Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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   After the baby is born, there is naturally a time of re-adjustment from the states of mind which developed during pregnancy and which peaked during birth, back to those which develop in early motherhood. At least one month should be set aside to make this transition. Manifesta-tions of this are: from the inward looking to a more outward looking phase; from a two-in-one bundle to two separate people; from a tired "because of myself" state to a "tired because of the baby" state! The emergence of your motherhood is happening at all levels.
   As well as privacy away from all other adults (and previous children) and even from the domestic scene, there will be times when you crave privacy away from your baby. Here a time of meditation is good - a formal session such as a technique done in your yoga space, or an informal time such as sitting in a special place in the garden, or going for a walk alone to the neighbourhood park.
   All your privacy needs can best be satisfied in their different ways if you control your time, your space, your comings and goings without the constant interference and distraction of others. It is not selfish, it is not being bossy or inconsider-ate. It is basic maternal survival and you have that right to attend to that. Once again, the golden rule to help here is - "Don't call me, I'll call you".

Staying At Home
In addition to the need for privacy in the first few days after childbirth and during baby moon, there are many reasons both practical and theoretical to cocoon yourself and your baby within your home for some weeks and even months.
   Your very first need is to "come down" slowly and gently from the experience of the birth, back into the so-called normal reality. The time this takes can vary greatly between women. For those who have had a fully natural birth, with its accompanying transcendental experiences, that high may have left them virtually off the planet! The physical sensations can last quite some days and the mental effects can taper off over weeks. Those who experienced the birth only partly conscious due to painkillers, may not feel so much separation between that particular day's events and going back to normal life.
   Another very important reason for staying close to your home is so as not to expose yourself or your young baby to the germs of many other people and places. It is common-sense, that around the family home is the safest place for a new baby's immune system to build itself up.
   Staying in is the best way to gain the

quickest understanding of your new baby and your new self. Remember that each baby will be different to the last. They each provide a unique learning experience. Gaining a strong confidence in handling your baby is important before you venture out in public, and before you expose them to unusual environments, and yourself to unusual challenges.
   Today's society is a very mobile one. We seek all manner of things away from the direct environment in which we live, eat and sleep. Travelling great distances just to visit friends and relatives is often the norm in a big country like Australia, and mothers, as they frequently must, just bundle up the kids and take them along too. But this tendency, must be seriously curtailed for very young babies. Firstly it is not good for them, and secondly it is not good for you.
   Whether asleep or not, the constant move-ment of a vehicle can be disorienting for a baby. The noise and smells of traffic are surely not good, moving them in and out of subconscious levels of sleep. Whilst admittedly some babies do like the sound and movement of a car or a stroller for going to sleep, I consider this a pretty strange and unnatural method of sleep inducement. If your child is one of those who goes to sleep easily in a moving vehicle, but not easily in a stationary bed, then serious attention should be given to their sleeping patterns.
   Picking up and transferring a sleeping infant from one place to another is no way to encourage deep rest. Would you like your bed picked up by a giant and swung around whilst being carried from house to car, jiggled and shuffled while the seat belt is clicked in, and lurched up and down on your pillow by the stopping and starting at every set of traffic lights?
   A young baby, if untroubled on first awaken-ing, will just lie and take in their immediate visual and auditory environment. After some time, the realisation strikes that they are alone and they will then cry for their mother. But if they are awakened suddenly their first reaction will be for consolation. At this time, you should be ready to receive him, and not be driving in traffic or going through the check-out making him wait another 15 minutes until you can attend to him. No amount of squeaking toys or a sibling's fun and games from the back seat into the baby capsule will help at this time.
   All trips out and away from the home in their early life are a break to their normal routine and environment which will undoubtedly unsettle their future sleeping and feeding patterns, a result which will only make your life less harmonious.

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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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