“Yoga means union,” is a common refrain you have undoubtedly heard if you’ve ever taken a yoga clases or read anything about yoga. Union between body, mind, and spirit; union between self and all other forms of consciousness; and union within ourselves, the ability to be at peace with whatever is, or is not, happening in any given moment.
It is this last interpretation of the word union – the ability to integrate and sit with all of one’s experiences, those deemed pleasurable and unpleasurable – that shows up each Saturday morning when I teach Yoga for Fertility classes in Boulder. This is one of the most special classes I teach, the one that reminds me what it means to want something so badly that we truly believe our heart will break if we don’t get it. In this class I’m confronted over and over again with two of the five primary sources of suffering, or kleshas: raga and dvesha. Raga is grasping for things that we think will make us happy (like having a baby), and dvesha is aversion to things that we think will make us suffer (like attending yet another baby shower for a friend who got pregnant on the first try).
Many students who take this class have been trying to get pregnant for quite a while, sometimes years, and are looking for any and all possible solutions: yoga, acupuncture, dietary changes, and eventually for some IUI or IVF. I teach Yoga for Fertility in conjunction with the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, recognized as one of the top fertility centers in the U.S., if not the world – they are the Ferrari of fertility centers. But things don’t always go as planned, and (because my blog ALWAYS includes reference to Formula 1 car racing) just like in F1 . . . you can think you have all the answers, AND have access to the best technology available, and things still don’t work. Even if you are the best driver in the fastest car, you still might have a less experienced driver crash into you and end your race. And just because you do get pregnant, doesn’t mean you won’t experience miscarriage, sometime multiple times.
But the good news is that most of the women in Yoga for Fertility do end up conceiving! It usually happens when they are least expecting it, when they have let go of the struggle, and have come to embody our class mantra, “I am at peace with what is, I am peace with what isn’t.”
It is nothing short of spectacular to witness these women get pregnant and transform into mothers. It is equally spectacular to watch them transform into true yogis, those who understand that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.