By Beth Heller, MS RYT
As you may imagine, we get a lot of questions regarding fertility yoga. It would be helpful to know what's on your mind regarding the topic. Do you have any specific questions for us? If so, please send them in and we'll do our best to respond. At the Moon we generally recommend women who are trying to conceive try yoga. Our reasons are as follows:
- Yoga has been shown to reduce stress. Chronic stress can impact our ability to conceive as well as cause other health problems. The process of "trying" can be enormously stressful so yoga helps us be healthier now and prevent potential future repercussions of stress.
- Better brain chemistry through yoga! Yoga has been shown to increase levels of GABA, a brain chemical that is in short supply in cases of depression and anxiety.
- Yoga's gentle stretching helps to release tension in the muscles of the hips and groin. Stretching tight muscles and connective tissue can reduce constriction of blood vessels and nerves, potentially improving blood flow to reproductive organs.
- Yoga moves stagnant, tight body tissue which can help remove waste and toxins from the body through the lymph system.
- New clinical research conducted with Fertility Centers of Illinois showed that participation in Pulling Down the Moon’s six week Yoga for Fertility program significantly reduced anxiety levels.
Here are two poses you can use to gain some of the benefits above (more are found in the yoga chapter of our book Fully Fertile).
Hip Opener. Lie on your back and cross the right ankle on to the left knee. Keeping your low back grounded on the floor, draw the left leg in toward the body. Thread your right hand through the triangle created by the right knee and interlace your fingers behind the left thigh. You should feel a gentle stretch in the right hip/low back. If you experience any discomfort in the knees, release the leg and practice the pose with the left foot on the floor. Repeat other side.
Reclining Bound Angle Lie back on a blanket or pillow with the soles of the feet together. Let the knees drop out to the sides and stretch the arms out from the body. Breathe here, allowing gravity to help release the hips and groin.