In this video interview, Fertility Health Coach and Yoga Instructor talks about her experience as a Fertility coach and how Yoga can make a BIG difference in someone dealing with the infertility diagnosis.
Jen: I'm Jennifer Colletti with Jennifer Colletti Yoga and Wellness. I teach prenatal, postnatal, and fertility yoga and help women struggling with infertility build their families. I'm a yoga teacher. That's how I started out in the wellness world. It wasn't my first career. About 12-ish years ago, give or take, I took my first yoga teacher training and really never looked back. And I started out just teaching general classes but quickly realized that I wanted to give more attention to what I saw as a lack of help in the women's health area. So I realized, as I was going through some struggles trying to get pregnant, that there was no support, very little support holistically to women that were having trouble getting pregnant.
And so in 2009 after a few years of teaching yoga I started to really hone in on teaching fertility yoga to women that have either a diagnosis of infertility or having some type of fertility challenges and were really struggling to not only to heal their bodies to but to figure out how to feel grounded in that information. Which is really challenging to figure out how to be supported and to have a circle or community all around them. And so I basically started teaching the classes that I wanted to attend. I basically started offering up to women a circle that I wanted to be sitting in because it didn't exist. And you know I think it's it's really humbling work to me it almost makes me a little bit emotional to even talk about it at times because the breadth of women that have sat with me in that circle, it is so, it's just so beautiful. It's so immense. It's so needed and I just feel humbled and grateful every day that I get to sit across from women and help them go through what I went through too. You know when I taught my very first workshop that I did I had 13 women in it but it's so funny because whenever someone asked me how many how many women I had in my first class, it was a workshop then, so how many women did you have in your workshop? And I would always say 14. I was the fourteenth. And I did that subconsciously.
Question: You've done this for a very long time. If we asked you to compare that very first circle that you sat with versus where things are today, even from the perspective of the society, how do you think that support for women when it comes to fertility issues has evolved?
Jen: That's a good question. I think the shifts and changes have been subtle and dramatic all at the same time. You know the beautiful thing is we have so many different holistic support people for fertility now in our city, in Minneapolis, and so that it's really, really expanded. And there's more knowledge out there I think people are understanding on a deeper level what imbalance looks like and then how to swing back to balance. I think sometimes what happens is there's so much information now is people have a really hard time discerning what they should do, where they should go. Should I take yoga? Should I have one-on-one coaching? Should I do acupuncture? I think that's one of the bigger challenges that is coming up now.
I also have mentioned too that I think there's a much more expansive marriage between what's happening holistically and what's happening in what I often call Western medicine so those things are really melding together much more so than they ever have which is really wonderful. Because we need both of those modalities to help our bodies create balance and heal again people have a tendency to go inward when something goes wrong. You know I'm grateful that they choose that. I myself have chosen not to when things have gone not so great with my health. I wish we were a culture that revered stepping into that balance sooner. I wish that we were a culture that that saw that we all needed life balance whether we have children or don't have children. Just because you're a single person doesn't mean that you should have to work all the hours you know and those with families go home sooner, right? I think it's really what throws off the balance in our bodies today and that's why we end up with the universe tapping us on the shoulders saying hey you know what here are some symptoms that you need to listen to or they're going to get louder. Again, our culture's not great at stopping and listening to that. We are great at ignoring it until it gets to be really loud.
Not every woman feels comfortable sharing with friends and family what's going on with them when it comes to infertility. There can be a lot of shame and there can be some judgment. And there is a ton of stress when it comes to this diagnosis. And so people don't always feel like it's okay to say it out loud. They're afraid of what people might say, or what people might think. So oftentimes they keep it to themselves.
When I teach the classes that I do, when we sit in a circle, sometimes that's the first time that we might sit next to someone who's going through exactly what she is. Their stories may be slightly different right but they might sit in a circle with five, ten other women that are going through the exact same thing they are and that's the first time they've ever had an experience where they could relate to the woman next to them so directly. That is so true.
Question: I have to share something that somebody shared with me and when going through infertility. They love their OBGYN. They love going to them but the only thing that the OBGYN is focused on is getting them pregnant. That is, their only focus and it sounds like what you do Jen is acknowledging what that person is going through in that process and not just acknowledge but also then provide them the support they need to build the energy to be able to go through something like this.
Jen: I've listened to my students talk about that over the years. Often that there's such a disconnect between procedures and them feeling really deep and connected with their bodies. So that's one of my goals is to empower them to listen to their own body's wisdom because there's plenty of it there. Our culture is taught us to seek outwardly to heal. There's a quote by my instructors from my holistic health coaching school and he says you know given the opportunity the body will heal itself, right? I'm not here to say that people don't need to have procedures to get pregnant because some do and many do - and maybe some don't too. I'm just saying that given the opportunity to swing our bodies back into balance, given the opportunity to really listen to those tabs on our shoulder that the universe is giving us, we can we can shift that by paying attention to it.