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Sample articles from publications regarding Strong Yoga4Fertility.

Mothering Magazine - March 2010

Taking life just as it is may sound easy. Doing it? Now that’s hard, but also necessary and ultimately liberating. There are gifts embedded in the accidents of fate that give existence its shape, meaning and richness – as the old adage goes, make your mess your message. In my case, the mess was secondary infertility. The message became my ability to help others heal through Yoga, mindfulness and acceptance. Mothering and nurturing myself was part of my journey.

I was a 26-year-old actress making it happen in Los Angeles. Motherhood? Uh, no. Not just yet. My eyes were fixed on my career.

A few years later, I was married and a veteran step-mom, now yearning for a child of my own. I went off birth control during my stepdaughter’s high school years, confident I’d get pregnant. I did. Just not on my schedule. It took a lot longer than I reckoned.

Still, motherhood-by-marriage and the birth of my son lulled me into assuming another child would come easy.

When I decided it was time, I hit a brick wall. Between my fast-forward film and TV career, my family, and my yoga teaching, I was living pedal-to-the-metal, overworked and over-stressed. I had lost a lot of weight for a film role and stopped ovulating. I was out of balance. I went to a reproductive endocrinologist, and he ran some tests. He told me I was suffering from “secondary infertility.” I wanted to take more aggressive measures to get pregnant as my clock was ticking. I wanted to try IUI or IVF.

My husband felt differently. He had two children and didn’t need more, if we had them naturally he was fine, but he didn’t want to push. Because of his resistance, I had been researching how to balance my hormones with yoga. It was on me to heal my own body and I plunged headlong into a self-prescribed treatment of acupuncture and yoga postures to balance my hormone cycle and reduce my own stress. I developed a proprietary approach to yoga for fertility for myself. I stayed with it, and I started to calm down in my mind and my body.

Out of my mess came my message. I created Strong Yoga4Fertility and worked with women just like me. I taught them how to breathe. To open their bodies and to receive life as it comes because that’s what I had to do. Women who couldn’t get pregnant were suddenly getting pregnant. It turns out that yoga combined with their medical protocols was potent. Perhaps even more significantly, irrespective of the outcome, the women working with me found how much they’d been suffering from fear and shame around fertility issues. By learning to connect to themselves and others on the fertility journey, they learned that they weren’t alone, and that everyone’s path is different.

In my parallel journey, my husband and I produced both a “Yoga for Fertility” and “Yoga for Partners” DVD. After we packaged them, I got pregnant. My pregnancy lasted the first trimester. There was no heartbeat. I had to have a D&C and I was devastated. However, through time, I realized that the second child we were supposed to have was my birthing this important work – helping women through fertility issues. It was meant to be this way.

With the practice of yoga comes transformation. I’m blown away by how much women evolve as they build a deep and loving connection to themselves through this work. I also teach them about nutrition, greening their homes, and removing toxins from their environment. They learn to integrate their thoughts, feelings, bodies and energy. They become more conscious parents through this work.

I learned the first step toward being a mother was to nurture myself, honor my feelings and learn self-care. How can we possibly honor a child when we aren’t honoring ourselves?

Being a mother is the biggest gift I’ve ever been given. I love my son. He teaches me every day how to be a consistent and caring human being. I’ve also learned that being a mother is to breathe in whatever life offers. The foundation of yoga is the breath. The challenge for women is to learn to breathe and receive.

Brenda Strong offers 3 DVDs; Strong Yoga4Fertility, Partners and Pregnancy and is the creator of the Fertility Ball and the Strong Fertility Ball Yoga Method. She also trains yoga teachers her Strong Yoga4Fertiity through ongoing education at Yoga Works. For more info visit: www.yoga4women.com or www.yoga4fertiity.com

Celebrity Baby Scoop - Feb 11, 2010 by JENNY

Brenda Strong, known for role as the deceased Mary Alice Young on Desperate Housewives, is also an accomplished yoga practitioner and teacher for over 23 years. Brenda, who struggled with infertility, created Strong Yoga4Fertility to support women on their life journey through reproductive difficulties, relationships, pregnancy and yes, even menopause. The mother-of-one sat down with Celebrity Baby Scoop for a glimpse into her mysterious role on Desperate Housewives and a frank discussion on infertility and overall wellness.

CBS: Do you enjoy working on Desperate Housewives?

