Yoga for Fertility: Open to Conceive
Acute stress is a very real part of most women’s experience with fertility challenges. Modern research suggests that mind-body techniques like yoga could play an important role in reducing stress and increasing a couple’s chance of conceiving.
Yoga for fertility in particular focuses on the centres of the body or “chakras” associated with fertility and reproduction. In particular it uses specially designed yoga poses that open the pelvis and stimulate the second chakra located just below the naval. This vital centre has long been associated with fertility and creativity.
But more than just improving blood flow to the reproductive organs, yoga for fertility helps relax the body and restore physical and emotional balance. Research done by Dr. Alice Domar, director for the Mind-Body Center for Women at Boston IVF, shows that for many women dealing with fertility issues is as distressing as experiencing cancer, HIV status or heart disease. High levels of stress can increase cortisol levels, alter the function of the hypothalamus gland, which controls ovulation and contribute to irregular menstrual periods. Domar’s research also suggests that mind-body techniques such as meditation and yoga can increase a couple’s chance of conceiving.
Guided Meditation and self reflection are important aspects of Yoga for Fertility. Guided mediation is a technique which enables you to get more in touch with your own thought processes, become aware of internal blocks and learn to let go of negative thinking and limiting beliefs associated with fertility. By learning to change your thinking patterns you can discover a new sense of control and learn to become creative and powerful in all areas of your life.
Yoga for Fertility can benefit women by:
Helping to reduce stress and anxiety
Focusing on a positive self-image and positive thinking
Renewing a sense of sexuality and feminine wholeness
Increasing intimacy between partners
Healing and recreating a mind-body connection
Belonging to a community of “girl friends” experiencing the same circumstance
Creating a renewed sense of control by learning simple ways to take charge of her reproductive health
Yoga for Fertility can help you reconnect with your inner wisdom and intuition. Classes provide a safe place to share stories, wisdom, experiences, laughter and tears. Some women laugh and giggle uncontrollably in the class while others express their sadness and grief. Learning self love and acceptance helps overcome those feelings of isolation so many women experience. Just simply realizing that there are other women in similar circumstances makes you feel less alone.
Although participating in a Yoga for Fertility class is ideal, there are a few DVD’s available, as well as voice guided audio classes that can be downloaded to your IPOD to help guide you through a home practice. If you would like to find a Yoga for Fertility class in your community visit www.yogaforfertilityresources.com
If you are unable to find a class in your area you could attend a restorative type yoga class. Be sure to let the instructor know you are open to conceive. I would recommend you avoid any high intensity yoga classes such as Power Yoga or Hot Yoga.
The journey through fertility doesn’t need to feel so isolating and all consuming. Techniques such as yoga and meditation can help you to learn to listen to your own inner wisdom and guidance. As you begin to make choices from your heart you will find a renewed sense of control and connection to self. Follow the voice of your heart and you will find the path that will lead you to your baby to be.
To help you get started right away try the restorative yoga poses in the article, Restorative Yoga Poses below. Remember to be guided by your body and continue the poses as long as they feel supportive.
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