Fertility yoga is a brilliant way to destress and may even help you conceive. We've spoken to the experts to find out how, why and who it works for...
Fertility yoga is a branch of yoga with positions that can help you on your way to conceiving. If you’ve been struggling to have a baby and are finding the whole experience of IVF a little overwhelming, it could be worth finding your nearest fertility yoga class or trying some basic yoga.
The stress-relieving properties are thought to have helped many couples go on to have children. Stress has a huge impact on your ability to conceive, and yoga is an effective form of relaxation for many.
By regularly practising yoga with moves that specifically help improve your mind-set, the blood flow to your pelvis and release muscle tension, you may experience more success when trying for a baby.
What is fertility yoga?
Essentially, fertility yoga is a series of moves from yoga that can help you de-stress. Cherie Lathey, director of Yoga Mama teacher training school, explains: ‘Fertility yoga is a gentle yoga practice that incorporates breathing, visualisation, positive affirmation and asana (poses).
‘It might be a gentle flowing sequence and will include poses that encourage blood flow to the uterus, hips, heart, and other abdominal organs. It may include poses such as bridge, light twists, legs up the wall, cat/ cow, hip rotations, cobblers, supported goddess pose, to name but a few.’
These yoga moves promote relaxation, encourage blood flow to the hips, increased circulation and connection to the pelvic area, abdomen and heart.
Yoga Mama also offer classes designed to aid those who are undergoing IVF treatment with different moves for each of the different stages.
Benefits of fertility yoga:
Fertility yoga is a brilliant way to distress, which is why it helps many people to conceive. A study in America from 2015 found that just six weeks of yoga dramatically lowered the anxiety levels for the women who participated and were undergoing IVF.
Emma Robinson MA, an experienced Yoga Teacher and Osteopath, explained: ‘The benefits of Yoga on our physical health are widely claimed – increased strength, flexibility, improved circulation and lung capacity, all achieved by practicing series of postures and breathing techniques.
‘On an emotional level, Yoga can help engender a deeper sense of calm and improve our relationship with our bodies. And for women especially, in an age where body image can have detrimental effects on our sense of worth, it’s important to garner a good relationship with our bodies when starting the journey to conception. After all you’re asking it to take on the vital role of growing a baby!’
Trying to conceive can be a very stressful time
Zita West, a leading fertility expert also explains: ‘Any exercise that involves mindfulness, breathing techniques and meditative visualisation has many physical, emotional and mental benefits. Yoga is a calming antidote to any woman consumed by an overwhelming desire for a baby. The resulting stress of which becomes an impediment to conception itself.’
The benefits of yoga go beyond boosting your fertility too. According to Emma regular practice can help your body during the pregnancy, during labour and post-birth it can help with your recovery.
However, Cherie stresses: ‘It is important not to make claims that fertility yoga guarantees a couple will fall pregnant. Rather that it is a way of doing yoga that fosters a nurturing sense of self-care to help soothe the surges in the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These inhibit our health hormones and fertility.’
Yoga positions that can boost your fertility:
Emma suggests the following yoga positions if you’re trying to relax and prep your body for conception.
Bounded angle pose
Downward facing dog
Have you experienced success with fertility yoga? Do you have any other tips for couples that are struggling to conceive? We’d love to hear from you, head over to our Facebook page to get involved!