One night as I sat rocking by the soft glow of a crystal salt lamp, it struck me. I felt like I was in a Savasana at yoga.
A baby luxuriously nestled in my arm, sucking at an imaginary milk bottle in the air while I gently breathed, trying not to wake her.
Meditation is hugely beneficial to our bodies, minds and spirits and I had never intentionally tried it. I did not have time in those early days to attend a workshop, so I looked up some breathing exercises online which would complement my attempts to settle my mind.
Each night when I sat down to feed my little one for the night, I followed a breathing exercise. I’d breathe in for 5, hold it for 4, and let go for 5. Focusing on the breathe and counting allowed me to still the thoughts bouncing off my brain like a pinball game.
After a few days it became a habit. I realized that it had a profound effect not only on myself but the little one as well. She fell asleep so quickly, soothed by the whooshing of breath (I began to use this to settle her when she was crying.) I have no doubt she also picked up on the relaxed energy.
I cannot even begin to calculate much time I have spent in the rocking chair in my baby’s room. By combining a breathing relaxation and meditation exercise with this quiet, intimate time (after all, I am all about efficiency!) I had a daily meditation practice that left my baby settled, and myself relaxed and ready for bed. I didn’t have to “remember” to do it; it just became part of the evening routine.
I encourage you to google breathing exercises as a first starting point for meditation and relaxation. Next time you are rocking your baby, try one out. How did it feel? Did it settle your little one?