Why I teach Fertility Yoga - My own Fertility journey
With my new block of Fertility Yoga classes starting soon, I thought I would share with you a little bit about my own yoga journey and how I came to offer specialist fertility Yoga classes.
My own yoga journey began over 15 years ago, for very different reasons to why I practice now. I was in my early 20’s and had a very unhealthy relationship with my body - fad diets, starvation, laxatives, bouts of over-exercising… Anything to keep my weight dropping. At the time I started yoga, Geri Halliwell of Spice Girl fame had lost a tremendous amount of weight. She was super skinny with not an ounce of fat on her and her picture was plastered all over magazines practicing yoga, she even released her own yoga dvd. I turned to yoga, to begin with, in my quest for a stick-thin body. It didn’t stick, my head and my heart weren’t in it and without being willing to let go of my focus on weight loss, I didn’t experience the benefits.
Fast forward a few years and having met my now husband I had started to eat and exercise in a much healthier and balanced way, my relationship with yoga changed. I started a class at a local gym. The teacher was wonderful, warm and welcoming. She noticed the misalignment of my hips which was contributing to lower back pain and corrected my postures so that I got the most benefit from them. Although billed as a hatha yoga class, it was a beautiful flow sequencing postures to relaxing music with a guided meditation at the end. Thanks to that amazing teacher my new relationship with yoga was born, a much more holistic one where I started to feel the benefits of the breathing and meditations and appreciate the poses for their benefits to my mind and how my body felt rather than my weight.
I carried on attending classes regularly and fell in love with yoga. By allowing myself to be mindful and really present in the classes and practice I gradually increased my strength, flexibility and one day achieved, if only for a few seconds, a headstand.
We moved home when I was pregnant with my first child in 2010. At the time there were no local pregnancy yoga classes available so my practice went on hold temporarily, although I continued to meditate occasionally at home. I really missed my yoga classes though and once back to health and into a routine with my new little family I started to attend body balance classes, a mixture of yoga, tai-chi and pilates with a short guided meditation at the end. My teacher was fun and positive and the class had a beautiful flow that I really enjoyed, this is probably where my love of vinyasa flow yoga classes stems from. I continued to attend 1-2 classes per week along with the occasional hatha yoga class at the same gym but the particular class was focussed around holding individual postures with no music or flow between postures and the style just didn’t suit me.
After having my first child we really struggled to fall pregnant with a second child. The news from the fertility clinics was that we were suffering secondary infertility, my egg reserve was extremely low for my age and that time was running out. IVF was recommended and whilst we came to terms and figured out our next move I eventually fell pregnant naturally then suffering a miscarriage and discovered at the 12 week scan. A day that was meant to be so joyful and mark our chance to share the news with the world instead was the worst day I have experienced. Devastated and so angry at my body for letting me down again.
It was a very difficult time but I found my yoga and body balance classes a real help with soothing my mind and keeping my body healthy. Given an estimated 30% chance of IVF being successful and encouraged to move quickly, we prepared ourselves to go ahead with IVF.
Just weeks before our appointment to order the drugs for treatment, we discovered I was pregnant again - naturally! After the miscarriage I became extremely anxious about the pregnancy, booking in extra scans privately and praying for a healthy pregnancy.
We were very fortunate and were eventually blessed with a second gorgeous girl, nearly 5 years after the first. I spoke to a few pregnancy yoga teachers and found a wonderful teacher who runs classes locally to me.
My second daughter is now four years old and I practiced pregnancy yoga followed by Mum and Baby and Post-natal yoga since November 2014.
Ten months after having my miracle baby, we were shocked to discover that I was expecting again so was then back to pregnancy then Mum and Baby yoga with the same teacher who is now a close friend. It is her classes which originally inspired me to take the leap into training to become a teacher myself. She gives off such a genuine warmth and creates a community of women who support each other through such a special time of life.
Given my own personal struggles with fertility, I decided to do additional specialist training in Fertility Yoga in a quest to help other women in similar situations to what I went through myself. My fertility classes are a safe space for you to share experiences and feelings, to relax and stretch the body and focus on yourself. They are there for physical benefits such as increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs but also to help you to manage the inherent worries and stresses in a safe space.
I’m looking forward to welcoming a new group and community together soon, if you would like to know more about fertility yoga or upcoming online or in person classes, please get in touch or sign up to my newsletter.