Rev. Lakshmi Bertram is the mother of six beautiful children, and during her fifth pregnancy she filmed the Integral Yoga® for Pregnancy class on DVD.
Integral Yoga Magazine (IYM): Did you practice Yoga through all your pregnancies?
Lakshmi Bertram (LB): I had always practiced Yoga, but when I became pregnant I embraced an even more regular practice. At that time, the only book available was Swami Satchidananda’s book, The Mother is the Baby’s First Guru. I followed along with that for my first two boys. Then, when I was pregnant with my first daughter I learned a set of asanas more specific to pregnancy. I practiced prenatal Yoga asanas daily until last week of my pregnancy. I did this through every pregnancy. We did the Integral Yoga® for Pregnancy DVD with my fifth baby.
IYM: What were the benefits of the prenatal Yoga program?
LB: It helped keep my midsection nicely toned and comfortable. My lower back and abdomen strain was alleviated. Relaxation is invaluable during pregnancy and in preparation for birth. Learning a relaxation response allows you to relax more fully during labor.
IYM: You grew up in Yogaville and you and your family were very close to Swami Satchidananda (Sri Gurudev). What was that experience like?
LB: I feel so grateful. I love living in Yogaville. I feel so much support from the community. It’s wonderful to know that everyone has the same foundational beliefs and is striving to live a yogic life. There’s not one thing I do in my life that does not tie back to Sri Gurudev and his teachings. Every day I do some kind of Yoga practice, always keeping in mind what Gurudev taught us that help us live a healthy and peaceful life. My life is not always peaceful, especially with six kids, so it’s really good I have these tools and I can say for certain that they work! I have people come up to me and ask me how I manage to stay sane and I say, “Well, it’s Gurudev and Integral Yoga!”
My husband is a building contractor and has his own company. Our children, Sampath, Nataraj, Rani, Madhuri, Lalita, and Vivekan range in ages from 21- to 7-years-old. I can see the effect that being raised in Yogaville has had on them. They place importance on being kind to others, on being an example. When they decide to do something, they believe they can do it and they do it. They grow up with the power of concentration, meditation, focus. I think going to the Vidyalayam (Integral Yoga School) that Sri Gurudev created for them, and having his blessings, has been incredible.
Rev. Lakshmi Bertram is a Certified Pre-natal Yoga Teacher and Personal Trainer and was the model for the Integral Yoga for Pregnancy DVD. She is also the author of Choosing Waterbirth: Reclaiming the Sacred Power of Birth, Integral Yoga for Pregnancy DVD are available through: www.shakticom.org or 1-800-476-1347.