Image courtesy of www.lilanandayoga.com
When I started my training in Fertility Yoga in Australia, part of my training was to learn about the importance of meditating whilst trying to conceive.
Whilst on my fertility journey, meditation did cross my mind, but I believed there were bigger things to worry about. Looking back now, I wish I had explored this path more, as it would have certainly taken the anxiety and stress out of what was to become a very emotionally charged fertility journey.
Before I cover the importance of meditation, I want to let you know about other elements that are connected to this.
I am qualified in Yin yoga and love teaching it as much as Fertility Yoga. The term “Yin yoga” comes from the Taoist tradition. Taoism is an ancient tradition of philosophy and a religious belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese customs and worldwide. Taoist ideas have become popular throughout the world through Tai Chi, Qigong, various martial arts and Yin Yoga. When thinking about Yin and Yang, “Yang” relates to movement, often repetitive movement, creating heat in the body. Yin is about finding stillness and is cooling for the body. The theory suggests that we need both Yin and Yang, to come into balance and to remain in our optimum physical and emotional condition.
For example, running and cycling are yang activities. Even some vigorous forms of yoga, such as Ashtanga vinyasa and Bikram yoga (the hot one) are yang. If you only focus only on yang activity, your body often suffers from fatigue and burnout. We often suggest that while trying to conceive, one does not partake in Yang activity as one requires Yin activities to balance, these include walking, meditation and or quiet contemplation.
Yin yoga is predominantly a floor based practice where poses are held for 3-5 minutes. There are no planks, no warriors, no core work, no dynamic sun salutations and no standing poses. The pace is slow, meditative and reflective.
In my Yin yoga classes, we work with the meridian channels. For those who do not know what meridians are – in Chinese Medicine practice, is believed that there is a distribution network for the fundamental substances of Qi (pronounced chee), blood and bodily fluids flowing throughout the body. This distribution network called the Meridian System looks like a giant web, linking different areas of our body together. It’s pathways make up a comprehensive, yet complex body map that supplies vital energy (Qi) to every part of the body.
Philosophically, the Meridian System explains how we live and why we get sick. Energy blockages can be the result of stress, an injury or trauma. Equally poor daily health habits (diet, addictive tendencies and lack of exercise) can be traced to the root of all health (physical/mental/spiritual) problems. Our energy flow affects how we feel, how we think, and the overall condition of our health. When the body’s life-force energy becomes blocked, various imbalances will result. So, in Yin and Fertility Yoga we use certain poses to unblock the meridians.
Similarly, in acupuncture, every acupuncture treatment gets to the root of your emotions. Chinese Medicine does not view emotional issues as separate from physical health. The state of your emotions especially those of the “heart” directly impacts your reproductive system via the Chong meridian. The Chong is an internal meridian that connects the “heart” and the “uterus” and any reproductive imbalance or chi blockage can affect the heart -womb connection.
In Chinese Medicine the “heart” can be thought of as the pituitary gland, and the Chong then relates to the Hypothalamic/Pituitary Axis which is impacted by stressful emotional states. Where there is trauma, weakness or excess stress, the heart spirit can be injured and it can then disrupt the healthy functioning of the uterus.
Therefore, by using meditation and tuning into the feelings associated with these areas of your body, you can unblock and strengthen vital energy (Qi) that is important for a happy reproductive system for conception.
When I first did this meditation and looked at my womb (the womb is called “A Temple” in this particular meditation), I was saddened to see its state. It was a broken temple with holes in the roof, broken benches, tumbleweed tumbling all over the place, and the temple was falling apart and unloved. I suppose I really disconnected with my womb after experiencing so many miscarriages, and the trauma of that pain, was evidently there. I frantically gave the temple a refurbishment in my mind, by scattering some beautiful flowers around and I painted it bright yellow, and it was then that my temple and I came alive!
I believe when we nourish our own temples (whatever they may be) with beautiful thoughts, visually creating our sanctuary filled with love, this in turn creates a safe, happy and fertile place. It is after all the palace your baby will reside in….
Tune in again next week for part two of this blog where I will take you through a meditation script that you can use in the sanctuary of your own home to assist in your own fertility journey.
I would love to hear from you if you have any questions about Yin Yoga, you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
With blessings, love and light to you.
Leigh, Journey Om x