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  • The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself In The New Year (Gym Membership Not Required)

    Meditation can help you slow down and ease your anxiety as a parent.
    by Balot Amechachura-Del Rosario .
The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself In The New Year (Gym Membership Not Required)
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  • I tried meditation when I was pregnant with my son, Santiago, in 2015. I had reproductive immunology disorder (a condition where my body rejects my babies in pregnancy), and the pregnancy was very stressful. I had to find ways to control my stress because I know that if I didn't, I would be activating my already hyperactive natural killer cells that were causing my pregnancy losses.

    Meditation enticed me because I could do it in the comfort of my bed. I had been put on strict bedrest because of the intermittent subchorionic hemorrhage during my pregnancy. I downloaded a free app, which has free meditation guides. It helped me calm my stressed nerves, especially during the times I was so anxious about my pregnancy.

    I have been meditating on and off since then, mostly engaging in the practice when I was pregnant. It was only this year that I intentionally set time to meditate after I attended my prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher training, and I could say that I have taken leaps in my self-development.

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    Benefits of meditation

    According to my meditation teacher, JC De Leon, the director of Medicale Yoga Institute and Konscious Spirit Yoga, there are many benefits of meditation. Some of these are:

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    • Pain management
    • Memory enhancement
    • Stress and anxiety control
    • Mental clarity
    • Emotional stability
    • Trauma release
    • Addiction recovery
    • Post-surgery coping

    More than the physical aspect, however, JC believes the biggest benefit is the awareness of our existence beyond just the physical. "When in meditation, you feel the connection of our humanity and divinity," he said.

    Asked how it can help mothers, JC, who was introduced to yoga by his mother at a young age, explains, "Mothers during pregnancy and childbirth do not only experience extreme pressure and trauma of the body but go through an emotional rollercoaster as well. Meditation aids the mother in de-stressing and coping with the pain and tension, as well as regulating body functions through proper breathing, which is essential in meditation. The practice grounds the mother emotionally, giving clarity to the situation and miracle that is giving and raising a life."

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    I personally believe meditation has helped me become a better person. I am more patient, and I have become a better mother. Not only does meditation help me to control my emotions better, but it also made me be more present and mindful and appreciative of the little things in life.

    "I absolutely feel that the practice of meditation is for everyone regardless of gender, race, religion, occupation, and so forth. It could be as simple as sitting still on a chair for one minute, or even less, just observing the breath, inhaling and exhaling mindfully to calm the nerves and slow down the pulse, or it could be as deep as meditating for an hour in silence contemplating on existence and love," JC expounded. 

    So how do moms (or even dads) begin their practice?

    JC replies, "All you have to do is start. You can just sit down by yourself and observe the breath for one minute, and then perhaps the next day, you can increase the duration of time. When you meditate, do not be attached to your thoughts, simply acknowledge the thoughts that come to mind, then release, and to not judge yourself when you're having a hard time.

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    "It is very normal for the mind to wander because we are human, alive, and active. All you need is to keep an open mind. Consistency leads to mastery."

    Even preschool-aged kids can benefit from meditation! Learn more here.

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