How yoga can assist your fertility journey
Using yoga to reduce stress can have positive effects on your fertility journey. By Juliet Lundholm
The average length of time it takes to get pregnant is anything from 3 months to a year. But for some it can be longer, much longer, and the frustration, disappointment and anxiety this can cause can, in itself, be a contributing factor to the delay in falling pregnant. Yoga is not a magic cure, even if you may commonly hear “just relax and it’ll happen”. However, yoga in conjunction with other medical or holistic treatments can go a long way in creating the right environment for conception to occur, for two important reasons;
Firstly, and perhaps most potently, yoga reduces stress, and stress is thought to be one of the major contributing factors to fertility issues. This is because when the body is stressed energy is moved away from the healing systems, including the endocrine (hormone) and reproductive system, and is instead constantly pumped to the cardiovascular system to help keep us in the fight or flight mode. Practicing yoga can take you to a place of deep relaxation where the body can nurture, support, and strengthen the endocrine and reproductive systems as well as boost your immune defences. It also proves a calming antidote to the anxiety consistent fertility issues can cause which then becomes, in itself, another impediment to conception.
Secondly, yoga increases important blood flow to the pelvis and reproductive organs providing them with more oxygen and nutrients and creating a detoxifying effect. This can be especially useful in thickening the uterine lining which increases the chances of successful implantation.
Whilst there is no direct cause-and-effect link between getting pregnant and doing yoga, it can indirectly help to not only conceive but also manage the mental and emotional stress that surrounds fertility.
To my students who are hoping to fall pregnant, I always recommend Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose). This provides a still Savasana-like position from which one can relax, whilst allowing blood flow to increase in those all-important reproductive organs.
- Sit with your left side against the wall and your feet on the floor.
- Slowly lower your back to the ground and swing your feet and legs up the wall.
- Gently wiggle your hips and pelvis as close to the wall as you can until your body makes an L shape with the back on the ground and the legs vertical up the wall.
- Rest your hands on your belly, relax the whole body and breathe down into your hands.
- Stay in this position for 10 to 15 minutes or however long is comfortable for you.
Juliet teaches yoga from The Boutique Garden Studio as well as working with companies and celebrity clients across London.