We have a lot of moms on staff at Poosh, and if you’ve tuned into The Kardashians, you know Kourt is always prioritizing time with her family. But after all that, it begs the question, what about time with ourselves? In honor of Mother’s Day, we reached out to yogi, sound bath orchestrator, and meditation guru, Renee Canzoneri, to help us relax.
Canzoneri knows a thing or two about being super stressed, despite her beautifully serene, super-chill appearance. “Once I became a mother, those previously loved, pre-motherhood moments of self-care seemed to easily turn into moments of self-sacrifice; my responsibilities grew, and I would often feel guilty for taking time from them. What I have realized is that self-care is actually a form of caregiving, and while it’s not always easy to find large blocks of time, I have found my meditation practice a helpful and accessible way to recharge.
Scientific research has shown the health benefits of meditation on well-being. Especially in the intensity of motherhood, the residual sense of calm and clarity elicited by a regular meditation practice can be restorative. One of the things I love most about meditation is the ease with which it can be added into my day. I often meditate first thing in the morning, and sometimes I have longer blocks of time when my baby is napping (unless I am also napping, which is always tempting!). Sometimes if we’ve arrived home and he’s fallen asleep in the car seat, I can use those few minutes before heading inside to sit and be still. Sure, long meditations are helpful, but the bite-sized moments of stillness add up and make a difference.”
Remember that. It may seem like if we don’t have large chunks of time, how can we possibly hone a skill like meditation, or reap the benefits from short practices? However, every drop in the bucket makes a massive shift.
“If you’re new to meditation, just think of it as a way to purposefully place and sustain your attention on something,” Canzoneri says. “A simple and common technique you can do is to focus on your breath.
1. Find a comfortable seated position (and of course, you can lie down if you prefer, just try to stay alert).
2. Set a timer on your phone with a gentle alert tone. Know that even starting with a few minutes can be a great way to begin a meditation practice.
3. Either close your eyes or let your gaze land softly toward the ground in front of you.
4. Place your attention on the movement of your breath. Every time you inhale, internally repeat the words ‘I am inhaling,’ and every time you exhale, ‘I am exhaling.’ As you move throughout the practice, perhaps the sentences shorten to simply ‘inhaling’ and ‘exhaling.’
5. Whenever the mind wanders (which is OK and perfectly normal), gently guide your attention back to the movement of your breath.
6. When you hear your timer sound, take a deep breath in and out, and then gently open your eyes.
Something I love about this particular meditation (and most meditations) is that there’s nothing we need to know and no expectations that we need to meet. As mothers, life can feel hectic with never-ending responsibilities, obligations, and expectations laid upon us. Meditation gives us a much-needed moment to exist in the peacefulness of simply being.
And if, like me, you may find it difficult to sit and ‘be still’ for even a short time, remind yourself that the small moments of turning inwards—these moments of stillness—will make the constant moving we need to do feel lighter and more productive. We prioritize taking care of our children above all else, but perhaps giving back a little something to ourselves, even if it’s just this brief daily ritual, is a small reward for being a superhero.”
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