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  • Yoga for Sweeties

    Why Yoga Makes Sense for Sweeties

    Back when Matt and I were in the midst of our fertility journey we started a very special tradition. Wednesday nights we would meet at Moksha yoga in Chicago after work for a yoga class. For two total gym rats this was a radical switch in routine. Instead of parting ways at the front desk of the health club and meeting back after our separate workouts, we would walk into the yoga studio together and place our mats side by side. During the course of the class we would stretch and breathe, each of us working out the stresses of our separate days. Although we were not touching we could hear each other’s breath and experience the different yoga poses simultaneously.

    On a relationship level there is something very powerful about practicing next to your partner. Yoga is, by nature, a quiet and reflective activity. For Matt and I, it became a way for us to share a sacred space. Our intention to conceive was part of the work but our weekly classes also became a place where we would reconnect to each other without words. And I might as well just say it – it totally improved our sex life (blood flow? mindfulness? all those hip openers?) during a time when intimacy can feel like more work.

    Yet not many men try yoga, and that’s a shame – especially those who are struggling with fertility challenges. In fact, there are many reasons why yoga practice is supportive for male fertility. In addition to reducing stress and increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, yoga is a gentle form of exercise. There is research that suggests that strenuous exercise in men can negatively impact fertility. Yoga gets guys moving but tones down the intensity. It also releases tension and can calm the mind. Man or woman, that’s a serious plus.

    For this reason we are creating a drop-in yoga class on Monday nights at Pulling Down the Moon that we hope will become a regular stop for you and your honey. It is going to be more general in focus than our Yoga for Fertility classes and will be open to both men and women. Our location in River North makes a perfect jumping off point for a nice dinner after class, too. Give this new routine a try – you won’t be disappointed.

    Click Here to Register

    Beth Heller, Co-owner of Pulling Down the Moon

  • Yoga Pose for February

    Heart-Opening Yoga for Valentine’s Day

    by Mollie Ewing, RYT

    February is the perfect time to practice heart opening poses in honor of Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month. Heart opening poses exercise the fourth chakra, Anahata, also known as the heart chakra. There are seven chakras, or energy centers, through which your prana, or life force, flow through your body. The fourth chakra is located in your chest (think heart, lungs, thoracic spine) and from your shoulders down through your hands. When this chakra is open and energy is free-flowing you are able to express compassion, empathy, joy, and you can easily give and receive love.

    My husband and I were on holiday in Venice Beach, Ca recently. While walking to breakfast one morning I saw the words “Kindness Is Magic” spray painted on the sidewalk. I love this! It has been a personal theme of sorts for me ever since. I believe that kindness is magic. These words make me think of Anahata. When this chakra balanced, we can spread kindness to our loved ones, ourselves, and even strangers. Whether you smile at a stranger in passing, leave a love note for your honey, or treat yourself to the massage you’ve been putting off – a simple act of kindness is an easy way to brighten your day and maybe someone else’s as well. One reason kindness is so magical is because it is contagious. The receiver of a simple act of kindness is often inspired to spread the love, paying it forward by giving a simple act of kindness to someone else. February is the perfect time of year to embrace your fourth chakra and celebrate simple acts of kindness.

    Below you’ll find some of my favorite yoga poses to balance your heart chakra. For more fertility-friendly yoga and community join me for our drop-in Fertility Friendly Yoga Flow class on Thursdays in the River North location. Click here to register!

    <3 Mollie

    Bridge Pose

    Bridge Pose.jpeg

    Start by laying on your back. Lay your arms, palms face down, alongside your body. Press the soles of your feet into the mat at hip width distance. Walk your heels towards your glutes until you can brush your heels with your fingertips. Inhale, float your hips up toward the ceiling. LIft your sternum toward your chin and gently pull your chin away from your chest. Option to interlace your fingers at the base of your spine to find greater heights with your hips and a deeper chest opening.

    Favorite Heart Opening Partner Pose:

    Dancer’s Pose

    Dancers Pose Partner Poses.jpg

    Start by standing face to face with your partner with your arms extended in front of you and your palms pressing into one another. Release your palms and come to Mountain Pose- stand tall, feet together, arms lifted overhead. Shift your weight into your left foot and kick your right foot up toward your glutes. Bring your right hand back to grab the big toe side of your right foot. Find your balance. Inhale, slowly kick your foot into your hand to propel your chest forward. Finally reach your left arm forward and up as you press your palm into your partner’s palm for Partner Dancer’s Pose.