Getting Pregnant and Natural Fertility: Fertility Yoga
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise and relaxation. Originating in India, yoga has become very popular in North America and uses different postures in order to help to improve overall muscle tone and strength. Increasingly, yoga is being used by couples who are experiencing difficulty getting pregnant, and wish to use natural fertility methods in order to improve their chances of conceiving. Specifically, fertility yoga is being used to treat both male infertility and female infertility. But what is fertility yoga and how can it help to treat fertility problems?
What is Fertility Yoga?
Fertility yoga is a type of yoga that is designed to assist couples who are having difficulty getting pregnant. Adhering to the basic principles of yoga, fertility yoga combines traditional yoga postures with postures that have been specifically developed in order to improve individualsï¿½ reproductive health, thereby increasing their chances of getting pregnant.
Yoga for fertility improves both female and male infertility by minimizing stress, which in turn balances the hormones of the body as well as oneï¿½s mental health, thereby increasing a coupleï¿½s ability to conceive.
Health Benefits of Fertility Yoga
There are a variety of health benefits, both physical and mental, associated with fertility yoga.
Some physical benefits of yoga for fertility include:
- improved overall muscle tone and strength
- improved the alignment of the body
- improved breathing
- improved blood circulation. This is especially important for improving fertility because increased blood circulation ensures that sufficient oxygen and nutrients reach the reproductive organs; improved blood circulation also increases overall energy and stamina
In addition, yoga is associated with a variety of mental health benefits, including:
- reduced fatigue
- improved mind-body balance
- improved positive attitude
- minimized symptoms of mental health problems such as anxiety disorders
- reduced stress
Reduced stress is an extremely important benefit of fertility yoga. Although overall, research into whether or not the relationship between stress and infertility is causal or not has not been conclusive, a study at the Harvard Medical School demonstrated that stress does in fact impact infertility.
The study found that women who practiced yoga were twice as likely to get pregnant than their female counterparts who did not practice yoga. However, it is unclear whether yoga was the real cause of the womenï¿½s ability to get pregnant. Nevertheless, studies have shown that yoga reduces stress, which can help balance hormones and improve the sense of control one has over his or her life.
Another benefit of yoga is that it fosters greater communication and interconnectivity between a couple. This communication is both verbal and non-verbal and leads to greater intimacy.
Types of Fertility Yoga
When seeking to improve fertility, gentler forms of yoga are advisable. In fact, more strenuous forms of yoga are not advisable for individuals seeking to increase their chances of getting pregnant. These more demanding forms of yoga include ashtanga yoga and bikram yoga (also known as hot yoga).
Alternatively, individuals experiencing infertility who would like to try yoga as a natural fertility treatment option should try the following types of yoga:
- hatha yoga: this form of yoga includes slow, methodical postures and movements. Hatha yoga focuses on improving posture and relaxation breathing techniques, and is meditative in nature.
- kripalu yoga: improves the connection between mind and body through simple postures and deep breathing techniques.
- couples yoga: an increasingly popular form of fertility yoga, couples yoga involves completing postures with the help of a partner. This type of yoga is especially beneficial for individuals experiencing fertility problems, as it helps to improve intimacy and communication between couples.
Fertility Yoga Postures
There are certain yoga postures that are helpful to improving fertility that you or your partner might want to try. Such postures include:
- supported bridge pose: lie on your back keeping your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Move your feet as close to your buttocks as you can. Inhale and exhale using deep, relaxing breaths, and then carefully raise your pelvis and buttocks off the floor, while maintaining your thighs and inner feet in a parallel position. Clasp your hands behind your back. Hold this pose for a minute or so while continuing to take deep, relaxing breaths.
- legs on wall pose: lie on the ground with your buttocks close to a wall. Slowly inhale and exhale, while extending your legs up the side of the wall. Rest your legs on the wall so that you create a 90-degree angle at your pelvis. Hold for two minutes and then release your legs slowly.
- cobblerï¿½s pose: sit on the floor with your legs stretched directly in front of you. Bring your feet toward your groin while inhaling slowly and push the soles of your feet together. Carefully lower your knees to the ground while clasping your toes. Maintain this posture, being careful so as not to strain your legs, for between one and five minutes.
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