The Benefits of Yoga for Fertility

Lisa Stack, Support Coordinator & Cynthia Powers-Broccoli, Yoga Instructor
Lisa: Hi. Welcome to this evening’s Interactive Fertility Support Webinar and recording. My name is Lisa Stack, and I’m the CNY Fertility Support Coordinator here. I’m here with Cindy, one of our great yoga instructors. She’s been here with us for a few years now. Today, we’re going to talk about the many benefits of Yoga for Fertility. Now, Yoga for Fertility is one of the core facets of Dr. Kiltz’s Fertile Secret. He truly believes that yoga enhances both our mind and body, and especially the spirit. This elevates our fertility and elevates our wellness to better accept the new life that we’re trying to create. It also calms the mind.
I’ve noticed often times when I have the Circle of Hope Support Group after Yoga for Fertility, that women come in just very relaxed, and very open and willing to share. The emotions just flow much easier than those who aren’t able to attend the session. September was also National Yoga Awareness Month, and we’re also offering our free Yoga for Fertility to all clients every week, so we have a lot going on. We want to get a lot of information out to you. You can access a lot of information on our website with these videos. You can always contact our center, and you’re always come and attend one of our free Yoga for Fertility sessions.
Tonight, we’re just going to share great information, and our experiences with Yoga for Fertility. Cindy’s going to talk about the fertility practice, how it can improve your fertility and benefits. Also, about the yoga mindset and thinking approach towards your fertility. We can treat you with a very Western mindset, but there’s also a lot of Eastern practices that you can undertake and a lot of yoga thinking that you can bring into your daily lives that can improve your fertility, your anxiety, your emotion, and the awareness that you have of your body.
I’m going to turn it over to Cindy. We welcome you, and thank you very much. As well, ask any questions that you have throughout the session that you want answered. Afterwards, if you have questions for either myself or Cindy, you can always email us and contact our center. Thank you for coming!
Cindy: Thank you so much for having me. I’d like to share, first, my own journey. I also went through infertility for about 37 months or a little bit longer than that; but, that’s how long I was actually keeping track of infertility. I was very blessed that I had a yoga practice already because as we all know, it’s very stressful and a very emotional journey that we all go on. In my 37 months, I was so thankful for my yoga practice. I really feel like yoga really helped in every sense of the word for me. It lead me to actually become a yoga instructor, and start teaching here at CNY Healing Arts.
So, I think where I’d like to start here is why one would practice yoga when they’re going through infertility. Also, go through some of the fears that women have coming into a yoga class. There are many women that come in and say, I’ve never done any exercise. I’ve never done any yoga. I’ve heard weird things about yoga. Do you chant? So, I just want to dispel some of those fears.
One wonderful part of the yoga here at CNY Healing Arts that we’ve been able to develop is the best thing about the Yoga for Fertility class is that we have a sense of community and sharing. The women come in and feel very supported. We really only want women that are struggling for fertility; they’re trying to get pregnant naturally and it’s taking them a little longer than they wanted or they’re coming to Dr. Kiltz. There are so many women that have come through. I think I’ve been teaching this class for four years—it must be a little over four years now! We’ve had so many women go through, and get pregnant. I really do think that much of it was that they were able to calm their nervous system down through the practice of yoga and breathing. Let’s talk a little bit about yoga.
First, “yoga” means union or to bind back. When we think about it, we’re binding ourselves back to our true selves, which is our highest selves. We think our individual consciousness separate from God. We’re really not separate, so union brings us back to remind ourselves that we really truly part of the great, divine source. That connection helps us awaken to being happier in our day-to-day lives. So, that’s what yoga means to actually to yoke or unite.
We say mind, body, and spirit; but it’s really more than that. We practice yoga. We call it in the western world, we practice the asana practice, the physical postures that we do in a yoga class to help tone our muscles and stretch our muscles as well as our connective tissue. Actually, when we do a yoga practice, it’s much different than many other practices of yoga. Even prenatal yoga is completely different. When we have a Yoga for Fertility class, we focus on opening up our heart center; maybe we’re feeling a little sad, a little discouraged and also, our hip and low back may be tight. When we open up those areas through very, very restorative yoga practice, we actually bring more life force energy or pranas—so it warms our cold uterus. It warms that area.
