Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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as well as avoided a lot of wasted energy trying to work against my body and birthing’s own in-built intelligence.
     On this occasion the most worrying part was the placental delivery. Having only previously experienced 5 - 10 minute hospital induced placen-tal deliveries before, I was somewhat concerned when it hadn’t come out after 30 or 40 minutes of the usual post-partum contractions. I telephoned an (ex-hospital) nursing friend of mine, who said that up to an hour was probably OK. Little did either of us know, that left to its own devices, 2 - 3 hours for a natural placental delivery is still within safe limits. As soon as I got off the phone, the placenta just popped out, all intact, leaving me much relieved! Well, there it was, the only anxiety in my first homebirth was actually caused by my belief in those wretched managed medical averages!

   The feeling I had after Satyaprem’s birth was of enormous love, and an incredible feeling of spiritual triumph. Of course the love for this child was equal to that I experienced for each of the other children, but there was also another element this time which transcended the personal between us. I describe it as a love of life, of birth, of nature, of the creation itself. Possibly every woman experiences this to some degree in every birth, but maybe fuses it into their love for their child. This time it was noticeably abundant, far more than could be attributed to meeting my baby after 9 months of co-habitation.
   Other women I have shared this with have agreed that the triumph of a natural birth (and especially a homebirth) is not so much a personal, ego-based pride, but a pride in womanhood itself, in childbirth itself, in mother nature herself. It also felt very empowering for that little girl just born, who will grow up with that triumph infused within her own maternal psyche. In the meditation of labour, one can see so much about oneself, about babies, about birth, about mothering, about life, in those few long hours. I believe that this is what nature intended us to see and realise upon each initiation into motherhood.
   “Well”, I thought – after I had reflected on my first auto-delivered childbirth. “If it really can be that easy, then I’d better share that with other women, some of whom may be suffering from a belief that birthing is basically a difficult thing to do”! And, being a self-taught homebirther up to that point, I then decided that I’d better get a better understanding of what this natural birthing business is really all about. So from that day on, I embarked upon further studies in childbirth and started collecting ideas for a book on yoga and natural birthing. I didn’t realise at that time that it would also be a part of my studies to have another two babies for

some more practical experience in natural birthing!
    That was almost 8 years ago now. But you know – in motherhood things always take much longer than expected! Since then, two other homebirths have substantially added to the realisations of this first one, and further reinforced my commitment to inspire and enthuse other women to experience their own natural births. I can also state with complete confidence that, no matter how easily and naturally a baby may be born in a hospital, and how much love a mother may feel for her baby in that situation, that experience and love can be even more enhanced through labouring and welcoming your new baby into the environment of your own home and family.

Hope, Trust and Faith
I don’t believe it is useless semantics to analyse and better understand the difference between hope, trust and faith and how they can each affect a woman’s childbirth experiences. In so many ways, these 3 different attributes can lead us down totally different paths
   Hope is a thought or feeling that some future event will turn out as desired. It is simply optimism, based not on any real knowledge or present reality. Hope is not connected to any person or any thing. It arises from out of nowhere and disappears into nowhere. Hopes are often dashed by even the slightest unforeseen occurrence. As such, hope is a flimsy base upon which to confidently enter childbirth and yet, this is the level at which many women approach it. “I hope it all goes well; I hope I don’t need too many interventions”. Unfortunately, hope is frequently presented as our last lifeline – “If you lose hope you’ve lost everything” – but I do not prescribe to this cliché. There is much of substance left in life

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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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