Holistic Perspectives & Directory For Northern India

Conscious Birthing: Re-introducing the Birth Process

Why seems birth so easy to animals and so difficult for us humans? Why should we, who have been created as sexual beings that come together in love and joy, get pregnant and then have to give birth in a painful and stressful way? It just does not make sense. And why have women in some cultures gentle, pain-free childbirths and why do women with less educated and upscale backgrounds usually deal with birthing in such uncomplicated manner? 

We’d like to share the most important facts about natural birthing and HypnoBirthing® as it reveals a whole new perspective on birthing (including a new, much gentler language for the process), which every woman – and man – should be introduced to. Natural birthing methods help to resolve limiting social norms and to recover a healthy confidence in the female body, in its natural instincts and in the harmonious orchestration of the mother’s and baby’s bodies at birth.

“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change.”
Marie Mongan, Founder of HypnoBirthing®

The answer to the initial questions is actually rather simple: Fear. For most of their lives, women have been inundated with the negative stories of other women’s birth experiences. Everyone, from their mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends, and even strangers, wants to tell them the horrors of giving birth. They have been conditioned to believe that excruciating pain is associated with the delivery. And because of this, women today hold an unprecedented fear of giving birth. Where there is fear, there is tension, where there is tension, there is contraction, and with it come limited perception and limited physiological functions.

This extreme fear not only causes women‘s bodies to become tense with the approaching birthing date – and that tension prohibits their bodies from easily performing what should be a normal natural birthing procedure, resulting in exactly the feared long, painful „labour“ or unnecessary intervention – but also, even before conception, in a lack of confidence in their body‘ inherent capacities to birth. Most women who give birth by the vaginal route rely on pharmaceutical drugs and technologised treatments in the clinical labour rooms, because they fear they cannot manage birth by themselves.

Holistic prenatal classes such as the HypnoBirthing® program are built around an educational process that includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, clearing of subconscious limiting beliefs, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Expectant women learn to dismiss fear-based stories, misinformation and birthing myths. And they are helped to see birth as normal. They learn to trust that their bodies know how to bring their babies into the world in the calm and gentle way that nature intended.

„Wow, this is what I was looking for. Deep within I always knew natural birthing methods must exist. Now I feel truly empowered. Even ready to birth alone in a forest, if necessary.“
First time expectant mother after HypnoBirthing® course.

Everywhere in the world, the number of women who give birth to a baby by themselves – which means by their own hormones (e.g. oxytocin and endorphin) – is getting smaller and smaller. While the conditioning of women‘s minds plays a significant role, our society‘s standardised, and by expectant parents mostly unquestioned, “take over” by doctors/ nurses/ gadgets/ medication is the other major influence. Good news is, that a movement of natural birth (meaning without any medical intervention) is gaining more and more momentum, whereby women stop to accept limiting mainstream conditions for their childbirth.

Giving birth can be easy and calm for women. It can even be a pleasurable and highly erotic as well as a deeply spiritual experience.  And if a woman is well prepared (positive affirmations, visualisations, hypnosis, relaxation training and breathing techniques) she can give birth without any synthetic hormones (epidural etc.) and without getting her perineum cut.

„To those who say it is just not possible to birth naturally without pain, I say, “But what if we’re right? Wouldn’t it be wonderful?“
Lorne R. Campbell, M.D.



Featured post

International Women’s Day


Life transformation is to high degree about our conscious emergence from the cycle of suffering, blind acceptance and powerlessness, liberating us into an alignment with our inherent divine navigation system, soul plan and with nature. And this includes spiritual awareness and the harmonisation of the male and female aspects within us, the connection with heart and head, intuition and ratio, Earth and Heaven.

When pieces of our soul expression got lost during childhood, the grieving about it, followed by the reintegration of our ‘inner children’ will lead to reconciliation and inner peace. This completion is an essential element in the foundation for living healthy, mature, authentic, truly loving and powerful relationships.

The way for men (and meanwhile also for many women) back into their integrity includes also to consciously put away the weapons of competition and aggression, to stop being absent and busy with all kinds of performances. Instead to be present and re-member their inherent intuitive antennae. The way for women (but also for men) back into their integrity involves the conscious re-connection to their bodies and inner knowing. Thus grow self-respect and self-esteem. And through the recovery of their dignity, both men and women, gain momentum to increasingly make choices that serve their highest good – and the highest good of ALL involved.

Here is to the exuberant, creative, nourishing, cooperative and magical Female Powers of Existence! Just look at our fertile, all-forgiving and loving Mother Earth. Wishing you a JOYOUS WOMEN’s DAY! 
– Marina


“Indian culture is about the Goddess in the 2nd Shakti Chakra in everyman & woman. Tyag त्याग is sacred in India! Swadhishthan is about Durga riding the Lion Dynamo of Passion & Power to end the demoniacal tamas on Earth. Call it Sex Chakra, instead of Goddess in every man & woman, and we transform into rape culture like rest of the world. Today I salute men & women who are capable of authentic sacrifice for sacred values. This is true meaning of orange flag of Dharma, inspired by Bhavani!
I like to see myself as ex-marxist (Nirmala Niketan, TISS, Berkeley), ex-feminist (Berkeley). My three male gurus were all complete man-woman unity as Mother, and without a word of reproach or reaction, they have compassionately helped me transform into Mother too. I am Man, Woman, Child and all That. Women are in need of greater Courage & Men in need of Pure Love and Spirit of Sacrifice within. We are now in the orange dawn of Satyayug, the Era of Light, Love and Dharma. 
When I saw myself going Sati in a powerful cosmic vision, and then escorted to a spaceship full of ppl wiz bodies of gold particles of pure Love, I understood. My guru confirmed that I performed the sati in four previous lives. 
You saw the viral video of mama bear defending her cub when facing full fury of tiger in Maharashtra’s Tadoba sanctuary. This is pure Mother Courage and Love. This is what 2nd Chakra Strength in Sacrifice is about.
Satyayug will be a place of blessings and grace, once all the confusion and darkness of kaliyug is cleared out in the ensuing years. 
Kaliyug, the dark era was the era of false ideologies creating division, fractures, war, powerlessness and humanity reduced to being puppets, subjects of manipulation and destruction. It is now ended.”
– Sri Ma, India

WHO: Individualised care is key

WHO has issued new recommendations to establish global care standards for healthy pregnant women and reduce unnecessary medical interventions.

Worldwide, an estimated 140 million births take place every year. Most of these occur without complications for women and their babies. Yet, over the past 20 years, practitioners have increased the use of interventions that were previously only used to avoid risks or treat complications, such as oxytocin infusion to speed up labour or caesarean sections.

“We want women to give birth in a safe environment with skilled birth attendants in well-equipped facilities. However, the increasing medicalization of normal childbirth processes are undermining a woman’s own capability to give birth and negatively impacting her birth experience,” says Dr Princess Nothemba Simelela, WHO Assistant Director-General for Family, Women, Children and Adolescents.

“If labour is progressing normally, and the woman and her baby are in good condition, they do not need to receive additional interventions to accelerate labour,” she says.

Childbirth is a normal physiological process that can be accomplished without complications for the majority of women and babies. However, studies show a substantial proportion of healthy pregnant women undergo at least one clinical intervention during labour and birth. They are also often subjected to needless and potentially harmful routine interventions.

The new WHO guideline includes 56 evidence-based recommendations on what care is needed throughout labour and immediately after for the woman and her baby. These include having a companion of choice during labour and childbirth; ensuring respectful care and good communication between women and health providers; maintaining privacy and confidentiality; and allowing women to make decisions about their pain management, labour and birth positions and natural urge to push, among others.

Every labour is unique and progresses at different rates

The new WHO guideline recognizes that every labour and childbirth is unique and that the duration of the active first stage of labour varies from one woman to another. In a first labour, it usually does not extend beyond 12 hours. In subsequent labours it usually does not extend beyond 10 hours.

To reduce unnecessary medical interventions, the WHO guideline states that the previous benchmark for cervical dilation rate at 1 cm/hr during the active first stage of labour (as assessed by a partograph or chart used to document the course of a normal labour) may be unrealistic for some women and is inaccurate in identifying women at risk of adverse birth outcomes. The guideline emphasizes that a slower cervical dilation rate alone should not be a routine indication for intervention to accelerate labour or expedite birth.

“Many women want a natural birth and prefer to rely on their bodies to give birth to their baby without the aid of medical intervention,” says Ian Askew, WHO Director, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. “Even when a medical intervention is wanted or needed, the inclusion of women in making decisions about the care they receive is important to ensure that they meet their goal of a positive childbirth experience.”

High quality care for all women

Unnecessary labour interventions are widespread in low-, middle- and high-income settings, often putting a strain on already scarce resources in some countries, and further widening of the equity gap.

As more women give birth in health facilities with skilled health professionals and timely referrals, they deserve better quality of care. About 830 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications around the world every day – the majority could be prevented with high-quality care in pregnancy and during childbirth.

Disrespectful and non-dignified care is prevalent in many health facilities, violating human rights and preventing women from accessing care services during childbirth. In many parts of the world, the health provider controls the birthing process, which further exposes healthy pregnant women to unnecessary medical interventions that interfere with the natural childbirth process. 

Achieving the best possible physical, emotional, and psychological outcomes for the woman and her baby requires a model of care in which health systems empower all women to access care that focuses on the mother and child.

