Self-Development: Month 1
Digestion in Pregnancy
We all know that any major changes within our lives can potentially wreak havoc with a regular and good-working digestive system. Stress, travelling, imbalanced diet, eating late and lack of exercise are but a few of these.
Digestion is thought to be the precursor to all dis-ease within the body/mind complex, at least in Ayurveda. As the baby starts to grow, digestion can alter significantly from what is “normal” to each woman, depending upon her constitution.
This causes problems in the physical body in terms of sluggishness and indigestion, but will also, have an effect upon how we think and relate to others.
If we feel “stuffed and toxic”, how can we expect to communicate and function in the world with a higher vibration and live our “birthright” as wise women?
Your average prenatal student may not have an interest in the more “esoteric teachings” or deep philosophic teachings of yoga and the significance of good digestion in terms of food, thoughts and ideas, but the sciences of yoga and Ayurveda are intimately linked in a practical experiential level within our body. We either feel balanced and have a great digestion/elimination process or we don’t. Yoga and Ayurveda represent the sciences of balanced living and longevity in order to gain wisdom and enlightenment. Any student will most certainly appreciate what you can offer that can help her to alleviate symptoms of constipation and sluggishness and over emotionality on a practical level.
In Ayurveda, the practitioner is more interested in what comes out of the body as waste, rather than what goes in the mouth. Thus, they tend to spend rather a lot of time looking into the toilet bowl. The new mother will have many opportunities to develop this outgoing analysis with each diaper change! But, she should concern herself with her own bowel movements as well!
The result of proper digestion is ojas. This is the subtle energy that protects the body and mind from disease! Proper digestion means digestion as per each person’s constitution.
How food is consumed and combined another important factor. As huge changes are taking place physically and emotionally throughout the pregnancy, it should come as no shock that digestive problems are quite common. It is the result of poor absorption, digestion and/or elimination, and comes down to managing an appropriate lifestyle for the different stages in life.
With regard to stool passing observation, we can consider the following;
Is there constipation?
Is there gas and hard stools?
Are the stools loose and smelly?
Is digestion sluggish?
If we understand this, then we can begin to add the opposing qualities into our diet to balance the problem somewhat. This in turn makes anyone “feel” much better and balanced in themselves.
Improve your dental hygiene and digestion
If you do not have a tongue scraping practice as yet, begin one and obtain a tongue scrapper or use a silver spoon. Scraping the tongue opens up the moon center at the base of the scull. This is important as it is the main entry point of prana.
The toxins that build up on the surface of the tongue are seen as a white or colored coating that impairs proper digestion of food. Therefore everyone, and not just pregnant women, should scrape the tongue of any buildup. Many devices are available in drug stores but a silver spoon can also be used which is the more traditional implement. The silver spoon supports the lovely metaphor of being round like a woman and silver is symbolic of the color of the moon which is feminine and watery.
Notice if it has effects your digestive process or not (there are no right answers here) Just observe if it improves or not. It may also help prevent bad breath and help with overall mouth hygiene which is vital during pregnancy.
For this month’s personal reflection assignments:
Start to observe and understand how frequently you have a bowel movement and of what characteristics it has.
Keep a log and evaluate the observations at the end of the month.
Is there consistency or a pattern you can detect?
Do certain foods change how you digest and eliminate food? (Smell and form, color etc.)
Self study sections each month