The importance of energetic wellness for your fertility
A majorly transformative part of yoga that is missing in many fertility yoga classes (but not mine!) and often not considered at all while trying to conceive – is – energetic wellness. Specifically the balancing of masculine and feminine energies. Please note that I’m not referring to gender – purely the natural qualities of that which is feminine and that which is masculine and how you can increase feminine energy to impact your fertility.
The duality and the importance of balancing feminine and masculine energy are expressed in many Eastern healing modalities. For example, in Chinese medicine, we are all familiar with Yin and Yang. This symbol that we see everywhere represents the balance and interplay of masculine (Yang) and feminine (Yin).
In yoga, this energetic life force pulsing through every living being is called Prana, and it lives in the subtle body (pranamayakosha) – or energetic body. Prana travels along a network of Nadis or channels, where 3 are considered the main channels – Sushumna (ultimate vessel), Ida (feminine), and Pingala (masculine). The 7 chakras run along the Sushumna Nadi, with Ida and Pingala meeting at the chakra.
Ultimately, the goal of balancing prana is to connect to the true self – that which is divine and infinite.
Why is it so important for fertility to balance masculine and feminine energy?
Because when our energy is out of balance, it is reflected in our bodies and minds. The flow is not ‘easeful’ and manifests as ‘dis – ease.’ This can be expressed physically in many ways, from postural to tight muscles or deeper in the organs, tissues, and cells of the body – including the reproductive organs. This dis-ease can also be expressed mentally and emotionally – which in mind/body framework that will affect the body.
Our Western society, mindset, way of life, and working culture is heavily tipping the scales to the masculine. We have lost touch with our feminine nature and often work against ourselves and our cycles.
In general, women work on a 28ish day cycle as opposed to a 24-hour masculine cycle which is the Western standard. We tend to force our true nature into a flow that is not made for us.
And most importantly, fertile energy is feminine energy - and we need to up our game in this department if we want to support our fertility to its fullest.
Check out this graph of feminine and masculine energy.
Can you identify how we live in a very masculine-dominated energetic society? Do, produce, be rational, think strategically, take the most linear route to your goal with no room to deviate, ignore emotions, just fix the problem.
Can you also see how IVF and fertility treatment are masculine – forcing the body to produce (as in more eggs, thicker lining, trigger shots, etc.)? Please know I am not saying fertility treatment is bad! It’s wonderful. However, we can be aware of the energy it creates around us and attempt to balance it.
Can you see how feminine energy is fertile energy? Receiving, cyclical, creating, nurturing, and allowing?
These qualities are needed while TTC.
When living in our society and doing fertility treatment, our feminine energy gets stifled, doesn’t flow freely, loses its vibrancy, and vibrates at a lower frequency. There may be blocks or knots (granthi) in our energetic channels that are creating ‘unexplained’ obstacles to fertility.
When we nurture, activate, and connect to our feminine energy, we encompass these feminine qualities, which open us up to nurture our body and mind to be more receptive to conception.
How does one raise their feminine/fertile energy?
To release blocks and support better flowing energy, you can work at many different levels. The mental, physical, and energetic.
Mental: Take a moment to acknowledge and recognize where you might have energetic imbalances in your work life, personal life, and self-care. Do you have a highly stressful job with pressure to perform? Or is your self-care revolving around intense exercise? Are your relationships lacking in emotional understanding and nurturing interaction? If there is something that reveals itself that feels heavy or scary to face – please talk to an LMHC or therapist. Once we start opening our eyes to the energetic influences around us – we have already started to create balance.
It’s not easy work – but it is powerful.
Physical: Physical yoga (asana) is one of the most efficient ways to connect to and begin to move the energy through our bodies, nadis, and chakras. When we move our bodies, we move our energy and activate marma points (where nadi lines intersect – similar to acupuncture points).
Approaching your asana practice from a feminine perspective, as we do in Fertile Body Yoga classes – you will ‘be’ in the pose (as opposed to ‘doing’ the pose) , move slowly and attentively so that you can experience the effects, and purposefully listen to what the body is telling you. The language of the body is sensation.
A slow-flow style of yoga is perfect for this approach. Integrating more stillness, inward flowing energy, and cooling postures is restorative yoga.
And very important – attune and adapt to your menstrual or IVF cycle – which is pure feminine energy – so that you are nurturing and ‘going with the flow’ so to speak. Every fertility yoga class that I teach is modified and cued for various times in your cycle so that you know that students can adapt and practice throughout their whole fertility treatment or cycle.
And, just as a side note – dancing can be another powerful way to get energy moving. Belly dancing, anyone?
Energetic: Influencing energy directly, Pranayama directs the flow of prana in certain directions and patterns (winds) and uses vibration and sound – which energy is extremely sensitive to.
For example, alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana) is a pranayama practice that balances the feminine and masculine nadis (Ida & Pingala).
Sound bathing and using music can influence energy as well. You have surely experienced listening to music and having it change your energy – if you are constantly listening to melancholy music – your energy will reflect this.
Mudra (hand gestures) balance, increase, or decrease energetic flow based on the natural elements – Air, Water, Ether, Earth, Fire – which are also associated with the chakras.
Working with the Chakras – Each of our 7 main energy centers (chakras) is influenced by both the feminine and masculine while also housing their own qualities, connection to nature and the body, emotions, and mind.
Finding a connection to the elemental qualities associated with a chakra that is out of balance can be extremely beneficial.
For example, if your root chakra – home of stability and fear – is imbalanced and you’re living in a scarcity mindset (which many do while TTC), then getting your hands dirty (with real dirt!) and walking barefoot in the grass can be extremely supportive to creating the right balance of energy in your root.
Why Does it Seem So Hard to Access our Subtle Body?
Well – because it is subtle! And fine-tuning our awareness can help.
Our Western minds sometimes have a hard time wrapping around the concept of working with the energetic realm because we can’t see it, touch it, or ‘prove it’ with our Western science standards.
Yet Eastern sciences and healing modalities take into account the energetic body and have been doing so for THOUSANDS of years. It is a given in healing and disease.
However, we DO understand energy in Western culture – but we speak about it in different ways. We call it the ‘vibe’ or ‘the zone.’ You know, when you walk into a room full of angry people, you feel it right away. Or when someone stands too close to you and gets in your space? You may feel glimpses of it in savasana at the end of a yoga class or during a restorative yoga practice.
And the favorite mind/body practice of the fertility world is Acupuncture. And acupuncture IS energy work. The needles help to open up and create movement and release blocked energy in the meridians – the channels of chi (which are very similar to the nadis and marma points!)
Hospitals have Reiki programs, and more and more fertility clinics have mind/body and wellness centers focused on holistic health. There is a move towards understanding and seeing the value of energetic healing and modalities.
Friends, it’s time to stop working against ourselves and ignoring our inherent feminine power. The fertile energy flows more freely when we are clear, vibrant, grounded, and connected to ourselves. And when the energy flows, reproductive health improves.