Tomorrow is my lap! Wish me luck! I just wanted to finish this for you guys properly before tomorrow.
I am not really a yoga fan. The first time I tried it was at my gym. I had a snotty nose and all the breathing in and out (through different nostrils) really got to me.
I think there is something about being still in all those poses that drives me batty. I have to be busy and active, and struggle to just be still in the moment. I think this is part of my problem (stress-wise) and if I can achieve stillness (in my body and mind) it will really help with my stress response and hopefully improve my fertility.
So I have been looking for a while for a good fertility yoga DVD. I got an email from Hethir Rodrigues the one day and was interested in a review on “Pulling Down the Moon: Yoga Practices for Fertility”. It appealed to me that the two presenters were infertility survivors themselves and also that they accommodated amateurs like me.
I am really an amateur. I do gross motor with my kids at my school every morning and once a week we take out the mats and do yoga. I do some basic stuff but I am really not good at reaching all the way down to my toes etc. So I liked the way this video acknowledges people like me.
Breathing: They start with breathing. Believe me, this is great for calming down. (Try this after a fight with your husband– it really does help).
The next section is the actual exercise. I loved the way they always added in alternatives for us not-so-fit types. Do the squat if you can’t do the chair pose. Use blankets or cushions if you can’t touch your toes. Use a strap or a block if you can’t reach all the way down. Great stuff.
I just wanted to share with you some useful poses and what was said about them that I think can really help us de-stress in our fertility journey:
The Worrior Pose: Balancing and Grounding:
I had done this before on the Wii Fit. The great thing about the Wii Fit is that they focus on getting your balance right. You really have to stand correctly in the middle to get your points. I was thinking, this is similar to life – you get stretched in various directions due to outside influences, but you have to keep your centre, or your faith, to draw you back in. You have to put all those pieces of yourself back together to make yourself whole. In the same way, we need to listen to what our body is saying to us, and let it bring us back to healing. Emotions become embodied in some form or another if they are not dealt with.
However, Tami on the DVD says the great thing about the Worrior Pose is that it helps keep us grounded. Connecting with the floor and the ground, and knowing that you are supported by the earth and those around you is a crucial reminder to getting through infertility.
I don’t know what this pose is called. But Tami was saying that the hips store stress. And pulling your leg towards you like that is a great way to get all the stress out.
Relax: Forward Fold
This a great pose for relaxation: folding your legs and placing your arms in front.
Lifting up Depression: Back Bend
Let’s face it, all the stuff we have to go through with infertility can be very depressing. I know I have days when I wonder if I’ll ever have a baby. So it is great to raise your bum in the air and say: “Take that, Infertility! That’s what my bum thinks!!” Oh, and apparantly it is a great restorative pose to get the blood flowing to the pelvis.
It was really a coincidence that on last Friday I actually went to a workshop at my church on visualization. We did a great exercise where you go to a garden and look for a treasure chest (representing your self-worth) and an object representing you. Mine was a pink stone in a shape of a heart. I think it means I have compassion to help people. We also did an exercise where you write down all the stuff that’s bothering you, then tear it up and put it in a box. It is a good way of letting it all go and entrusting it into God’s care. It is hard to let stuff go, but sure helps tearing it up!
Anyway it is a great tool to boost your self-esteem, to overcome a sense of powerlessness and clarify what you want in your future.
This video has two exercises with two different purposes: but ultimately I think they are still going for the relaxation angle.
- Lake of the Mind:
We all have that worrying chatter going on, and it is good to have a still place inside we can go to. I like this meditation because it compares that chatter or worries to waves: you can just let it pass over to shore, go with it instead of against it. Very Zen. But to be honest I did struggle not to fall asleep. Although that could be the idea they are going for with the relaxation!
- Chakra healing:
This involves imagining the colours of the chakras illuminating each area. Very nice and restoring.
If you are interested in going deeper here, you should read Caroline Myss’ book “Why People don’t heal and how they can.” She compared each chakra to a sacrament and had some helpful affirmations for each point.
All in all, this yoga dvd is a great idea to calm down, relax and release stress. You can get it on amazon.