We live in a different world to the generation of women that came before us. We have the blessing of technology and medical advancement, however all this medical advancement has not made having a baby an easier. In some ways I wonder if it’s made our lives a little more complicated. I mean there is now an expectation that if natural conception doesn’t work for us we can turn to medical assistance and we will easily start our family. But ask any woman (and man) who have had to turn to Assisted Reproductive Technology or Invitro-Fertilisation the difficulties that come with starting or adding to your family using this method.
Back in ancient days before artificial lighting, birth control and the ease and availability of food via hunting and gathering methods communities relied on the knowledge and ability to work with the cycles of nature around them. They understood the importance of the moon, the stars, the sun and seasons for just being able to live a harmonious life. In today’s modern living many individuals are out of sync with the natural flow of life and this is really impacting on the rates of infertility.
It is thought that approximately 1 in 6 couples will experience infertility and more than 1% of births are a result of assisted reproductive technology. Having a baby is supposed to be the most natural thing on Earth and yet natural conception is denied to many couples. Some couples are even choosing not to have children. Of course there is a myriad of reasons why but for those wanting to have a child the reason not to continue with ART is more than likely due to although not limited to the financial, emotional and physical burden just trying to conceive (TTC).
Infertility sucks and there is no two ways about it. Wanting to start a family should be easy and yet 1 in 6 couples experience difficulty achieving their dream. It is a blessing that modern medical science can help however from experience I know that going down that road can contribute to an added sense of becoming disconnected from your natural cycles.
For women our menstrual cycle is a way that we can connect to nature. When we are TTC we learn about our natural cycle. We learn the little nuances of our natural flow and we start to harmonise with nature again. Often though this connection might be unconscious; it is very rare that I meet up with a women who can explain what the different stages of cervical mucus indicate or if they can identify when they ovulate without having to count back from when they starting bleeding.
Definitely women who are TTC are more astute and understand their cycle more than a woman who is disconnected and not TTC but I am doubtful it is a natural connection to their body. However when we add medical assistance to the mix, many women start to become reliant on ultrasounds, blood tests and doctors to tell them when to “do the horizontal tango”.
Recently though we have seen some media around natural therapies that can support women while they are TTC. I personally have been supporting women in this area of work for quite some time. I have however been reluctant to call it Fertility Yoga (or fertility anything for that matter) and here is why.
Yoga, meditation and massage are increasingly being used in the area of fertility not because they guarantee a couple will conceive but because yoga, meditation and massage are the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature’s cycles.
For the past few years I have been referring to my “Fertility” Yoga classes as Moon yoga classes.
The average woman’s menstrual cycle is approximately 28 days while the Moon cycles from a full moon to new moon back to a full moon approximately every 29.5 days, making the comparison of a woman’s menstrual cycle to the moon cycle very easy.
In fact if we look at culture through the ages it can easily be observed the reverence various traditions hold with the moon and women in general. Women would often sit in circles and menstruate together – these circles were known as the Red Tent. Younger non-menstruating women would serve the food and do the women’s work giving the menstruating women an opportunity to rest and bond as women. Often these circles would correspond with the Dark Moon – a time commonly considered for restful introspection and going inwards to embrace deep inner wisdom.
Fertility had little to do with these gathering of women. Non-fertile, non-bleeding and women passed child bearing years would also participate in these circle. These times were simply about rest and the women held their bodies sacred and hence honoured that.
The word Fertility may also hold women back from developing a suitable feminine practice if we start labelling a yoga class as being a “fertility” class. Finding a more appropriate name is important for me to describe the classes I offer that can help women embrace their innate power of moving with the cycles of nature.
Yin yoga could be one description but how many women understand that Yin has feminine connotations?
Feminine Flow is another name I could use however I have a reluctance with using this as feminine could be associated with a feminists movement. Although I must say I don’t mind the name.
Womb Luna Yoga has a nice ring to it and could possibly become my new name for this regular class I facilitate. Many women have the energy of womb even in menopause and Luna has the connection with moving with nature.
At the end of the day I am facilitating these classes to empower women to reconnect with their bodies with the hope that each of them will learn how their bodies cycle, with or without menstruation being that driving force.
Women have an innate power that when they are conscious of her natural biological power and connection to the natural environment within and outside of her, she will rise to a level of freedom she is entitled to feel.
The pains of TTC and infertility, the discomfort of menstrual dysfunction and the stress of modern living begin to fade away when we become conscious of our power. We cope with the anxiety, depression and feelings of shame, guilt and failure with strength, understanding and forgiveness of self and others. Learning to move with the cycles of our body and nature does work. We just need to be willing to experience it.
If you want to learn more contact me.