November 16, 2013

Natural Fertility: 5 Simple Yoga Suggestions.

“The purpose of human life is to blossom like a flower, with joy and love everlasting, emitting fragrance and sweetness all around.”

~ The Kama Sutra

How long should women wait until having a baby? Many who yearn to have a biological child in their 30s and beyond face daunting statistics and invasive treatments as they try to conceive.

Yoga and mindfulness can help.

The fact is, there is no clinical or statistical proof that yoga increases fertility. However, a disciplined, regular practice of yoga can greatly improve our circulation of vital energy (prana) and our ability to manage stress and anxiety.

Every body is different, and every woman has her own unique combination of factors affecting her ability to get pregnant. Of course, a simple Google search of “yoga for fertility” brings up dozens of products and services for this specific issue. It’s worth your time and money to seek out an experienced yoga therapist who can guide you in a personalized practice.

In the meantime, here are five general yogic suggestions:

1. Find Your Ideal Diet

Obviously, what and how we eat affects our physical bodies and the quality of our eggs. The traditional yogic diet is lacto-ovo-vegetarian, meaning it allows dairy products and eggs but is otherwise vegetarian.

This works for many, but some body types need more protein (which is most readily accessed through animal meat) while others are happiest eating a pure vegan diet.

Work with a trusted nutritionist to find the best, most balanced diet for you. One thing is certain: cutting out caffeine and alcohol completely is key as you attempt to conceive.

2. Get Into Yin

Haven’t jumped on the yin yoga bandwagon yet? This practice is especially recommended for fertility and pregnancy. In contrast to the ubiquitous “yang,” energetic, heating styles of yoga, yin is receptive, passive and cooling. Poses are held for longer and muscles are intentionally disengaged. Yin hip openers like butterfly and sleeping swan (the yin version of pigeon) can help balance your sacral chakra and revitalize the reproductive organs.

Yin isn’t just as easy as it looks, though. Energy can get seriously shifted around, so don’t be alarmed if you feel extra emotional after a yin session. It’s a sign that you’re processing and moving through old stuff that is finally surfacing—and that’s a good thing.

3. Practice the Ancient Pose, Legs-Up-the-Wall-Asana

Hold off on the cuddling and get into this restorative inversion right after having sex. It is reported to help the sperm more easily reach the egg. It can’t hurt to try. Hold for as long as you’re comfortable, up to 10 minutes. But don’t forget to cuddle with your partner afterwards!

4. Meditate Daily, Even in the Face of Fear

If you’re more experienced and/or motivated, use your meditation as a way to face your fears—because there are so many fears around getting pregnant, being pregnant and being a parent. Know that it’s natural to feel afraid. It’s a big deal to bring a new being into the world.

What if all your fertility efforts are for naught? What about in vitro or adoption? There are so many factors to consider. As you meditate, acknowledge the fears and thoughts that arise, but keep in the background an awareness of your gratitude for life, for your body, and know that the universe is unfolding as it should.

5. Keep Breathing

The best, simplest, most readily accessible tool in the yoga kit is breathing. Breathe deeply, fully and slowly in your yoga practice—and make the effort to breathe deeply, fully and slowly in other moments of your daily life, as well.

In the waiting room at the doctor’s office. In line at the supermarket. During an argument with your partner. This breath is your friend. This breath keeps you anchored to the present. This breath will calm and revitalize you… and you need all the calmness and revitalization you can get on your journey toward motherhood.

There’s no guarantee that yoga will make you conceive, but it’s worth a shot. Another benefits is that once you get pregnant, you’ll already have a dedicated yoga and mindfulness practice, which will help you enormously throughout the three trimesters and beyond.

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.


Ed: Bryonie Wise

Photo: via Pixoto


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