White lights, doctors in masks, the smell of antiseptic in the air: giving birth is a sterilised production. The journey to the delivery room—especially for couples struggling to have a baby—isn’t a bed of roses either, peppered as it is with blood tests, pill popping and hormone injections. While this ‘clinical’ process is the norm in the country, according to advocates of natural living in Auroville, going au naturale is the better choice. Underlining this is Welcoming a Soul, a two-day retreat on enhancing fertility naturally for couples hoping to start a family.
A journey back
Conducted by four international professionals, it will have sessions on dynamic yoga, the Aviva Method (an exercise system that stimulates oestrogen/progesterone/testosterone secretion), homoeopathy, regression therapy and practical aspects of midwifery. “While in Europe there is a huge demand for natural methods of fertility, in India it is a very medical question. Treatments like in vitro fertilisation, while effective, can take a huge toll on health, finance and family. We believe natural therapies and remedies are effective and more advisable,” says Bogi Nagy, an instructor in the Hungarian Aviva Method.
Pointing to stress, pollution and changing lifestyles taking a toll on our health, Manuela Schliessner, a graduate of the Academy of Midwifery in Netherlands, says that the retreat will be an eye-opener because, instead of treating you like a patient, “we will look at you in totality. There are so many things that can affect you and your fertility—from mental blocks (which can be resolved by hypnotherapy and regression therapy sessions) to dietary issues. We will also share homoeopathic remedies that can help with conception,” she says.
The retreat is being planned as an introduction—to give people a sense of the different options available to them and the combinations of methods they can try. “Taking this forward, we want to offer five-day retreats, for those who want to go further,” says Sigrid Lindermann, a homoeopath and hypnotherapist, adding that she hopes couples will participate—not just women. After all, starting a family is a joint endeavour and, moreover, “Bogi’s husband, Zsolti Erdelyi, has an entire section of the Aviva Method, just for men.”
January 31-February 1 and March 21-22, 9 am to 7 pm. `4,900 (includes lunch, tea and snacks). Register on aurovilleretreat.org
—Surya Praphulla Kumar