[VIDEO] Journey through Infertility with Yoga

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I kept breathing through the challenging times and connecting with others who have been through the process.
~ Kristin Hilton

I started doing yoga about 3 years ago while living in Charlotte, after finding out I was finally pregnant with my first child.  I thought yoga would be a good low impact activity to keep me moving throughout pregnancy.

It wasn’t until I moved back to Buffalo 1 year ago September, that I found Marina’s class and found a whole new meaning to my practice.  I learned that yoga isn’t about burning the most calories or doing the longest headstand, but about your personal growth and development within yourself on your mat.  I learned to push past the physical and connect the mental and emotional side of my practice and carry that into my every day life.

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Upcoming Workshop

Backward Bending and
Standing Balancing Workshop

Saturday, November 23rd

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Are you fearful of letting your head drop back in a backward bend?

Do backward bends make you dizzy?

Do you keep your eyes closed in a backward bend, feeling that this will somehow make it less intimidating?

Do you often feel anxious and overwhelmed in backward bends, and thus exit out of these poses prematurely?

Does not being able to balance on one leg frustrate you?

Do you sometimes feel like you can’t balance on two feet, let alone one foot?

Are you constantly falling out of standing balancing postures and left with a sense of feeling defeated and discouraged?

If you’ve answered “yes,” to any of these questions, then this workshop is for you.

Please join us on Saturday, November 23rd, from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, as we dissect the mystery behind backward-bending and standing balancing poses, with a focus on true north alignment and how this plays into being successful in these poses.

This workshop will be co-taught by Marina and Racheal.  Join us, as we help you conquer your challenges in these poses.  Cost is $25 per person. Advanced sign-up is required for head-count purposes.

I struggled for years with infertility before under-going treatments and then eventually having my beautiful son in November of 2017.  I sure wish I would have had yoga back then.  I was very introverted throughout the whole process.  I kept thinking there was something wrong with ME and didn’t understand why everyone around me was getting pregnant seemingly by just looking at one another!

I didn’t know anyone who had even been through fertility issues to share my frustrations with and had no outlet to channel my feelings into.  It was making me show up in my every day life angry and mad at myself for not being able to do what I thought my body was supposed to do as a woman.  If I heard someone else was pregnant I was almost resentful towards them (like it’s their fault they got pregnant and I couldn’t- right??!).  I was irrational instead of supportive and happy for others.  This was not a good way to be and not who I was or wanted to be!

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LIVE Music Vinyasa

Saturday, November 30th

8:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Musician, Naryan Padmanabha, will be accompanying our practice, on the sitar, on the morning of Saturday, November 28th, from 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM.

Come awaken your mind and spirit with this LIVE music treat.

A donation of $5 – $10 is suggested, for the musician’s time and contribution to our practice.

When my son turned 1 last year we decided it was time to try for another baby and prayed maybe our 2nd go around wouldn’t require all the treatments again.  We had been told 50% don’t need to do treatments the 2nd time, but we were in the other 50%, so we started it up again.  This time around, I was practicing yoga regularly and had a totally different attitude towards the process.  I knew I wasn’t alone, I knew I had tools to succeed, I knew it wasn’t my fault, and I knew in my heart it was only a matter of time and it was going to work for us.  I kept breathing through the challenging times and connecting with others who have been through the process.  Sharing my story with others helped me to look at this “challenge” in an entirely new light.

It actually worked on our 1st try this time and wow, it is TWINS – due in February of 2020!!  My husband and I were overwhelmed, excited, and grateful.  Then came the first ultrasound and there were abnormal findings on it.  The excitement all of a sudden faded away.  The past three months have been filled with many different tests, uncertainty, and a lot of waiting and wondering – not knowing what any of it meant if the findings came back with problem A, B, C, D?  And then of course the tough decisions and challenges that would lie ahead depending on the outcome of these tests.  My best friend said to me the other day, I don’t know how you are dealing with this all so well and I can honestly say that yoga helped me take things one day at a time, sit with discomfort, learn how to be kind to myself, take deep breaths, and handle one thing at a time.