BS: "I LOVE it!!! I feel like I am the luckiest person on the planet. I love working on a show that is consistently written so well, and continues to get critical and audience acclaim. I am so grateful to be able to do what I love for a living, and still have the assemblance of a 'normal' life.

My schedule allows me to continue to be there for my family and do charity work for the organizations that I am involved with like Events of the Heart for women's heart disease, and The American Fertility Association of which I'm a board member and National Spokesperson."

CBS: How often do you work on the show?

BS: "I work on average at least 2-3 days a week when I'm not on camera. I usually have one day of ADR for the final recording for the voice over on Fridays and then a day of prep at home. I also lay down the template for the upcoming episode and do a table read for the new episode on a separate day."

CBS: Do you ever get to work with the other gals on Wisteria Lane?

BS: "I see them once a week for the table reads of the script and at charity events, award shows and when I work on camera. We have a great working relationship.

CBS: Will you ever appear, visually, on the show again?

BS: "I always hope that Mary Alice will be seen more. That is always in the hands of Marc Cherry and our writers. Bringing Mary Alice back is meaningful because she was so much a part of Season One and the launch of the show and still is involved on an emotional level through the narration. It's always powerful for the audience when she returns to Wisteria Lane because it helps reground the cast in the history of their friendships and connections to each other through her loss.

She is only in flashbacks though which makes it challenging to write when you have an ongoing story line that moves you forward. The 100th episode was a perfect example of a stand alone episode that allowed us to return to Wisteria Lane and have the past inform the future. I would love it if we could do more of those types of episodes, they stand on their own so beautifully."

CBS: You are a yoga expert and have created 3 DVDs called Strong Yoga4Women to help empower women through their struggles with fertility. Is your method a holistic look at the mind, body and spirit? If so, how does this apply to fertility issues?

BS: "My philosophy is that yoga is good for every age and stage of a woman's life because it promotes awareness and health in a holistic way. Particularly when it comes to being in touch with your body, being aware that your thoughts affect how you feel emotionally and physically is a holistic view that we are a multifaceted organism constantly 'at cause' in our own health.

Strong Yoga4Fertility was something I created based on my own research and work with the graduates of The Mind Body Institute program that I've taught at UCLA since 1998. I had undergone secondary infertility and understood all too well on an emotional and physical level the toll that was being taken from these women and couples.

In my research, I found that certain yoga poses were helpful in calming the mind and nervous system and assisting the balance of hormones and bringing increased circulation to the pelvis, and addressing the intense stress couples go through when trying to conceive.

Teaching the body to relax through using yoga and the breath, allows women to receive whatever the fertility journey brings them, often with surprising results. If the goal is solely baby focused, every month that you aren't pregnant, is going to feel like failure. Teaching women to focus on getting healthy and more balanced is key to releasing some of the stress around getting pregnant. When the goal becomes your own health, vitality and empowerment, you understand that it's an ongoing journey that will prepare you to be a better parent whenever that time comes. My students started getting pregnant more easily after that.

My three-DVD package is an approach on how to balance Mind, Body and Spirit while undergoing something as emotionally, physically and financially as taxing as infertility treatments. The intent is to empower them on their journey so that they can cope consciously with what is happening moment to moment.

1. Strong Yoga4Fertility teaches women how to access their parasympathetic nervous systems (the relaxation response) while detoxifying their bodies, removing adhesions and tension internally and increasing blood circulation and well-being.

2. Strong Yoga4Partners teaches couples how to maintain intimacy and connection to one another by using yoga as a metaphor for the dynamics of a relationship.

3. Strong Yoga4Pregnancy is the celebration of a woman's changing body, helping her to modify her yoga for each trimester.

Knowing how precious pregnancy is post fertility struggles, I've allowed for special attention to calming fears, labor preparation and included testimonials from women who got pregnant using Strong Yoga4Fertility.

CBS: Why do you think so many couples struggle with fertility?

BS: "There are many factors. It's difficult to generalize, but statistics seem to attribute 30-40% to male issues and 30 to 40% to female issues, and 15 to 20% is simply unexplained."

CBS: Have the infertility rates increased in recent years?

BS: "Infertility rates are rising and studies show that in 2010 it will be the highest it has been in recent years. Each case is unique to the individual, but infertility rates may in some part be affected by a number of influences: Advanced age, overall weight, unhealthy eating and exercise habits, overall stress, STDs, thyroid issues, and environmental toxins that interrupt and disrupt hormonal balance among others."

