Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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Always holding a crawling child in public places because they might get dirty, or they might pick up something, or they might get hurt, or they might wander off, is a simple but all too common way of transferring irrational fear and suppressing a child's natural urge to explore their world.
·  Rather than blanket prohibition of all potentially dangerous situations, it is kinder and wiser to make sure in advance that wherever they can get to, nothing can go wrong. This applies in your own home, other people's homes and public places. If a place has dangers they can comprehend through explanation, you can go with them pointing these out, teaching them where they can and can't go, should and shouldn't go. Instead of just picking them up and whisking them away from any potential dangers, use a stern voice to tell them your wishes and that danger lurks. Subsequent times they wander away, don't necessarily rush after them, shadowing them closely. By all means keep an eye on them, but follow at a distance - pretending you are not minding them. If they look around, ignore them to see what they do. Mostly they just like  
to know that you are there, somewhere, 

and that they know how to get back to you.
Another example is that children often want their parents or family members to be sources of entertainment. This can be fine up to a point but often you have other things to do in your life too. So rather than spending all their playtime playing with them, or having them played with and entertained all the time so you can "get things done", they need to be taught how to be happy and independent nearby you.
   A satisfactory level of independence in children rarely arises of its own accord, since its formation has so much to do with the relation-ship the parents have formed with that child and for that child. True independence most often flows from out of a natural readiness to become more oneself, rather than an appendage of the mother, the father, or the family. If a mother is available for her child in times of need - that is, not absent for hours and hours each day - her child will soon learn to play around her rather than always needing to play with her. And out of this independence around her will come growing independence away from her.

~Communication, Language and Learning~

   Communication between human beings of all ages can occur in many different ways, and from the moment a newborn arrives, we verbally-skilled adults are forced to approach this topic completely anew. I find this particular area of childhood development totally fascinating such that with the arrival of each baby, I am more and more astonished at the ways in which mothers and babies can clearly communicate with each other.
   As outlined previously in the sections on chakras and the development of the senses, all of our 6 senses are being brought into action for communication, right from the start of our lives. So if a mother can keep this in mind, rather than just thinking a baby's cries are its only form of self expression, then the process of intuiting her baby's need becomes far, far easier. Expanding one's awareness and understanding of the term "communication", also helps in accelerating the development of your child's language skills later on, because at that time verbal language is seen not as something new, but simply a continuation of something already established in more primal forms.

   Since communication is a two-way process, it always involves an output from one person and an input to another. For useful communication to occur there must be a proper transmission between the two.
   According to yogic terminology, communica-tion can take place through any of the 6 organs of reception (gyanendreyas) and 6 organs of action (karmendreyas). All of these are related to the 6 chakras as in Table 7, "The Chakras and The Senses", on page 393, which is an abridged version of Table 4, on page 65.
   So, as regards a young baby, who initially appears (or sounds!) to have only their cries for attention how can we use these other channels to get in touch with the non-verbal messages a mother and child must convey?
   Firstly, there must be attention, or awareness, of what is going on. A distracted mother, for example thinking about other things or one who is frightened by her baby's distress and hoping the crying will stop soon, will have far less chance of understanding the

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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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