For me movement is central to getting the stress out of my body and running has been my temple for the last 3 years. I can feel the tension and anxiety when I have missed my runs and not running during fertility treatments – I believe was one of the things that pushed me into depression. Having said that I have had this nagging feeling for a while that perhaps running may not be the most compatible sport for someone trying to get pregnant. But I believed that I would stop when I got a sign or message and indeed the message did come when I was following Brenda Strong’s YouTube yoga session. My hips felt so tight and locked like there was no flow of energy or creativity into that area – and I heard a silent voice tell me that it was time. Time to stop running and find stillness.
It was after this that I ordered the DVD from her site. I am usually sceptical of exercise DVD’s – invariably I can never keep with the damn things and end up feeling confused and fragmented and never really get past one viewing. My earliest foray into exercise DVD’s was with Claudia Schiffer’s video when I was 18 (that’s how long its been) after completing only part 1 of the tape which seemed to consist of hundreds of sit ups in various versions – I couldn’t move for 3 days.
But Yoga4Fertility was actually worth its modest price, it is easy to follow and properly paced for a home practise. The postures are simply laid out and the commentary guides your attention skillfully to the breath and different areas of the body where you will hold tension in each posture. Although I have done yoga previously every time I take it up again I feel like a beginner – my anxiety and depression has led to a contracted body that feels like it is being unpacked from a box. But I took the postures gently – when I was tired I relaxed and when I fell off-balance I forgave myself.
The session runs for about 50 minutes and this includes a 10 minute meditation at the end, I am hoping to do this everyday as I slowly wind down my running. The thing I loved most about the session was the timing of the postures with the breath and the complete focus that brings. Although I hope more than anything that making this practise a ritual part of my life will bring a baby, I am grateful to have discovered it just for myself – grateful to be taking the time to relax and to connect with my body.