CBS: Do your DVDs help men as well as women in their struggles with fertility?

BS: "Yes. A surprising number of men have responded to the DVD, in spite of the fact that it is primarily focused for women. The Yoga4Partners as well as the Yoga4Pregnancy DVD's include both men and women in the process."

CBS: What is the greatest misconception surrounding fertility and infertility?

BS: "I caution anyone thinking that they may want a family someday to get checked early by a reproductive endocrinologist to make sure that everything is in order and create a plan. Even if you aren't ready now, having all the information will allow you to make more informed choices for the future. Having a baby at an advanced age is not as easy as it always looks!"

CBS: You suffered a miscarriage and struggled with fertility yourself. What helped you to conceive and your now-15-year-old son, Zak?

BS: "I practiced yoga and meditation prior to conceiving Zak and did acupuncture and herbs during my pregnancy."

CBS: Did you practice yoga during your pregnancy?

BS: "I actually went through my Yoga Teacher Training while I was pregnant, which was an amazing gift to us both."

CBS: Did this help strengthen your mind, body and spirit during your pregnancy?

BS: "Absolutely. Studies have shown that what the mom does directly impacts the child physiologically, so I feel that both of us benefited in mind body and spirit from my yoga practice during the pregnancy."

CBS: You are the spokesperson for the American Fertility Association. Tell us about your role at AFA.

BS: "My role with The AFA is two-fold. I am their spokesperson, so I help to represent them in the press and bring awareness to their many wonderful services and programs. I also serve on their Board, helping shape policies and contribute in any way I can."

CBS: What is the mission and the message of the organization?

BS: "The AFA's purpose is to educate the public about reproductive disease, and support families during struggles with infertility and adoption."

CBS: What are some ways that we can support our sisters and friends going through infertility? What should we say? What shouldn't we say?

BS: "It is such a sensitive time, and the emotions are running so high, the best thing to do is to listen and be compassionate. It is a very private and often isolating experience and can be laced with shame and feelings of depression and failure.

The worst thing you can say to them is 'just relax'- trust me, they are doing the best they can. If they can be around other women who are going through reproductive difficulties, either in a yoga for fertility class or a support group focused on fertility, this can be extremely supportive. (Please take a look at the websites for The AFA, The Mind Body Institute or Resolve).

CBS: Do you feel many couples rush into IVF before trying natural methods to increase their chances of fertility?

BS: "I doubt that anyone rushes into IVF (Unless they have waited too long or there are physical reasons that make it the only option). Most reproductive endocrinologists will support a very gradual approach that is less invasive first, like a supported natural cycle or IUI before ever recommending IVF.

However, I do think that many people are unaware that the more natural methods of acupuncture and yoga can help to increase their chances of conceiving either on their own or in support of their doctors protocol."

CBS: What is your feeling on hormonally-controlled fertility options versus more natural methods?

BS: "I feel it's a very personal decision. They are both trying to achieve the same result, but it depends on how much time you have on your fertility clock. If there is less time, then the more controlled version will achieve faster results, but can also be hard on the body. If you have more time, opting for more natural methods will allow the bodies natural healing ability to kick in and balance the hormones through acupuncture, herbs and yoga.

They are both viable approaches, however, I always recommend that you consult with a fertility specialist to get a good picture of where you are and what choices are available to you. I have seen success with both approaches and yoga actually supports both beautifully."

CBS: If you are working on any other projects or with any charities, please feel free to discuss.

BS: "My personal mission is to help women to wellness. Women are the heart of every family, the choices they make impact the entire family unit, the community and the world.

To that purpose, I also serve on the Board of Events of the Heart, an organization committed to raising awareness about women's heart disease through the art of story. Our goal is to reach a million women this year and inspire them to get themselves and their sisters, mothers and friends checked.

We recently performed these stories at the Women's Conference in Long Beach and it was a huge success. At the heart of every woman there is a story...what's yours? Tell us your story here."

My Pregnancy Must Haves

Number 6: Yoga DVD yoga

Now I have to be completely honest - I haven’t used my Pregnancy Yoga DVD much. However, just the knowledge that I have it and that it’s ready for me whenever I have the motivation to actually use it keeps me feeling pretty good. Pre-pregnancy I was all about working out and going to the gym. Staying active and fit was pretty important. There’s just something about being pregnant that takes that drive out of you, but that’s where a good yoga DVD can come into play. I received a Yoga 4 Pregnancy DVD led by Brenda Strong of Desperate Houswives. It’s a great workout for all three trimesters. She even gives some great labor techniques that you can do with your partner. The exercises aren’t too challenging and I’m sure they will certainly help during labor. So if you’re expecting or may be in the near future, it’s definitely something to have on hand….just in case! You can purchase the DVD for $24.95 from the Yoga 4 Fertility website.

