About Fertility yoga
I'd like to look at how stressful it can be when conception isn't taking place, and how fertility yoga classes can help.
Having conception occupy your every thought places stress on something you have limited control over.
It can become mentally and physically exhausting.
Perhaps because your body is letting you down at a time when you are depending on it to function as you would like it to.
Suddenly you have no control over the situation you find yourself in.
This lack of control can have a huge impact on stress levels.
You maybe experience control over almost every other aspect of your life, but when it comes to conception, it's just not happening.
You have no control over when your body will conceive a child.
Yoga for fertility can help you get back in touch with your body again, and can help you to realise that there are things you can control.
You'll discover that you can release the tension that you're holding in your body, the tension/tightness which is negatively impacting the flow of blood and energy.
You will discover a renewed sense of control by learning simple ways to take charge of your reproductive health, leaving you feeling balanced and empowered.
You will feel like you're actually doing something, it's not controlling you.
Maybe you find yourself surrounded by friends, family members and work colleagues who are experiencing successful, healthy pregnancies - perhaps more than once in the time since you started on your journey towards conception.
This can make daily work, and family and social get togethers difficult, painful, and stressful.
You've maybe started to withdraw from social events where there are babies/children.
Your friendships suffer, relationships with work colleagues deteriorate, and perhaps you are even finding it difficult to focus on your job.
You can feel isolated and lonely.
You no longer recognise yourself as the person you used to be.
The stress from this isolation can be alleviated by talking and sharing.
It's very comforting to know that you're not alone.
The classes create a safe, gentle environment for ladies to share their challenges and emotions.
Whatever the stressor might be (depending on your body's threshold for stress) your body's reaction to stress can have a negative affect on your fertility
High levels of stress have been shown to:
alter the function of the hypothalamus gland which controls ovulation
contribute to irregular menstrual cycles
produce high levels of cortisol, the fight or flight hormone - your body's response to perceived stress ie a life threatening situation.
Your body doesn't know the difference between the situations that you're in eg being called to the boss's office or being chased by a wild animal. You go into survival mode, so blood is pumped to the heart, legs (larger muscles to take flight or fight) and is diverted away from the digestive and reproductive systems.
decrease reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone
divert blood flow away from the ovaries and uterine lining thereby affecting egg quality and successful implantation
How to reduce stress levels thereby enhancing fertility
Studies have shown that mind/body teatment of infertility patients has been shown to increase pregnancy rates and reduce psychological stress
In 2000, Harvard Medical School researcher Alice Domar Phd published the results of a study in Fertility & Sterility (vol 73 No 4) that showed women who participated in her program, which included relaxation and yoga were almost three times more likely to get pregnant than women who didn't. In her book Conquering Infertility she mentions:
"Mind/body medicine is any method in which we use our minds to change our behaviour or physiology in order to promote health or recover from illness. These approaches include:
any technique that induces the relaxation response, including meditation, yoga, mindfulness, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation...
coping skills that manage stress, such as self-nurturance, social support, problem solving, emotional expression and journalling..."