we are honored to pioneer this field of music enhanced mom & baby yoga classes to a growing community of mothers.

Click here to learn more, Share with a friend. Leave your yoga and/or music story in the comments below. We love hearing from you.

GroupUkelele.jpg

 

LINKS:
Read more about Laura's
 music meditation practice and community involvement here: http://www.sitarose.com/

Read more about Vanessa's peace studies and listen to her original music here: http://vanessa­contopulos.bandcamp.com/ 

Read more about Melissa's yoga journey and search for slow living here: http://www.insearchofslow.com/

 

 

Seed & Song: Elevating motherhood one breath at a time

If you are longing for something to exist, you should create it. Seed & Song is a dream project of three women. We are mothers, yoga teachers and music therapists.

A year and a half ago, right in the middle of mothering tiny people and watching so many women in our community making the transition into motherhood, we began to long for a place to catch our breaths, an authentic space to nurture our children and ourselves. Seed & Song was born out of this need.

We have drawn on our years of collective experience in using music to support development, song writing, teaching yoga, and finding our own breathe and voice through yoga and meditation to create Seed & Song.

We have created a unique yoga class for moms and babies accompanied by original music designed to cultivate development and engagement for the babies while supporting the yoga poses and flow for moms. We are delighted to be able to invite you to become part of this completely new program and community.

Watch this video to learn a bit more about who we are and what we do!