Yogic way to motherhood
Yes, my dear reader I am right! Giving birth to a baby is not just an overnight job. It is a pleasure, pride and duty to be performed religiously by mother but with active and dedicated cooperation of the father of awaited new arrival. The evolution of a baby begins from just one single cell carrying all characteristics of the mother, the human ovum and only one sperm cell that carries all the family traits of the father. Just one sperm cell is needed to fertilize the ovum during ovulation and with union of these two cells baby fertilization is complete. All features and characteristics of the new arrival are determined at this moment. It is rightly said “Atmavai jayete putreh” (A baby is just a new edition of parents). The parents have to take perfect care of the proper growth of this tiny speck into a baby.
Sanskar vidhi essentials
‘Sanskar Vidhi’ introduced by Vedic rishis (Realised souls) and yogis enables the parents to give birth to an all round perfect baby called santaan. It is called santaan only because its root is at sanskar. We prepare the field first for best harvest before sowing the seed. Same is the preparation we make before going through the sweetest experience of giving birth to a baby.
It determines the proper time, process, precautions and diet before and after Garbhadhaan for gaining a pious and perfectly built generation and for maintaining sound health of parents. As the pregnancy is determined, the menstruation period stops, women becomes unusually cheerful and her breasts begin to enlarge to produce milk for the coming baby as it is Divine blessing that ‘He’ sends milk to mothers breasts before we are born. There are particular asanas such as Yogmudrasana and Gomukhasana that strengthen this natural system and remove the obstacles if any and also activate the milk grehthis in women.
Jab daant n thei tab doodh diyo, Jab daant diye kaya ann na dahiye.
Jal mei thal mei pashu pakshin mei sabki sudhi leit so tern a lahiye
Kahei ko soch kare manmurakh, soch kare kutch haath na ahiye
Jaan ko deit ajaan ko deit jahaan ko deit so tohe na dahiye.
Punsavan sanskara is the code of conduct and diet discipline, after determining pregnancy, for maintaining sound Brahmacharya or celibacy by man to maintain himself sexually and spiritually fit for Divine duties and further issue. After Punsavan sanskara when pregnancy is determined moderate yogasanas for overall body and mental strength combined with Surya Namaskara are advised to perform because as the baby in the womb grows there is a possibility of mother facing Anemia disturbed blood count, shortening breath, straining heart and disturbed urine etc for which certain asanas will support the mother to maintain absolute fitness and the growing baby a regular and adequate supply of required elements to keep him grow proportionately from mother's body.
It is to ensure the baby in womb grows properly and pregnant women physically fit, mentally light & contented. This sanskara is executed in the fourth month of pregnancy with special Yajan (Havan) and chanting of Samveda followed by blessings of elderly noble women of the family-‘Om veersustwam bhav, jeevsustwam bhav, jeevpatni twam bhav.’
As the baby grows bigger in size and weight, a mother’s body needs to be stronger at legs to carry, at spine to hold and balance and Pelvis to flex. Moreover the digestive, nervous, respiratory, skeletal, glandular and muscular systems need special work out to maintain toning during this special period. After 4th month of pregnancy asanas and pranayama have to be performed in a modified way due to growing child and rapid changes in mother’s body.
Under process of these sanskaras baby continues to grow and during early months of pregnancy a strong envelop called amniotic sac is formed that covers the baby completely. It is filled with clear fluid that protects the baby from any possible injury but it allows the baby move freely within the fluid. Yogasana, Pranayama and Mudras help women remain perfectly balanced physically, mentally and emotionally and contented at mind. Baby in the womb already well protected, is also properly nourished with yoga practices as it gets all requirements completed through mother's body. The mother following the ethics of yoga or the yoganushasanam with regard to thought and action allows the child grow in a rich way.
Yuktahaar viharasya ukta cheshtasya karmasu.
Yukta swapnavbodhanasya siddhir bhawati dukhha.
Asanas for the mother
Stand firm on your asana and spread your legs just double of your shoulder width. Lift your left arm up above your head and right arm resting on the right thigh. Bend gently to your right side while exhaling sharing your upper body weight equally on trunk and thigh. You may continue to bend till your right palm touches your ankle and heel. Let the left arm continue to touch your left ear and swing to right side. It may move till it becomes horizontal to floor. Return to starting position while inhaling. Repeat the same discipline to left side as well. Perform it without giving extra tension to your system. This is one round. Take at three to five rounds.
This asana strengthens the limbs, removes cough problems and keeps you light. It cures sciatica pain and lungs related problems if practiced slowly. Women can practice Sugam Konasana even till the 7th month of pregnancy for improved respiration, better nervous circulation and all round muscular strength.