The first thing we do if you come into one of my yoga classes is we breathe. The most imperative thing in our yoga is our connection with the breath. Just drawing the breath in and being aware of where the breath goes—does it go into our lungs, does it fill into the belly. As we exhale, so many of us don’t even think. When we’re stressed out, so many of us have extra cortisol in our system and we’re shallow breathing, shallow breathing. You come into yoga class, and take a deep breath, and you are able to – it calms your nervous system down, it calms the mind chatter. In yoga, we call it yoga chitta vritt nirodhah. Yoga just helps with the fluctuations of the mind or ceases the fluctuations of the mind. So calming that mind chatter.
Lisa: These are tools that you can carry into your day to day life, bring them beyond the yoga mat. You can bring them to any challenging situation. That’s wonderful.
Cindy: Yeah, absolutely! Thank God for my yoga practice in that way too. So we go in and first thing we do is breathe. We can do just a really quick breath here; it’s called the calming breath. You just sit up nice and tall, call it Indian style or “Sukhasana” or easy pose just like this because we’re in a chair. You close your eyes, and you sit up nice and tall, and you draw the belly in. It’s as if you’re drawing the belly button back to the spine, and then up the vertebae. You draw as you exhale, just think about exhaling. When you take the next inhale, you inhale to the count of six. {Cindy demonstrates breathing exercise} Then you just do it again. Notice how deeply you can inhale, and let the belly rise on the inhale. As you exhale, go down. That just helps.
Lisa: It’s a simple practice that you can do anywhere.
Cindy: There are really powerful hand gestures that you can do to open your heart and breathe even deeper that we practice in our yoga. We do Pranayama and then go down. We do a little bit of guided meditation. So, it’s basically just like visualization. We do that for positivity. Sending positive messages and reinforcing those positive thoughts that we want to have. Many of us go through our day and we have some negative mind chatter. We want to have as positive mind chatter as we can during this time of infertility so that we have more fertile thoughts, so to speak. Just talking to yourself more positively, just thinking about your day-to-day life. Where can you take a deep breath? Is it when you’re on a drive in your car? So we do some visualization and meditation. They usually do that in a certain yoga pose or lying back in a restorative yoga pose, they really love that. We actually have an examples on our website already. It’s very restorative, gentle, hip opening. Then, we do a few more standing poses where we do balancing to help the nervous system as well, and some warrior poses that help strengthen our muscles. We get to the floor again, and we do a few more restorative. Then we end with another usual guided meditation, Savasana which is just lying there in silence with a blanket over us.
Lisa: My favorite!
Cindy:  It’s everybody’s favorite. Then, we have really, nice music playing; it’s soft. I think in four years, I have had 20 women come and cry throughout the whole class because it’s a release. It’s like it’s the first time in 16 months that I can breathe. This is the first time I feel like I can truly share. I feel like I’ve been hiding this from all of my family and friends. It’s such a beautiful experience for me as the instructor because I’ve been through it. These women who feel like they have no one to share their journey can come and they feel like they’re home. It’s such a beautiful environment, and we have some beautiful women. We’ve had a lot of women leave pregnant.
Lisa: With support group, I always say I can’t wait to not see you again for a long time when people graduate. It is wonderful practicing even though while you’re not sharing with each other with that sense of community with that person next to you on the mat. Even if you haven’t shared before this session where we usually have our Fertile Friends gathering afterwards, there’s still that sense of community where you’re moving as one with the room, and breathing as one.
Cindy: There’s a lot of laughter.
Lisa: There really is.
Cindy: it’s so great when women who are struggling can find the joy of the moment.
Lisa: Absolutely.
Cindy: That’s what yoga does—it brings you back to the center. It centers you, and brings you back. You don’t need to be in excellent condition. You don’t need to be 130 pounds. You don’t need that. You can be whoever you are and come, and present yourself on the mat, and just be glad that you’re you. We all honor that in you, and appreciate where you are on your journey.
