Yoga is a sought-after treatment to boost fertility in both men and women alike. There is a lot of emphasis on pre- and post-natal yoga but yoga to boost fertility is a relatively new branch.
Yoga may indirectly boost fertility by lowering stress.
Key exercises include deep breathing, meditation, and yoga posture stretches.
Incorporate yoga three to five times per week to reap the benefits.
Different exercises in yoga such as physical postures/stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation help to calm the nervous system, which boosts fertility and overall well-being.
While there is no direct scientific evidence that yoga will boost fertility rates, it can enable one to reduce stress in their lives. Any sort of negative stress will affect one’s ability to conceive, so there are some indirect correlations between yoga and fertility.
However, there has been some evidence that yoga helps with those undergoing fertility treatments, such as IVF. Any exercise in general, especially something low impact such as yoga, is beneficial to anyone trying to conceive and reduce stress not only for themselves, but also during pregnancy and for their baby.
Types of yoga exercises for fertility
Much of yoga is designed for opening the hips in a variety of ways, so this is beneficial not only when preparing for childbirth but also in calming the mind and body. The yoga postures, combined with deep, slow breathing, help to reduce stress and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest and digest system.
Pranayama, or the yogic breathing exercises, will also calm the mind and oxygenate the body. Meditation helps to focus the mind, clear away negative thoughts, and improve overall state of mind to positive well-being.
Also known as the ocean-sounding breath, this pranayama breathing technique is very calming. It is performed by gently constricting the back of the throat so the breath is slightly audible to the practitioner. You can perform different ratios of the breath, such as inhaling for four counts and exhaling for four counts to further calm the mind.
This is called Alternate Nostril Breathing. It is performed with one hand on the nostrils, closing one side and inhaling through one side, then closing and exhaling through the opposite side. Then, you repeat on the second side, so you alternate the breath between the hemispheres of the brain. This is a great way to improve your focus and oxygenate the brain evenly.
Known as the humming-bee breath, this somewhat strange technique is also very calming and cooling to the body. It is done by plugging the ears with the thumbs and gently humming with the mouth closed, so the sound vibrates internally throughout your head.
Meditation techniques for fertility
The best meditation for new practitioners to begin with is mindfulness meditation. It is best to set aside at least 10 minutes per day of quiet time to sit and meditate daily rather than trying to tackle it every once and a while. This helps it to become a habit, one that can continue even during pregnancy.
To practice mindfulness meditation, simply sit comfortably on the floor, cushion, or chair with conscious awareness with closed eyes. Simply follow your breath without changing anything about it. Notice any thoughts or habitual patterns that occur and just observe, noticing how thoughts come and go just like your breath. This allows you to become a witness to the internal landscape of your mind and relieve stress without reacting negatively. Mindfulness teaches us to respond rather than react out of fear.
Yoga poses for fertility
This popular pose, translated as the bound angle pose, is also known as the butterfly pose. It is a wonderful hip-opener. It can be performed seated or laying down on the back. Simply bring the soles of the feet together with the knees apart. If seated, you can fold forward over the legs to increase the stretch. Stay here for one to five minutes to reap the benefits of this posture.
This is a seated forward fold in which the back body is stretched and the front body is compressed. Simply extend the legs forward and fold over them. If needed, bend the knees slightly or use a strap around the feet if you cannot reach them. You can also elevate the hips on a cushion for more comfort. Over time, the pose will become more comfortable. Stay in the posture with deep breathing for at least one minute or up to five.
Also known as seated, wide angle, forward fold, this pose is performed by opening the legs wide in a straddle position or V-shape. Again, one may need to elevate the hips or slightly bend the knees as they fold forward. Stay for 10 breaths up to five minutes, if needed using a block under the head for support.
This is a great pose for women also called goddess pose. It is performed by standing with the legs wide and hips turned out, so the heels are inward and toes point out. Then, bend the knees into a deep squat position. It will make the thighs gently burn when held for five to 10 breaths, strengthening the lower body. Feel free to repeat multiple times to increase vitality and vigor.
This pose will feel like a nice stretch for the quadriceps after the goddess pose. To practice this, come from a kneeling position and place one foot forward into a low lunge position. Sink down through the hips to stretch the hip flexors and quads. You can reach the arms up to further increase balance abilities while squeezing the inner thighs toward the midline of the body.
Always end a yoga practice with savasana also known as corpse pose. It is usually a crowd favorite where you simply lie on your back and relax for around five minutes.
It is very easy to incorporate yoga into your daily life or exercise routine once you understand what you need to do. Just set aside an extra 30 minutes three to five times per week to go through the various breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga postures on the journey toward conception.