For many of us, fitness is an aspect of our weekly schedules that we can count on to help us feel energized, strong and healthy, and to give us an outlet to reduce stress. When it comes to your fertility health, certain types of high-intensity, androgen producing exercise can have a negative impact. When trying to conceive a baby becomes more difficult than expected, we often find ourselves seeking things we can modify in our daily lives to better our chances to conceive.
How about a mind-body fitness regimen that can provide you with not only movement that is beneficial to your body, reproductive organs and fertility goals, but also gives you a space to feel calm and to heal? Of course I’m talking about yoga. Fertility Yoga incorporates many aspects of traditional yoga including Asana (physical practice), Pranayama (breath work) and Meditation. Incorporating or modifying a yoga practice to support your reproductive system helps to establish balance and relieve stress. It allows your body an outlet through beneficial movement practices. Yoga unites mind and body so that both are nourished, but with compassion. It helps to make you an active agent in influencing your reproductive health.
To many people, the most familiar part of yoga is Asana, or the physical practice. There are many poses that support fertility, opening your hips and promoting blood flow to your reproductive organs. A few of the best Fertility Yoga poses are Triangle (Trikonasana) and Legs-Up-The-Wall (Viparita Karani). Triangle pose improves circulation and energy flow through your internal organs and glands. Legs-Up-The-Wall pose is an all-time favorite and can be done from the comfort of your bed or couch (while reading or watching TV, …why not?!). It helps calm your nervous system, regulate your endocrine system and nourishes your reproductive organs with blood flow from your legs. See the picture below (candles optional!).
When I teach Pranayama, I like the energy in the room to be clear, warm and familiar. Conscious breathing can have many benefits for the body and mind including balancing the nervous system, stimulating the Vagus nerve and reducing anxiety. An excellent Pranayama exercise that you can do any time (and only takes about 3 minutes) is Counted Breath:
- Sit in a comfortable position that you can sustain for several minutes
- Inhale for a count of 4
- Pause at the top of your breath for a second or 2
- Exhale for a count of 4
- Pause at the bottom of your breath for a second or 2
- Begin to increase the count
- Then begin to make your exhales slightly longer than your inhales
- Repeat this for 10-12 breath cycles
Meditation can be many things to different people and has been proven through millennia to be nourishing to all of our bodily systems. I like to make meditation accessible and unintimidating. It really is simple! - as easy as sitting with your eyes closed and concentrating on your breath for 2 minutes. A wonderful meditation exercise that I like to use in Yoga for Fertility Support is a Mantra, or Affirmation, Meditation. This exercise can help to focus your mind and relieve the “monkey mind” that so many find inhibiting to meditation. Sit comfortably and think of an affirmation that speaks to you and feeds your heart… something such as “I will conceive”, “I will hold my baby in my arms” or “I am healthy, whole and full of love”. Repeat the statement in your head on each exhale and each inhale. Focus on the positive and embrace hope!
The benefits of incorporating a yoga practice into your fertility journey are many. Give yourself the outlet of exercise that your body needs and was accustomed to before you set out to conceive. Adopt tools that provide stress relief and optimism, both of which are so important on this journey. Good luck & Namaste!
Thank you Aubrey for being our guest blogger. Yoga and fitness have been a significant part of Aubrey’s life since 1999. She has been teaching since 2013 and is trained in alignment-based Vinyasa Yoga, Fertility yoga, Prenatal, Postnatal, Restorative, Kid’s Yoga, Yoga for Sensory Disorders and Barre. Aubrey spent 2.5 years on her TTC journey and recently had her first child, conceived through IVF. She finds motivation and strength in her yoga practice and aims to share her knowledge about the endless potential of the human body with her students.
If you are struggling on your fertility journey call Denver Fertility at 720-420-1570 or contact us on our website to schedule a consultation.