Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Holistic Motherhood

by Dr. Shirin Venkatramani

“Introduction” to Holistic Motherhood by Dr. Shirin Venkatramani.

This book is available through Himalayan Yoga Publications Trust (Please write to [email protected]  to get your copy.) It is also available through Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers and will be available through Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and other booksellers. Language: English. ISBN-10: 935250044X. ISBN-13: 978-9352500444

In today’s day and age it is becoming increasingly difficult to extricate one’s self from modern living which entails running a rat race, which even if you win, you will still be a rat! In an attempt to show the WAY to conscious living this book is written and for this we will have to begin before the beginning of life itself. The ancient tradition coming to us from the Sages of the Himalayas has expounded the practices which create ideal circumstances for the growth and development of the fetus and infant during its most vulnerable period. The mother and the father to be have a very responsible role in bringing to this world a totally healthy individual.

The WHO definition of health is:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The correct bibliographic citation for the definition is:
Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.
The Definition has not been amended since 1948.

Let us begin by defining the “totally healthy individual.” By total is meant the three aspects of the individual- Physical, Mental and Spiritual. By health is meant well being and freedom from disease. By individual is meant the unit of society we term a single human being. Today much research has gone into determining the various pre-conceptional conditions which need to be treated before planning a pregnancy for a physically healthy baby, and even many causes of mental retardation can be prevented, however very little has been studied with regard to the spiritual aspect of growth which in fact pervades the entire being.

The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga and Meditation comes down to us from the source of true knowledge and it is our great good fortune to have lived in the era of Swami Rama, who not only expounded it but demonstrated under laboratory control several facets of the system, which left no doubt in the western mind that Yoga is the way to go. The word Yoga means ‘to join’ and in this system we are taught complete union with our true eternal Self. The path therefore is all-inclusive. The physical body is the building block on which rests our breath and mind. The innermost dweller is the witness of this unfolding we call life.

To a physician a philosophy that does not translate into a perceivable effect does not appeal, and hence this attempt to elaborate steps young mothers can take. As Swami Veda Bharati explains: “Abhyasa (practice) is the Bhasya (commentary) of the Shastras (scriptures)” Thus by practicing the tenets expounded the results are bound to be experienced. The aspiration is to create a generation of joyful healthy beings!

Section I addresses the aspect of our physical being and how to be born healthy and live healthy, taking both the best of modern science and ancient wisdom. Basic anatomy and physiology are covered with special reference to respiration and information on advances in investigations, nutrition and supplements. Exercise is discussed in great detail and the Joints and Glands exercises conducted with breath awareness, which can be done by every pregnant woman, are given as a supplement to the book. Certain special circumstances in pregnancy, and many such related topics are discussed. In the aspect of physical well-being there is a plethora of information available in the market and this section therefore deals with information the lay person should know from a doctor’s perspective.

Section II discusses Pranayama, emotional support and purification, training for parents to be, Jeevansamskaras with stories from Puranas exemplifying the effect of the mental milieu on the growing fetus along with its scientific basis. It also explains the importance of sound energy and chanting of mantras for developing the brain centers of the fetus. The role of meditation in freeing oneself from internal pressure is explained, a transcript of the Himalayan tradition of meditation as taught and conducted by Swami Veda Bharati is added for guidance.

Section III focuses on what we are and why we are here. It highlights the advice of the Sages and the scientific evidence on consciousness which is primary to creation and manifestation. It gives advice on how to bring up a spiritual child in Swami Veda Bharati’s own words and from his own experience.

Section IV is a collection of experiences of individual women during their pregnancy and labour and how meditation and yoga helped them in the classes conducted locally.

This is by no means a comprehensive book and its only aspiration is to stimulate young parents to delve into deeper zones of existence and experiment for themselves, while contributing to bringing forth a totally healthy being and creating an enlightened generation.

Editor’s Note:

Dr. Shirin Venkatramani is an obstetrician and gynaecologist as well as being the centre leader in Pune, India, and a member of the AHYMSIN Executive Committee. She was initiated by Swami Rama.



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