Because of the many subtle changes in the body, pregnancy
can be a time of emotional vulnerability for many women, with cravings for
strange foods, intense dreams, sudden depressions or tears without reason. Such
feelings are not only exhausting but they can be of such intensity that they
further disturb the harmony of the body. The child in the womb is protected from,
but not impervious to the outside world, and is particularly sensitive to sound.
The baby's heartbeat will jump at an unexpected speed, loud noise, and will
react for the ringing of bells or the singing of lullabies. One of the most
constant and dominant factors in the baby's uterine environment is the reassuring
rhythm of the mother's heartbeat.
Today pediatricians and psychiatrists are also of the opinion that
some qualities of personality may result from the specific environment of the
child before birth. The chemical aspects of the uterine environment, particularly
the correct proportions of all the necessary hormones are dependent on the
health and emotional welfare of the mother. It is not now possible - and it may
never be - to distinguish the effects of the pre birth experience from natural
genetic inheritance. However, it is a matter of fact that the health and
mental attitudes of the mother are reflected in the development of the child.
Illness and psychological tension and stress in their mothers, definitely have
an adverse effect on babies, before, as well as after birth.
There are many yogic relaxation techniques that can be used to
minimize emotional stress and to create a harmonious environment for the coming child.
When a mother practices mantra japa (repetition of a mantra) she is
adding another dimension to the baby's sensitivity to sound - a spiritual
dimension that will evoke a resonance at the very core of the child's consciousness.
Mantra japa and dhyana allow a woman to enter the depths of her being where
her consciousness merges with, and may exert a positive influence on, the
consciousness of the growing child.
Deep Relaxation Technique (DRT)
As you lie in the Corpse pose, follow the instructions below. At first it may
be easier to record them on a cassette and play it back to yourself. Read them
slowly and pause for several seconds after each instruction. Later, you will
be able to practice for several seconds after each instruction. Later, you will
be able to practice without such aids and relaxation will become spontaneous.
This sequence is also used in Yoga Nidra.
Either dictate or learn the following :
Close your eyes and relax your body stage by stage, beginning from the toes.
Feel a tingling in the tips of your toes and the roots of your toenails.
Relax your toes, the soles of your feet, your ankles, all of your feet.
Relax your calf muscles, your knees, your thighs, your buttocks.
Relax all of your legs from your toes to buttocks.
Inhale deeply and chant 'AH', feeling the vibrations in your abdomen travel down to your toes.
Be aware of your abdomen and thorax.
Feel the waves of relaxation as you exhale travel outward, feel a tingling in the tips of your fingers and the roots of your fingernails.
Relax the muscles of your hands, arms, waist, back, and shoulders.
Loosen your spine, vertebra by vertebra.
Be aware of your chest.
Inhale and chant 'OO', feeling the vibrations in your chest cavity spread down to your arms and fingers.
Relax your throat and then face.
Start with your chin.
Now your lower jaw, your cheeks and cheek bones, relax your lips, keeping a beautiful smile on your face.
Relax your nose, the space between your eyebrows, eyes, forehead, ears, scalp, back of the head.
Inhale deeply and hum 'MM', feeling the vibration in your throat spread through your head.
Now relax your entire body, relax, totally relax.
Inhale and chant 'OM', feel the vibrations from your toes to your head,
Imagine a vast ocean or sky, merge with the ocean or sky.
Dive deeper and deeper into the ocean of silence.