Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Prenatal Exercise for the Spiritual Mama

Just in case any of my blog readers are interested in how I am preparing for Baby #2, I am (of course) reading birthing books, staying active, and getting the hodgepodge of baby items ready. 

This time around I have been fortunate to find some great Prenatal Exercises resources.  Thought I would share them with you in case you (or someone you know) could benefit. 

1) The New Method: Baby & Mom Prenatal Yoga DVD (with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa) - a Kundalini yoga workout excellent for birth preparation. I especially enjoy the stretches for "making space" for baby, birthing squats, and endurance exercises. The instructor also talks about intuitively birthing the baby and encourages you to do many of the exercises with your eyes closed so that you can internalize the experience and draw upon this strength in labor. I notice a big difference in how I feel after this workout - I feel lighter, looser, and freer. 

2) You Having a Baby Workout DVD (with Tracy Hafen & Joel Harper) - has a workout for each of the trimesters plus a post-pregnancy workout, uses light weights for some exercises.  Okay, this one is pretty mainstream and you won't find any meditations or intuitive talk, but it's a good workout. :)

3) Yoga for Pregnancy book (by Francoise Barbira Freedman & Doriel Hall) - wonderful exercises to prepare the body for birth - I especially value the "Open Position" for prestretching the birth muscles, "Knee Circles" for stretching and toning the perineal muscles, and "Upside Down" to achieve awareness and control of various muscles. The book also has many useful labor breathing and birthing positions, as well as meditations.

I really feel that I am in training for the birth and these exercise materials are helping me.  Winter snow and ice can be difficult for a pregnant woman to navigate so most days my daily walk gets 'cancelled'.  Thank goodness I found these resources to keep me active and prepare me for the birth (physically and intuitively).

Hope you find this info helpful too!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chinese Medicine and the baby

One of the things I have always been fascinated with is Chinese Medicine's understanding of Energetic Anatomy as it pertains to growing a baby.

The sequence of embryologicial development was first presented by the Chinese Medical Qigong expert Dr Chao Yuan Fang during the Sui Dynasty, around 610 A.D. I am amazed by the accuracy by which Chinese Medicine experts delinated the various monthly changes in the fetus physically, as they strongly correlate with what 'modern science' tells us today.

In fact, when I look at the Chinese Medicine chapter on the prenatal months of Creation, I see a very strong resemblance to the well-known mainstream book that most pregnant woman read, "What to Expect when You are Expecting", with a whole lot more spiritual knowledge thrown in.  Chinese Medicine tells you from a spiritual-physical standpoint WHY and WHAT various fetal developments are happening.  The other book tells you WHAT but not why.

In the Chinese Medicine book, you will see words such as "Yuan Jing" (Original Essence), "Shen" (Spirit), "Yuan Qi" (Original Energy), and "Hun" (the body's Eternal Soul) interspersed witih what muscles, bones, and organs are forming in the fetus. And phrases such as "this purifying action transforms into Heat, causing the fetus' Yang Qi to arouse the Hun into life" are used to describe the energetic functioning.

It is important to remember that the human soul was not created at the time of birth. Being part of the Divine, all souls have existed since the beginning of time.  According to Chinese Medicine,
the human soul is enveloped by and composed of three bodies.  While in the mother's uterus, the human soul is initially enveloped in a spiritual body.  Then an energetic body is formed within the spiritual body.  Finally, the physical body is constructed within the energetic and spiritual bodies.  This allows the individual to live within the lower levels of creation.  All three bodies have substance, yet they exist at different levels of vibration.
Each month of gestation, a different energetic channel is opened in the mother allowing for energetic activity to occur within the developing fetus.  Basically, each month a new energy is generated for the baby and helping to merge the soul with the flesh.

There is a very in-depth explanation for each lunar month's tissue and energetic formation, as well as biorhythym influences on Prenatal Jing, Qi, and Shen formation.  For example, in month two, the mother's Gall Bladder channels are responsible for the development of the mesenteric membrane sac and the Gall Bladder channels also saturate the embryo, Uterus, and placenta with Jing, causing the embryonic Qi to become denser until it transforms into a thick liquid (amniotic fluid).

Chinese medicine also states that any faltering in energy during gestation may be linked with physical, mental, and/or emotional disturbances in the baby following birth.  Additionally, the prenatal energetic patterns of the body are determined at the time and place of conception by establishing the "inherent strength or weakness of the individual's spiritual constitution as well as his or her ancestral traits (food, preferences, manner of dress, preferences of art, spiritual beliefs, affinity for certain culture, and so on)."

Sometimes these concepts of prenatal energetic composition are so complex that I find myself having to read the chapters slowly and several times to understand.  For me, it was worth the read because I enjoy how every particle, atom, and cell of physical body has its energetic and spiritual counterpart. 

If you are interested in reading about the above topic too, there is a Chinese Medicine Qigong Therapy book series by Professor Jerry Alan Johnson.  The section on prenatal formation is in Volume One.  Be forewarned that this series is not cheap (I borrowed it from a friend) and each volume is quite thick but the whole series has wonderful in-depth information about soul development, spiritual understanding of the chakras and other energetic fields, and health.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Happy News!

If you've visited my website recently, you will no doubt have noticed my Happy News - my husband and I are expecting another baby this spring! 

Once the baby arrives (due in April), I will be on a couple months of maternity leave and will not be available until June (most likely late-June), just in time for the beginning of Lily Dale's summer season. 

To balance work and family, my summer schedule will be VERY limited.  Motherhood is very important to me (and they are babies for such a short time!) so I will be slowly easing back into seeing clients in order to give my family (and our newborn) the attention each member deserves.

My work as a Medium is also very important to me.  Those of you who have had readings with me know that I believe in creating 'sacred space' for the duration of the session where my focus is centered on the spirit(s) and information we are connecting with.

This means that I will only be available for readings a few days a week for only about an hour and a half on those days. As the summer progresses (and the baby gets a little older), I may take on more.

As I feel the baby move now at this moment, I feel so blessed to be "full of Life".  What a special connection we mothers are blessed to experience!  We are co-creators with the Universe with the Divine joy and responsibility to nurture our children, nurture ourselves, and affirm the cycle of Life.