The Aviva Method – battling PCOS & infertility with exercise

Last Sunday, I took a trip across London to attend an Aviva Method Workshop in High Street Kensington. It took everything in me to make the journey but it was well worth it. The Aviva Method consists of 18 natural fertility regulating exercises. I found out about the class when Aviva Method  started following my blog and I figured £35 for a 2.5-3 hour class was worth the investment. Especially since I want to improve my fertility naturally. Apparently the Aviva Method is well known in Israel and Hungary.

The workshop: meeting Sofia

On my way there I felt sceptical and wondered whether this was just another make money out of infertiles scheme but as soon as I met our teacher Sofia, all my doubts disappeared. She began the class by telling us her story and how she struggled with PCOS until she started practicing the Aviva Method and how it even led to her falling pregnant.

We began the class by identifying the ‘working zone’ – an area that I found by doing what I call a lap dance move.  This involved standing with bent knees, tightening the lower abdomen and rolling my butt and hips forward and backwards. Mr. Husbands would like this! There are other ways to find it but that’s what worked for me. Once you’ve found the area, you know what to focus on and what to tighten during the exercises.

During the class Sofia took us through the 18 exercises and gave us a copy of the book & music CD (which costs £14).  We were lucky as there were only two of us in the class so we could go through the exercises slowly. The pace of the music matches each exercise to help you find the rhythm and keep the right tempo.  I particularly enjoyed Exercise 3 known as Zorba (Greek dancing is fun) and did question my sanity during Exercise 12 known as the Monkey Walk!  The exercises not only focus on blood flow and strengthening the working zone but also on the hypothalamus for hormones.

As Sofia says, this isn’t just exercise, this is a lifestyle change and needs long term dedication. It involves shifting to an alkalizing diet and she gave us pH tests to see where we are on the scale. Since I’ve already started making changes, it took everything in me when I got home to not order pH tests and obsess over it. After the class, Sofia sent us some info on the pH diet and lifestyle. She also stressed that we need to keep our feet and bodies warm – something that my acupuncturist often stresses too.

The after effect

Aviva Method Book

Later that night, I felt a sharp pain around my left ovary. It was so intense that the drive home was seriously uncomfortable. Those who follow this blog know that this month I’ve struggled with an anovulatory cycle. I attended the workshop on day 22 of my cycle and ovulation hadn’t occurred at all. The next day I went for my smear test and the nurse said, ‘So, you’re still bleeding?’ I shook my head. The intermenstrual bleeding took place on Day 14 – the blood had cleared up. I thought to myself, ‘Oh the class definitely did something.. maybe it was a cyst’ – women with cysts have bled after doing the exercises before. I thought nothing of it.

Then today the nice people at Duo Fertility contacted to tell me they that though I have had an ‘unusual cycle’ this month, they identified that I ovulated on the Sunday I went to the workshop! I’ve slowly been learning the exercises at home and I do feel a little different down there afterwards. I think I need a few more months for this to really kick in. I have a strange positive feeling about these exercises and so I’m going to push on with them.

How difficult are the exercises?

The class itself for me was challenging as my stamina is poor right now. I think the average woman would be able to keep up quite well. It would have helped if I had gone for a few yoga classes beforehand to stretch out and to strengthen my core. Many of the moves are similar to what you’d do during a belly dancing warm. I definitely felt like I’d worked out and stretched areas that I didn’t know existed. My tush was absolutely killing the next day.

Are the exercises safe for each part of my cycle when TTC?

Certain exercises require tapping your heels on the floor or strong squats. Sofia explained that during the second half of the cycle, unless you want your period to come, to avoid those moves and showed us alternative ways to do them.

Can the exercises work for men too?

The book says:

The 18 exercises of the Simple Method are also beneficial for male dysfunctions. There are specific exercises developed for men, described in Volume II, which are suitable for healing prostrate complaints, erectile dysfunction, and for regulating bowel movements… Apart from their positive effects on prostate and potency related problems, these exercises will also increase sperm vitality.

