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.
Beth Heller, Co-owner of Pulling Down the Moon