To view the entire artcile click here

The AFA - New York, June 15

The American Fertility Association (AFA) announced that actress Brenda Strong has been elected to the Board of Directors and will continue to serve as the first national spokesperson for the fertility patient advocacy organization. Ms. Strong—known to many as Mary-Alice Young, the narrator and dearly-departed Wisteria Lane neighbor on ABC’s hit “Desperate Housewives”—wrestled with infertility and turned to the practice of yoga to manage and alleviate the associated stress brought on by the diagnosis. She will use her spokesperson platform to educate infertile women and men on how they can re-connect with their bodies, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem through exercise and complementary medicine.

Brenda’s holistic approach to fertility teaches us to treat the whole individual—mind, body, and spirit. We have to balance the elements we can control with those that we cannot. That’s an important message that too often gets relegated to the sidelines,” said The Founder and Executive Director of The American Fertility Association.

“It’s difficult to love your body when you feel like it’s failing you. Yoga reduced my stress and bodily tension. It allowed me to bring my body back into balance, to emerge from my fertility struggle with my sense of self esteem and self worth intact, and to forge a stronger bond with my husband,” said Ms. Strong.

“Too often fertility treatment addresses only a failing body part or an inadequate hormone level. But reproductive difficulties are much more than a bad ovary or low sperm count, “Brenda brings a fresh, new perspective and reminds us that there is a soul and an emotional component to reproductive challenges that we should not forget.”

Ms. Strong has taught at UCLA’s Mind-Body Institute and produced and starred in “Yoga 4 Fertility,” a video series designed to help infertile couples through yoga therapy (http://www.yoga4fertility.com). She and her husband designed a system of yoga postures for women and couples experiencing infertility which reduce stress, increase coping mechanisms, deepen awareness, increase relaxation capability, and improve circulation and muscle tone. The yoga practice enhances and supports any protocol treatment suggested by a fertility doctor.

She is a familiar face on the small and big screen. In addition to “Desperate Housewives,” Strong is also recognizable to television audiences as Sue Ellen Mishkie (a.k.a. “The Braless Wonder”) on the award-winning series “Seinfeld.” She has also has recurring roles on such acclaimed series as “Nip/Tuck,” “Everwood,” “Sports Night,” “7th Heaven” and “Party of Five.”

Yoga Journal - November 2002

'Yoga4Partners' with Brenda Strong and Tom Henri - OUR SOLITARY daily yoga practice can sometimes get lonely. At such times it's nice to partner up and work with a spouse, friend or colleague - provided you both can keep the gossiping to a minimum. Here is a sweet , 25-minute session for two partners that, by my count, includes 15 simple paired excercises or yoga asana. Each excersise or asana represents, and is named as, some admirable quality or qualitieslearned from the cooperative effort, which can then, according to the teacher's premise, be applied to everyday life. For example, a linked-arms, leaning-back excercise, teaches "trusting and letting-go", and a knee-to-knee, assisted seated twist teaches "respecting limitations". Strong, a Southern California teacher, and her partner, Henri, have produced a relatively mild, straight-forward practice that emphasizes both self-and other- awareness. They are excellent models, performing the work with compatible grace and harmony.

Alternative Medicine - December 2002

Yoga's Feminine Side - Could this ancient practice help you conceive? REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER and the objective was to not get pregnant? Well, times have changed. Starting a family is not as easy as it once was, at least for those of us in our thirties and forties. Experts say a woman's ability to conceive declines measurably at age 35 and plummets nearly twice as fast by the time she hits 40. Many of us have waited to pursue our careers, find the perfect mate, achieve financial stability—and one day it's too late.

In an effort to turn back the clock, many couples have been heading to doctors' offices. With the explosion of highly technical therapies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT), and other modifications of test-tube treatments, couples last year alone spent over a billion dollars in the pursuit of a baby. Yet results can be disappointing. The average success rate for IVF is about 19 percent; with GIFT, it's 28 percent. Luckily, there may be a simple way to improve the odds. A growing body of evidence is beginning to support the idea that stress plays a critical role in preventing conception. (And these days, who isn't wound a bit too tight?) A study published in Fertility and Sterility found that among women trying in vitro fertilization, those with high levels of stress produced fewer eggs—and therefore had fewer embryos that could be transferred into their wombs—than their more relaxed counterparts.