I’d recommend contacting Sofia for more information on this.

What happens after the class?

It’s going to take at least a month or two to learn all 18 exercises. Every few days I practice 3-4 exercises. Once I’m confident with all 18, the aim is to work out twice a week – each session lasting only 30minutes.  Sofia holds refresher lessons so I think by September I’ll be returning to make sure I’m doing it right and to just meet others who are using the exercises. Unfortunately, there isn’t a DVD but maybe that’s a good thing because it forces you to learn it.

Links:

http://aviva-method.com/

http://www.facebook.com/avivamethodlondon

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I opened Pandora's box and infertility entered my life.

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Posted in Duo Fertility, Fertility + Exercise
24 comments on “The Aviva Method – battling PCOS & infertility with exercise
  1. LisaB says:

    That is so cool! I’m excited to see what happens next for you, since you’ve already had a good response! Yay! I’ll have to look into it, too 🙂 Good luck!

  2. marwil says:

    How interesting! I really hope it helps your body to regulate the cycles. I’m curious to see how things changes for you.

  3. Delza says:

    I live in USA Atlanta, GA. How can I get the AVIVA method here. I can’t find any DVD. I have PCOS.

    • Hi,

      I’d recommend looking at this link: http://aviva-method.com/classes/ and contacting them because they might be able to locate a teacher near you. As far as I know they don’t do DVDs because they believe the method needs to be taught correctly.

      Email Sofia at avivamethodlondon AT gmail.com – she’ll be able to guide you. The site even mentions skype classes so maybe that could be an option for you.

      Mina x

      • Jas says:

        THANK YOU so much for the insight on the Aviva Method. I just found out about it 2 days ago and after doing some research I came across your page. You have motivated me to send Sofia an email for guidance. I hope she can help. I fear I’m too far away though. Southern California.

        Good luck and well wishes to you Mina. I will keep in touch. I thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. You are definitely not alone, girl!

      • Hi Jas, Apologies for the late reply! I know Sofia is traveling until September so if you don’t get a reply, it may mean waiting. I hope she can help you too. I wish you lots of luck too and really do believe that this method will help us lots. Let me know how it goes for you. x

  4. Anna Log says:

    I wish there was a video or a book in the library for me to try. I just don’t want to spend all that money and then it not work for me. I also have poly-cystic ovaries but do have a son that is 9yrs. old.

    • Kat says:

      HI Ladies, I’m an Aviva instructor from Brussels, just noticed your discussion.
      Because practicing the method may disturb young girls hormonal development, we don’t produce DVD’s. They may imitate the movements, you know. I keep my 8 years old daughter away from the classes… Not easy sometimes. There is an instructor in Canada that I’m aware of. So many girls ask me about the method form the US., we can’t wait to train trainers for them. It takes 1 week. If you know some one who’s interested, please let me know: kcsehek@nonoage.com

      Keep practicing, it’s worth it! I’m 43, my baby boy is 10 month old :).

      Health & Joy
      Kat

    • Kat says:

      Hi Anna, we don’t make videos to protect young girls from early puberty. With PCO you also need to follow alkalizing diet. Are you in Eu? Aviva instructors across the world you can find on http://www.avivamodszer.hu – i’m in brussels.Start with the diet, you will reach a lot!!! http://www.nonoage.com
      Health & Joy
      Kat

  5. giselle says:

    HI ! I just today found out about this method and I have been all day trying to find a book or videos
    I live in argentina.
    I´m have been trying to get pregnant for 9 years, I had a miscarriage 2 years ago, I´ve done 8 in vitros.
    My shrink told me abour Luna Yoga, form adhelheid ohlig and reading about her today I found about Aviva´s method.
    DO you know if there´s anyone in argentina with this method?
    I read in this blog https://fertilitydoll.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/aviva-method-battling-pcos-and-infertilitywith-exercise/
    that you can learn the method in a week, is it true? do I have to have any kind of skiss?

