Monday, September 29, 2008

Yoga and Infertility

The October issue of Yoga Journal has a short little article in it written by a yoga teacher who was experiencing Infertility. It is an interesting article that I've had people reference to me several times, many of them pointing out that that particular yoga teacher never even got to IVF, instead, she got pregnant with a few rounds of IUI (interuterine insemination) using a pill, chlomid. This has been pointed out to me with bitterness on occasion, but I still have to address the benefits of this article from a yoga teacher's perspective. No, she didn't have to go through surgeries and egg retrievals and daily injections but she did have to confront the fact that no matter how much effort we put into taking care of ourselves, our bodies sometimes just don't do what we want them to, and we have to be okay with that.

To go even further, I've had struggles this past year with my own yoga practice and infertility. Most of the time, in yoga communities, subjects like infertility only get addressed by saying that yoga can help with this by decreasing stress and teaching patience (and sometimes working with blocked chakras). The subject is almost never addressed from a medical community perspective because yoga practitioners and teachers tend to shy away from modern medicine. We much prefer to treat ourselves holistically. BUT, when that fails and the odd yoga teacher has to go to an RE and start fertility treatments, she or he starts to feel a disconnect from the community...(you mean you are giving yourself shots of medicine? you are messing with your system! why don't you try treating the whole thing, maybe work on your relationship and try to eat better?). It is very hard to be a member of this community and believe in this for a long time and then have to daily ingest medicines that should help but that you feel causing all these changes in your body. You start to feel less connected to your body and, in my case, I noticed myself practicing less and spending more time trying to "take it easy" and ignoring my body and the changes.

There is something I am very grateful for though - my students have helped me immensely. I may have started to ignore my practice but by including me in their practice routines, my students helped to keep me connected. I would leave in the evening to teach a class, feeling somewhat removed from everyone and everything and they would quickly and with great humanity bring me back. By the end of class, I'd feel connected again and happy for this great position I am in where I can do what I love, have a fun time with wonderful people, and just be a part of something good.

Oh - I've placed a couple of links on the side of the page to a utube video that is hysterical. It is entitled, "innapropriate yoga guy". Some of you will completely "get it" just because you know this guy or have been at a studio where you either have been the subject of his interest or saw someone else...have fun!

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