September 14, 2010

“Pregnant Yoga–More Than Just Pretty Poses” by Special Guest Camella Nair

I’m pleased to welcome to Elephant special guest Camella Nair, author of Prenatal Kriya Yoga: Mystical Wisdom in Pregnancy and Motherhood. 

Pregnant Yoga–More Than Just Pretty Poses

by Camella Nair (Swami Nibhrtananda)

     “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” –Oscar Wilde

Why is it that from the incredibly powerful and potentially life changing science of yoga, what most women seek from the ancient tradition when they are pregnant is simply ….asana?

 Heavy and pretty young women in yoga poses adorn prenatal books and magazine articles and yet the importance of this pivotal moment in a woman’s maturation seems to be worth little if any deep philosophical discussion at all. 

 All too often I see a myriad of faces from many far flung places of origin in a yoga class, and yet they have to a large extent all been subject to mankind’s major dilemma….Ayidya,  or forgetfulness of one’s true nature. The mind has become trapped within the vestibule of the heart that has been hardened by ones reaction or perception of past experiences in their family group.

 In this instance exoterically forgetfulness of what child birth is going to be like, but more than that esoterically. What motherhood and parenting will really look like for them! There is no question that having a baby will change your life, and life as you know it will never be the same as it was as a carefree adult.  Not necessarily better or worse …just different.

The problem is that without any conscious attempt to rework the kinks in the mind that we all have and known as our glorious ego personality, we will tend to perpetuate the insanity of our karmic family and/or cultural group. Many may think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with their family group or culture, or perhaps that they will not make the same parenting mistakes that their parents made. But the odds are stacked against that being the case due to a morphogenic resonance where like attracts like. A child of an alcoholic for example is four times more likely to become an alcoholic. What culture of civilization is without flaws?     

Oscar Wilde’s famous comment contains the seed to truth that takes us back to the “pristine snows of yesteryear” as my Paramguru likes to say. When we knew the rita or order of the Universe. When we knew that ‘Mother’ as a Universal symbol meant ‘Life’ with a capitol ‘L’ and with that the ability to remember, because it is our birth right to experience, learn and grow to be spiritually mature. The only way to become enlightened is through the experience of the physical body and so the birth mother knowingly or unknowingly has blessed the incarnating soul more than they know.

 Why then do most people only practice pre-natal asana rather than try to heal their hurts or resentment within their existing karmic group? And especially with the woman who gave them life?

 Mother and Mother in-Law’s are the reason that a given couple were able to fulfill their karmic destiny anyway. Even if the birth mother is not still living, much can be done in the way of inner rituals which can let go of emotional gripping that may have been around since childhood. This release of emotional gripping before taking on the role of motherhood is a way to ensure that the resonant karmic trait is not passed on to the next generation. In this way, mankind can actually evolve by becoming more compassionate, less fearful and judgmental of themselves and of others.

 Pretty poses done whilst pregnant can be a great way to manage the changing body but more than that we need to look inside the mind at the not so pretty mind patterns that will cause us to trip up and parent ‘automatically’ as opposed to consciously. The experience of parenting is the University of the soul for the householder. 

A ritual of forgiveness is most powerful when done at a new moon and repeated for 2 weeks until the full moon. It can be as simple as sitting quietly and thanking your birth mother for giving you the opportunity to become a mother yourself whilst forgiving her for any parenting mistakes (in your mind) that you think she may have made in the past. Then asking her for forgiveness for any hurt or anguish you may have brought to her (in your mind) whist growing up.  Even if you are not really sorry at first, the repetition and meaning behind the inner ritual will create the necessary balancing in the astral that will help to soften your relationships in the future and as well as the past from within your particular family group.

This is ‘Pre’ prenatal yoga, and to my mind something that we need to work on months or even years before any incarnating soul begins to circumnavigate our astral spine looking for a vehicle to help deliver their karma.

Camella Nair (Swami Nibhrtananda)

Yoga has been Camella’s passion for over 25 years. As a certified instructor for the past six, she has traveled, studied, and taught in India, England, and throughout the United States.  She offers classes in every aspect of yoga, including vinyasa yoga, aqua yoga, pre-natal yoga, ayurvedic yoga, and meditation. 

A direct disciple in the Kriya lineage, Camella’s roots in yoga began with her Guru, Enoch Dasa Giri, and Parmahansa Yogananda. She is ordained a Swami (i.e. “she who knows the Self“) by the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago.

Camella enjoys volunteering her services at a local hospice and has a natural love of chanting and kirtan. She teaches courses for every level, from beginner’s yoga to yoga teacher training. Her success as a teacher can be credited in part to her irrepressible sense of humor and to her keen sensitivity to the needs of each of her students.

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