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Yoga and Childbirth
If we were perfect people living in a world made perfect by us, there would be no need for this book. Perhaps all that would be necessary would be to encourage you in your already deeply held convictions. Certainly I would not need to instruct you in them. Your childbirth, like all the other aspects of your life, would arise naturally out of your relationship with life itself.
With most of us this is not the case, and we frequently feel lost and ill-equipped to face even the most basic events of life; so I offer you this book as a guide. I hope it will act as a lantern, however flickering, to give you light in the dark places of your life.
Because we are not perfect people, the book of necessity has to deal with the possible mistakes we may make. Nevertheless, I offer you a method that does work. But a few words of explanation will not be out of place here.
Yoga, in its most integrated forms, takes into account all of a person’s nature. Unlike schools of thought which concentrate only, on preparing a person’s body or thoughts for the business of life’s events, yoga works on all levels. Therefore in this book we deal with getting your body, mind and soul ready for the event of childbirth. You may nevertheless argue that I have given a lot of space to mentioning diet. This is so, and for a very good reason. Being the father of five children, and having also taught yoga and relaxation for a number of years, it strikes me time and time again, that women fail to achieve an easy and ecstatic birth as they should, because one or the other aspects of their life have been neglected. There are numerous books on childbirth that teach many of the things mentioned in this book. Most women have already heard about how exercise and relaxation play a part in helping childbirth. But there are virtually no books which explain in adequate detail, how to unite these methods with a proper diet. I mean by this, a diet specifically aimed at producing a beautiful baby with an ecstatic birth.
In any case, Christianity is one of the few spiritual disciplines which does not give definite dietary advice. We know of the Jews and their koshered foods, the Hindus and their rules of eating only certain foods and avoiding meat. We know Mohammedans do not touch alcohol or pork. Buddhists are vegetarians. In the ancient Yoga books, much was also given about what to eat, how much, and how often. Therefore, the remarks in this book are an integral part of Yoga and childbirth. And I know that if the postures alone are practised, without adequate nutrition, the results are not by any means as satisfactory. In other words, the percentage of success is much lower.