This weekend, families across the country will gather to celebrate the women who nurtured, loved, and inspired them. But for the 7.3 million women in the United States struggling with infertility, Mother’s Day is another reminder of the challenges they face.
Infertility is defined as the inability to become – or stay – pregnant, and it affects one in seven women of childbearing age across the nation. While the causes are varied, lifestyle factors, such as stress, play a significant role. Yoga offers a path forward for women facing these challenges and provides valuable tools for overcoming the obstacles they face and coping with the experience.
Medical science consistently has validated the effectiveness of a regular yoga practice in reducing stress levels. Physically, yoga asana can help transition the body away from the “fight or flight” response and into a state more conducive to fertility. Breathing exercises can help reduce production of the stress hormone cortisol. Meditation and svadhyaya (self-study) can enable students to relax and let go of mental and emotional stress, which can provide a greater sense of self and insight into their fertility journey.
The regular practice of yoga also can help women establish a more loving connection with their bodies, which often become a source of anger, shame, or disappointment through the infertility and treatment processes. Another critical benefit is the development of community. Creating an environment that brings together women facing similar challenges fosters connection and the type of relationships that contribute to overall well-being.
Tranquil Space is pleased to provide an opportunity for women facing fertility challenges to experience the benefits of yoga. If you or someone you know is struggling to become or stay pregnant, consider the upcoming “Yoga and Fertility” workshop beginning May 30. In this four week series, students will explore how asana, pranayama, and self-study can promote healing and encourage compassion toward one’s self and circumstances.
While parenthood may not be part of every woman’s story, yoga can play a powerful role in helping each individual realize her own unique gifts and empowering her to share them with the world.
Happy Mother’s (and Mother’s-to-be) Day.