What do you do when your training for a distance running race and you’ve just completed three years of a PhD bilogy program when a car barrels through an intersection and interrupts your 5-year plan? You pick your life up a head out on a new journey! Kia is a green lifestyle yogini and founder of www.bodhibear.net. She believes in personal responsibility and maximizing your joy. This Hot Mom Sqaud-er is not new to green or healthy living. She works directly with online communities as well as real-life friends to help create and promote simple ways to improve or appreciate life with wellness and mindful living. Below, Kia talks about yoga as the cornerstone for helping her become a successful, conscious and present pre and post natal mother and woman. By Kia Ruiz Embarking on the journey of motherhood is a delicate time, but a fantastic one to embrace yoga. A lot of change and surrender goes on during the gestational period inside a prenatal body. Breathing, or pranayama, is one of the best ways to cultivate the path to a balanced, truthful, yogic heart. Breathing and self-awareness through yoga allows women to mindfully make the transition into motherhood. The mind-breath connection is a way to ease our frantic minds when they are scrambling, preparing to become first time mothers. Breath is the essential union between the philosophical and empirical sides of yoga. Unfortunately, breath and the art of breathing are not always obvious or continually stressed during non-prenatal yoga practices/classes. However, as a result of strong yogic background, the pregnant woman is already capable of slowing down to listen to her body’s demands through biological necessity. Yoga helps women turn into mother’s by accepting and following the mantra “I nourish myself to nourish others.” See below for a three-step breathing ritual that will help pre-natal women get in touch with their inner yogi. Mothers give a lot of themselves. It is the strong women tapped into her balanced yogic nature that is the most effective at giving and providing for her children from a consistent, truthful heart. 3-Step Yogic Breath Pre-Natal Practice Sit in an easy, cross-legged pose and dive into your breath. See if it is shallow in your chest or expansive in the body. Rest palms on belly with finger tips touching near belly-button. On the inhale breathe into belly letting fingers pull apart as belly becomes round like a beach ball then finger tips return to touch on exhale. When ready, raise hands to lower ribs and feel them lift and rise out on inhales and return on exhales. Then place finger tips reaching up to touch collarbone. Feel them lift gently as you inhale. Then add all these movements together with hands resting on knees. Imagine a container like a glass being filled a little (belly breath) then stacked with more filling (lung/rib breath) and finally to the top (collarbone/upper thoracic breath). All of that is ONE inhale. Slowly empty the container as you exhale and release the collarbone, ribs, and then belly. Once you have this rhythm then try to balance the length of inhales and exhales – then lengthen the balanced breath. This is an easy breath that we find ourselves in after savasana (corpse pose) but it is something we can always work towards in our more active poses. It is also a breath to find when we want that extra touch of mindfulness in our day.