20 Feb Upcoming course – Yoga as a tool for your fertility journey
The fertility journey can be overwhelming, lonely and stressful, and we’ve learned first-hand how that can impact a family’s life. We’ve also learned that the journey gets easier, more beautiful even, if we’re provided with the right tools to navigate the road towards consciously conceiving a child. That is why we’re so excited to share our new fertility yoga program with you all. In this article, you’ll learn more about yoga for fertility and your teachers Claudia and Abigail.
For this 4-week course, we’re teaming up with Abigail Aller. She’s a yoga teacher, belly dancer and has a PhD in geophysics. The first time we connected felt like coming home, and creating this beautiful program together feels like the natural next step.
Both Claudia and Abigail bring their experiences as yoga teachers who are trained in fertility yoga, and yoga for IVF and other forms of fertility therapy. They also bring their own fertility journeys and coaching experience to create this program that makes you feel safe and held while learning the tools of yoga for fertility. We sat down with Abigail to let her share more about her journey and the program.
Hi Abigail! We’re so excited to have you on the team! Can you please tell us more about you and your yoga journey?
“I’m so excited to join Sanga Yoga for this course. I discovered yoga about 15 years ago. I was working on my PhD in geodynamics, and I needed something to counterbalance the stress and mental toll of all the physics I was doing! My university gym offered Hatha Yoga classes and I signed up. The instructor was amazing, offering the spiritual and physical practice I had been looking for, and I knew almost immediately that someday I wanted to become a yoga teacher myself.
Throughout the years that followed, I kept going to yoga classes, discovering vinyasa and yin, which are now some of my favourite styles of yoga. Finally in 2019, after a bout of serious illness, I decided to go for it, and I enrolled on a 200 hour YTT in Vinyasa and Ayurveda. It was the most wonderful experience! Since then I have studied yin yoga, yoga for fertility, and yoga to support IVF/ART. Yoga gives us so many tools for dealing with everything that life throws at us, and I am passionate about sharing those tools with people.”
What was the role yoga played in your fertility journey?
“My fertility journey started in 2013 when my husband and I decided to try for a baby. Over the following 2.5 years, we watched friend after friend after friend become pregnant. I was devastated with every announcement. Infertility is heartbreaking, evermore so because we tend to hide what we are going through from the world for fear of being judged. Yoga became my sanctuary during those 2.5 years, my place to return to when I felt like everything was crumbling around me. I found myself spending more and more time on the mat, and I knew that I needed to overcome the feelings of resentment and sadness if I was to ever see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.
“I used visualisations and meditations to calm the mind, and to envisage a successful IVF cycle. I truly believe that yoga played a pivotal role in how I experienced my fertility journey.”
In early 2016 I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis, and after successful surgery, we began our first IVF cycle. IVF is hard. Not just physically, but also mentally. The effect of the many drugs, combined with the stress, and the numerous hospital appointments can leave one feeling ungrounded, unbalanced, and lost. Yoga helped me to find some calm moments, and to find a sense of stillness and grounding. I used visualisations and meditations to calm the mind, and to envisage a successful IVF cycle. I truly believe that yoga played a pivotal role in how I experienced my fertility journey.”
What are some of the key things we do in this course?
“In this course, we will explore using restorative yoga, meditation, breathing practices (Pranayama), visualisations and Yoga Nidra (“Yogic sleep”) to reduce stress levels and balance the hormonal system. Stress can adversely affect the delicate balance of hormones necessary for optimal fertility, so minimizing stress is an important aspect of our fertility yoga course.
We will focus on poses that encourage optimal blood flow within the ovaries and womb, bring warmth to the reproductive organs, and that create space and softness in the lower belly. Our classes will calm the nervous system, reduce stress hormones in the bloodstream, balance the mind, and nourish our bodies as we move through this journey.
A final, but important part of the program, is coming together as women on a similar journey. The fertility journey can be lonely, and having a supportive group of women around you, can change everything.”
“Each class will include time for discussion and sharing, but this is completely optional. Should a woman prefer to simply listen, that is absolutely fine. Her presence is more than enough.”
What if a woman has never shared her (in)fertility journey with anyone before or would like to keep this a personal journey, can she still join?
“Absolutely! The path of (in)fertility is incredibly hard to walk. It can take time until a woman feels ready to share what they are going through with others. We understand that everyone is at a different stage of their journey, and that every woman has a different story. Each class will include time for discussion and sharing, but this is completely optional. Should a woman prefer to simply listen, that is absolutely fine. Her presence is more than enough.”
Our 4-week program Yoga for Fertility will be co-taught bij Claudia and Abigail, and starts on the 12th of March. You’ll find more information about the program here. If you feel called to join, you can sign up here.