Alice Domar, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Harvard Medical School, has demonstrated even more direct evidence of the payoff of stress relief. Fifteen years ago, she divided 110 women who had tried to get pregnant for one to two years into three groups. The first was an infertility support group; the second concentrated on relaxation therapies including yoga and meditation; the third was given fertility medication alone. After a year, only 20 percent of the women on medication alone became pregnant compared to about half the women in both types of support groups.

No one quite understands the physiology involved, but Domar's research suggests that stress can delay menstrual cycles and create abnormal levels of the pituitary hormone prolactin, which is responsible for ovulation. And the process feeds on itself. The more stressed you are, the harder it may be to conceive, which in turn makes you more stressed. Domar found that infertile women are significantly more depressed than their fertile counterparts, with depression and anxiety levels equivalent to women with heart disease, cancer, or HIV-positive status.

Of course, there are many ways to break the cycle, from meditation to therapy to curling up in a comfy chair with a good book. But if you're looking for something that combines emotional release with a satisfying physical workout, yoga is a natural choice.

Several years ago I struggled with my own infertility issues, and as a yoga instructor, this ancient practice was a logical place for me to turn. With its deep breathing techniques and asanas, or poses, yoga conditions the body from the inside out, calming the nervous system, slowing the heart rate, stretching and toning the muscles. Yogic breathing also helps strengthen the diaphragm to increase lung capacity and improve circulation, thereby distributing oxygen and nutrients throughout the system.

And this is just the Western view of yoga's benefits. From an Eastern perspective, yoga relaxes by a different, more "holistic" route. Traditional Chinese medicine, for instance, holds that blockages or imbalances between the masculine (yang) and feminine (yin) energies in the body can be the root causes of ill health—or in this case, stress-induced discomforts and dysfunctions.

Yoga is based on this same concept of enhancing the flow of energy through energy channels, which are part of what yogis call the "chakra" system. The word chakra literally translates as wheel or disk. It refers to the sphere ofbioenergetic activity that emanates from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column. A chakra is a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses energy.

Seven of these wheels are stacked in a column that spans from the base of the spine to the top of the head and roughly corresponds to major glandular and nervous system groupings. That's why neuroendocrine health—the chemical signals from the brain that maintain the body's delicate hormonal balance—can be influenced by the practice of yoga. The second chakra is of utmost importance for sexual health. Located around the lower abdomen and groin, this energy center rules the reproductive organs, and relates to movement, sensation, pleasure, sexuality and, theoretically, fertility. Anodea Judith, author of Eastern Body, Western Mind, has a healing practice utilizing the chakra system for therapeutic purposes. She believes that if there is an energy blockage, excess, or deficiency in the second chakra, the imbalance can affect physical function, and she suggests poses to "rebalance" the area.

Four years ago, I incorporated this idea into my own research on stress and fertility and began teaching what I call a more "feminine" type of yoga at the West Coast branch of the Mind/Body Institute in Los Angeles. It combines deep relaxation poses and poses designed to enhance reproductive health. The conception success rate in the graduate group has been almost 50 percent. For the women who were also undergoing medical treatments, I found that my yoga program made it easier for them to tolerate the stress and discomfort that's often involved in the process.

I've included a mini-version of that program, the sidebar "Six steps to well-being," which you can do in your own home as often as you like (it takes about 20 minutes).There's no guarantee it will help you conceive, but it will certainly let you take a critical first step: relaxing your body and mind so you can improve your chances. One thing's for sure: If you do get pregnant, yoga will help you relax through the nine months of pregnancy— and a lifetime of being a mom.