Lisa: I think it’s a lot of fun—exercise, yoga, and stretching. Sometimes there’s this idyllic sense of what a yogi looks like and who the yogi is. That really doesn’t fit into the mold of who these women are and who we really all are. We really don’t look that part or act that part all day long. It can be intimidating sometimes; especially when you’re facing metabolic challenges and endocronogical challenges such as PCOS where exercise, weight loss, and weight control are very challenging. That’s a day to day struggle especially with PCOS. Putting on exercise clothes or yoga pants, and stepping onto a mat really doesn’t seem like the best thing that you should do at that moment—it seems too intimidating and too overwhelming, but in my experience with my PCOS challenges, it was the greatest thing that I ever did. You do get a lot of laughter. You’re suddenly confident with the women around you, and you’re trying new poses. You may stumble a little bit getting into a pose, but it still works, and it still feels good.
We had a question whether we supply mats and blocks. Yes, we give you everything that you need! There’s blankets, there’s wonderful eye pads for you to relax with, and little eye pillows. You don’t need to bring anything but comfortable clothing. You don’t have to wear yoga pants or a yoga top, you can just wear anything that’s comfortable that you can move in, that you feel secure moving in. You will be doing downward dog, and a couple of other inverted poses, so you want to feel comfortable.
Cindy: Some women, I’ve noticed, come in with short shorts, and they wish they had worn longer shorts or longer pants. That’s the only thing. We have everything there. It’s great. Enjoy it.
Lisa: in our Syracuse location, you can use the aqua terrace afterwards. We have the wonderful steam showers. It really becomes an entire spa night.
Cindy: After, we meet, we can laugh, we can talk, we can cry. We can share our stories.
Lisa: We close the center down.
Cindy: We do. Sometimes we stay a little long! We have so much fun and it’s such a community. We have a group of women now—we’ve had some that have moved away, and they come back and we all go out to dinner—we all go out to dinner. We have a group now that half are pregnant, half are not but we still go out to dinner once a week. It’s such an incredible group of women. I still hear from the majority of the women that have come through the program. We have made a commitment. That’s the other thing that I wanted to talk about tonight. It would be nice if people could make a six-week commitment. I totally understand that you’re on different cycles, and that things don’t go exactly as you want or you have work commitment, but making a commitment to yourself, to help you calm your nervous system down, help your endocrine system work more efficiently. The yoga poses that we do really work your endocrine system, they work your pituitary gland, pineal gland, hypothalamus. They help calm your nervous system; they help your natural hormone balance. It puts you in perfect balance. I reiterate that all the time in class. You’re working out, you’re creating a room for your child—a warm environment, a warm and nurturing environment. The other thing we have there that I keep talking about is the support of the women. We’re all supporting each other to help create that warm uterus. I can’t say enough about how wonderful the women are. I hope that the people who are watching this just try!
Lisa: When someone is coming into a cycle, do you have any times in there cycle that they would avoid coming to Yoga for Fertility? Is it okay after the two-week wait when you’re in that waiting period after your transfer. That may be one of the questions that someone would ask.
Cindy: That’s a great, great question Lisa. I believe that they can come because even if you’re swollen or you’re bloated, or you’ve had a lot of overstimulation, you can still come and just sit there or lie there. They just want to be with us. They just want to be in the environment, they want to listen to the music, and they want to feel nurtured because it is very nurturing. They call it the womb now because it’s such a beautiful room.
Lisa: The colors, it’s dark and warm. It’s great.
Cindy: I always just think about telling the women to come in, how will you nurture your baby the first month? Do that for yourself this month. Take extra caution with the people that you hang out with, with the TV shows that you would watch, and the music that you listen to. Just in any way possible, take care of you. Dr. Kiltz is a huge proponent of that as well. We share that. If you can afford a massage, get a massage. Thank God Dr. Kiltz has allowed this program to be free for the women who are his patients, actually for everyone, for the community as well. We’re very blessed that we have that; you don’t have to worry about how much it costs.
Lisa: Great. Now switching over to the yoga mind thinking, the thought processes, and the mind-thinking to fertility. Instead of just coming in and doing the regular protocol of medications and procedures, what would you recommend to add in? You mentioned diet, exercise, and self-care. Could you talk a little bit more about the yogic approach to self-care?
Cindy: Yes. Well, one of the most important things about our yoga practice is the Ahimsas which is non-violence; and Satya which is truthfulness. In our practice, we try to eat as purely as possible. I’m not just saying Vegetarian, but I know there’s many Vegetarian Yogis out there. I’m also talking about not eating a lot of white flour, white sugar. The Ayurvedic way would be that as well.
