Lis White, Co-Founder at Mukti Mats, sharing her personal experience of yoga and community supporting her through her pregnancy.
With a steady Yoga practice over the past few years I feel confident in my body entering my first pregnancy. I am able to trust in my body that it is doing was it is designed to do, to nourish and support the baby that Dave and I have created.
I embrace the changes in my body and energy levels and modify my practice. I farewell inversions and arm balances and welcome Goddess poses and mantra. Waving goodbye to my daily coffee is not so easy. What I didn’t expect when expecting, is the growth in my practice off my yoga mat, supported by a wonderful community.
I'm sharing this piece with you to possibly inspire some additional supports through pregnancy and transition to motherhood. Please pass this on to anyone who you think may enjoy the read, I would love to hear your comments from your own experiences too.
A Mother's Blessing
I was inspired to have a blessing for our little family after attending a nurturing day retreat for pregnant Mummas. Evolving from a traditional Navaho ceremony, a mothers' blessing is a sacred gathering to celebrate the creation of life. The spiritual intention behind the gathering is to honour the mother and give blessings to the family and the unborn baby. I chose to do this in lieu of a Baby Shower.
With guidance from a dear friend and my prenatal Yoga teacher, we created a blessing that included Mantra, stringing of beads, the sharing of wisdom and reminders of the teachings of Yoga. It was a ceremony of empowerment and connection, supporting each woman in our many different roles as lovers, daughters, grandchildren, aunties, sisters, nieces, carers and mothers.
With only a few days before labour I feel held by the strength and support from the women who attended, knowing that I can call upon this strength during the birth.
Mantra and Devotional Music
Including mantra in a regular practice either in the form of Japa meditation or to be added to a playlist for Yoga and during labour. Here are my two favourites.
Sa Ta Na Ma
For Balance and Transformation
This mantra describes the continuous cycle of life and creation. It can be used during times of transition throughout the stages of labour, and in motherhood by strengthening our intuition. A nice version of this on iTunes is by Purusha from the album Sounds of the Universe.
Poota Maata Kee Aasees
The Mother’s Blessing
This mantra is a shabad (a sacred, devotional song) that is a mother’s prayer for her child. It can be repeated for a child’s protection and blessing. Poota Maata Kee Aasees embodies the purest prayer that a mother can wish for her child. Subconsciously, it helps the woman and the child understand the purpose of their relationship to one another. This prayer from the mother to her child talks about the beauty of a life spent devoted to meditation on the Divine. It talks of deep peace, love and happiness. A nice version of this on iTunes is by Snatam Kaur from the album Divine Birth.
Picture: Thank you to Ray Of Light Yoga in Bulli, NSW for allowing us to capture this beautiful moment.
“When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point.” - Alan Watts
Last week was a week of change for Mukti Mats, as I finished teaching my last class to embrace “nesting” in time for the arrival of our little baby. As my classes were winding up I had a few requests for some of my playlists as many students have decided to begin a home practice whilst I am on maternity leave.
Music has always been a huge part of my classes and self practice, I love spending hours putting together playlists to inspire grounding, focus, movement and breath.
We will be posting a new playlist every few months on our blog and would love to hear your thoughts, maybe even some suggestions of your favourite songs to share with the Mukti community.
This playlist was created for a 75 minute Vinyasa Flow class, allowing a few minutes of silence to start and complete the practice. All of the songs listed can be purchased through iTunes.
Giving your mat a little love can be a beautiful ritual that allows you to be a little creative and add a personal touch to your practice. We are frequently contacted by yogis asking for recommendations on the best way to take care of their Mukti Mat. Our rule is to keep it simple, fun, and maintain a toxic free environment for your breath and asana.
Here’s our fav combo for keeping your mat smelling delicious, looking sparkly and feeling good.
To a spray bottle mix the following:
3 parts water
1 part witch hazel or white vinegar
10 drops of your preferred essential oils that contain antibacterial properties such as tea tree, lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus. Start with just a few drops of oil as a little goes a long way and too much can make the mat a little slippery.
Spray your mat down, allow the solution to permeate for a minute or two and then wipe down with a clean damp cloth. This process can be a lovely mindful practice, as you become aware of the aroma, texture and movement in cleaning down the mat. It’s important that your mat is completely dry before you roll it up and store it away and best to avoid direct sunlight as this can soften the natural rubber in the mat.
We’d love to hear about your favourite combinations of oils and any other lovely touches to share with our readers.
We know people who will love your old Yoga Mat….
We are excited to have our Recycle Your Yoga Mat program up and running!
Many Yoga mats are made from PVC or TPE are not biodegradable so they end up as landfill once you discard your mat. We have a solution to ease the guilt of purchasing a new sustainable mat and to solve your “what to do with my old mat?” dilemma.
Recently, Mukti Mats have linked in with some amazing local Yoga based charities who offer classes to support people through challenging times in their lives.
These wonderful charities support our community across the following areas, mental health awareness, homelessness, women in crisis, disability, youth programs and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Please send your old mat to the following address and we will arrange delivery of your mat to a charity that will love your mat all over again.
PO BOX 309
Fairy Meadow 2519
Postage from metropolitan areas in Australia can be as low as $8.55 with Australia Post.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have a community non-for profit program that would like to receive mats.