The Mind-Body Fertility Connection
Going through infertility is the ultimate mind-body experience. There are issues we are experiencing with our bodies, and understandably the stress, anxiety and uncertainty weighs very heavy on our minds. As human beings it is our natural default to feel things both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, for most of us it is not our natural default to stay attuned and connected to the mind-body experience in a way that most benefits us. That's where yoga techniques can help.
The psychological distress associated with infertility can impact many aspects of life. In some of the literature, the emotional impact related to infertility has been compared to dealing with a diagnosis such as HIV and heart disease. Studies have also shown a correlation between fertility treatment and PTSD. When the experience goes on for an extended period of time that the emotional impact can even begin to take a toll on physical health.
Many women really struggle emotionally and mentally, to the point where they consider stopping trying to conceive as the stress they encounter feels just too much - the whole thing can be truly all consuming. Sometimes people read about mind-body approaches, or perhaps their doctor suggests they seek out stress reducing activities. They know internally something else is needed to help them rebalance. Often women say that they feel so stressed and that they know it must be contributing to their infertility. Being stressed and feeling anxious is completely normal, its a natural human response. There is no reason to blame or self-judge. But learning techniques to manage the stress, and to help our bodies nervous system come back to it's calm and easy state (reducing our 'fight or flight' response and adrenaline levels) can help women feel more in control, calmer and more at ease with the situation, and more able to carry on trying to conceive.
Using a mind-body approach to fertility can compliment both naturally trying to conceive and fertility treatment. Women who use the mind-body approach self-report feeling happier, more in control and overall more balanced. A mind-body approach is moving into the mainstream, and it's common now for fertility clinics to recommend some type of stress reduction program. A recent study demonstrated that learning mind body stress reduction techniques within a supportive group environment does more than only help to relieve stress and anxiety associated with the experience but also improve pregnancy success (Frederiksen et al. 2015). This study revealed that the women in the intervention group were twice as likely to become pregnant than those women in the control groups. Mindful meditation, the relaxation response, yoga, and hypnosis are some of the mind-body approaches that can be used to combat anxiety, ease the body and focus the mind.
This is why I developed my Fertility Yoga course. This 6-week program is specifically designed to support women who are trying to conceive. It looks at how you perceive your fertility experience, strengthens your mind-body connection, works to release any negative feelings and looks at a positive plan to move forward with through various yoga techniques:
- yoga postures to support the endocrine system and optimize blood flow to the pelvic region
- yoga postures to self-nurture and nourish
- breathing techniques
- deep relaxation practices
- guided visualisations
- positive affirmations and mantras
It helps you reconnect with your body and your mind, to feel more in control in a relaxed and positive way. You’ll develop a toolkit of yoga and relaxation techniques that you can use after the course, and receive a series of .mp3 audio relaxations and visualisations to use at home.
My next Yoga For Fertility course will be starting in June, at The Stables Yoga Centre in York. Emphasis will be placed on learning these yoga-based techniques as well as mutual support within the group through shared experiences in a safe environment. There is also a special (secret) Facebook group to connect with and support others through.
- When: Saturdays 10th, 17th, 24th June and 1st, 8th and 22nd July 2017. 2.30pm to 4pm
- Location: Stables Yoga Centre, York, YO23 1NU
- Investment: £90 for the 6 week course, including mp3 relaxations and visualisations, and a series of .pdf guides to support the course.
- Please Note: Space is limited to 8 participants, and booking is essential.
Booking: Please contact Susan for full course details and to make a booking enquiry - by email firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 07954 238 424 .
For more details visit http://www.yogaformodernlife.com/fertility-yoga/
Feedback from previous Yoga For Fertility clients:
“I loved permission to rest and visualise myself in such a positive way. The restorative postures felt comforting as did sharing the experience with others who really understand. It's a place to park the emotions for an hour and a half, and allow self-care to take place”
“I now have a toolbox of coping strategies.”
“The relaxations and visualisations have been really helpful. They helped me to visualise my body, being healthy and fertile and remind myself of this mantra when I find myself feeling broken”