How to teach group fertility yoga classes (and cater for the different stages of the cycle)

I know when I first started to teach group fertility yoga I felt overwhelmed at the thought of having to cater for women in all the different stages of the cycle.

How could I make sure a woman on her period was resting and taking it easy, while also building some heat for those in pre-ovulation and ovulation? How could I make sure that women in the two week wait weren’t compressing the belly, but providing that for others? I would try to plan my classes but just ended up feeling confused about where to even start.

So if that’s where you’re currently at when you’re thinking about your classes – let’s talk about how you can plan for and cater for the different stages in your group classes. I explain in detail how I do this in the video below, or scroll on if you prefer to read.

teach group fertility yoga

How to plan and teach group fertility yoga classes

Plan a class that works for all stages and add in options as you go.

This is the method of planning that works best for ALL my classes (because inevitably you are catering for many different abilities whether you’re teaching a fertility or pregnancy class OR a regular yoga class).

When I’m planning for group fertility classes I choose practises that offer a gentle class as I know this will suit all stages of the menstrual cycle. I should also note – I’ve been teaching for so long now that my “plan” is a very loose thing indeed. Some days it’s a short list on a piece of paper, other days it only exists in my head. When you’re first getting started though having a plan helps to ease those nerves a little bit, and you also don’t have the big memory bank of class options that more experienced teachers hold in their heads. So I do think planning is very important in the beginning.

For example my gentle (suits most) plan for a group fertility yoga class might look a little something like this.

Example group fertility yoga class plan

Seated meditation to connect in and introduce Ujjayi breath.

Seated poses – Forward Fold, Wide Leg Forward Fold, Side Stretch, Neck stretches, Circle of Joy, Seated twists

Cat / Cow, Child’s Pose, Puppy Pose, Thread the needle, Kneeling Lunge, Pigeon Pose

Downward Facing Dog, Pyramid Pose, Goddess Pose, Standing wide leg forward fold, Side lunge

Hero Pose, Reclined Butterfly pose with guided visualisation, Supine Twist, Inversion

Savasana

With this plan in my head, I would modify as I taught depending on who came into my class. For example, if I had some women who were in pre-ovulation I would add in some belly compression like cobra or crocodile with fists compressing on the ovaries, while the others stayed in Child’s pose or Puppy Pose.

Or if I wanted to create some heat for the women in pre-ovulation and ovulation I would add movement to poses like goddess, or ask those women to move forward to plank from downward facing dog, while the others moved more intuitively in their dog or came to rest.

How do you know what stage of the cycle your students are in?

Just ask them! I know we were taught to be all weird about menstrual cycles and not talk about them, but when you’re going through a fertility journey – everything is on the table for discussion. And honestly, I think this is an area where we should be leading the conversation and making it a very normal thing to discuss.

When women first come into my fertility yoga classes, I always ask how they are generally AND where they are in their cycle. If they’re new to the class I always explain why I need to know this. Throughout my fertility classes I’m always talking about the cycle and how using the menstrual cycle is a really good way to understand and care for yourself better. Usually by the end of a couple of classes, everyone is really open about discussing their cycle and their body generally which is great.

Connection is KEY

Finally, I think one the most important things to consider when you teach group fertility yoga is to offer a space for connection. Infertility is often a super lonely experience. At the end of my classes I always facilitate a women’s circle to allow my students to share or listen to others, depending on what they need at the time. So many of the women who come to my classes have shared that this was the best part of fertility yoga classes (ironic, given it’s not really yoga all.) Being able to make connections with other women who are going through a similar journey is invaluable and many women end up connecting outside of class as well which just makes my heart happy.

If you’re wanting to learn more about teaching group fertility classes, what yoga during the different stages of the cycle should look like and how to use yoga therapeutically for different menstrual conditions – come and join my online fertility yoga teacher training here. Or download my free guide for teaching fertility yoga here.

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