Why this makes sense:
In yoga, Prana is described as a life giving force. Prana is breath. It’s energy. We are all made up of it.
It’s our mystical universal energy that flows like currents in and around our body. It’s a flow that is malleable and easily manipulated.
Much like acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, yoga's goal is to maximize and balance this flow to promote our overall health.
To quote Albert Einstein: "Everything is energy and that's all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy."
Because of this, we can control how we feel, based on how we control that energy.
You've probably heard the line before, “Where attention goes, energy flows.”
In summary: what our mind focuses on, our energy will focus on.
I found this especially true when it came to contractions and how I felt in labor.
The mindset technique:
Fear-based thoughts send a stress response signal to your nervous system.
Your body thinks you are in a survival situation so it tenses up to heighten and sharpen your adrenaline-based abilities. Our breath shortens, we become hyper alert, and all of our muscles become tense and tighter.
During labor, this extra tension can make the natural tightening of contractions more painful and even slow down labor.
Maybe you have already personally experienced the way your contractions slow down on the drive to the hospital because your body is scared to give birth in a car (I know I have).
The good news? We can train our bodies to do the opposite, by thinking the opposite way.
Good, positive, confidence-based thoughts can send a relaxation response signal to your nervous system.
Your body can then recognize there is no survival threat, and our muscles can relax to lessen the pain of labor and let the contractions progress naturally.
So how can you practice this?
Anytime a negative fear-based thought comes into your head:
take a deep breath in, and exhale and release it. Deep breathing sends a signal to your nervous system to immediately relax.
Take comfort in knowing a full thought only lasts 90 seconds. So nothing is permanent.
Choose again. Choose a happier better positive confidence-based thought.
Do this over and over and the repetition can retrain your body and mind completely.
Breathe to ease your nervous system, then choose a better thought.
If you need inspiration for those “better thoughts” many people have found birthing affirmations helpful. Things like “my body was created to do this.” You can do a quick online search and find the ones that resonate with you and practice this exercise on your own. It can also be as simple as a happy thought like "I am so excited to meet my baby."
Your body and your intuition knows how to give birth. It will also most likely be the happiest best day of your life, not the scariest.
Remember how distracting outside noise, friend’s stories, and the medical industry can be for planting the seeds for those fear based thoughts.
Don't give those thoughts water to grow.
Let them go, return to yourself, your prana- your life force, and you will see just how powerful you really are.