Vinaya is an RYT-500 and passionate yogini. Her teaching is a rounded balance of guided meditation techniques, pranayama for overall emotional and physical development, and Ayurveda. Greatly inspired by Bhramakumaris raja yoga and Yogananda’s kriya yoga, Vinaya uses the benefits of these teachings to encourage stability in handling life’s situations and helping others find ultimate health and transformation in their lives.
We at CureJoy were thrilled to get her talking on motherhood and the “Importance of Nutrition/Yoga during and post Pregnancy”. Gems from this wonderful interaction:
Q: Can you give the spiritual perspective of motherhood to help our readers realize the essence of this wonderful experience?
Spiritually we all have masculine and feminine qualities within us, so motherhood is not just associated with women. Many men set a great example for it around the world.
Motherhood is the purest form of unconditional love that is still alive in today’s day and age.
Spiritually, motherhood is a role that is given. A mother is a trustee whose role is to take part in a child’s upbringing, to show the next generation how to survive on the planet, and pass on looks and qualities and how you see the world. It’s like writing your own code to develop software. What you pass depends on how you see the world. What you leave behind becomes a child’s culture and history.
A woman definitely goes through a lot with her phenomenal body to create a small miracle. She shares everything she has; her entire body is a gift. The tiniest cell works toward developing an amazing miracle that continues our race on earth, which many women have done for generations.
Q: What role can meditation play for someone trying to conceive and wishing for a smooth pregnancy for herself and her baby?
We have been taught that our body is a device that only doctors know about, and that we need big machines to understand what’s happening inside our physical self. We outsource our own bodies into doctors’ hands and opinions, and we assume only doctors or practitioners know our body well. That’s what needs to change in current times.
Our body is in our complete control when we learn about it through meditation.
Meditation completely helps you self-tune into your endocrine system. Small changes in diet and just getting rid of chemicals and products that are endotoxins can help a woman restart her system. Maintaining how you and your body feels – or even asking, “How do I feel?” after every meal – will enormously help you know your body. We may lie, but our body doesn’t. Once you get to know your body well and eat food as medicine instead of man made chemicals, conceiving and taking care of oneself throughout pregnancy becomes an experience in itself. As women we have a GPS system already. Our intuition works well. Just the idea that others know us better defaults our internal GPS system.
Meditation helps keep your mind calm and project your energy inflow to the bodily functions. How we think is what creates our future. Meditation can help fix any endocrine defects. It’s our pineal gland that looks after all the other glands, like the CEO of a company. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus act as managers reporting to the pineal gland. Making friends with the pineal gland will definitely help in every process!
Q: What are the conscious psychological and diet choices one needs to make before, during, and after pregnancy?
Nature made us food as medicine, and our ancestors did enjoy observing how certain foods impact our body and mind. Like any other medicine you use, you need to know what food works for you and what does not. Most ancient cultures have some traditions and norms to follow for a reason. I am not saying follow everything blindly, but check and experience for yourself.
Maintaining a journal of what you eat matters a lot. I personally did not follow a good diet for my first pregnancy due to lack of knowledge. Getting rid of refined sugar or anything that is processed or man made really relieves you of swelling and other small discomforts throughout pregnancy; and post-partum recovery can be amazing.
Also, check what you feed your mind. Avoid television’s negative conversations about others and enjoy peaceful pursuits like nature walks and a hobby.
Q: Women are confused with so many myths about what foods to eat and avoid. What advice would you give them? What is your vision for the next generation of women?
I always tell my clients to eat what your grandmother ate. World War II and current fast food changed the world’s diet and how we think about food. Before that we were all fine following our ancestors.
Also, following the seasons helps a lot with keeping a healthy diet. For example, watermelon is a summer fruit but is available year-round in the United States, which will definitely create imbalance. However, make sure to inform yourself about what food grows in your region, and please follow seasons accordingly instead of eating imported food. Food available at your local farmer’s market is a good guide.
As women who run the society, we have immense power in every small step we take. My vision for a woman is to have this treasure of knowledge in her hands. We have access to complete information about how our own body works. Even if you are a CEO, know what food benefits you in your day-to-day life. We have acupuncturists, massage therapists, Chinese herbalists, Ayurvedic dieticians all accessible to us who can teach us. Making diet decisions for the entire family takes away confusion. Women can and should learn to break our own myths.
Q: Can common complaints like morning sickness, nausea, etc., associated with pregnancy be avoided or accepted better through right diet choices?
We have remedies for everything. Nature has defined everything for us. Being pregnant is a journey, not a disease, which is how it is seen by doctors. Symptoms are body signals. Finding a holistic health coach and a natural dietician can help with any complaints associated with pregnancy.
Pregnancy in my opinion is like fertilizer for a female body, for women to enjoy a vibrant old age.
And just simply be in sync with nature, not just one day but every day. This will help you prevent any complaints from the root and no complications will develop.
Q: What activity (especially yoga) and until when do you recommend for pregnant women who wish to stay active?
We are made to think that our body has to be a certain way every day. In actuality, every day is different in every way. Make sure to give time and attention to the body. Some days you may be all up for being active. There is no point in stressing about the idea of being active. Listening to the body is the key factor to keep active.
Pregnant women can do yoga until the day of their labor. Not the athletic form of yoga, but small, subtle movements along with breathing practices will help calm the mind and prepare for the big day. There are many gentle practices of breathing and meditation that definitely have helped me and many other women. Finding an experienced yoga instructor is a must, so that there is no injury or alignment problems later.
Q: Most people are unaware of “post-partum stress.” Please throw some light so that family members can help understand and support a mother during this trying time.
Making a baby is a process that involves the whole family, not just the parents. It doesn’t end right after labor. Post-partum is precious time for a mom to recover.
Keeping a pregnant woman in a happy mood is very important for the future generations.
A woman’s body needs time to get back to normal. The more natural a process you make of it, the faster the recovery. We create imbalances due to our diet, work, current media, pressure to fit in – all of those things impact our bodies and health.
The family’s actions during pregnancy actually result during the post-partum period. The partner’s important and significant role is to support the woman throughout the process.