Also, Chinese medicine would also be acupuncture, and there’s so many incredible acupuncturists here at CNY Healing Arts Centers, and Chinese herbs that you can do. Really, taking care of how and what type of food you intake. The white flour, white sugar in Chinese medicine; they call it creates mucous in the system which clogs the Nadis in yoga or the meridians in Chinese medicine. They’re just energy channels. Just like we have veins, and that mucus causes blocks. When these blocks occur, no life force energy can get through. Your uterus becomes stagnant and cold. So, we don’t want that when we’re trying to get and be fertile. We want to promote a warming, flowing, balanced system.
The way to do that is eating food from the earth that’s warming and nourishing for your system. Lots of leafy greens, but also lots of warming soups are really good. Dr. Kiltz recommends so many incredible books. My favorite, The Fertility Care, The Fertility Wisdom Diet; it’s the same philosophy. They are all the same; they all say take out white flour, white sugar, and no processed foods. Everything in moderation, when I say that. You also have to take care of you. If you’re going to a wedding event for your sister, it’s kind of hard to be so judgmental of yourself. You want to have a happy life, so it’s about balance, and creating balance in your system. Definitely, I would say please don’t smoke cigarettes. There are people that do. If you are doing that, just try your hardest to find a program that can help you not. That’s one way that stagnation is created is through the pollution of that. I don’t know if that answered your question fully, but there are so many things that I can think of.
Lisa: it’s good just to get an idea, just an introduction idea. It’s great.
Cindy: Some people feel so overwhelmed I think when they come into Yoga for Fertility class because they’re already on this regimen of drugs and what times they need to do it, and then they come here and give blood. Thinking about it is so overwhelming. Also, with their diet it becomes too much. Often, what I tell them is just every day, just nurture yourself. Just do whatever you can to nurture yourself. Make sure you eat breakfast, make sure you eat lunch, and make sure you’re eating a healthy snack. Also, just try to stay away from the toxic foods like diet sodas and bags of chips. Just try and see what it feels like to eat from a more natural way. Most of our American diet is not healthy.
Lisa: Oh, I know.
Cindy: We all love it. I mean, who doesn’t love cookies? I do! I love cookies, my sons love cookies, too. I have two boys now, that’s the other thing that I forgot to mention. I also went through secondary infertility as well, and had two miscarriages. I feel so compassionate for people on the struggle. My husband and I went through it for – if you add all of our months together, it was infertility for many years.
Lisa: It is challenge and you find there’s a greater community out there once you get into the fertility and the infertility world, and you start talking about it and recognizing that there are many women out there that are facing those challenges and those struggles.
One thing that women will often find, and I found myself too, is that I didn’t realize that so many people around me had miscarriages until I had one and I started talking about it—and then you realize my sister did, my mom did, and then people start to open up about it. Coming to Yoga for Fertility and the Fertile Friends peer support afterwards, and the Circle of Hope Support group—those people are there, and they’re willing to talk about it and willing to share. So, you don’t have to try and find someone in your small community. If you can’t find someone, there’s a built-in community here that’s available for access.
Cindy: Yes! Another thing I know to do, Lisa, is not dwelling on the negative and the sad. Yes, we want everyone we meet, we want to remind everyone of the joy in our lives, and not focus on the negativity. I know you do that in your support groups. That is one philosophy of yoga, just one tiny piece is that when you have a negative thought, change it to a positive thought. Dr. Kiltz’s philosophy is very similar to that. It is so imperative when you’re on this journey to have support. When you need to cry, cry. Then you laugh. It’s not that you’re turning your back to the issue, but that you’re reminding yourself how beautiful life is. I just can’t say enough about your program because I have heard that.
Lisa: Thank you.
Cindy: I know that in our little circle after yoga class, we try to stay positive as well.
Lisa: Like you said, you can’t bury it down, you can’t ignore it, and you can’t turn your back to it. You can say, “I’m feeling angry as hell right now.” You can write it down, you can say it out loud. Then you have to change your physical position, I always tell people. If you’re at work and you can’t get away from the thought, and it keeps going over and over in your head because you’re sitting at your desk; say it out loud or bring your journal, write it down, crumple it up and throw it away—say you’re feeling angry or you’re feeling sad, and then go up and take your break. Go get a glass of water, a cup of coffee or tea, whatever you need to do, but change your physical position and change your activity because you can get stuck in that mindset all day long. We really have to be a little bit hard with ourselves.
