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Restorative Yoga Poses
Restorative Yoga Poses by Sue Dumais, Author of Yoga for Fertility and A Strong Core for Life -
The following two poses can be used at home anytime you feel anxious or stressed. They help calm body and mind and settle the entire nervous system. In addition to being overall restorative poses, both poses are particularly useful to enhance fertility, because they increase circulation to the pelvic area.
This pose will increase the blood supply to your pelvic area, calm the mind and relieve tired legs and feet. If you focus on expanding your belly with each inhale, it will help you soften the muscles of your vaginal wall and pelvic area. Imagine softness in your uterus and ovaries allowing the flow of blood and energy without restriction or tension.
Preparation: Lie on your side with your buttocks close to or against the wall. As you slowly roll over onto your back gently lift one leg at a time and place it against the wall. Once you are on your back, rest the legs against the wall. Stay in this pose for 5-15 minutes as you concentrate on your breathing. To come out of the pose gently bend your knees and roll over on to your side remaining on your side for 10 to 15 breaths.
Modifications: This pose can be performed using a bolster, block or blanket under the pelvis. The blanket or bolster should lift the pelvis approximately 2-3 inches depending on your level of comfort. *DO NOT use a bolster with this pose during menstruation.
Option: Move your legs away from each other creating a mild stretch for your inner thigh.
This pose will increase the blood supply to the pelvic area, calm the mind, and relieve tired legs and feet. If you concentrate on breathing, using your diaphragm, it will help you soften the muscles of the vaginal wall and pelvic area. Imagine a softness in the uterus and ovaries allowing the flow of blood and energy without restriction or tension.
Inner Reflection: Focus on your desire to have a baby. Begin to invite your baby to come into your life. Change your perspective: you are no longer “waiting” or “trying”, from now on you are “open to conceive” or “inviting your baby”.
This pose calms your nervous system, helps reduce blood pressure and balances the endocrine system. It is a resting pose that relaxes and calms your mind and body while lengthening your spine and reducing tension in your back and neck. In relation to fertility, I recommend performing child’s pose with your knees apart; this allows space for your belly to drop toward the floor with each inhale. Imagine softness in your uterus and ovaries allowing the flow of blood and energy without restriction or tension.
Preparation: Kneel on the floor with your knees slightly wider than your hip joints. Keep your feet together. Sit back with your hips and bring your chest toward the floor. Reach your arms forward and place your hands and forehead on the floor.
Modifications: If there is a space between your heels and pelvis place a block to provide support. You can use a bolster or pillow under your head and arms or bend your elbows and place your hands under your forehead.
Option: Turtle Pose - Place your hands beside your feet or ankles creating more security and safety as you settle into your “shell” for protection.
Inner Reflection: Bring your awareness to your thoughts about yourself and your body. Notice whether your thoughts are positive or negative. Accept the thoughts and imagine them floating away with feeling attached to them. Begin to invite more positive thoughts and perhaps repeat one the following affirmations: “I love my body and trust it’s wisdom” “I am whole and complete” “I accept my body” “I forgive myself” “I am fertile”
Sue Dumais is the founder of Family Passages Mind Body Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she facilitates programs to support women and couples through their fertility. She is the author of "A Strong Core for Life," and "Yoga for Fertility Handbook." To learn more visit www.familypassages.ca