Doesn't the cover - cased only in eco-friendly cardboard with minimal thus eco-friendly packaging - calm you?
The Amazon reviews on this 2-DVD set intrigued me, and I couldn't help but wonder whether this was the modern day version of snake-oil salesmanship:
"I was declared completely infertile by not one, but two fertility doctors. My FSH is 19 and AT BEST, they said I had a 3 to 5 percent chance on my own. They told me a donor egg was the only way to go and likened my ability of getting pregnant to a "false glimmer of hope"
"This is a wonderful DVD that really works to keep your cycle in balance. At 42, I got pregnant naturally by using this DVD everyday for a few months."
"My husband and doctor are more inclined to think it is a coincidence, but the fact remains that we had been trying to get pregnant for a year, and after doing this DVD every day for 2 months, I got pregnant. I decided to try yoga before moving on to any medical fertility treatments, and I did the DVD pretty faithfully for 2 months (I missed a few days here and there). I was still doing the video in the 3rd month until we got a positive pregnancy test."
These DVDs are highly touted on a few of the support boards I frequent. I was most intrigued by the fact that there is a separate set of exercises for each phase of your menstrual cycle. The guy who put it together, Brandon Horn, has something of a name for himself in the world of traditional Chinese medicine and fertility. Plus he's operating out of LA (and I often think of California as ground zero for the confluence of aging zen mamas - as opposed to the rust-belt city where I now reside and view as mostly ground zero for the really tired and pissed-off mamas). And his clinic is called the Lotus Center for Integrative Medicine and isn't that a pretty name? "What the hell," I figured, "it's not like adding yoga to my summer of wellness can hurt."
So, I entered into this thing totally prepared to write some snarky comments about hokey hippy-dippy yoga videos produced at Lotus Centers. And yet, I honestly can't. Because these videos are actually (gulp) really good.
Niblet has some basic biological understanding of reproduction including the part about how the sperm has to meet the egg. Because I won't lie to her, she also understands that some of my diet and activities are geared towards making my body healthy enough to carry a baby. So she watched in rapt attention when I cleared a space on our living room floor and started the video on Monday night (in my Luteal Phase, if anyone's wondering). On the screen were three ridiculously calm and only slightly crunchy looking yoga chicks (one of whom is Wendy Yu - herself a renowned TCM practitioner who helps women with fertility issues). They walked me through a series of breathing, movement and posses which at my stage in the cycle, are designed to create an optimal, warm, cozy environment for a fertilized egg to implant (I'm paraphrasing here, but this is what the voice-over was telling me). As someone who used to regularly take yoga classes but fell off the wagon, I would describe the actual yoga itself as "yoga-lite" - no need to be a human pretzel, or stand on your head. This is more akin to hatha yoga flow for the yogi readers out there. I was coma- relaxed when I was done with the 30 minute set.
Were there some mildly goofy and somewhat distracting drumbeats accompanying the routine? Sure. And the video is not slick at all, the studio space they're in is small and the production value is well, pretty minimal looking. But I watched the introduction given by Brandon Horn - wearing a white jacket in order to optimize your trust of him - describing the whole point of the endeavor. And I have to say, I was pretty impressed with what I was hearing. For one example, some of the poses in my luteal phase segment are designed to help move the fertilized egg along the fallopian tube and prevent things like ectopic pregnancies. I think Niblet identified one of these movements herself with this rolling movement she now calls "THE EGGROLL!" where you lie on your back, grab your knees, and roll back and forth along your spine. Living with a hinky tube myself, I appreciate this kind of reproductive forethought.
I'll be honest: If I can ever get successfully knocked up again, I am not sure I'll be able to attribute these DVDs or the specific diet changes or the ridonkulous cocktail of supplement to that success. All of my snark aside, I really do believe in holistic approaches to mind and body wellness. But there's also some peace to be had egg rolling with my kid and might I add the $39.99 I shelled out is a hell of a lot cheaper than going to actual classes or finding a TCM practitioner to guide me through specific routines. So thumbs up y'all!