22 June 2022No Comments

Warum hart, wenn’s auch sanft geht – Das Dampfbad für die Vulva

Im Schwangerschaftsyoga kommt oft diese Frage zur mechanischen Geburtsvorbereitung: Dammmassage oder Epino? Beide Optionen sollen den Weg für eine Vaginalgeburt vorebnen. Ich empfinde vor allem Epino als zu invasiv und zu intensiv. Überhaupt will frau ab Schwangerschaftswoche 36 ja einfach ihre Ruhe haben.

Gleichzeitig haben wir aber alle das Mindset mitbekommen, dass härter und qualvoll auch effektiver und schneller bedeutet. Wir suchen geradezu die Grenzerfahrung.

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17 November 2021No Comments

Postpartum: pain is our friend

One of the most conspicuous changes after the birth of a child, especially if it's your first, is that you go from being an independent person to being at the beck and call of a tiny human. Often we don't have time and space to do what we did before to soothe our nerves. Whether it was meditation, running, playing the piano or having a quiet chat with our partner – in the beginning, there's hardly any time for it.

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20 May 2019No Comments

Forty days after baby

In yogic circles, setting an intention isn't the same as a new year's resolution. It doesn't mean bending over backwards to reach my goal. You formulate your intention in the privacy of your mind and leave it at that. Still, something within re-aligns. It's like the act of unfurling the sail on the mast. Then all there's left to do is to wait for the wind to blow in the right direction. And one day, you just take off.

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17 August 2018No Comments

What can I give to this? – emotional materialism and its antidote

I had signed up for a vacation

A two week vacation in Lisbon was supposed to be the harmonious conclusion of my maternity leave. But every day I ended up feeling frustrated and disappointed with myself. I might have underestimated the challenges of a city trip with two children. No, I definitely did underestimate the challenges of traveling with two children with a different set of priorities (three and a half year old boy and four-months-old baby). Most days I ended up being impatient and irritable with my older child.

A city trip of course involves a lot of dirt. Not that beaches or mountains are always clean, but cities tend to come with their extra-layer of muck. Switzerland is such a clean country that my son is not aware that he can't touch everything with his hands. I'm usually not the type of mother who obsessively disinfects her children's hands. But it also happened that baby girl caught conjunctivitis. So here I was, constantly fretting about dirt and bacteria.

But let's face it, the dirt was not the real problem. I was generally stressed out due to the new environment. I missed the stability of home, knowing how things work and where to buy what and – hello! - speaking the language. My son is at that age when it's hard to sit still. He wants to take in the world. How can I blame him for wanting to watch fire trucks go by and slowing down whoever is walking behind him? But I often do.

It bugged me that I wasn't able to react in a more calm and grounded way. I'm not a naturally patient person. But thanks to my yoga practice, I manage. The occasions when I lose it are not that common. Especially with my children. But on said vacation I ended up scolding my son every day. And so every night, I felt disappointed with myself.

Using relationships for gratification

On the flight home, I came across this passage in Ethan Nichtern's The Road Home (which I highly recommend, by the way): “(...), our habit of materialism has also affected our interaction with other people. Without paying attention, we have objectified so many of our human relationships. Unknowingly, we use others as merely the vessel of our own gratification.”

That stopped me in my tracks. For two weeks my son's behavior had been inconveniencing me. It was not what I had signed up for. I had expected a relaxing time with my family. But then I found myself in a situation that required me to be patient, understanding and calm. It required me to give when I wanted to receive. Still I was stubborn in my need to consume. I wanted my child to afford me some quiet time. I wanted him to sit still and not touch the dirty metro seat. I wanted him to shut up and eat his foreign tasting sausage.

What can I give to this?

“When it comes to relationships, try to ask, what can I give to this, instead of, what can I get out of this?” This is something a yoga teacher of mine once said. I often think of myself as someone who gladly puts her children first. But like anyone else, I seek gratification. It's not only what society ingrained in us, it's the way our mind works. It's geared to ensure survival. So it craves what it needs or wants and rejects what is troublesome.

This is where motherhood (and fatherhood) is such good therapy. There is no way that you can put your own needs before those of your children. Most of the time they come first. These are the years for sacrifice, which sounds bleak, but it's not. When it can no longer be about me, myself and I, it's quite simply not about you any more. Your problems recede into the distance, and magically, they are no longer a problem. If you can see it that way, it's liberating.

A friend of mine once said: “With one child, we could still control the chaos. With two, we can only embrace it.” Wanting to have your own wishes granted, is an attempt to regain control. It happens to me on the daily, when I pull all the stops to ensure an early bed time for the kids, so I can squeeze in half an hour of writing or a few yin poses I go to sleep myself. I race to have dinner ready, to put them in their pjs and get the bed time story over with. But when I decide to surrender to the fact that they will have their way (and I will not), I am so much more relaxed. Everybody ends up so much happier.

How much easier would our life be if we put up less resistance to what is? If we could shift our perspective from thinking about what we can get to what we can give, we would be okay with not getting what we want. How gratifying would our relationships be if we could just surrender to what they are instead of trying to get something out of them?

10 June 2018No Comments

The baby mirror – how they pick up on your vibe

Have you ever wondered why we intuitively sing to our babies? And why it seems to calm them down? In order to produce a melody, we have to steady our breath. You can't sing if you're winded. Calming our breath automatically soothes our nervous system. When we are calm, our babies mirror that state. I know, this sounds like one of those touchy-feely statements. If you're the scientific type and don't believe in subtle energies, you're probably rolling your eyes right now. But this is not just the hormonal mom in me talking. Maybe babies are proof that subtle energy is real.