Cindy: It’s called “tapas” in yoga, it’s called discipline, and creating the heat. You need the heat and we need the discipline to tell yourself, “I am going to get through this, and I am going to have a beautiful, happy life.” The other thing that we tend to do, I noticed about people is, “I’ll be happy when I have a baby.” I always tell people and this comes from one of my gurus is, “How happy are you in this moment?” In six years, you’ll be that happy unless you make changes. A baby isn’t necessarily going make you happy. It might in the interim because, of course, we all want to have our own baby. We all want to have that love between a mother and a child; but the most important thing you can do is find your happiness even though you are struggling. The suffering; we all suffer. Suffering is inevitable in human life, you can’t get away from it. You have to find a way. My discipline is through yoga as well to find happiness despite your suffering.
Lisa: Absolutely. Sometimes you hear these words and they may not come at the right time. We say a lot, especially at Yoga for Fertility, and I say them a lot at Circle of Hope Support group, we throw a lot of ideas out there, and they may not come at the right time. I remember hearing Dr. Kiltz say, “It’s a gift.” It was pretty recently after our miscarriage that we had in October that I remember thinking, “What? It’s not a gift!” I got so angry in the moment that someone would say that. At that moment, it wasn’t right to hear, but he did plant the seed and the thought. As time went on, I realize that my relationship with my husband had gotten a million times stronger than it had been before. We didn’t think that it could get stronger, but after the loss it got so much stronger; so that was a wonderful gift. That’s something that I didn’t realize that was coming out of it at the moment. In the moment, I was as angry as could be and as sad as I could be. Once I stepped back a little bit, I realized that I was given this gift of strengthening this relationship that I didn’t think could get stronger, but it did. So, the words that we say may not come at the right time, but try to store them in the back of your mind, I always tell our clients. One day, they may help you; they may make sense and they may come around.
Cindy: I always say the same thing. My infertility was a gift during those months. Every month, it felt like a death. You see your best friends all having babies.
Lisa: Everyone!
Cindy: Your sisters, everyone’s getting pregnant, “I just look at my husband”. Taking a deep breath and saying this is my journey. If you’re going to be happy, be happy. I look back now and I wouldn’t be a yoga instructor if I had not gone through it. I wouldn’t know all of these incredible women that have gone through this Yoga for Fertility. I wouldn’t know all of these amazing people, I wouldn’t know you—I’m so blessed! I say I’m so blessed being infertile, and that is how I feel now and I completely understand that people will not understand that. They will at the end of their journey.
Lisa: Absolutely, and we can’t base our happiness on anyone else but ourselves; even your partner. You can love your partner to pieces, but you can’t base all of your happiness on their happiness. You never know what’s happening in their day. They come home from work, and if you base your happiness on them and they’ve had a terrible day and they’re a little tired and grumpy; then, that’s going to ruin your day. You really can’t base your happiness on anyone but yourself.
Cindy: That’s a yoga practice too, right?
Lisa: This is everything that you learn in Yoga for Fertility. Just that self-awareness and that self-confidence to remember that there is so much more beyond your infertility. That’s also another great practice that yoga instills is that there’s so much more to you beyond what doesn’t seem to be functioning at the perfect moment.
Cindy: I love that! That’s a perfect way. Do you know what else comes to mind is that moments where you’re on the mat and you’re breathing and struggling maybe; you’re in triangle pose which is new to you, and you’re breathing and breathing. The instructor keeps telling you to breathe and breathe. Then your mind stops in that moment. For that moment, there’s no thought of what’s going on outside of yourself, and all of the day-to-day activity or whatever is going on in your life. There’s just a breath. In that moment, there’s bliss and then you come off of that. You’re walking in your day-to-day life, and you have a negative test again. You take a breath, and for a moment, you can stop the negative. That has been a blessing, I’ve heard, for so many yoga students that they’ve been able to take negative news in a more positive light.
Lisa: I think the posture awareness, and the awareness of the body really helps to alleviate that negativity and that anxiety as well. Suddenly, you’ve noticed that your shoulders are all the way up here, and that you’re not breathing. When you’ve had that yogic awareness, you’re able to say, “OK. I need to relax my shoulders, I need to relax my earlobes, I need to relax my jaw.” You can take yourself through that. You’re sitting in the exam room waiting for your IUI to come in and you can take yourself through the relaxation. Suddenly, you’re aware of all of these muscles and all of these points of your body that you had no idea existed before until you’re sitting in an anasa, and you feel everything!
