Beth Heller, M.S., R.Y.T.
Beth is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Pulling Down the Moon, Inc., Integrative Care for Fertility (ICF ™). Beth earned her Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics in 1999 and prior to founding PDtM, she spent four years working as a Nutrition Researcher for the Women’s Walking Program, a large National Institutes of Health-funded study that examined the impact of walking exercise on the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of menopausal women. As she witnessed women become stronger, less anxious and less depressed as a result of adding walking to their lives Beth had her first introduction to the powerful connection between mind and body.
Beth came to yoga in 1998 when she realized that a stressed out graduate student like herself was likely to have difficulty starting a family. After stumbling into a yoga class and loving it, Beth began a regular practice. Soon thereafter, her periods, which had been absent for four years, returned without change to her diet, body composition or exercise levels. Beth decided there was something unique about yoga that had helped to restore her reproductive function. In confirmation of this hunch, several months after her menses returned, Beth became pregnant. Unfortunately the pregnancy ended in miscarriage and it was back to the drawing board.
Still confident that yoga was a key element of reproductive health, Beth began trying to conceive again. As she struggled with this challenge, her interest in yoga and fertility grew and led her into deeper practices of breathing, meditation and the work of bringing yoga practice “off the mat” into daily living. She entered teacher training at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago where she researched and wrote her thesis in 2001 on yoga practices to restore fertility. She also began work with anayurvedic physician who suggested changes to her diet and life habits. Eighteen months after her first miscarriage Beth conceived again, had a wonderful, healthy pregnancy that ended with a sad surprise, the stillbirth of a daughter at 38 weeks due to unknown causes.
It was in that moment of loss that Beth learned the real value of the yoga she had been studying. In addition to calming and balancing her physical body, the practices of asana, breathing and meditation had provided her with an inner stability, or peace, that she had not recognized until that moment. This peace allowed Beth to grieve the loss of her daughter fully, keep an open heart and have hope for the future even in the darkest hours. Shortly after the loss of her daughter she founded Pulling Down the Moon with fellow yogi Tami Quinn.
Simultaneous to the “birth” of PDtM, Beth returned to the work of getting pregnant. This time she went directly into medical fertility treatment. After five rounds of clomid and another miscarriage she conceived the pregnancy that ended with the healthy birth of her son Jackson. At the age of 37, two years after Jack’s birth, Beth added acupuncture and herbs to her yoga regimen and conceived again after only one month of “trying.” With the birth of her second son, Calvin, her family is now complete.
Throughout every aspect of the journey, the teachings of yoga and the wisdom of traditional healing therapies were her guide and solace. Beth’s goal in founding Pulling Down the Moon was to teach the tools that allowed her to learn and grow through one of the most challenging times in her life.
Beth is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. She teaches yoga in classes and in one-on-one instruction throughout the Chicago-land area and is a creator, co-director and teacher for Pulling Down the Moon, Yoga for Fertility.