Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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and places do not match with your newly pregnant condition, and sometimes you also need to wilfully reorganise environments to adapt to your new state.
   I mentioned before, that pregnancy is a good opportunity to clean out the old in preparation for the new, because as soon as that baby is born, there’s not going to be a lot of “going back” to where you once were. So in many ways, pregnancy is a phase of transition between the old and the new.
   Throughout pregnancy, a woman's sensitivity to all that is around her increases. There is greater awareness of food, noises, odours, thoughts, feelings, situations, people’s vibes or auras. Whilst it is impossible to completely cocoon oneself away from the world for all of 9 months, this sensitivity will cause you to consider each environment you enter as affecting two people at once.
   Every place we go is just one scene in our total life environment. There are 3 main areas of our environment which have helped form us, and which will in turn help to form our new babies. These are the domestic, the workplace and the social arenas. When pregnant, each of these environments is indirectly conditioning the baby within, so it is important to approach each of them with the child’s best interest at heart. For example, if you would not consider taking a newborn baby into a noisy modern shopping complex, why take an 8 month gestated one into the same environment? Just because he is enclosed under a few millimetres of skin and fat, and floating in fluid, doesn’t mean he isn’t sensing those same gross sounds that you are hearing yourself. If you yourself are not enjoying such trips, that is your instincts telling you it is stressful for the baby’s development (you are the baby’s environment!). Try to get someone else to do the shopping, or else order by phone and have things home delivered if possible.

~The Domestic Environment~

A Special Space Just for You
Your home is the first place to consider when creating a nice place for a baby to grow up in. A woman should be afforded the opportunity by society and her family to become like a gestating infant herself, to create and retreat into an environment that is nurturing both for herself and her baby. Try to create or find a special place in your home where you feel relaxed and free to just be with your baby. This is especially important if your house is

already humming with other children and activity. Set this up in advance of the birth so everybody gets to know that – “Mum is in her quiet place for a while and is not to be disturbed”. This space may also double as the place for yoga sadhana, so that every time you go into it, whether you intend to practise or not, you and the baby will enter a peaceful mindspace.

The Nesting Urge
As the name implies, this phenomenon is part of our instinctive nature. Any previous mother or midwife can attest to the final manifestation of this urge in the week or two preceding the birth. Birds and animals take great care to make a nest just right for their young, the female often trying the nest out for size as the building takes place. But notice that they do this prior to laying eggs, not just before the eggs hatch.
   Women also should be free to build and adjust their nest in a rehearsal for motherhood, and not just before the baby hatches, but for months before, so as to create the right 9 month incubation environment. Nesting therefore begins long before childbirth as part of the journey from an inkling of motherhood towards the full manifestation of it. The intending mother may be the driving force behind a couple moving home, extending their home, redecorating their home. The final rituals of maternal nesting behaviour are also helping a woman to be ready for the beginnings of the separation that occurs at birth.
   In anticipation of the arrival of the baby, a mother-to-be often begins to fine tune a special space for her baby in a similar way to the way one might prepare for a special guest’s arrival. Cleaning out cupboards, freshening up things, arranging flowers, hanging new curtains, organising all the baby’s clothes, making up the bed, all seem to be particularly popular pastimes for an 8 month pregnant woman, and a sure sign that labour is imminent.
   Paying attention to nesting urges is an impor-tant part of preparation for the birth and the physical reality which follows it. It is nature’s way of making sure the mother has made a space for the baby in her life. Not just a physical space, but also a psychic space for their relationship. Ignoring or suppressing these feelings with full time work or lots of away-from-the-house activities can inhibit the ability of your body to labour efficiently. Nesting is in fact the very beginning of labour – an emotional and psychic focussing that precedes the physical focus of labour proper.

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Please Note:
The complete ‘Mother As First Guru’ Set also contains Book 2 + 2 audio cds. Book 2 relating to comprehensive Yoga Practices as well as the Audio Instructional practices (2 cd set) are only available with your purchase and is NOT available on the Reading Room.

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