There are myriad of reasons people struggle with infertility, but a variety of restorative yoga postures may encourage the body to be more responsive to conception. In addition, the medical community has conducted a few studies involving the ideal mind-body connection for conception. The majority of results indicate that many couples simply need to relax. Practicing yoga postures for infertility, while perhaps not an absolute guarantee of conception, can promote a refreshed mind and spirit while you restore the body in preparation for its new journey.
Practicing Yoga Postures for Infertility
Yoga postures for infertility are best described as fertility poses because they spark hormone production, promote full body restoration and increase circulation to reproductive organs to encourage responsiveness. These poses can stimulate the hormones, rejuvenate the body and simultaneously stimulate and relax the abdominal and reproductive areas of the body.
Headstand, or supported headstand, is an inversion that stimulates the nerves at the top of the head, takes pressure off the heart and awakens the hormones.
- Twine your fingers together and press your knuckles against the baseboard of a wall with your forearms and elbows on the floor. Your elbows should be shoulder width apart.
- