The fertility journey can be an emotional roller coaster. When women come into the yoga space for a fertility workshop there is usually a mixed feel in the room. As a teacher I’m aware that fertility yoga is not a celebration, like pregnancy yoga can be, nor should it be full of promises or outcome focused. As yoga teachers cannot guarantee conception post yoga, no-one can
Indeed the coming of babies is in the hands of the Gods is it not? But does that mean there is nothing to be done? Surely not?
In an ideal world the most useful thing I could have for my fertility clients would be a crystal ball. If I could say to a woman, this time next year or you’ll be in my pregnancy classes but not until Christmas. Oh imagine the level of relaxation that could come, the smiles, the joy, the feeling of relief. As women we just want to know.
We don’t have crystal balls. We can’t bring that level of relief.
But what we do have are ancient yogic practices that can improve our physical health, our mental health and deepen an awareness of a spiritual connection to a higher power… if we let it, our yoga does this work, not necessarily our words.
My fertility workshops often start with a feeling of anxiety or apprehension in the room. Women often carrying the thoughts, will this work? What if it doesn’t? Am I being silly even trying this?
As we work through a fertility practice we move away from the thoughts of pregnancy or not pregnancy and we do what we do as Birthlight teachers. We help women connect with their bodies.
A few minutes of deep yoga breath and women are down into their bellies. They start to soften and breathe deeper and we make our way, together as a class, into the present. This is a powerful place to be. Gone are the stories, the what ifs, the ‘maybe next month’ thoughts and feelings and we sit with the ‘right here, right now’. We have an awful lot of our personal power available to us in the ‘right here, right now.
I work with shoulder openers, hip openers and this is deep work. Hidden tensions and pains can emerge but often they are released with the breath. Women soften before my eyes. Nowhere else to be but here. Improving oxygen levels, raising energy, improving pelvic health by increasing blood circulation and simply opening the hips. Many women have sat for 20 years with their legs crossed daily on an office chair and to undo that level of postural misalignment and tension is wonderful!
The HPA axis is a big deal in our culture, caffeine, dead lines, the pushing of young women towards education and career success often comes with the unspoken expectation that they will override their personal needs, ignore the cycles of their bodies and push harder into stress until it’s simply a way of life. Burn out is a common phrase in this generation.
This is where our work lies, in the undoing of the cultural norm of high stress and in my experience its simple, we start with the breath.
I share stories of great yogis who proved the mind body connection. I bring awareness to the reproductive system and with gentle guided meditation we connect with the womb. The womb, a power centre, a centre for creative brilliance and cosmic wonder is so often ignored on the fertility journey because so much is going on in the head but also because as women it can be where we hold our pain.
Breath work for relaxation, long held anxieties and tensions that often exist not just from the past but because a woman is in a constant state of uncertainty, can be released. Deep relaxation in a fertility workshop can be very deep. Undoing often years of held tension and worry can take a woman into a healing space.
We can’t guarantee a future, no immaculate conceptions have ever happened in my fertility workshops but we can bring women into deep peace in the present. There is a subtle difference between living in the future, constantly being elsewhere, and being deeply present with hope.
Hope is the part of us that refuses to give into despair and hope is always available to all of us. Some women resist hope because they feel it sets them up for disappointment but I feel there is medicine in hope and it can be weaved subtly into our fertility classes as guide women settle into their power of the present moment.
The feeling in the room at the end of a fertility workshop is always the same. There is warmth, openness, big smiles and more energy. There is hope and a new way forward that includes self care, self nourishment and self love. Medicine for these times indeed.
Thank you to Francoise who taught me fertility yoga and on behalf of all of my women who have benefited both those who became pregnant and those who have not (yet?), I am really grateful for your wisdom and huge kind heart which shines through all of your work. Thank you Birthlight.
Pregnancy Yoga Instructor
I work with fertility clients in yoga workshops and I work 121 with nutrition. Fertility yoga can be so much more effective when a woman is deeply nourished by the food she eats. I am a nutritional therapist and back in 2014 I worked with Dutch fertility expert Rika Lukac on her book Eat, Breathe, Conceive. This book looks at how to lower stress with yoga and nutrition to support the body into pregnancy. We need certain raw ingredients to get pregnant and stay pregnant. But a body in high stress is less able to absorb vitamins and minerals, a dehydrated body even less so. I recommend this book to all my clients and I would highly recommend it to fertility yoga teachers. Its available to buy from my website www.yogabumpsandbabies.co.uk/shop
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Birthlight Well Woman Course
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