Fertility yoga can help you relax when you’re TTC. But can it increase your chances of getting pregnant? Join us as we unroll our yoga mats and explore.
Practicing yoga comes with many benefits for both your physical and mental health.
But what about fertility yoga? That’s yoga intended to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Does it work? And if so, where do you even begin?
We’ll take you through all the details.
In this article: 📝
- What is fertility yoga?
- Can yoga increase fertility?
- What are the best types of yoga for fertility?
- Does fertility yoga come with any risks?
- Fertility yoga poses to try
- Which exercise is best for fertility?
What is fertility yoga?
Essentially, fertility yoga is yoga that focuses on poses (asanas) that are thought to benefit your reproductive health.
It also aims to help you develop a calm, positive mindset around trying to conceive (TTC).
The poses used in fertility yoga should:
- Help you relax;
- Encourage blood flow to your hips; and
- Increase circulation to your pelvic area, abdomen, and heart
Yoga for fertility may also include different meditation techniques, such as breathing and visualization exercises.
So now for the big question: does fertility yoga increase your chances of conceiving? Let’s dive in.
Can yoga increase fertility?
We’ll start with the (sort-of) bad news.
There’s no evidence at the moment that there’s a direct link between yoga and increased fertility.
But before you roll up your map, hold on.
There is evidence that yoga has indirect benefits if you’re TTC.
And these are really worth paying attention to.
Here’s how it can help:
Fertility yoga (and yoga in general) is great for relieving stress.
It can help you feel focused, relaxed, and ready to face life’s challenges with new resilience.
And that can be really beneficial when it comes to looking after yourself on your TTC journey.
As for the relationship between stress and your chances of conceiving?
Well, it’s complicated.
There are so many factors that affect getting pregnant — many of which are out of our control.
Some research suggests that stress may have a negative impact on your chances of conceiving.
For example, this 2014 study found that women with more biomarkers for stress in their saliva had a lower chance of getting pregnant than those with fewer of them.
(Biomarkers?! What?!? These are medical signs, such as the presence of certain proteins and hormones, that something is up in your body — in this case, stress.)
This is where yoga might be able to help.
This 2018 review of 87 studies involving couples with fertility challenges showed that yoga was effective in helping to manage their stress — and that this relief appears to have upped their chances of getting pregnant.
And other research found that attending group therapy sessions involving various different stress-relieving techniques (including yoga) can lead to higher pregnancy rates for couples who are struggling to conceive.
The bottom line? Taking steps to reduce stress and improve your mental wellbeing might help you on the road to having a baby.
And those steps could come in the form of fertility yoga.
Research is ongoing, but there is some evidence that regular yoga practice could help improve the balance of hormones in your body.
This may boost your reproductive function, and increase your sexual desire—which can all make things easier if you’re TTC.
Boost your physical health
Looking after your physical health is an important part of self-care at any time, but it’s especially so if you’re hoping to conceive.
Fertility yoga can help you:
- Strengthen and tone your body
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Increase your flexibility
- Improve your breathing
- Increase blood flow to your uterus and ovaries
- Balance your metabolism
What are the best types of yoga for fertility?
Gentle yoga practices such as Iyengar, hatha, yin, and restorative yoga are good choices for fertility yoga.
Especially if you’re new to this type of exercise.
Hot yoga should be avoided, as intense heat can pose a risk during pregnancy.
Does fertility yoga come with any risks?
Fertility yoga is very safe, particularly if you choose a qualified instructor to guide you through your practice.
If you’re new to yoga, make sure you start slow and don’t push yourself too much.
Listen to your body and do what feels comfortable.
That will help prevent injury.
If you’re receiving fertility treatment (IVF, for example), check with your medical practitioner before starting yoga to see if it’s safe for you. (The same goes for any new exercise regime.)
Fertility yoga poses to try
Here are a few yoga poses for fertility to try yourself at home:
Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Sit on your mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mat
- Lay down on your back and place your hands by your sides
- Putting weight into your heels, lift your hips upward. You can hold your hands beneath you if you like. Stay in the pose for five breaths
- Release your hips and repeat the pose several times
Legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani)
- Arrange your mat so the short edge is next to a wall
- Lay on your back with your bottom pushed against the wall and your legs lifted up, resting them against the wall. (There should be a 90-degree angle between your upper body and your legs)
- Hold the pose for a few breaths
Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
- Lie face-down on your mat, with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands near your shoulders with the palms flat on the mat
- Press down into your hands and arch your back upward, going as far as is comfortable for you
- Look up, hold the pose for five breaths, then slowly release down onto the mat
Reclining bound angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
- Lay on your back on your mat. (You can rest your head on a pillow if you like)
- Bend your knees and rest the soles of your feet together
- Let your legs open and your knees fall toward the ground so you’re in a butterfly position
- Rest your hands on the mat by your sides, with the palms facing upward
- Take a few deep relaxing breaths
- This is a calming way to end your practice
- Lay on your back, arms at your sides with the palms of your hands facing upward. Close your eyes
- Allow your feet to fall open and your body to sink into the mat
- Mentally scan your body, letting any tension release and breathing naturally
- Stay like this for five minutes. Then become aware of your surroundings again and sit up gently
Which exercise is best for fertility?
So we’ve seen the benefits that yoga can have for your fertility, but what about other types of exercise?
Essentially, any type of exercise—swimming, walking, dancing, you name it—is great for keeping your body fit and healthy, so you’re prepared for pregnancy.
And it’s good for your mental health, too.
The main thing is to choose an activity you enjoy, and that won’t be so intense that you risk injury.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that, in some cases, strenuous exercise can put stress on your body and disrupt the hormones in charge of your menstrual cycle.
And that could have a negative impact on your fertility.
If you’re exercising a lot and not having regular periods, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider.
And for chat about fertility yoga and all things TTC, why not join the conversation in the Peanut community?
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