Sit comfortably on your asana with your legs spread on front side. Fold the left leg at knee and rest it on the root of right thigh. Now fold the right leg and rest it on the root of left thigh. Make it comfortable to rest the knees on floor. Balance on your sit bones and hold the spine, neck and head in straight single line position. Try to bring your heels still closer to each other under the naval (at Kand Kshetra). Let the soles be wrapped around lower abdomen so that the right toe could be gripped with right hand and the left toe could be gripped with left hand easily from behind. Hold this locked position with back straight and chest high. Release tension from all body parts. Hold your face quite calm free of all tension. Enjoy rhythmic breathing. This Baddha Padmasana must be repeated with changed position of legs and arms as well. Always come out of an asana if you feel any strain or discomfort but don’t be too easy on yourself as the baby is well protected both by your abdominal muscles and by its sac of amniotic fluid in the womb.
It cures all problems related with liver and spleen & tones up digestive system. Baddh Padmasana makes you winter proof and cures sweat lessness in any particular body part. Numerous diseases related to uterus are eradicated with regular practice of this asana. Especially beneficial for women this Baddh Padmasana removes the abdominal wrinkles generally visible after delivery. It keeps you more concentrated and light at mind. It maintains cemetery and growth of breast and activates milk grenthis in pregnant women.
Sit comfortably on your asana with feet together and both legs spread in front side. Bring right knee under left arm and right foot closer to outer side of left knee allowing left hand to hold the right toe. Move your right arm towards back side and rest it with right palm on the floor. Move your face to right side and allow your chin and left side of chick to touch the right shoulder. Continue normal but deep rhythmic breathing. Hold the position for about 15 to 25 breaths. Repeat the same cycle on another side also. This is the modified way of Matsyendrasana that gives a moderate spinal twist releasing tension of the stiff growing back.
It is the most beneficial asana for pancreas, liver, spleen and gallbladder. This is the only asana that cures intestinal diseases such as amebic infection, roundworm, tapeworm threadworm and even gastric. This is the sure treatment of diabetes as it affects the pancreas directly and promotes formation of insulin. It has its spiritual benefits also as it awakens Kundalini shakti that decorates one with extraordinary mental powers. It has been the favorite asana of great Yogi Matsyendranath the guru of great yogi Gorakshnath.
Being the favorite asana of renowned guru Goraksh Nath ji this asana has been famous as Gorakshasana. Let us sit with soles touching each other. Hold both the toes together with both hands, come a little forward to sit in between the collapsed feet in such a way that both the knees continue to rest on the floor. Rest the arms on knees in Gyan Mudra and hold the back and neck straight with elevated chest. Join your awareness with rhythmic breathing. Women can perform Gorakshasana more comfortably as compared to men.
It promotes pranic flow in Sushumna Nadi and checks all aggravations It is a wonderful cure to check urinary diseases, piles and diseases of lower back and lower parts of body. It is a wonder to comfort and cure the knees and calves. It comforts the pelvic girdle as it stretches during pregnancy to facilitate the birth.
Observe Vajrasana with folded knees, toes on one another, heels comfortably wide. You may keep your knees wide to comfort your enlarging stomach with growing baby. Rest your hips on heels without straining your ankles. Sit with back & head straight, palms resting on thighs and eyes closed. Be physically relaxed, mentally cool and calm. Place your palms on the floor beside knees with arms straight sharing spinal tension. Stretch both hands allowing your back to bend forward with head comfortably loose & relaxed and exhale all your vices while bending forward from lower back. Bend at lower back first then middle back and upper back and arms. Hold the back curved like crescent moon, perfectly stretched but still relaxed under the toes of guru. Stomach will remain relaxed between highs have a continuous breathing of goodness and godliness with mental chanting of holy mantra of “OM” with each breath leaving all vices aside and accepting all whatever is noble. Raise yourself high to starting position while inhaling fresh blissful breath from the lotus feet of guru and bring your arms again to your knees. First stretch the arms then raise your head, upper back and finally the lower back. You may have three to five rounds of this Modified Guru Pranam Asana and slowly increase the length of time in final position.
Not to be practiced by those who suffer from very high blood pressure, slipped disc or sufferers of vertigo.
It strengthens the Swadhishthan chakra and Manipur chakra, eliminates anger and is very cooling for the brain. It removes various forms of back ache, makes it flexible and regulates the functioning of adrenal glands. Besides toning up the pelvic muscles it cures disorders of reproductive organs in men and women alike.
After each practice session conclude with deep relaxation with perfect withdrawal, leaving your entire body and mind perfectly relaxed lying on your back. Mentally remain busy in observing your effortless (Shej) breathing. It is Prayatna Sheihilyam or effortless stage that will make you a lot smart, light, energetic and ever fresh to enjoy the wonderful experience of motherhood by growing a baby in womb.