Fertile Yoga: The Light in Me Honors the Light in Fertility Warriors!

You don’t have to be a super athlete or be able to tie your appendages in knots to gain the benefits from yoga.  It really isn’t about how far you can stretch, bend or twist or even if you can touch your toes. It is more about honoring your body and being mindful of your practice.

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I am certainly not the most flexible person I know, but I truly enjoy yoga and feel that it has been a life altering practice for me.  During the thick of my battle with infertility, I was diagnosed with a rare hip disease when I was in my late twenties.

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At the time of my diagnosis, my husband was an active duty Naval Officer and we happened to be stationed in the Philippines for two-and-a-half-years. I had been TTC for over two years when my husband received his orders to the P.I. It was so difficult to leave my home, family friends and my teaching career. However, to be plucked away from my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) and move to a third world country, where there was no way to pursue infertility treatment, was overwhelmingly difficult. Talk about STRESS!

 This is a common scene in the Philippines... a rice farmer with his carabao pulling a cart as he harvests his crop. 

This is a common scene in the Philippines... a rice farmer with his carabao pulling a cart as he harvests his crop. 

To top it off, the pelvic pain I was experiencing was NOT due to endometriosis or any other kind of reproductive problem. Instead it was caused by a rare disease I had been diagnosed with called synovial osteo-chondromatosis or (SOC) for short. I invite you to read the entire story of my journey in my Amazon bestselling infertility book, Detours: Unexpected Journeys of Hope Conceived from Infertility.

However, after I received the diagnosis of my hip disease, my doctor told me it would be critical for the life of my hip to keep it moving and as strong as possible. He told me to avoid exercise that caused pounding impact to my joints, but encouraged me to swim, ride a bike or practice yoga instead. Yoga has been the practice I have turned to for the past two decades.

 Child's pose... a restorative yoga pose.

Child's pose... a restorative yoga pose.

I have learned that I am much stronger than I give myself credit for when I go to my yoga mat. Yes, there are people who can do a lot more than I can do. After all, I have a permanent handicapping condition due to my degenerative disease, which has left me with nerve damage.  However, I surprise myself at what I CAN do that I couldn’t do when I was younger. I have strengthened my core, my balance and my well-being. I actually feel that my body is more capable than it was when I was thirty.

 Warrior Pose... great for Fertility Warriors!

Warrior Pose... great for Fertility Warriors!

I love the fact that my yoga instructor/s invite me to close my eyes during my practice. When my eyes are open, I find myself looking at the other participants and thinking of how good they are at a certain pose, compared to me. (Why do we humans do that… compare ourselves to each other?) But when I close my eyes, I can turn inward and focus on just myself. I have learned to breathe into the pose to get through the fatigue. When I can relax and breathe, I find that I am able to deepen the stretch and hold the poses for much longer.

 Performing yoga through closed eyes helps to focus inward during your practice. 

Performing yoga through closed eyes helps to focus inward during your practice. 

When I have spent an hour on the mat, I feel refreshed and able to face my day with much more confidence. I feel stronger, the sun seems to shine more brightly and all colors appear more vibrant. All of my senses are enhanced and I am invigorated to embrace the day.

 After my yoga practice, all colors appear more vibrant.

After my yoga practice, all colors appear more vibrant.

Has my hip improved? Yes. Am I able to do everything that everyone else can do? No. I still have my handicapped placard and limp occasionally when I get up. I find it difficult to get up off the floor without pushing up. While I still cannot hold “Tree Pose” for very long, I hate to think what my hip would be like if I didn’t practice yoga.

 Tree pose is still tricky for me, but I am getting better at my overall balance. 

Tree pose is still tricky for me, but I am getting better at my overall balance. 

Because I am good friends with Lisa Rosenthal, an amazing woman who is a patient advocate at RMACT who offers fertile yoga classes, I talked with my own yoga instructor about starting a fertile yoga practice in MY community here in Michigan. I’m not surprised that she was all IN for helping the women that I lead in my fertility support group.

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Just last night my instructor came to my meeting and led us in a 30-minute chair yoga practice. She helped us do some deep breathing, neck and arm stretches and heart/chest "openers." She also shared very positive self-affirmations with us. She closed the practice with a meditation about loving ourselves and our bodies where we are NOW. And because she knows how astronomical expensive fertility treatments can be (patients often pay completely out of pocket as you well know), she is offering fertile yoga practice for FREE to the fertility warriors in my RESOLVE support group. What a great concept: WARRIOR POSE FOR MY INFERTILITY WARRIORS!

 What a wonderful way to envision your reproductive system.

What a wonderful way to envision your reproductive system.

Will practicing fertile yoga be something that will guarantee a pregnancy? No. But it will certainly help to:

  • “Reset” your endocrine system; aiding hormonal balance.
  • Clear adhesions and blockages in the reproductive areas.
  • Increases circulation to the reproductive system.
  • Support a healthy immune system and support the body in detoxifying.
  • Bring some peace and vitality to your conception journey.
  • Create an environment of clarity and reduces stress.

Most yogis begin and end each practice with the saying "Namaste," which means "the light in me honors the light in you." Please keep in mind that there is no judgment when it comes to yoga. It a wonderful practice that helps you on your journey to live as healthfully as you can. And when you are at your healthiest, you will live your life fully and with no regrets. 

If you'd like to know more about Fertile Yoga in my community, please contact me or visit my RESOURCES page of my website. Or reach out to Lisa Rosenthal for virtual fertile yoga classes.

Namaste, 

Sue  

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