Yogi Bhajan left us an extensive array of inspiration and practical yogic tools for a conscious pregnancy. Yogic teachings encourage a woman to care for herself and prepare for motherhood by having a daily practice of meditation, yoga, chanting, and prayer, and keeping herself in peaceful uplifting environments.
"During those months [of pregnancy] she is required to be in circumstances which are very secure, respectable, and comfortable, and in which she can have a lot of understanding around her. We always know how to raise the rose bush, but we have never tried to study how to raise our children. Our children are actually raised within those nine months of pregnancy and development. Those are very important days of life of the child."
~Yogi Bhajan, "The Ancient Art of Self-Healing"
The Vibratory Frequency of the Mother-to-Be
The woman’s vibratory frequency has a tremendous effect on the soul she will attract. The radiance and consciousness of the woman attracts the subtle body of the incarnating soul to be granted the gift of a human life. She has the ability to change her vibratory frequency using yoga, meditation, and prayer.
“When a mother is pregnant, the kind of soul she can accept depends on her mental attitude. And then there is another beauty that within the realm of your belly, which is your pregnancy, you can totally transform the soul. The soul is pure and has nothing to do, but the subtle body carries the karma of the previous life. A mother can totally purify the subtle body of the new child.”
~Yogi Bhajan, Women’s Camp 1976
The 120th Day of Pregnancy
From the yogic point of view, a subtle connection between the cells of the embryo and the soul to be incarnated occurs at conception. At 120 days after conception the soul comes to fully inhabit the body it has been granted. After the 120th day of pregnancy until the navel cord is separated from the mother, the subconscious mind of the child is formed.
"On the 120th day, we give our women a blessing and tell them to meditate more, and look toward God, so that they may have very calm, quiet, intelligent, self-creative children.”
Yogi Bhajan, Women’s Camp 1979
Your child first learns from your state of consciousness while in the womb. Everything you consciously experience, your state of mind, your relationship to the world and your rapport with your child, are all transmitted to your child and become the foundation of your child’s subconscious, which is the root of his/her personality.
The 120th Day Celebration is a time when family and close friends are invited to rejoice, honor the mother, and offer her loving support. Everyone gathers to meditate, chant, and reflect on the reality that a soul is entering her womb. This celebration also offers prayers for the woman’s spiritual, mental, and physical well-being so that she may inspire, teach, and guide her child.
"The purest thing in the world is the heart of the mother, the heart-chakra, the center of the mother. It is the purest thing in the world. It can move God. It can move the universe. It can cause an effect beyond limitation. The heart of the mother is the greatest power of Infinity ever given to any finite being. There are certain things which can be considered the most superior things: prayer of the mother, prayer of the beloved (I wish it should say wife, but it is not written in the scriptures, so I cannot alter them), prayer of the self, and prayer of the spiritual teacher. These are four prayers which can alter and change the destiny."
~Yogi Bhajan, Women’s Camp 1977
The Birth Experience
To actually birth another human being from your own body is beyond words to express. Time and space do not exist. A birthing woman transcends the reality of earthly measurements and experiences a glimpse of Infinity, which is not only here and now, but contains the past and the future as well.
Preparing for a conscious birth is the best gift to give your child. Your effort to be awake and aware during birthing sets the stage for your child to be awake and aware. Set your intention for a sensitive, conscious birth; prepare yourself and your environments, give your very best, and trust that the Universe is in charge.
The First 40 Days after Birth
When your child was in your womb, you and your child shared physical functions, as well as subtle energies. You were blended in one aura. The separation of your aura and your child’s aura was initiated when the navel cord separated from your body. This can be a shock for both of you.
In many cultures around the world, the sensitivity of the new born is respected, and the child is protected in a supported, sacred environment with his mother and intimate family, especially during the first 40 days after birth. Women are given the privilege and support to slowly and respectfully recover from birthing, and enjoy a cozy time building a loving relationship with their newborn. Support comes from family and friends, who assist with household, family and childcare duties.
Yogis recommend that a child remain within the mother's aura (within nine feet of her physical body) during the first 40 days after birth. Because of the child’s subtle sensitivity, it is best not to leave the baby alone in a room during these weeks. If the mother needs to leave the child, then the father or another loving support person can be with the child.
“He was inside where he was warm, cozy, and well contained. He came out and now he needs that touch, that feeling, that oneness within the nine feet of your aura. You are a modern woman. You want to go to a movie theater. When a child is born, you must stick with him for forty days and for two years you and your husband must keep him near the breast and the chest. That is the most darling God born in innocence to two people who believed in love.”
~ Yogi Bhajan, Women’s Camp, NM, 1989
Kundalini Yoga and Meditation during Pregnancy
In most cases, a woman can practice normal Kundalini Yoga until the 120th day of pregnancy if there are no health complications. After the 120th day of pregnancy, there are certain exercises she should avoid. And it is always advisable to check with your doctor.
Basic Positions for Pregnancy Yoga
- Easy Pose
- Life Nerve Stretch
- Cat and Cow
- Spinal Flex
- Arm Exercises
- Shoulder Exercises
- Neck Exercises
- Relaxation: on side or back (before 5th month)
- Conscious Breathing
Yogic Practices to Avoid after the 120th Day
The following exercises should NOT be practiced after the 120th day of pregnancy, or if a woman has any medical complications:
- Yogi Bhajan: After the 5th month avoid practicing Baby Pose and also all Gong Meditations
- After the 36th week, avoid standing Life Nerve Stretch variations.
- No exercises which apply pressure to the abdominal area (i.e. Bow Pose, Stretch Pose, etc.). No exercises lying on stomach.
- No exercises and pranayam that over-stimulate. (The pulse should not go above 140 beats per minute.)
- No Breath of Fire. Yogi Bhajan has stated that light Breath of Fire in the first 3 months is permissible if health permits.
- No Maha Bhand or Uddiyana Bhand (diaphragm lock) or Mul Bhand (contraction of the rectum, sex and navel locks together), or diaphragm lock. Contraction of the pelvic floor strengthens and tones the pelvic floor muscles and is acceptable during and after birthing in most situations.
- No leg lifts (except while lying on the side).
- No inverted postures (i.e. shoulder stand, head stands, hand stands, etc.).
- No Sat Kriya.
- Avoid lying on the back after the 6th month and the belly is much enlarged. The best position for increased blood flow to the baby is lying on the left side. Do not stress and exercise harder.
- No cold showers after the 7th month.
- No Venus Kriyas while pregnant. Partner exercises are okay. White Tantric Yoga is acceptable, however, discuss with the Tantric Facilitator before the course.
- No breath suspension on the exhale.
- No exercises that aggravate existing weaknesses and injuries.
- No heavy detoxifying exercises.
Kirtan Kriya, the SA-TA-NA-MA meditation, is a most effective meditation to release haunting, limiting patterns of the subconscious mind and prepare a couple for pregnancy. Practice it daily for at least 40 days consecutively to receive the full effect.
Many expectant parents have tried Yogi Bhajan’s recommendation that the husband and the mother-to-be daily walk together and practice Charan Jaap.
“That's why one of the kriyas which a pregnant woman can do with her husband is to walk together doing what is call "Charan Jaap." It is a walking meditation. On the left foot the woman chants "Sat Nam," while the man chants "Wahe Guru" on the right. They walk like this together for, say, four to five miles. You will see children of such parents are very calm, very quiet, very smiling. They are not crying. They are absolutely contained. ”
~Yogi Bhajan, Women's Camp, Espanola, July 8, 1998
For more information:
Prenatal: Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for Mothers to Be by Gurmukh Kaur