Cindy: Every single muscle—that’s a split.
Lisa: It is wonderful. Getting back to yoga; one other question that I know clients do have if they’re using someone else’s eggs or sperm, or embryos if they’re going through a donor cycle. How can this benefit them as well.
Cindy: A lot of women who have come through who don’t have a male partner, they’ve come through. Or women that don’t have a partner at all, they’re trying to get pregnant. They love the community, because it is unknown to them. They still have to go through the drugs, and they still have to go through the appointment and everything. Also, there’s a support system because they aren’t using their own eggs or their own eggs sometimes. There’s a little bit of fear around that, and they just need to share, “I’m sad that I’m not using my own egg” and then everyone says, “Oh, I understand. I’ve been there [or done that]”. We’ve had women come through the second time, I’ve had more than one person come through—one woman has been with us three times and have gotten pregnant, and now she wants her fourth. Now, there’s another woman who has been having secondary infertility and has been coming back. They understand; they’re using donor eggs.
Lisa: That’s wonderful.
Cindy: There’s a lot of support, and I’m sure that you see that as well. The worst thing I would think is feeling alienated at home alone when everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant and you’re all alone. We have so much here at CNY Healing Arts—it has so much to offer people, that it’s just incredible. I think it’s one of the best, obviously, in the United States, in my book, for support.
Lisa: Thank you.
Cindy: Dr. Kiltz a huge proponent of other methodologies or complimentary medicine that can really help support whatever you’re doing here.
Lisa: You’ll still get the benefits even if you’re not in follicle stimulation. Both absolutely, both work as well because you need the emotional support because if you’re not creating your own eggs; and you’re welcoming another woman’s eggs into your body—there’s a huge emotional hurdle to get over with that. To get over and push through that when you’re willing to accept them in. I counsel a lot of clients who are ready to take that step—is the child going to feel like mine? So I feel like the community support and the antectodal support is really something that you can’t beat. Then, some women are able to step over that hurdle, and they’re ready to take the step. Then, you will see physical benefits of preparing a healthy womb because you need that. That’s one of the great benefits as well as Yoga for Fertility. Even if you’re doing a donor cycle, donor eggs, donor embryos, or frozen donor embryo transfer.
Cindy: I always think, it’s so funny to me, because I completely can be compassionate to those who have to use a donor eggs or sperm. To me, the spirit baby picks you already. It will come any way he or she wants to come. Your baby is your baby. That’s just the way we look at it, our philosophy.
Lisa: I think, antectodally, I worked as a little while as a donor coordinator and was able to see some women select their eggs, and then you get to bring the baby in. That’s our favorite part is a few months after delivery when they bring the baby in. I’ve spoken to a few women who were recipients, and never once did they question that that baby was meant to be theirs.
Cindy: Oh no.
Lisa: When you’re selecting a donor and you’re feeling so alienated from your own body, because you’re trying to select another woman’s eggs. Once you get to feel those kicks, and once your body is prepared, that baby becomes yours. That baby is just yours; so I think the spirit baby absolutely selects the mom.
Cindy: And daddy. I think that that’s a beautiful point you made absolutely. I think in our society that we have so many ways that we can alienate ourselves and make ourselves feel negative. That’s why the community here is so imperative and so important to women even if they are using their own eggs or not. Some women feel something’s not right, or I’m not good enough, I’m not…whatever it is…we all have that mind chatter. Yoga helps us to calm that chatter, and balance the nervous system so that we can create a warm uterus for the baby to grow.
Lisa: We’re a group of good, supportive women; that’s how we’re made to be. My cousin recently had her first child and she doesn’t live in the same town. She was emailing lots of questions about breastfeeding. At one point, she was saying, “OK. I’m kind of freaking out. I need some more help.” She was just alone with her partner. I said, “It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. You’re not supposed to be doing this on your own. You’re supposed to have your extended family living with you. If it were years and years ago, we’d all be living in the same community supporting another. You wouldn’t have your baby by yourself; you’d have your mom, your grandmother, your aunts, your cousins there and sisters.” So, we’re not there to do it alone. We’re not there to deliver alone, we’re not made to care for our child alone, and we’re not made to conceive alone. We really aren’t. It really takes a community. It’s really nice that we’re able to provide that for someone that doesn’t have that community at home, and that we’re able to create that.
