Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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woman ever notice spotting and / or back pain during or after sex, this may indicate threatened miscarriage. However, it may be nothing more than seepage from the endometrium (which is still solidifying as part of the placenta). In any case, the first approach, before imagining the worst and going for an ultrasound, is complete bed rest for a day and no further sex until the spotting and pain have well passed – at least one week’s abstinence is recommended.

Sex Close to Birth
As the time of birth draws nearer, intercourse has several benefits. Certain hormones in semen help to soften the cervix and cause a strengthen-ing of pre-labour contractions, sometimes bringing on full labour. As well, the pelvic movements are good for your uterus and pelvic muscle tone. It is also great perineal massage. Even if penetrative sex is not your thing at this time, any lovemaking which can stimulate a woman to orgasm makes the uterus and vagina rhythmically contract, increasing the blood supply as well as relaxation to this area. I also think it is important for women to remain closely connected to their sexuality and sexual organs in preparation for birth.

Having borne a total of 6 children from 3 different fathers over my procreative years, the flux in my relationships during that time has resulted in a widely varying range of sexual activity for me. Such fluctuations are not so uncommon these days with the increasing mix of single motherhood and blended families.
   I have had the opportunity to experience celibacy during two of my pregnancies and active sexual relations

during the others. I cannot say that one is better than the other – both sex and celibacy can lead to a deeper understanding of the mother-child relationship and both can be as satisfying for the mother and the father if approached in a meaningful way.
   During those pregnant times without a sexual partner in my life, I had the opportunity to pay closer attention to the changing nature of my womb, my sexuality, my body, my mind – as a whole. There was no interpersonal politics or sexual issues to cloud things. With yoga and meditation, I came to understand better the advantages of internalising one’s sexual energy, and how a single woman can use that shakti (the unexpressed sexual energy) as extra sustenance for the growing child, her other children or for projects out in the world.
   Celibacy (meant here as a circumstantial lack of sex) and abstinence (meant here as an agreed withholding of sex between partners) can feel quite right for some women, so long as it is not the product of a man (father-to-be) who appears to have stopped loving her for what she has become. Lack of sex during a woman’s pregnancy is usually more of a challenge for the male. Here communication is very important. If you aren’t interested in sex, try to explain why, and find ways of continuing to express your sensuality and sexuality without full intercourse.
   For couples who mutually agree on abstinence for the time of pregnancy and a while afterwards, lovemaking in other ways can be used as a time of transferring love and consciousness to the growing baby within, and for all 3 spirits to feel closely connected through the mother.

~Single Motherhood Pregnancy~

   Whilst many people consider the “usual” or the “best” situation for a pregnant woman is a happy marriage or de facto relationship, the reality today is that more and more women are mothering without a male partner. For some, it is caused by the departure of the father following a conception he did not want, but which she decides to keep; for others it occurs through a breakdown in relationship during the pregnancy; and for a small few, it is simply a matter of choice whereby they decide to bring up a child without an intimate male’s support.
   Although many parts of this book address women who are with the fathers of their children, I do not mean to exclude those women who live without the father (s) of their child(ren).Also, since the book is primarily focussed on the relationship

of a mother to herself and to her children,its teachings are addressed to any and all women who wish to develop their mothering in the yogic / tantric way. This does not mean to exclude consideration of any father’s ideas, needs or inputs, whether he is on the scene or not.
   The reader may have deduced by now, that in my years of mothering I have had periods of single unsupported pregnancy (1st child), harmonious married pregnancy and parenting (2nd child), inharmonious married pregnancy (3rd child), single unsupported parenting (with 2nd and 3rd children), and supported communal-living (for the 4th, 5th, 6th pregnancies), which also included periods of single unsupported motherhood. I presently live singly with

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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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