Stretch it Out: The Positive Correlation between Yoga and Fertility
Yoga, one of the world’s most well-known stress relievers, has a plethora of benefits other than just deep relaxation, and helping you conceive can be one of them.
The Effect of Stress
It’s obvious that stress causes mental distress, but it also has profound effects on all parts of the physical body. The excess cortisol levels coursing through the body can have negative effects, which is why it’s incredibly important to have a good stress-relieving practice in your day-today.
In men, stress can negatively impact sperm quality and mobility. In women, high levels of stress can cause women to miss their periods, have more painful periods, decrease her desire to conceive, and even negatively effect her potential pregnancy.
Yoga, as shown in multiple studies, has shown profound effects on reducing stress and helping people conceive. This is because of its emphasis on the connection between the body and the mind, that movement of the body and breathing techniques help one practice mindfulness.
How to Introduce Yoga into My Routine
When looking to get into yoga, it’s important to know the different types to find out which practice may be best for you:
- Vinyasa: This is one of the most common types of yoga that is taught in Western studios. In this practice, the breath and movement are connected, resulting in a state of flow.
- Yin: Opposite of Vinyasa, this is a very slow-paced, stretch-focused practice. Poses are held for long periods resulting in deep stretches.
- Bikram: Famously known as hot yoga, where yoga is practiced in a sauna-like room.
- Hatha: A beginner-friendly, physical practice.
- Iyengar: A practice that focuses on the form rather than quickly moving from one pose to another.
- Kundalini: Kundalini is known for uniting movement and spirit in a fast-paced environment.
There are many more practices that you can partake in, which is why it might be good to go to your local studio and try out a few classes.
Poses that Benefit Fertility
We’ve discussed how yoga is an amazing stress reliever, which ultimately helps fertility, but it’s also good to stretch out your pelvic and hip areas in order to increase blood flow.
- Legs on the wall (Viparita Karani): Lying on your back, put your legs up a wall. While a simple pose, it helps blood flow in the pelvic area while you form a 90-degree angle.
- Cobra (Bhujangasana): This common pose is beneficial in stretching the low back and increasing blood flow to your reproductive region. To do this, lie flat on the ground, belly down, and push your torso up with your arms.
- Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): The bridge pose helps strengthen the area around your reproductive area, including glutes, quads, and hips. To do the bridge post, lay flat on your back, and lift your pelvis in the air, keeping your shoulders on the ground and your feet hipwidth apart. Make sure to not turn your neck while in this pose to avoid injury.
- Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana): A relaxing pose, this pose greatly helps keep the hips mobile and flexible. While lying on your back, adjust your legs into a butterfly position with the soles of your feet touching.
- Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana): These poses are good if you want to incorporate breathwork into your routine and ultimately help reduce stress. Start with your hands and knees on the ground in a tabletop position, then round and tuck your spine with each breath.
- Frog (Mandukasana): This is similar to the reclining bound angle pose, except on your stomach. Your soles also do not have to be touching but try pushing your pelvis down to your floor or mat for a deep hip stretch.
This is just a small list of all the poses you can try to help optimize blood flow and improve mobility. It’s always important to consult with your doctor to see if introducing yoga to your routine is right for you and your fertility treatment. Remember that during fertility treatments, high-intensity workouts are discouraged.
In the end, introducing yoga into your routine can be worthwhile in helping you manage stress associated with not just your fertility, but with day-to-day life. Consult with a fertility doctor at RMA today to figure out what fertility options are best for you and your family.