I work at Healing Arts Community Acupuncture (HACA), a sister clinic to The Healing Arts Center. Steve Mavros, Co-Founder of The Healing Arts Center, specializes in acupuncture for fertility, and has spent the better part of the last 18 years pioneering that field in the Philadelphia area in partnership with all of the major fertility clinics here. Frequently, the women he treats come in for their follow-up treatments at HACA, all in diverse stages of infertility, and I get a small glimpse into the amount of stress they’re experiencing. From these observations, I was inspired to create a yoga therapy series targeting the women's overall wellbeing, especially in regards to psychosocial and spiritual wellness.
In addition to the stress and uncertainty of the process these women are going through, there are so many complex layers of emotional and social uneasiness. Research shows that the tools of yoga therapy (breath-work, movement, meditation, and wellness coaching) reduce the stress response and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which lessens the impacts of anxiety and increases feelings of wellbeing and quality of life.
Another important aspect of the series is the opportunity for women to meet other women who are going through something similar. Being able to openly share their experiences and hear other women’s stories may help them to feel more empowered and less alone. This can feel especially necessary around holidays where families get together, which is always taken into account when we schedule the dates.
My intention is to create space for healing through the lens of self-care and community, guided by tangible tools that can support the women during the series and after. I’ve been practicing yoga since 2008 and teaching since 2012, initially studying vinyasa and yin. In 2014, I began studying yoga therapy, which goes beyond the physical postures to tailor care for specific conditions, while taking into account the whole person and what wellness looks like for them. It’s evidence-informed while honoring the traditions that the practices are derived from. To me, this makes sense, since the root of yoga is about living well, and the practices and philosophies are proven to help with physiological and psychological regulation that helps alleviate suffering.
At this point, I know it sounds cliche, but yoga and meditation really has shifted the way I interact with the world, and how I show up for myself, my health, my work, and my relationships. Through my own experiences of depression, anxiety, and burnout, the therapeutic perspective has continuously helped me manage the symptoms of stress while offering insight into living a life aligned with my truth. This self-awareness empowers me to face life’s challenges with more patience, compassion, and skill. Out of my personal experiences and education, I aim to support other women in achieving wellbeing by offering them insight into their own strength and resilience.
I hope that you’ll consider joining us for our next series of Yoga Therapy for Infertility beginning March 24th. We’ll be meeting at The Healing Arts Center, at 123 Chestnut St., for 5 consecutive Sundays, 10 - 11:30 am, March 24 - April 21. In these five weeks, I’ll help you find ease and resilience by cultivating relaxation and connection through emotional processing and social support. Together we'll explore breath-work, meditation, and yoga postures that promote self-care and self-awareness while reducing the impact of stress that many women encounter during infertility. No prior yoga or meditation experience is necessary. Learn more and sign up HERE (link here: healingphilly.com/yogaseries)
If you’re looking for more information, be sure to check out our list of other resources, recommended supplements, as well as Steve’s podcast, Waiting For Babies. Lastly, you can learn more about acupuncture and fertility here.