Being a mother is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have…however no one said it was easy!
With all that your body goes through during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and caring for your little ones as they grow up – it’s not surprising that many women find themselves feeling disconnected.
Touched out and no longer your own, sometimes all you want is a few moments to yourself!
Luckily there are many ways to reconnect with your body as a woman and a mother. This is not about ‘getting your pre-baby body back’; it’s so much deeper than just physical appearance. This is about reconnecting at a soul level and loving your body for everything that she has endured.
She is strong.
She is powerful.
She is primal.
She has created life and birthed it into the world.
She is incredible!
Now it’s time that you embrace her for all that she is.
Now is the time to fully embody everything that you are supposed to be – a mother, a woman and a whole human being (not just a baby-making machine that sometimes feels like!).
So let’s take a look at 5 different practices you can embody to allow your mind, body and spirit to reconnect and exist as the interwoven system that the universe intended.
Practice #1: Get your energy flowing
Life energy (or energetic field) is something you’ll hear about in yoga, Chinese medicine, the quantum field and beyond. This concept used to be considered a little woo-woo but is slowly becoming more accepted within the mainstream.
Many yogis and healers believe that our energy field is the real source of our emotions, thoughts and sensations. So when we fall out of alignment with this energetic flow (which happens after giving birth) it can lead to feeling disconnected from our body or stuck in patterns that don’t serve us.
Take some time to get your energy moving! Yoga is a great way of doing this.
You can also try alternative therapies such as acupuncture or reiki. These are both based on getting the energy flowing in our bodies and clearing blockages that may exist within us.
One of the simplest (and my other favourite) ways to reconnect and get your energy flowing again is through dance… and I’m not talking about formal, structured dance here… I mean, ecstatic dance! Dance where you lose yourself in the music, where you can fully feel into your body, and where tap into your true power.
Dancing is such a powerful practice that allows you to get out of your head and back into your body. So find some privacy where you can dance as wildly or sensually as you like!
Put on your favourite song or playlist and begin by closing down your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and feel into your body.
Try to imagine that if this music could take form… how would it move?
What shapes would it make as it occupies this space? Then allow your body to express the music as if you are translating it into a form of language.
Dance as though no one is watching!
Touch your skin, stroke your hair, stand up, roll on the ground. Go with your flow.
You’ll be amazed at how liberating this feels!
By the end of your practice, you’ll feel alive and your body pulsating.
Practice #2: Do a body scan
Body scanning is a well-known meditation exercise that you can either do with the assistance of a guided recording or on your own by following a simple flow. There are many variations available but the essence of the practice is to gradually focus your awareness in each individual part of your body as a way of practicing mindfulness and connecting with the physical body simultaneously.
The practice of doing a body scan can be extremely beneficial in helping to connect with and befriending your physical self again post-birth. As a bonus, it can also help reduce anxiety or depression symptoms as it brings us back into the present moment and out of rumination mode.
Here’s how to do a body scan…
Either sitting comfortably on a pillow or lying down, close your eyes.
Take a few deep breaths in and allow yourself to relax. Start by focusing on your breath and bringing all of your attention into the present moment.
Starting with the feet, take a few moments to focus on this area of the body. Notice any tension or warmth or coolness that exists here.
Allow your mind to be drawn to this area of the body and simply notice whatever it is that you find in this area. Any tension or warmth or coolness etc…
Then systematically move onto the next part of the body – calf, thigh, hip, belly, chest, upper arm, etc… and continue scanning up until you reach the top of your head.
Give yourself permission to simply feel whatever is there without judgement.
When you finish, take a few minutes to sit with what you discovered during your scan.
What emotions or thoughts came up for you?
What sensations did you feel in your body?
Journal about it if you feel called to do so.
Practice #3: Self-massage
Massage is one of the best forms of self-care. It reduces tension and stress within the body, as well as activating your lymphatic system to release toxin build-up, energising your body and hormone regulation. Whilst you can visit a massage therapist for all these benefits, I love the idea of self-massage and creating your own ritual instead.
Self-massage is a wonderful way to reconnect with your body and can be done pretty much anywhere, anytime. Your hands are so powerful, and it’s only when you start to touch and massage yourself, that you understand their true power.
Here is a beautiful ritual for you to try…
Create a sacred space where you won’t be interrupted. Lay down a towel, light candles, place crystals around – whatever you feel called to do in order to create a beautiful environment that becomes your altar to YOU.
Set an intention or say an affirmation before you begin – something like “My body is powerful and is deserving of love. I am pouring into me and nourishing me as the goddess that I am”.
Undress fully (or down to your underwear if you prefer) and sit down on the towel. Anoint your body with a sensual massage oil (or luscious moisturiser if this is what you have on hand).
Begin with rubbing the tips of your toes and affirming “I love my toes”. Then move onto your feet, then up to your ankles, and so on. Slowly moving up your body, affirming your love for each and every part of your body.
Take the time to really give love and appreciation to every inch of your body as she is so worthy of this. Don’t try to look for flaws or get caught up in negative self-talk – this is a time of full appreciation only!
After completing the ritual, allow yourself to sit quietly for a moment to integrate the experience and take it all in.
Practice #4: Eat a nourishing meal
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But this goes deeper than the food you eat (yes, this is part of it), but also take a look at your surroundings.
Where are you eating?
Is there clutter everywhere or can you see space and beauty around you? If possible sit outside in nature to enjoy your meal – if not then try lighting candles or incense whilst cooking or setting the table beautiful.
Look at the food you are about to eat – choose food that is nourishing and full of goodness. Take the time (and yes I know how busy motherhood is!), to create a nutritious meal full of wholefoods with the correct balance of proteins, carbohydrates and good fats.
Take time with each bite and really taste the flavours that exist in your meal. Notice how they feel on your tongue and as it travels down into your belly. Give thanks for the food and all that it is doing to nourish your body.
When you’re finished, take a few minutes to journal about your experience. What thoughts or emotions came up for you? What sensations did you feel in your body? Was the meal satisfying and grounding? How do you think it could’ve been better?
Practice #5: Invoke your creative side
Creativity is one of the most healing things we can connect with and it’s often neglected when we become a mother. It’s seen as an “extra” or non-essential item (like so much of self-care!).
We see the importance of creative expression for our children and how this builds the neurological pathways in their growing minds…so why do we neglect this as adults?
So I grant you permission to embrace some sensory play!
Painting, art, craft, colouring, pottery, knitting, whatever is your jam. Use your hands to release your creative side.
Feel the tactile material beneath your fingertips and allow your inner artist to come out.
Don’t worry about the outcome – it doesn’t need to be hung in the local gallery – it is all about the process.
And trust me, you will feel much lighter at the end of it!
Becoming a mother can leave you feeling disconnected and as though you exist outside your own body, but it doesn’t have to be that way!
These 5 different practices are beautiful and simple ways we can come back into alignment, feel whole again and therefore can show up better as mothers too.
Because when you become grounded in who you are, your essence can shine through in all its potency!