Cindy: There are some issues that people don’t want to share with their immediate family or their best friends when they’re struggling at the beginning of their struggle. We even come into the yoga anonymous and feel like you can share more than you could with your best friends even, which is really great. We have had men come in. it is a yoga class geared towards women because it’s just what we do here, but men are welcome. We do have couples workshops that are very powerful, and can really grow the relationship geared towards partners. We have a lot here at CNY Fertility Center.
Lisa: We have a question…
Man on phone: Can you tell us a little bit about the yoga instructors at the Albany and Rochester locations?
Lisa: The questions were about the instructors in Albany and Rochester. Albany and Rochester have as well designated Yoga for Fertility instructors and so you get to know your instructor very well, and very closely. There is a team in both locations where beyond Yoga for Fertility, there are classes being taught. What’s really nice is on our website, if you go to, you can take a look at each location and each yoga team and their bios. You’ll get to see which courses they are teaching, what classes they are teaching on our schedule. So, maybe if you’re gravitating towards one of our instructors, you can kind of check into one of their classes. You can read their bios, and you can always contact them. You can call each of our locations to see who is teaching a particular class if you have a question. Even here, we have a wide variety of instructors with many different backgrounds, many different styles, and many different approaches which is great.
What’s nice is that with Yoga for Fertility, we do keep consistent instructors with each session, just so that you can create that bond. You know that you’re going to see Cindy every time when you’re there, and that she’s going to greet you, and remember your story. We do the same as well in Rochester and in Albany. You’ll have the same Yoga for Fertility instructor every session. You’ll get to know them and their story, and you’ll get to share with them as well. It’s nice having that long-standing connection as well with you. You’ll know each client, and you get to remember them. That’s a nice, smiling face that creates that expectation so that they’ll come back. They know that someone will expect them to come back, which is wonderful.
Cindy: I don’t know if we can talk about them. This weekend, we call it Living Body. It’s Yoga for Fertility, but it also includes a circle of sharing and guided meditation. So, it’s a little bit more lengthy than a yoga class. It’s about three hours because we share a lot. We also just talk about our energy body, which we do talk about in yoga; but we go into a little more depth in the Living Body. It’s the Living Body/Fertile Body workshop which will be here at CNY Healing Arts from 1-4 this Saturday. Dr. Kiltz has another workshop the weekend after which will be incredible.
Lisa: Absolutely. We’re going to do our free Yoga for Community day at all three locations. We’re going to have a free, wonderful session on September 30th, which is Sunday. It’s a great yoga community. You can come, completely free, try it out. As well Yoga for Fertility is free every single week at each location. We have our Fertile Friends gathering either before or after, and you can see that on our calendars on and You can check our events calendar and see. We also have many yoga workshops throughout the year. We have just about 1-2 a month at each location that we try to get. Additionally, one more question. We have a lot of clients who can’t come because of work or distance; we often get questions about at-home practice. I know we have recommended Brenda Strong’s Yoga for Fertility DVD. The importance of an at-home practice—can you talk about that?
Cindy: If you’ve never taken a yoga class, you really should go to a certified yoga instructor. You don’t want to do it wrong and hurt yourself. Of course, most of the yoga poses would not hurt you, but just to get the breath correct, the breathing, and the meditation—you can’t get that at home as easily. Brenda Strong is amazing. There are a few other ones that I’d recommend. One is Fair Haven Fertility. Fair Haven Fertility has an incredible DVD that Dr. Kiltz recommended at one point. I, too, think that if you have a practice at home that you should first be coming to a yoga studio; do a Yoga for Fertility or Restorative. If you’re not around one of the centers here that have a Yoga for Fertility class, you could do a restorative class and let them know that you’re trying to create a baby, and that you need support in that way. Then find some sort of online community like this that you can actually find some support. You need that community of women who are struggling as well. It’s imperative as well I think to having a healthy conception.
