About one-third of infertility issues are said to be down to the women, and struggling to conceive remains very much a taboo subject in a world where we believe we can have anything — including babies on demand. But a woman’s body must to be ready both physically and mentally in order to act as the baby’s incubator for nine months.
The most common cause of infertility is dysfunctional ovulation, the monthly releasing of eggs.
Issues such as stress or hormonal imbalances can cause irregularity or altogether stop this process.
Yoga teacher Jane Kersel explains how the mounting pressure from the constant need to try for a baby can become overpowering and verging on obsessive.
“A woman can enter a pushy mindset of ‘this has to happen,’ impacting the couple intimately and turning sex into little more than a baby-making tool. You can’t conceive a baby like you set up a board meeting,” she says.
Going through infertility issues is stressful, and when we are stressed, some feel that their body betrays them. We breathe shallowly and the body holds on to the fear and stores this as stress, says Natalie Engler, a practitioner of restorative yoga.
“Stress releases the hormone cortisol, and high levels of this may interfere with reproductive hormone function responsible for ovulation and healthy gynecological function,” she adds.
The body sees stress as an invader, signalling to the body that now is not a good time to get pregnant. As an ancient practice developed at a time when people didn’t separate the body from the mind, yoga acts as a trigger for relaxation.
“In yoga, the body and mind continuum is inseparable,” explains yogi Dr. Robin Saraswati Tiberi, whose teaches classes focused on fertility.
“Stress makes our biological clock age faster so by reducing stress, yoga helps control this premature ageing.”