Ironically enough, today, after I got into my car after a wonderfully uplifting class and Marina asking me to be November’s featured student, I got a call from Strong Genetics that the results were finally in and the findings were all “normal.”  I still have one final test in December – a fetal echo to check the hearts, but I know I can breathe and handle whatever the results may be.

Yoga and Marina’s messages throughout class have helped me to be at peace with my thoughts.  I’ve learned how to be OK with the unknown and that you can’t control everything.  I’ve learned to push past what I thought I could do and embrace new possibilities, by getting out of my own way and taking chances.  I’ve realized that no one is looking at you.  You are looking at yourself, so if you strengthen the relationship you have with yourself – the relationships/things around you will continue to improve.  There are always going to be things that are outside of our control and all we can do is just breathe, be grateful, and enjoy the journey.

This truly is all a continued practice for me – not a magic fix.  When I got on my mat today, for instance, I was not in the best frame of mind.  But, COMING to yoga today, focusing on what is important, and centering myself – changed my whole outlook for the day.  And this is the continual practice – on and off the mat.

With love,
Kristin

PS: My baby boy turns 2 on 11/4 and I turn 36!  Yes we share a birthday and what a blessing it is!  Happy November, everyone 🙂

What is this Pose About?

This is a standing balancing pose, which lengthens your spine and opens your hips. The resulting shape is a deep opening through these areas, as well as the chest and shoulders. 

Watch Kristin enter into this asana from Mountain Pose (Tadasana). She will exit the pose and land back in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) as well.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you decide to try this pose, or if you have already started to experiment with it.

Tips for Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

  • Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose. Take a big step back (approximately 3 feet) with your right foot, turning your foot towards the side of the mat while keeping your left toes pointing forward. Your two hip points are now facing the side of the mat.
  • Take the arms out in a “T” with your palms pointing down; your shoulders are relaxed while moving your shoulder blades down your back.
  • Place your right hand at your waist.
  • Start to bend your left knee, gradually shifting your weight into your left leg as you lift your right foot off the floor. Maintain equal weight in your inner arch, outer arch, forefoot, and heel of your standing foot.
  • Simultaneously allow your left hand to float towards the floor or a block, “spidering” your fingers so that you are on the finger pads with your fingers spread.
  • Your hand should be roughly 12 inches in front of your left foot, stacked directly under your shoulder. Look down to begin, finding a Drishti, or gaze point that is unmoving.
  • Keep reaching out through the top of your head to encourage length in the spine and neck.
  • Flex your right foot strongly to align the shin, keeping your toes pointing to the side wall.
  • Pressing out through your heel to lengthen the leg, raise your leg so that it is parallel to the floor or eventually slightly higher to be in a long line continuous with your waist.
  • Keeping your left knee cap lifted so that the quadriceps is contracted, begin to straighten your standing leg. Imagine your tail tucking under gently so that your right hip opens further to the right wall.
  • To deepen the pose you may extend your right arm up towards the sky, palm facing the same direction as your right toes. You may also turn your gaze to the side wall, or up to your right hand, continuing to lengthen out through the top of your head.
  • Breathe comfortably for at least five breaths.
  • To exit the pose, exhale looking down towards your left foot, lower the right hand to your waist, gracefully lowering the right foot back to the earth just as you began.
  • Draw the low belly in, root down through your feet, and inhale as you rise up.
  • Return to Mountain Pose and repeat on the other side.

Benefits

  • Expands your chest and shoulders
  • Increases mobility of your hip joints
  • Increases neck mobility
  • Lengthens your spinal muscles
  • Stretches your hamstrings and groin muscles
  • Strengthens and tones muscles of your thighs and calves
  • Traditionally thought to improve digestion and menstruation, relieve stress and aid in healing diseases of your legs

Caution

  • Neck Pain – Keep the head level and look straight forward.
  • Low Back Pain / Sacroiliac Pain – Ensure you are drawing in the muscles of your lower belly and the muscles of your pelvic floor (used to stop the flow of urine) to support your pelvis and low back before entering the pose.
  • Low Blood Pressure – This pose is similar to other inversions, where the head is below the heart. Use a block under your support hand (see below) to raise your head to the same level as your heart, or above.

Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience? If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.

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