Posted by: coachingparents | December 17, 2007

Breath Walk for Pregnancy


Pregnant women all over the world walk throughout their pregnancies. Most of the time it’s to get from here to there but occasionally, a woman slows her pace and slows her mind and walks with her breath, which she shares with her baby.

A breath walk is a walking mediation, much like monks practice. It can be done anywhere but I suggest choosing a quiet place to minimize distraction. Do not carry anything in your hands – they need to swing freely. Wear a backpack on both shoulders if you need to carry water or a sweater. This walk will not make you sweat so dress appropriately.

To begin, stand with your feet about should-width apart. Let your weight spread evenly across your heel and ball of your foot. Relax your jaw and shoulders. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths, in a four-part rhythm:
1. Inhale slowly for a count of four
2. Hold your breath for a count of four
3. Slowly release your breath for a count of four
4. Pause again for a count of four
5. Repeat four times.

On the fifth inhale, step forward, pause, step forward with the other foot on the exhale and pause again. Do that four times.

If you like the slow pace, keep walking this way (though do open your eyes). If you feel impatient, increase the speed by breathing normally and walking in rhythm to your breath. Try both of these paces:
1. Take one step with each foot for each inhale and one step on each foot for each exhale.
2. Take four steps (two each foot) for each inhale.

Play with changing the length of your step. Let your arms hang and swing in reaction to your body movements. Moving mediations require a different way of being in your body. By practicing how to keep your upper body and jaw relaxed while you focus your awareness is on your breath and walk in rhythm, you are practicing for labor and taking care of an infant.

Most women can talk and move comfortably through their early contractions. Do a breath walk with your partner around the block. You could also use your breath to move to music (your own inner choir or a piece you’ve practiced dancing to already).

By learning how to stay present to your breath while doing something else, you are learning to mindfully multi-task, a skill that will serve you well as you learn to care for a newborns’ needs.

Enjoy the walk.

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About The Author …
Anna Stewart, B.A., C.M.T., C.H.T., mothers three young children, one with special needs. In her classes, workshops and services, she weaves her expertise as a professional writer, creative artist and student of rhythm dance. Her intention is to provide a safe environment for women to explore their personal experiences and feelings as mothers. Her skills as well as her passion to bear witness to others provides a solid base for compassionate understanding of the individual and the larger community.

Anna offers a number of classes in the Boulder, Colorado area. She can be reached at 303-499-7681 or via e-mail at anna@motherhands.com. Her website is http://www.motherhands.com.

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