Postpartum Emotions: from a Yogi perspective
I can’t handle my emotions.
Postpartum depression has a few faces according to Ayurveda. The faces fall into three categories: sad, angry, and overwhelmed. Of course, all of these emotions are totally normal…. until they are not. The spectrum of how deep they are felt and for how long indicates the severity of the imbalance. But, you already knew that. If you sense you’re in the deep end, get help from a postpartum Ayurvedic doula or Ayurvedic Practitioner.
Postpartum Anger & Postpartum Psychosis
This once forbidden topic is all the rage. From women’s lib emerges language for describing phenomena that existed for eons. Mommy rage is all the rage. What is actually happening? As far as I can tell the chain of events is something like this:
- First Vata goes out of whack. The downward , grounding energy becomes uprooted.
- This causes the clarity of a woman’s subtle energy body is immediately backlogged, polluted and disrupted.
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The mom’s body is inflamed and acidic, due to:
- being in a continual stress response
- eating impure foods (another other than fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grasses, legumes, etc)
- eating a pitta aggravating diet
- using acidic substances (caffeine, alcohol, recreational and prescribed pharmaceuticals),
- etc (google acid/alkaline for resources)
From another perspective, mommy rage is an issue of polluted flow happening within faulty structure.
The Shadow of Mommy Rage
The shadow, or unconscious aspect named and made conscious, part of mommy rage has to do with our inheritance from our mothers. IF our mothers were sacrificers, chances are they taught us how to sacrifice the sacred clarity of our energy body for the sack of some need of another person. Glimpsed from an evolutionary perspective, this was a super good survival strategy in a patriarchal culture. If you’re no longer playing by those rules, the sacrifice of the clarity of your subtle body is simply outdated. This is why the rage response, in my experience, seems like something I should simply not fall into.
The Yoga Analysis of Post Partum Anger:
Yoga offers an abundance of language to describe what is happening. The most succinct is the malas. There are 3 major ways we contract against the divine flow of abundance.
- Anava mala is the contraction in the heart which renders lack;
- Mayiya mala is the contraction around the third eye which renders judgment;
- Karma mala is the contraction in the solar plexus which renders selfish actions. Mommy rage happens as the mom’s self care falls apart in service of other (kids, husband, work). Anava mala puts a squeeze on the heart, aggravating Vata’s flow and putting pressure upward. The upward pressure stimulates Mayiya mala into a full blown contraction skyrockets Pitta into pinpoint intensity and awareness of inequity. If we can recognize the contraction, we’re on the path back to cool clarity and intrinsic abundance.
The Path Back to Cool Abundant Clarity
- Take a moment and allow everything to be as it is. Make enough room for all of your needs and how you feel. Don’t indulge…. just make space in your awareness.
- Exercise breathing through nostrils for 20 minutes upon arising in the morning. Demand this time for yourself if possible. Cleanse the pranic channels asap.
- Give yourself an oil massage with rose essential oil added to an organic base oil (coconut is great). Take a warm, not hot water after.
- Identify and eliminate impurities in your diet/lifestyle. Easier said than done. Be aggressive with your ability to make better choices.