Pregnancy and Yoga: a Divine experience …
I do appreciate having been born into this life as a man, if for no other reason than the fact that I can get away with wearing the same old T-shirt for years and nobody really seems to care much.
Sure, I can keep my car running smoothly and perform minor fix-ups around the house without too much trouble too … all chalked up, I suppose, to that ‘Y’ chromosome. I can cook reasonably well enough to keep myself healthy too, and as I age my hips don’t re-design themselves in any real noticable way.
Ok, there’s definitely a lot of things that aren’t so charming about the male experience too, like our inability to outgrow frivolous games, or our propensity to make strange noises with our bodies in public … but all in all I would say I’m pretty happy to be a man.
But for all those silly little reasons we guys have for being happy about our gender assignments, the ladies have at least one card that trumps us all …
… The blessed fortune of being able to have the experience of bringing a new life into this world.
Many years ago, my dear Amma wrote about her experience of pregnancy and yoga, and yoga and motherhood. I’d like to share a beautiful excerpt from her article, “The Yoga of Motherhood,” with you now …
The Yoga of Motherhood
By: YOGACHARINI MEENAKSHI DEVI BHAVANANI
I really felt as though I had slipped into a samadhi by mistake. Completely drained, relaxed, limp, receptive, I felt a bliss, which I had never felt before in my whole life. As though a purpose had been accomplished, as though I had achieved what I had set out to do, difficult though the task had been, as though I had somehow repaid a debt, which I had contracted by my own birth. I felt tremendous love for everyone, for my husband, for the doctors, for the nurses, for the Universe, for the good green earth, and the beautiful warm sun.
…but most all, I felt an immense, overpowering love and devotion to the small little creature that the doctors immediately put into my arms. It was mine, and from that day, I would be responsible for the growth into light of another little human soul.
My baby smiled at me, he really did, even though he could not see, and I smiled and smiled back at him, for surely, he was the most beautiful, perfect, intelligent and fantastic child ever born to the Universe!
And even as I thought that thought, I realised how many others must have experienced the same feelings, looking for the first time at the first child born to them, and I felt wonderful communion with all mothers who had ever lived and all those who would ever pass through this marvelous experience.
Certainly, we shared a secret; certainly, we had something more precious than the rarest of gems; certainly, we were blessed by life itself to be brought so close to that mystical core which creates, out of nothing but a few cells of matter and a few sparks of energy, such a marvelous creature as the new-born child.
Little Ananda, whose name means the “Universal, Blissful State of Cosmic Consciousness” slept. I laid him carefully by my side, for in Indian clinics and nursing homes, the child is given to the mother immediately after delivery and never separated from her again. I took my pen to paper and wrote these words.
“I was given life… I gave life… a debt repaid with interest… I have returned what I was given a hundred-fold. Was there such perfect beauty in my own body… once, long, long ago… Did my mother also see… God move one step beyond herself… in me?”
And thus, on the crest of these overpowering, ecstatic emotions, did the Yoga of Motherhood rush into my life … a whole new phase of my yoga sadhana had begun … with Ananda!
About the Author:
Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani is the resident Acharya of Ananda Ashram in Pondicherry, India. She is also the Director of the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER), the Director of Yoganjali Natyalayam, and Editor of Yoga Life, a publication of Ananda Ashram. For more information, visit: