Many yogi’s believe there are seven energy centers, or chakras, located throughout the subtle body.
These energy centers are particularly interesting during pregnancy, as we prepare the mind and body for the journey of birth and motherhood.
Each chakra corresponds to a different area in the physical body, as well as distinct emotions pertaining to birth.
Balancing the chakras can ease stress and fears surrounding birth, and help the mama-to-be to feel empowered and ready to meet her baby.
No matter what kind of birth you may be planning, it can be helpful to mindful of the fears and emotions that my be lingering in your physical or subtle body. This is best done by first taking an inventory of your own fears and energy blocks, and then working to release them through a simple chakra meditation.
The Root Chakra (red): Relates to your foundation, being grounded, and basic survival issues. It is the home of primal energy in your body. It makes sense that this chakra would have a strong connection with childbirth, since the process of birth is so instinctual and primal.
If the root chakra is in balance, you feel safe in your birth choices. You trust your providers and your body, and you are confident about the birth process.
If this is out of balance, you may just worry for the wellbeing of your baby, and have fears around the overall safety of the birth process. You may have thoughts like, “I don’t care how I give birth, as long as my baby is healthy,” rather than thinking about what would actually make you feel blissful and empowered, or take you into the spiritual realm of birth. You might take everything your doctor or midwife says as absolute truth, fearing to question what your other options might be.
Sacral Chakra (orange): Relates to the ability to have new experiences, and to feel pleasure and sexuality.
If this is in balance, you are embracing the sensuality of birth. You are enjoying the growth of your body, and seeing this new body as attractive. If it is out of balance, you may have some discomfort in how your body looks, what your role is sexually as you transition to the role of mother. You may have difficulty with the idea that birth is actually a sexual process.
The Solar Plexus Chakra (yellow): Relates to your ability to feel confident, in control of your life, and self assured.
If this is in balance, you feel you will be able to follow through, whether with the details of your birth plan, or what you hope to do in terms of mothering your new baby. You know that you will be able to have the birth that you desire.
If this is out of balance, you are not feeling confident in yourself or your choices. For example, you may be wishing for a natural birth, but doubting your endurance for a labor and pain.
The Heart Chakra (green): Relates to love, joy and ability to love and be loved.
If this is in balance, you easily give love to yourself and to those around you. You feel that you are being loved and supported by your partner and everyone on your birth team unconditionally. You feel ready to open up and love your baby. If out of balance, maybe you are not loving yourself fully, or you concerned about bonding with your baby.
The Throat Chakra (blue): Relates to the ability to communicate,and have your voice be heard. This chakra, like the root chakra, also comes up often during pregnancy and birth.
If throat chakra is in balance, you have lots of great communication with your provider, and you feel understood. You know you can ask for what you need and want, no matter what your wishes are. Out of balance, you may feel you are not being heard, or your feelings or fears are being brushed aside. You may worry that in birth, people may not respect your desires or follow your birth plan.
The Third Eye Chakra (indigo): Relates to intuition, your inner wisdom and your ability to think and make decisions for yourself and your baby.
If you are feeling like you can trust yourself to make the best pregnancy and birth choices for your baby, most likely your third eye is in balance. If you feel that you can’t trust yourself, or you question many of your choices on a regular basis, you may be out of balance in your third eye chakra.
The Crown Chakra (purple): Relates to connection to spiritual ideas, and connection to bliss.
If your pregnancy has opened up a new connection to the divine mother, or brought about a new sense of spirituality, most likely you are in balance. If you are feeling disconnected from your source of bliss, your meditation practice, or spirituality, your crown chakra could use some attention.
Most of us have varying degrees of balance in our chakras, and the energy is always shifting. Take note of your fears, seeing which you feel most intensely. Notice where they could be coming from: perhaps media, family or well meaning friends could be contributing.
Then work to release them through this simple chakra meditation below:
Close your eyes and notice, where do you feel the fear in your body?
What chakra does this this correlate to?
Breathing into this space, inhale light in the color that corresponds with this chakra.
Exhale and release your fear, and imagine it being absorbed and taken away by that light.
This simple meditation can be included at the end of your prenatal yoga practice, before you go to bed at night, or even on your daily commute. With mindfulness and breath, you can work to release energy blocks in your body, and prepare for your most blissful birth experience.
While much of the birth process is out of our control, making sure that our own energy is balance is a great start to planning the birth we desire.
Author: Logan Kinney
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Anna Maria Liljestrand/Flickr