Health professionals should advise healthy pregnant women that the duration of labour varies greatly from one woman to another. While most women want a natural labour and birth, they also acknowledge that birth can be an unpredictable and risky event and that close monitoring and sometimes medical interventions may be necessary. Even when interventions are needed or wanted, women usually wish to retain a sense of personal achievement and control by being involved in decision making, and by rooming in with their baby after childbirth.


Conscious Child Birth in India

Conscious birthing is as much about conscious conception and parenting, as it is about the actual natural birthing process. Although one would expect India to have holistic doctors and natural birthing  facilities available en masse – given its rich yoga and ayurveda traditions – the reality is far from it. When searching for clinics for water birthing, midwives for home birthing and experienced, holistically thinking gynaecologists in Uttarakhand (North East India), there are NONE to find.

While Mumbai and Hyderabad offer already some good alternatives to the standardised allopathic birthing procedures, the region between Delhi and Dehradun are way behind.

India, the largest democracy on the planet with 1 billion people, is going through big changes with the new government. While ambition and strength are needed for the country’s development and expansion, balance and discernment are equally crucial.

Given the speed in which India’s population is growing, shouldn’t the  provision of an environment where babies, India’s future generations, can enter life naturally, in peace and calm, without time pressure and trauma, be amongst the top priorities? (Short and longterm implications for mums and children after stressful, hurried, medicated and invasive births are well documented.)

Women who were used to natural births (for example Garhwali women in Uttarakhand), started believing that it is unfashionable to do so. They have to be encouraged to return to their natural ways, which might take a generation of education and training.

Democracy is about choices. And in this fast paced world it is more urgent than ever to ensure the fullfillment of the basic needs of women giving birth. To become aware and understand their physiological and psychological processes, and to give women knowledge and the freedom of choice.

“Being from Europe where natural birthing, home births, waterbirths and trained nurses have long ago started to be widely available – just check Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland–, I see a massive lack of such options in India. The caesarean rate is 98%, presence of midwives maybe 2%. And even if clinical doctors promise to support expectant parents in their natural birthing process, they more often than not change their minds last minute because higher hospital fees can be charged for c-sections.”
HypnoBirthing Practitioner, 2014

Vision for Uttarakhand, the ‘Land of the Gods’:

  1. To have a reliable network of holistic birthing professionals and experienced midwives for home- and hospital births in Uttarakhand.
  2. To have reliable support from committed staff in well-equipped hospitals.
  3. To ultimately have established a holistic integrative birthing sanctuary in Uttarakhand – between Rishikesh and Dehradun – with skilled midwives and doctors (trained under international standards incl. alternative medicine), facilities for natural birthing (e.g. water pools, private rooms, calm atmosphere) and a state of the art ob/gyn department for emergency interventions. To have the space and facilities for parents to stay well in advance of the due date, and stay as long as needed. Focus: Treat expectant mothers with respect, acknowledge their individual needs and allow them to experience birthing without time pressure and enforcement of medicine or invasions. This sanctuary would balance the best of all worlds – mum’s and baby’s body wisdom, naturopathy, spiritual science and healing modalities as well as conventional medicine.

If you are interested in supporting the realisation of such a sacred birthing home, please get in touch.

Beautiful Video: Home Water Birth

Thanks to Maraya Brown & Family.


Where to Walk?!

Conscious ‘conception-birthing-parenting’ are part of conscious living. What about conscious city planning and landscaping? Shouldn’t this also be an integral part of our considerations and social responsibility, in order to prepare the ground not only for the well-being of our children but also for creating sustainable infrastructures for generations to come? Increasing traffic, the related bad air quality, noise and lack of safety are major concerns that need to be addressed – urgently and wholeheartedly.

I am German and love India. In fact, I also live in this magnificent country with my beloved (who is Indian). One of the things I really do miss here though, is an environment that allows an exploration of land and cities by foot with ease.

It is impressive how people have adapted to the apparent road chaos and creatively move around (remarkable how accepting citizens are), but I have also observed how challenging it is to go for a walk in public, without risking health and life. There’s no denying that the traffic situation, services and facilities, are characterised by a significant neglect and attitude of indifference.  

The below videos show the situation in Rishikesh (Tapovan/ Laxman Jhula) for example, and unfortunately it is emblematic for many roads in the country. Just see for yourself in the second film how a mother shields her son from all the speedy traffic. But then, the parked motorbikes force her to step on the road…

A simple stroll turns into an unnecessarily risky adventure. The current infrastructure is frustrating and worrisome – not only for mothers and fathers with their kids, pregnant women and dog owners, but for everybody who wants to go for a walk, or must walk in order to get from A to B.

