It’s impossible to nurture and bring joy to our children when we, ourselves, are depleted. Yet feeling strong, vibrant and alive, even in the face of the energy and time demands of parenting, is possible! Rather than attempting to find energy outside of yourself in the form of sugary foods, caffeine, or over working, seek Prana!
A Sanskrit word often used in yoga, prana translates to life force or vital principle. We maintain and build prana through the quality of our days and through the food that we eat. From a yogic perspective, prana is key to both creating a healthy body and to nurturing our minds and spirits.
3 Ways to Prana
Breathe Consciously. First, in yoga we do pranayama or breathing exercises. These exercises expand or build prana through conscious breath in conjunction with rhythmic movement. We direct our breath in specific ways in conjunction with a specific count or rhythm. It is also through our breath that we can change or manage our energy and emotions.
TRY THIS: Begin by letting your breath relax to its normal pace and depth. Once you feel ready, place one hand on your lower abdomen and one on your upper chest. Begin to inhale through the nose conscious filling the abdomen, then expanding the chest and finally lifting the upper clavicle. When you are ready to exhale, the upper chest area/clavicle area deflates, then the chest area and finally the lower abdomen is drawn in as it too deflates. The breath moves through each segment of the body with a smooth motion. Take your time as you complete both your inhale and your exhale. Practice a few rounds and begin to notice how you feel.
Slow Down. In addition to taking time to breathe, we can also build prana by taking time to simply slow down, experience a moment of gratitude and notice the magic of our everyday experience. Spending quiet time in nature also builds and maintains prana. Even just a little bit of time each day breathing fresh air, feeling the support of the earth and connecting to our sensory experiences can help build and restore our energy.
TRY THIS: When riding in the car and stopping at stop lights, make a little time to pause. Teach your child that what we do at stop lights is take deep breaths and show them how to breathe from the abdomen during these pauses.
Do What You Love. Taking time to do what you love also builds prone. Each of us has had the experience of timelessness when doing what we love. This might be spending time in nature, making art, or spending time with friends. Time stands still, your energy is sustained, and you feel deeply nurtured.
TRY THIS: Take time this month to do what brings you joy. Find a class or activity that supports prana, such as Intuition Wellness Center’s Nurtured Mothering.
At Intuition Wellness Center we specialize in integrated behavioral health services and wellness programs for children, young adults and families and supporting other like-minded professionals in doing good work. We offer parent education seminars, wellness classes and other supportive services. If you think you would like some extra support, call us. Call 520-333-3320 for a free phone consultation.
Written By: Navneet Lahti, LCSW; Wellness Director, Child & Family Clinician