My very good friend and fellow prenatal yoga teacher Amy Beth, introduced me to a simply beautiful happiness meditation when I was in her prenatal yoga class. After all the prenatal mamma’s sat down and got settled, she instructed us to ‘think a happy thought’ for five minutes. She advised us that if more than one happy thought came to mind, that was ok. I have to admit, my mind strayed a bit but I tried very hard to keep coming back to my happy thought. (I envisioned my nieces laughing which instantly brings me joy and makes my heart smile!)
After the meditation we opened our eyes, and Amy gave us some scientific background on why this meditation is not only great for Mamma’s-to-be, but also great for baby!
In Dawson Church’s book, “Communicating with the Spirit of your Unborn Child”, he outlines a landmark study on the effects of spending five minutes a day concentrating on a powerful positive memory. In the study, they measured the body’s output of immunoglobulin-A, a factor associated with immune system functioning. People whose immune systems are functioning at peak levels have more Immunoglobulin-A in their bloodstreams than those whose immune systems are suppressed.”
The results of the study were amazing! The happy thinkers had a big spike in levels of Immunoglobulin-A after their five minute meditation. (The control group’s Immunoglobulin-A stayed flat and did not change). Also amongst the happy thinkers, the levels of Immunoglobulin-A stayed elevated for up to eight hours! “Just five minutes a day of positive contemplation produced an entire workday’s worth of boosted immune system function!”
What does this mean for Mamma’s-to-be? Well, a good healthy dose of feel good endorphins for mom and baby to start! Church says, “ When the mother is happy, the biochemistry of bliss is flowing through her veins, and into her baby’s developing body. The fetus develops in a biochemical stew determined largely by the mother’s emotional and mental state. The fetal cells are literally bathing in this mix as they grow. And the combination of hormones brewed by the mother becomes the imprint of what feels ‘normal’ to each cell of the fetus”.
Spending just five minutes a day on a happy thought or two can actually create a ‘happy and healthy’ baseline for what feels ‘normal’ to your baby. And post partum, a simple happiness meditation can boost your immunity and release feel good endorphins at a time when sleepless nights can wear on your immune system.
This is also a great practice for new and seasoned meditators who are not pregnant. It is short and does not require any specific technique – just a happy thought! Try it, and see how you feel afterwards!
- Find a quiet space free of distraction
- Sit comfortably on a pillow or bolster
- Set a timer for five minutes
- Inhale to lengthen your spine and root your pelvis towards the earth
- Exhale to release your shoulders down and back, and soften your face
- Continue to breathe in and out a few more times, until you feel your mind and body relax
- Think a happy thought
- If your mind wanders, gently guide it back to your happy thought
- When the time is up open your eyes and pause for a moment to feel the effects of the meditation
Krista Bromfield is a senior teacher at Balancd Life Yoga, a RYT, Can-Fit-Pro PRO Trainer, Mom and Auntie. She has an Honors Degree in Kinesiology and Education, and is the lead Anatomy Instructor for the Balanced Life Yoga Teacher Training Programs. Krista teaches a variety of classes including Power Yoga, Partner Yoga, Kids Yoga, Yog-ahhh, Prenatal Yoga, Stroller Fitness and Mom and Baby Yoga Bootcamp.