    Actually in argentina is very diffcicult to buy from ebay or amazon as the goverment has restrictions in buys with dollars un other countries (our money is peso argentino and if you want to o to another country you can ask for dollars, which the goverment will allow just a few and the rest you have to pay it everything with credit card. Amazon does no longer make shippings to argentina, as an example)
    Please if you have any infromation about this, can you let me know?
    I´m really very interested in this area and this method.
    thank you very much in advance
    giselle

    ps: I´m traveling to ny and miami in april,. so if there´s information or a centre there it will be helpfull too.

    • There’s bound to be someone practicing in New York. I’d recommend contacting Sofia and asking her to recommend someone – Email Sofia at avivamethodlondon AT gmail.com – she’ll be able to guide you.

  6. giselle says:

    thank you very much !!!! I´ll try to find it there. I´ve already send a mail to avivamethod london , I hope i have news from her
    Thankssss :o)

  7. Kat says:

    We don’t have instructor in Argentina unfortunately, perhaps we will go to Equador soon… Aviva instructors across the world you can find on http://www.avivamodszer.hu

    Health & Joy
    Kat

  8. Steph Mignon says:

    Wow this is fascinating stuff! I may want to cover this Aviva Method on my other blog, http://www.fitnesswhore.com, where I explore fitness trends. It’s fascinating to me because some of the exercises you describe sound similar to the barre ones I love so much (though the greek dancing sounds quite unique!). And Fertility Doll I love that you too are doing everything you can to naturally improve your fertility. I’m in the same boat. I’ve always been good about exercise, but diet has been my latest focus. With that said, I will be checking out this alkalizing diet asap!

    • You should definitely try it. What hooked me was being taught by someone who suffers from PCOS and managed to have her miracle baby. It can be really hard to stay motivated with exercise. You’re definitely waaaay fitter than me – interval running wore me down and after prolactin issues I had to ease up with the exercise. I’ll check out your site 😀

      I felt a million times better when I focussed on diet. Since returning to work I’ve fallen back into snacking on biscuits and cake again.. arrgh!

      • Steph Mignon says:

        Biscuits & cakes are the devil! Hahah! And I know what you mean about exercise, though I haven’t had prolactin issues, I have read several studies that link excessive exercise to miscarriage. I’m limiting my running to 30 minutes and only 2 to 3 days per week, and doing barre workouts 2 days a week. Before, sometimes I’d do both in one day! And I love that advice about avoiding high impact movements after ovulation. When I got my BFP two months ago I figured that right around implantation I went horseback riding and it was VERY bumpy and crazy… though I’m sure that didn’t cause my miscarriage it DOES make me wonder. Next month, when I start charting again, I will likely stop running from ovulation on. I’ll do low impact pilates still, but avoiding impact certainly won’t hurt (and maybe it will help)! Thanks for sharing!

      • Kat says:

        Hi Mignon, I’m an Aviva instructor from Brussels. After ovulation you definitely have to avoid horse riding!!! Biking is not good either, neither tennis. With the Aviva exercises you, your body optimizes all sexual hormone levels, not only prolactin. It works different than the doctors, who can focus on the hormones only one by one. Your body is the best professor of your chemical lab -if you enable her to do a good job.
        Health & Joy
        Kat

    • Oh and one more thing! There are certain exercises which really made me reconsider movements I do post-ovulation. When you hit your heels down hard on the floor or do drop squats it can bring on your period. With Aviva Method, you basically avoid high impact movements from ovulation until your period. I thought that might be interesting for you. x

  9. ourpolly says:

    hi from me and great to find your blog, I’m practicing Aviva method since june 2013 and I have a really strong believe that this will be my answer! 🙂 we have unexplained infertility and I dont want IVF and hormonal treatments.. I will follow your blog

    have a nice evening.

    • Hi there,

      Nice to virtually meet you! That’s great that you’ve started. I’ve stopped for IVF. I seem to be super sensitive to Aviva method!

      Following you back. Keep us posted on how it goes for you 🙂

  10. ourpolly says:

    I will. Have a nice day and weekend! 🙂

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