Yoga for Fertility
The journey toward fertility can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Women experiencing infertility are often stressed, pain-filled, saddened and angry. These emotions generate chemicals in the body which weaken the immune system and leave the body in a constant state of “fight or flight”. This “fight or flight” response interferes with the body’s ability to repair itself and actually increases the chances of infertility.
Fertility yoga can be an oasis in the middle of this turbulent journey. Yoga helps to nourish and soothe the body. Specific yoga postures release tight muscles in the hips and pelvic region improving circulation and blood flow to the reproductive organs. Certain yoga postures help to soften and “make space” in the pelvis and let go of tension in the abdomen. These postures help to nurture and strengthen the endocrine system which is essential for proper hormonal balance.
Breathing techniques and relaxation help to detoxify the body and return the body to its natural balance. As women learn to relax, they begin to have a clearer sense of self and insight into their fertility journey.
Alice Domar, Ph.D., an international leader in the field of mind/body medicine and women’s health, recommends yoga to the participants in her study not only to relax but also to establish a more loving connection with a body they may feel angry at for failing them. Domar also recommends partner yoga because it allows a couple to be physical together in a nonsexual way, since sex often becomes emotionally charged and linked with failure. Domar warns that vigorous exercise may impede fertility and suggests women avoid physically demanding forms such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga if they are having trouble conceiving. She recommends a more restorative class where the body, mind and spirit learn the art of relaxation. This is the concept behind fertility yoga.
In 2000, Domar found that 55 percent of fertility patients became pregnant (and had a baby) within one year of participating in her 10-session program, in which they were introduced to yoga and meditation, along with other relaxation techniques and acupuncture. In a control group, just 20 percent had babies.
Couples that participate in Yoga for Fertility classes become calmer and clearer about their fertility and the decisions they face. Their journey becomes more manageable. They learn to be more accepting, trusting and joyful.