Where is the walking space? How to navigate a walk when there is no pedestrian and footpath? Buses, trucks, cars, autorikshas and motorbikes have taken over. Vehicles pop up from all directions, oftentimes super speedy. Rubbish, stones, loose bricks, gravel, dog poo, cow poo and what not, create additional obstacles on the narrow sidewalks.

Feeling safe and comfortable while walking in the street is naturally given in almost any other country. In India it’s a dream and one wonders where the responsible street and city planners are. There seem absolutely no regulations for protection of public space. Least concern for pedestrian safety. 

I do not even dare to wish for public parks and green areas for doing sports, walking, socialising or to simply enjoying mother Earth, although such facility is an indisputable must have in most cities on the planet. Here instead, the main focus seems on commercial spaces which pop up by the minute. The city landscape tends to be a mess and eyesore. Big old trees get ruthlessly cut and supposed height limits for buildings are blatantly ignored. And it pains me even more, when I notice the lack of maintenance of India’s ancient spiritual treasures and sacred powerspots like Rishikesh. An Indian friend also pointed out that the open loos for men and garbage dumps are a violation against public hygiene and global efforts for environmental sustainability

Just shortly after recording the above videos, I saw a car from Delhi bumping into a woman holding a baby in her arms. She walked on the stingy path beside a busy road. The driver caught her from behind, just laughed (!) and drove away. Supported by family members, she was ok, but shock and disbelief stood on her face. While it is hardly possible to control the driving behaviour of individuals, it is possible to control the development of road structures.

Time to take a strategic approach and bring awakened consciousness, humanity, sustainability and beauty into public space-planning and infrastructure implementation.

In the following 2 mins. recording, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev eloquently describes that a new attitude is indeed needed to secure India’s development and survival (original: “Sadhguru & Baba Ramdev at Rally for Rivers event at Haridwar” on YouTube):

Midlife mums: Pregnant over 40

Given that in India the average marriage-age for men is 26 and 22 for women*, and in rural regions even earlier, the median age at first pregnancy is 20. In Western countries the average age for women to have their first baby has risen to 29 and above – and with that an increase in books, blogs and other media featuring women getting pregnant in their 40s can be observed. In contrast to India: the fact that women can have healthy happy babies also at a later stage in their lives seems unthinkable, doomed unrealistic (by most doctors) and undesirable.

Time for an awareness and paradigm shift amongst Indian women, couples and above all amongst Indian doctors, gynaecologists and nurses.

I’m very much in favour of exploring life and getting to know yourself and the world in your 20s and 30s before settling down, getting married and starting a family. Expand your horizon, be whole and complete within yourself, your body-mind-soul, first. 

Apart from humanity struggling with excess population, this world has enough children who were conceived accidentally and un-lovingly. India has enough couples that follow blindly what everybody else is doing, what their families expect and what society dictates, without checking what is their own real calling. 

Starting a family and having children takes a long term commitment and spiritual maturity. Ideally we have mothers and fathers who choose conscious conception, conscious birthing and conscious parenting. However, this does not tend to be on one’s radar when only 20 or 25 years old.

I am neither in favour of a late pregnancy, nor am I against it. I just want to point out that conceiving a healthy happy baby later in life IS possible. And we have to acknowledge that society in the East and West is changing, and more women are having babies at an older age, for a variety of reasons.

Here a small selection of the inspiring material that is already out there:


Wonderfully honest, hopeful and important blog by Tracy Slater. Read also her article: Why It’s Not So Rare to Get Pregnant after 45.

Mush brained ramblings is a blog by author Ellie Stoneley. Read also her article in the Huffington Post and the post In the Beginning about the journey of being a first time mother at the age of 47 1/2.




Interview Lauren Hanna & Lilou Mace, “Pregnant at 46!” (35 mins):

*Source: WHO and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India, 2011 report.
Image: unknown photographer

Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin is the famous midwife who founded The Farm, an inspiration to birthing women worldwide, and an advocate for normal birth. She is the author of several books: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, and Spiritual Midwifery.


Lotus Birth

Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut, so that the baby remains attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates from the navel, 3-10 days after birth. Please research this process yourself to make an informed decision. There is a lot of material available on YouTube, blogs, websites and in books.




3.-9. Sept 2016 : Healthy Birth Healthy Earth : International Conference

Healthy Birth – Healthy Earth
International Conference in Scottland
from 3. to 9. September 2016
Live Webstreaming and/or participation in person at the Ecovillage Findhorn in Scotland.

„A conference about conscious conception, pregnancy, birth and early childhood, as well as the healing of birth trauma in adults.“

Amongst the 24 speakers are Michel Odent, Elena Tonetti Vladimirova and Robin Lim.
Full program and detailed information:

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