Lisa: Well, thank you very much. Additionally, for our online community, we have discussion forums on our and page, so if you are coming to us from a distance or if you are not a client of our location just yet, you can explore our discussion forums. We have them divided up into various diagnoses and various treatments, so we have a recurrent pregnancy loss forum, we have a general infertility support forum, we have ones for IVF, IUI, and POCS. So, they’re pretty specialized. It’s nice because the women will support each other virtually. We have them coming from all over the world, so if they cannot be at our center or participate in our workshops, support groups, or Yoga for Fertility center; they’re able to connect online.
Additionally, we have the Fertile Friends and Success Stories program. So, on as well or you can email me, what we’ll do is we’ll ask you to share a little bit about your story with myself or one of the other coordinators for our Fertile Friends program, and we’ll match you up with someone sharing a similar story. Say you have PCOS, you’re pursuing your first IUI cycle, you’re married and you’ve never conceived, you’ve been trying for seven years; we go through our data base and try to find someone as close as possible to your story cycling at the same time. Then, you can share email addresses, phone numbers, some will meet up for coffee, some will coordinate their appointments at the same time. We try to coordinate your cycle, so that you have someone else in the same boat sharing.
Then, our Success Stories; if you’ve been at this for a little while or you want to hear from someone who was successful. I think, sometimes, on these forums, these are women who have had so many challenges, so you see a lot of negative test results, and you see a lot of women struggling. That’s because women who are pregnant are long gone and off enjoying their pregnancy and their babies. So, if you want to hear from someone who has been in your shoes and who has conceived successfully, and is off enjoying a beautiful baby, you can share your story with me and I will find someone who has conceived with a similar cycle that you’re pursuing, so that you can get their story, and get a little bit encouragement and reassurance from them because we have people conceiving. We have a lot of people.
Cindy: I know. That is such a great point because I really believe the more positivity, the better. So, if you can find someone who’s been through infertility and has a baby—hang out with that person! You’re going to be able to enjoy a beautiful baby, and somebody who’s been through the struggle and knows your journey; but also has been on the other side. I have always love telling the students to be around women who are pregnant and having a baby—don’t avoid them although it is hard sometimes, especially if you’ve had a seven year journey—because it’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful experience to be able to open your heart to a way to these babies and these women who can feel the joy in your own heart, and not just always sad about it. It’s a practice, and it’s discipline. It’s not the easiest thing to do. It’s taking down, reminding yourself that this is what you want to be positive, to be positive, positive, positive.
Lisa: We try. You have to keep trying over and over again. Thank you so much for sharing tonight.
Cindy: Thank you for having me; it was my honor.
Lisa: Absolutely, and we’ve covered a lot; but we didn’t cover everything. So, if you ever have any questions, you can either call our center or stop in, you can email me or call me. I’m always available for peer support at any time. My email address is all over the website, and it will be attached to this video as well
I hope that you join us at one of our Yoga for Fertility sessions or one of our many workshops. Also, as an added benefit, we do have a monthly Interactive Evening Meditation webinar that I lead. We have those podcasts as well. So, if you’re interested in meditation and taking a step in that direction, take a look at those podcasts and join me for the meditation webinars where I just guide you through a very quick 15-20 minute webinar at the end of the month to help you get ready for a nice night of sleep. Then we have a great library set aside for you to access whenever you’d like.
Our library is in our center here, and we have many books on holistic healing, yoga, wellness, and positive thinking so I encourage you to take a look at those. If you are just getting started with yoga, acupuncture, and massage, take a look at Dr. Kiltz’s Fertile Secret. This is a wonderful introduction at just a very basic level of the scope of practice that he recommends for everyone trying to conceive. He really has compiled great resources under one roof here. There’s a little bit of something for everybody beyond just regular medications and procedures that we can provide you with. So there are many benefits and many opportunities for you to explore—diet, meditation, yoga, massage, herbal treatments, Chinese herbs, acupuncture—really so many different avenues here for you to look through and just try everything out once or twice. Give a little bit of a try, and see what sticks. It won’t stick for everybody.
Cindy: It’s whatever resonates with a person. Everyone resonates at a different level, and they pick what really resonates with them. Then, that works for them.
Lisa: Well, thank you again. Any final thoughts?
Cindy: No, thank you. I’m really blessed to be here. Thank you so much.
Lisa: Great, thank you.

Lisa Stack, Support Coordinator