Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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   It's not just what's on the plate and on the table which aids digestion, but also what's around the plate and the table. That's one reason why people like going to restaurants so much. Because the ambience is nicer and they don't have to look at the mess in the kitchen or do the washing up! So why not give your place more of a restaurant feel to it. It's much cheaper than dining out.
   Rooms should each have their particular functions so that each activity flows best within itself. A kitchen should really just be one of the rooms in the house where a particular activity known as food preparation and cooking is performed, about 3 times a day. More so, in previous times, the dining room was solely just that. Today, many homes are built open-plan with multi-function rooms. Many people spend a lot of non-meal time just hanging around the kitchen and, for a variety of psychological reasons, the fridge door is always being opened simply because of its proximity.
   According to the yogic philosophy, the kitchen is the room in the house which represents our centre of physical life force. It is the navel centre of the home. Food, personal energy, body heat, cooking, digestion, health and dynamic worldly expression, are all by-products of the kitchen. A kitchen certainly fills a very important function in our lives, but it should not be the waiting room, TV room, games room, long phone conversation room, guest room, reading room, the anything-goes-let's-just-hang-out-and-snack-all-day room.

~ Digesting, Assimilating
and After Effects ~

   Observing the inner feelings, as well as the short and long term after effects of a meal, will help to show how the assimilation stage of digestion is coping with what you are eating.
   Learn from your body's by-products & waste products. Urine, sweat, saliva, mucus, stool, menstrual flow and other bodily by-products, as well as conditions like muscle tension, insomnia, depression, hyper-activity, dandruff, bad breath, stomach tension, pimples, headaches, lethargy etc, are all indicators of the internal environment and the way the body is assimilating your current diet. If you observe all these sorts of things within the context of food, and the body being a channel for that food, you will discover a whole new world of self understanding.
   If the body doesn't like what's going in, or when it's going in, or how, or why, it 

will tell you in some way. The way in which it tells us is by its waste products, its by-products, and its illnesses, but too frequently we ignore the simple signs and symptoms in the hope that they will go away.  These indicators are really here for our own education and are part of a system of bio-feedback. We can better be our own doctors for prevention and cure of illnesses to a much larger extent, by learning to diagnose the body's messages from within our self.
   This is why, when you go to doctor, a naturo-path or a yoga therapist, they will ask you a lot of very personal questions about your inner body's workings and your lifestyle. All of your answers, which are nothing other than memories coming from self awareness, are tell-tale signs to a trained health professional, which they use to diagnose your condition, its cause and the treatment. If they don't ask, or you don't tell, or you can't remember certain facts about bodily function, they can hardly be expected to come to the correct conclusions. But since you've left it so long to go and see them, there must have been earlier signs of such imbalance. If you are sensitive and aware of body changes as they happen, and you act wisely to counteract your part in their creation, you will save yourself the time, trouble, and cost of disease.
   Never take that old line from anybody (especially health advisers) of - "Oh it's nothing, it'll go away". Investigate, try to discover the causes within yourself of little changes before they build up to bigger problems. Experiment a bit by changing what goes in and out, to see what eventuates. It may well be nothing, then no harm done by investigating. At the worst, you may just discover something in the nick of time, but usually you will learn a bit more about the cause and effect of food and its effects upon your body. Just like a car, with its numerous rattles and noises, a small squeak may just be a stick caught in the wheel, but it could also be a loose bolt which will cause a big disaster. As with all things, but particularly when it comes to the body, prevention and avoidance are much easier than the cure.

~ Activity After
and Between Meals ~

   People often think that a meal is a meal and that's that, but there are some acts done soon after a meal and between meals which greatly affect the meal you have just eaten even more than what was in it!

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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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