LA Times - December 14, 2009

Booster Shots | Yoga and infertility take two - Last week we told you about a pitch we got for actress Brenda Strong's Yoga4Fertility program. The pitch began like this: "Brenda Strong, Mary Alice Young from Desperate Housewives, has created a new yoga method--and it is getting women pregnant." Strong, a longtime yoga practitioner and instructor, developed the program to help women dealing with infertility, and has other programs for pregnancy and menopause.
We're used to seeing hyperbole in press releases, and we're also no stranger to celebrities touting health-related products and services or getting behind public policy issues. We felt compelled to comment on this one, cautioning readers to take any claims with a grain of salt, despite the fact that yoga can be effective in coping with various health-related issues, including cancer and multiple sclerosis. Some people are influenced by their favorite actor/actress/singer/athlete's involvement in various programs and causes, and they can be blind to the occasional outrageous statement or forceful proposal.
Today we spoke with Strong, who said that she was unhappy with the way the pitch went out, and wanted to clarify a few things. First, she said, she believes that before entering any health program people should research it to make sure it's viable and right for them. Infertile women should also seek help from their health professional in addition to trying other solutions. "In no way, shape or form," she said, "am I saying that yoga is the only way to get pregnant."
However, she does believe that yoga (specifically her program) does have physical benefits, especially for the endocrine system, and can help women survive infertility, an issue known to elicit enormous amounts of stress. "If anything," she says, "yoga gives women tools to deal with the stress of infertility and helps empower them, so they can say, 'I can go through this.' For a lot of women who feel out of touch with their body, this can give them a positive feeling again, like their body can be trusted."
And yes, women who have taken part in her program have gotten pregnant. But she can't say for sure if it was yoga, acupuncture, medical treatments, or various combinations of those that did the trick.
"My intention," she added, "has always been to help women help themselves."

-- Jeannine Stein

Examiner.com - December 16, 2009

Yoga Off the Mat - Words of Wisdom from Brenda Strong - Brenda Strong may best be known to the American public as the doomed character of Mary Alice Young on the hit TV show, Desperate Housewives. But, for many people who have struggled with issues concerning fertility, intimacy, and even menopause, Ms. Strong is better known for her work as a yoga practitioner and also, as the national spokesperson for The American Fertility Association (AFA).

In a recent blog entry for The AFA, Ms Strong stated, "I realize now after having dealt with infertility that stress isn't something that goes away once you are a parent, or even, a yoga teacher. It is something that one needs to manage daily. So how do we pursue our dreams of building our family without killing ourselves with stress? Learning to sit with the discomfort of life's uncertainty is key".

Can yoga help with that? Studies at the Mayo clinic have substantiated that assertion and other research studies done in the U.S. have given strong indication that yoga can actually change how genes respond to stress.

Dr. Robert Kiltz, founder and director of the CNY Fertility and Healing Arts Center agrees that this may be so. Dr. Kiltz states that "Yoga for fertility is a powerful practice that helps men and women reduce stress and anxiety, become more mindful and centered, and therefore, improve the body's ability to conceive".

Always a forerunner, Ms. Strong announced this week that a new technique combining acupressure and her new, trademarked Fertility Ball can support and empower women to stimulate circulation and blood flow, massage internal organs, help to regulate gynecological function, and decrease stress. Acupressure has long been employed as a simple and gentle way to decrease difficult menstrual symptoms as well as certain forms of sexual dysfunction, and is also the recognized forerunner to acupuncture.

Strong trained yoga practitioner Barrie Raffel teaches classes at Namaste Yoga in New York City as well as at Bend and Bloom Yoga in Brooklyn.

Ms. Raffel and her partner Karen are the creators of the east coast based program, Receptive Nest. In Receptive Nest experiential workshops one can learn a yoga practice designed to support reproductive health and aid in conception and pregnancy, as well as discover ways to calm the mind and nervous system, which often affect hormonal balance.. Ms. Raffel states, "In a yoga practice that has an emphasis on fertility, we look to increase circulation and deliver fresh oxygen to the reproductive organs as well as calm the nervous system and balance the hormonal system. Another benefit of a fertility focused yoga class is that the participants get to connect with others who are also on the road to conception. This connection often leads to increased feelings of support and can expand the perspective of what fertility can look like.".

Additional listings of yoga centers in the Brooklyn, New York area can be found here. For those who wish to have a baby and can't, at least not easily, stress is almost a given. And with Christmas just a week away, there may be more stress experienced than is typical. It's always a good idea to check with a doctor first, but yoga may prove to be an effective way to alleviate stress and also support fertility.

Ms. Raffel states, "Many of us face very challenging decisions on the path to becoming parents, and often, a yoga practice will bring a fresh perspective and also help us to manage our expectations in this goal oriented world. Yoga helps us to stay present with what is and allows us to find a little bit of peace in the unfolding journey to conception".

And what could possibly be wrong with that?