For many of us the fertility journey is a challenging one. Whether you are trying naturally or doing Assisted Reproductive Therapies like IVF, or maybe using Natural Therapies like herbs or acupuncture. It can be for some of us a very anxious time.
Yoga for Fertility is a gentle style of Hatha yoga specifically designed for women to reduce anxiety and stress when trying to get pregnant naturally or through fertility treatments. The classes are based on my own experiences of fertility treatment whilst practicing as a yoga teacher.
In my Four Week Course I teach simple but powerful tools and techniques to help you become more balanced and calm so that you have the mental and physical stamina to be able to keep going towards your goal of becoming a mother.
Each week during the course we will also have a Mindset Discussion in which I will talk about a key issue that women face, and how to reframe your thoughts to balance negative emotions.
My courses aim to create a positive, calming community where you can connect and make friends with other women going through similar experiences in a positive environment.
Many people think you need to be very flexible to do yoga, but this is not true. A wise yogie once said “there is no point being able to touch your toes if you cannot touch your heart”.
In yoga we move with the breath to open the body and bring on a sense of peace and calm. I give options within each pose and I encourage you to listen to your inner wisdom and go only as far as you are comfortable. My classes encourage you to be kind to yourself, in yoga the word for this is ‘ahimsa’ – giving yourself permission when you come to class to rest your body and your mind and take time out for you.
How yoga can help fertility
Fertility treatment can be very stressful. Stress causes us to draw in our stomachs and tighten the muscles, our breath becomes shallow and we breathe from our chest. In our Yoga for Fertility classes we learn how to breathe deeply from the belly and move our diaphragm. This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, slows down our adrenal glands and reduces the cortisol released in our body – which can interfere with the reproductive hormone function.
There are specific yoga poses which can help to open and soften connective tissue in the pelvis and increase blood flow, which benefits the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Where is the proof?
Sadly yoga will not get you pregnant. If you have endometriosis or blocked fallopian tubes yoga will not be able to cure you. But what yoga can do, in combination with other fertility strategies, is help you cope with the anxiety and emotional burden that often accompanies fertility treatments and natural fertility. We know from research that when you are less stressed you are more fertile and this course has been created to help you manage that stress at this key time in your life.
The tool box of techniques that I teach are practical and easy to apply. For example simple breathing practices to manage stress in waiting rooms, travelling or even in certain medical procedures. The calming breathing techniques that I will teach you certainly helped me at these times.
Yogic practices for fertility have been operating in the USA for some time. Perhaps the strongest evidence that reducing stress (through yoga and other means) can boost fertility comes from a study by Alice Domar, PhD, of Harvard Medical School. She created a fertility program at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and later opened the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health. In 2000 Domar found that 55 percent of infertility patients became pregnant (and had a baby) within one year of participating in her 10-session program, in which they were introduced to yoga and meditation along with other relaxation techniques and acupuncture. In a control group, just 20 percent had babies.
I have been practicing yoga for the past seventeen years and have an Advanced Diploma of Yoga teaching from NatureCare College in Sydney. I created Yoga For Fertility because these techniques helped me on my own fertility journey and I believe they can help other women on a similar path. I have taught many styles of Hatha yoga, including pre and post natal and stress relief yoga. I also teach Yoga for Fertility Courses and Workshops. I am also blessed to be the mumma of 7 year old twin boys, who took their own sweet time getting here…
There is a wonderful quote in Dr Alice Domar’s book ‘Conquering Infertility’ which really helped me. She wanted to learn enough from her research and clinical practice to give infertility patients hope. Based on 16 years of research and having spoken to thousands of infertility patients she says this: ‘You will be happy again. Life will become joyful again. And somehow, some way, if you want to become a parent, you will’.
I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who helped me along the way, who might also be able to help you. Please look at my friends page for more information.
“Melinda Rushe’s Yoga for Fertility course is a gem for the Sydney community. Her passion and extensive experience of yoga and it’s philosophical applications is infectious! Not only does she provide easy to apply information about how to improve your physical health through yoga postures, of equal if not greater importance you’ll have the opportunity to experiment with and apply crucial psychological and philosophical tools. Over the course of four weeks you’ll have ample opportunity to reach a deep level of relaxation, connect with others and improve your overall health.” Dr Laura Lum – Psychologist (www.drlaura.com.au)
I have some really lovely testimonials from women who have taken part in my course click here and scroll down to read.