Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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activities (commonly known as thoughts and feelings) that we “do to ourselves”. Couple this external, social constriction with a mindset of personal restriction, and enormous stress and imbalance is obtained, the ultimate result of which can be serious illness.
   The practices of yoga help a woman to get back in touch with her natural state by teaching her awareness. For a yoga session, we pare down the body accoutrements and our environment so as to be as free and comfortable as possible. This increases the opportunity for deeper awareness of our actions. So too in everyday life we can apply the same process. And as your awareness grows during the time of formal yoga efforts, along with that will grow awareness in everyday life.
   The following list contains a few of the sorts of things that take us further away from our natural state and some obvious corrective actions. If you realise you lead a life of many restrictions or imbalances then a sensible first step is to try to create a more natural environ-ment and lifestyle
•   Is it natural to spend hours sitting in a chair in a stuffy office? This restricts lung and spinal lifeforce causing low energy, depression, back problems, headaches. Sit where there is a flow of fresh air, take regular breaks for walks
•   Is it natural to totter about on high heels all day? This upsets spinal balance and causes shortening of the hamstrings, calves and ankle tendons. Wear low shoes and stretch your spine and muscles each day in all directions.
•   Is it natural to have one’s breathing constricted by a tight fitting bra or an hourglass waistband? This restricts lung function and digestive function causing shallow breathing, poor appetite and constipation. Wear loose clothing that allows for relaxed abdominal breathing and good pelvic flexibility.
•   Is it natural to suffocate the skin with a layer of thick make-up? Keep your skin clear and clean. The skin is an eliminatory organ, just like the lungs and the bowel. Absence of make up also allows the opposite sex to sense your fertility signs more exactly.
•  Is it natural to sit in a short dress with your knees tensely clamped together out of modesty? Obviously it’s not possible to sit comfortably on the floor in a tight mini skirt, therefore the conclusion is that fashions such as mini skirts create lifestyle habits which can restrict pelvic health in small ways.
•  Is it natural to spend an hour or more each day travelling to and from work in cramped, stuffy transport catching common respiratory germs, and getting

tired even before your day’s work has begun?
•   Is it natural to spend so much of the evening and night time reading under bright lights, staring at a computer or TV, or out at the tennis courts under flood lights till 10 pm? Excessive artificial light is known to disturb the function of the pituitary gland and can thereby affect the fertility cycle.
•   Are you really happy sleeping next to a person who tosses and turns every few minutes and gives you a bad sleep because of his discomforts? Maybe separate beds would solve one element that may be making you tired.
   Let’s face it, we live 24 hours day, we sleep maybe 8 hours, we work maybe 8 - 12, we play maybe 4 - 8. It has taken 20, 30, 40 years to get into the state we are now. To add a bit of yoga to your life and start a new health regime of maybe 20, 30, 60 minutes a day, that still leaves a lot of “other life” pulling in the opposite direction. We need all the awareness and lifestyle correction we can muster to help tip the scales back to a healthy equilibrium.
   Following below are descriptions of some of the most common female reproductive disorders. Briefly explained are their symptoms and known causes. For each one I have composed a yoga program of the most appropriate techniques, the name and location of which is listed in that section, as well as in the complete list of Prescriptive Yoga Programs at the beginning of Chapter 9.

~General Reproductive Health~

   Some readers may have no reproductive disorders and may presently be in generally good health. Such women can use either the “General Women’s Health” programs (page 2009) or the “12 Month Course in Integral Yoga” (page 2032) in Chapter 9 in a preventative way, and to further optimise their health.
   I have never known a person not to have gained something from yoga. I believe that not only should young women learn about their body early on, but at that time – when they are at their most healthy – they should try to keep it in good health. Regular bowels, well flowing periods, healthy skin, flexible muscles and spine, good appetite, strong life force are some of the main areas to which we should regularly attend. Our bodies frequently give us recognisable symptoms of impending breakdown and disease, so should anything untoward begin to appear, a general yoga program

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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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