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5 February 2018No Comments

Die Kraft zum Loslassen – Yoga rundum Geburt

Schwangerschaftswoche 34, ein Gespräch mit meiner Hebamme. Eine alte Sorge von mir, dass meine Beckenboden-Muskulatur vom vielen Yoga zu straff sein könnte. Immer wieder hört frau, eine Geburt bedeutet Loslassen, Weichwerden auf allen Ebenen, sich Öffnen wie eine Lotusblüte.

Bei dieser Rhetorik bin ich hin- und hergerissen. Ich gebe gerne zu, dass es mir nicht immer leicht fällt, den Schutzschild abzulegen und weich zu werden. Das überrascht nicht. Der Druck weiterhin zu funktionieren, kommt wohl bei uns allen von Aussen wie auch von Innen. Kann es sein, dass deshalb in den meisten Schwangerschaftsyoga-Klassen das Loslassen und Weichspülen im Vordergrund steht?

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17 January 2018No Comments

No mud, no lotus

Selling bliss has become a profitable line of business. A lot of yoga teachers make a living like that: “Come to yoga and feel the bliss of inhabiting your body, of being totally relaxed, of feeling more lithe and bendy, feel how everything looks, feels and tastes better!” And these are just a few of the marketing slogans.

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12 December 2017No Comments

Creating space

Midwives, doulas, everyone who works with pregnant women will tell you that two weeks before the baby is due you should start your maternity leave. Cancel all your appointments, stop working, stop making plans. Make space. This includes space to connect with the little one and making space for it to come through you and into this world. The belief is that if your mental and physical space is too cluttered, the baby won't come. Or the birth will be rocky. Or you won't feel ready.

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12 November 2017No Comments

Motherhood moves mountains

All the way to the gate I cried. In the middle of the homeland security madness, someone had stopped to think about motherhood. Someone had taken a moment and had seen behind the passport number.

A kindness shown in a place that usually has no room for soft spots. I think I have never seen that happen before.

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22 October 2017No Comments

Dining alone – fears of an only child

The only child

I'm an only child. About four months from now, my only child will no longer be one. Sometimes I think I was open to having a second child for the wrong reason. I was afraid my son would feel as lonely as I often have in a silent house, with “only” two adults around.

My parents were often home and there for me. I seldom felt abandoned. But adults don't make noise. With parents you don't learn how to be teased and not take it too personally. You don't learn rough-and-tumble play. You become an adult sooner than you'd like.

I didn't want that for my son.

Sitting alone

A few weeks ago I was in Düsseldorf for a yin teacher training. When I arrived the airbnb apartment wasn't quite ready so I headed out again to find some food. I was waiting for my takeout dinner at one of the outdoor tables of the Vietnamese restaurant around the corner, when I became painfully aware that I was the only one sitting alone.

I don't know many people who like sitting alone at a restaurant. For some reason dining alone is a situation we want to avoid. It seems to be the prime stigma of loneliness, indicating your inability to surround yourself with people. As if this was clearly a deficit.

So what do we do, when we are forced to sit alone? We pull out our phone, our laptop or the paper and assume an air of consumed busyness and concentration. For me, I want to avoid the fear and guilt I associate with feeling left out. That first night in Düsseldorf, with no wifi and no book on me, I had to face the demons.

The stigma of the outsider

One of my personal demons, I think, is the stigma of the only child. The one who is always slightly precocious because she spent most of her formative years around adults. The one who doesn't know how to behave around people her own age because she had no siblings to practice bickering and pranking with. So she ended up not fitting in as a teenager. For years, she entered every social situation watching closely and trying to pick up cues for how to behave.

I remember feeling ashamed for being an outsider. Maybe that's not even how it was. But most of the time that's how I felt. The situation of sitting alone at a restaurant stirs up these old emotions from the inner child, even at age thirty-five.

Sitting around a table is the way most families come together, hopefully at least once a day. When we sit at a table alone, while others are enjoying company, we feel left out. It triggers the natural child-like fear of being alone. As a child, avoiding abandonment is crucial for survival. In the early years of our life, we couldn't thrive without our parents' care. And it's a good thing that this information has been embedded in our DNA.

The desire to feel included

Only child or not, we're all afraid of being alone. And yet, it is such a crucial human experience to eventually face the fear. Allowing the demons to rise also gives us the opportunity to name this fear for what it is: the desire to feel included and loved.

I'm all grown up known. A pregnant woman of thirty-five. And I still feel like twelve when I'm sitting alone without my armor of book and smart phone.

The only difference is that today I'm aware of our deep-seated human fears and longings. I try to activate my inner parent and tell the inner child that this is just my need to feel included popping up again. Nothing to be ashamed of, but also not a need that can always be met.

Our own resource for love

Nor should it always be met. If we were always engaged socially, would we ever have time to make observations such as this one? Would we ever become self-sufficient adults? Would we ever learn to be our own resource for love and support without relying solely on others for that? I think that's what growing up actually means. Becoming the inner parent to the inner child.

If all else fails I remind myself that – only child or not – the need to feel accepted and involved is one that all human beings share. Know that, with that wish, you are never alone.


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© Copyrights 2022-2023 | Elisa Malinverni | All rights reserved | AGB | Kontakt & Newsletter

© Copyrights 2022-2023 | Elisa Malinverni |
All rights reserved | AGB| Kontakt & Newsletter

© Copyrights 2022-2023 | Elisa Malinverni | All rights reserved | AGB | Kontakt & Newsletter

© Copyrights 2022-2023 | Elisa Malinverni
All rights reserved | AGB | Kontakt & Newsletter