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Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation

Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation

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Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation

ratings:
3/5 (3 ratings)
Length:
279 pages
4 hours
Released:
Oct 7, 2014
ISBN:
9781466882737
Format:
Book

Description

From internationally renowned yoga teacher Gurmukh comes a book on pregnancy unlike any other. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful is a treasury of wisdom, information, and inspiration for pregnancy and motherhood based on the spiritual and physical practices of Kundalini yoga, which Gurmukh has taught for the last thirty years.

With illustrated, step-by-step instructions, she teaches time-tested techniques, meditations, and exercises that will help you physically, mentally, and spiritually. In the timeless way that women have passed down wisdom surrounding birth and child rearing to one another for centuries, Gurmukh weaves folk stories and contemporary testimonials into a program designed to help you get profound results in the shortest possible time.

The sections in this book cover each trimester of pregnancy as well as delivery and life with the baby. In her wise, gentle, and comforting voice, Gurmukh suggests meditations, exercises, and yoga positions to respond to the various needs of expectant and new mothers as you undergo dramatic body changes. Gurmukh also helps you explore and, when necessary, heal your own history and unconscious attitudes about pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

In Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful, Gurmukh gives you all the tools you need to have a healthy and happy pregnancy while increasing your connection to your partner and building compassion and prosperity. The ancient practices of yoga can lead you back to your own power as a woman, capable of more than you ever dreamed. All you need is a belief in the possibility of change and a commitment of as little as three minutes a day. Gurmukh has helped thousands of women and their families find fulfillment through the healing movements and meditations of Kundalini yoga---and she can help you, too!

Released:
Oct 7, 2014
ISBN:
9781466882737
Format:
Book

About the author

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa is a pioneer in yoga and the mind-body-spirit connection. Based in Los Angeles, Gurmukh teaches Kundalini yoga, meditation, and pre- and postnatal care. She founded the Golden Bridge Yoga Center, where she is the director and senior teacher. She has been featured in many magazines, including Vogue, W, InStyle, and People. Gurmukh teaches all over the world, from India to Europe and from Central America to the United States. Her previous book is The Eight Human Talents (cowritten with Cathryn Michon). Her kind, compassionate wisdom and counsel touch the life of everyone she meets.


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Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful - Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

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INTRODUCTION

"White-Shell-Woman, she moves …

Before her all is beautiful,

she moves,

Behind her all is beautiful,

she moves."

—NAVAJO SONG

I have been a yoga and meditation teacher for thirty-two years, and I continually witness the incredible power of this ancient science to uplift the spirit and heal mind and body. Yoga literally means to yoke, that is, to join yourself to the Infinite. The essence of yoga is about relationship, and nowhere is this more true than during pregnancy, when your life is in every sense joined to your baby’s. Each week at Golden Bridge, our yoga center in Los Angeles, hundreds of women and families attend the prenatal and postnatal yoga classes and childbirth education courses. The mothers and fathers come because they’re committed to having a healthy pregnancy, but what always makes me smile is to watch their growing realization that preparing for the birth of a child is really about preparing for the rest of life as a parent. Yoga is a state of receptivity from which we can begin to learn and make lasting changes.

Having a child is a beautiful kind of alchemy. What this soul brings to you, and what you bring to the soul, transforms you both for all time. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you teaching pregnant women is my greatest passion in life. Having a child is a living prayer and simply amazing grace. Our power as women to form another life within our bodies is almost too vast to comprehend. In our current culture, we too often forget this is a sacred miracle. I learned this important lesson long ago from a young girl named Mary.

*   *   *

As a child, Mary was quiet and had quite an imagination. She could spend many hours sitting by a window, daydreaming as she gazed outside, or playing with her dollies. Because of her reserved nature, her family dubbed her Mary Sit-and-Do-Nothing, a nickname that made her feel she was a disappointment to them. She also assumed that she must not be very smart and that something must be wrong with her because she was the only person she knew who liked to be quiet. She grew up in the forties and fifties when action equaled success. No one had even heard the word meditate in her small Illinois farm town.

In the early 1960s, when she was in her teens, Mary’s sister had been prescribed diet pills by a doctor as a way to lose weight, a common practice in those days. The doctor didn’t say the medicine was an addictive amphetamine. When Mary’s sister suggested that she take them, too, because they provided energy, she happily agreed and soon had her own prescription. The pills made her mind race, her weight drop, and did indeed fill her with a frenetic energy. Wow! Now I’m Mary-Do-Everything! she thought to herself. She could now fulfill her parents’ dream of her as a productive girl just like the rest.

Mary soon became addicted to this drug. Even though the word addiction was not used in American culture at the time, she knew she couldn’t get through a day without them. She kept that realization a secret. After all, to whom could she really talk about this? No one she knew.

At age nineteen, Mary left her small town in Illinois to attend college at San Francisco State University in California. She couldn’t get her out-of-state prescription filled in California. At first she panicked, but then it hit her that she must stop. So she did. For almost a year she felt sick and listless from her abrupt withdrawal from the drug. When she slept, her mind was plagued with nightmares.

Eventually, she met a man and fell in love. He was older than she by a dozen years and a Ph.D. student. She saw in him a wiser, dependable man whom she wanted to believe would fill her father’s place; he’d died a slow and painful death from cancer several months before Mary fell in love with this man.

When she realized she was pregnant, Mary didn’t know what to do. She was twenty-one years old. Calling her conservative family to explain she’d gotten pregnant was a stressful, shame-filled experience because she felt she’d let them down. Although neither of them felt ready for marriage, she and her boyfriend both believed they had no other option. Abortion was not legal, and there was no place in society for an unwed mother. It was a painful, confusing time, but she also was elated at the prospect of a new life growing inside her.

She looked for an OB/GYN in the San Francisco Yellow Pages, deciding on the one who was closest to where she lived. She wanted to like him, she wanted to trust him, but she did not. He was the kind of doctor who didn’t even say hello when he walked into his office, and he’d make insensitive comments like, If you put on any more weight we won’t be able to wheel you into the delivery room, because you won’t fit through the door. She felt humiliated. Without her diet pills, she no longer felt that false sense of self-esteem drugs provide, let alone the energy or the I can do anything feeling. She was on a downward spiral of feeling fat and ugly, and the doctor seemed to confirm the bad feelings she had about herself.

Mary cried and cried after her visits to his office, explaining to her husband how afraid she was of this doctor. Still, it didn’t occur to either one of them that they had a choice to change doctors. It was as if he were a god they dared not defy. So with a stiff upper lip she marched herself back each week to the doctor’s office, feeling like a failure on all counts.

She went into labor on November 4, 1964, during the election in which Jerry Brown was running for governor of California. Her husband wasn’t allowed to come with her when they wheeled her into the delivery room, where a television blared, because the staff did not want to miss the gubernatorial election returns. She was put flat on her back on a delivery table with her feet up in stirrups. Without saying anything or asking permission, the anesthesiologist gave her a shot in the back with a very long needle. Years later, she would understand that she had been given an epidural without her consent.

As she labored, the anesthesiologist was the only person who asked her questions. He held her hand. She thought he alone cared about her. Not until years later did she realize the only reason he was talking to her was to gauge how the anesthesia was working. She would always remember his hand over hers, because it was the only thing real in an otherwise uncaring room. The walls were a cold green, and she barely saw the faces above her because they were all watching the TV screen over their shoulders to see what the latest returns were. Their conversation was, of course, about who was going to win. Meanwhile Mary lay below the politics and the small talk, praying to have some help, some comfort, some reassurance that everything was going to be all right, and that she could do it. None

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