Feminine and Masculine Energies 2: Breathwork to Support Maternal Energy

July 31, 2021, Publisher: Breath Hub

Starting from pre-pregnancy, motherhood is a physically and psychologically challenging process. Making use of breathing techniques helps relax, refresh, and focus during this period. At every step of the way, breathwork can help mothers centre themselves, reduce anxiety, stay balanced and connect better with themselves and their babies.


Breathwork that channels feminine energy creates a healthier, stronger, and more balanced mind-body connection during motherhood. In this article, we will be talking about feminine energy, how to channel it using our breath and how it can be helpful throughout motherhood. 


What’s the meaning of feminine energy?


The energy channel called the ‘Ida Nadi’ in the Vedantic tradition is the female pole of the principle of dualism found in the cosmos and humanity. This feminine energy, symbolised by ‘Yin’ in Chinese philosophy and by the ‘Moon’ in Islamic mysticism, is creative, nurturing, supportive and calming. Mentally, it improves our insight and ability to learn and understand.


The cosmic power represented as feminine energy in pranayama practices represents the creative cosmic energy that we can access, connect, and liberate within ourselves. Offering a nurturing and supportive life force, the feminine energy channel brings along joy, love, vitality, and creativity. Strong feelings, like a mother’s compassion for her children, are fuelled by this channel. 


Breathwork exercises that activate the Ida Nadi provides practices that support mothers throughout motherhood, including pregnancy and healing during post-pregnancy, and activates the channels such as learning, understanding, inspiration, empathy, and creativity represented by the feminine principle. It helps us establish closer and stronger relationships with others. Its supportive effects completely transform the personality and life of every single person – male or female.


How does breathwork help mothers?

  • Breathwork helps keep cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone, under control and reduces overall stress.
  • Improves stress resilience by supporting cardiac coherence and strengthens the nervous system.
    Reduces anxiety and worry by enabling a shift to the parasympathetic system.
  • Helps you stay centred by keeping the focus on the body and feelings.
  • Supports the release of hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin that make us feel better.
    Relaxes, refreshes and revitalises our tired bodies and minds.
  • Creates better connections with ourselves and our babies.

Breathwork to increase the feminine energy


All breathwork exercises that trigger the parasympathetic nervous system channels the Ida Nadi. Slow breathing exercises such as Ujjayi or deep diaphragmatic breathing can be practised every time we need to activate the feminine energy. Full yogic breath is another highly efficient way of increasing feminine energy. Practising full yogic breathing before a slow breathing technique of our choosing helps us get better results from other breathing exercises.


What is full yogic breathing?


In full yogic breathing, the breath travels like a wave from the collarbone to the pelvic bone – up and down. 


In this breathing technique, we start breathing from the pelvic floor. As the diaphragm fills up with air, the pelvic floor and then the abdominals expand upwards and sideways. This natural movement is followed by the lungs filling up with air. The rib cage moves up, and the breath reaches the collarbone. This whole wave motion happens during a single inhale. It’s essential to make sure the breath flows throughout and is not cut off. 


The exhalation starts from the opposite direction. The chest begins releasing the air first from the collarbone and then the lungs. This movement is followed by belly breathing from the diaphragm to the pelvic floor.


After a few tries, full yogic breathing becomes very comfortable and natural. Breath travels through the energy centres and relaxes our bodies and minds. It helps trigger calming, refreshing, and healing effects.


How to practice full yogic breathing (3-part breath)

  • Sit up straight in a comfortable position or lie down.
  • Allow the breath to flow naturally. Focusing on the speed, depth, and the route of the breath, take conscious breaths – in and out.
  • Take a slow and deep belly breath through your nose towards your diaphragm. Once you feel the diaphragm fill up, send the breath towards the lungs without disturbing the flow.
  • Empty the chest first and the belly second.
  • Try to exhale for twice as long as you inhale. But don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning. You can adjust this duration in later stages.
  • If you struggle at any stage or experience blockages, it’s helpful to practice chakra exercises focusing on the energy centres that correspond with the blocked areas. For instance, if you’re finding chest breathing hard, you can work on your heart chakra. Breath retention and exhalation practices may also help unblock the problematic areas.

You can find more on balancing feminine and masculine energies here

Tuli, Uma, and Nirlipta Tuli. Yoni Shakti: a woman’s guide to power and freedom through yoga and tantra. London: YogaWords, 2020. 
Mijares, Sharon G. The revelation of the breath: a tribute to its wisdom, power, and beauty. Albany, New York: Excelsior Editions, State University of New York Press, 2009. 


Patel, Rajshree. The power of vital force: fuel your energy, purpose, and performance with ancient secrets of breath and meditation. Carlsbad, California: Hay House, Inc, 2019. 
Saraswati, Satyananda. Asana pranayama mudra bandha. Bihar: Yoga Publications Trust, 1996.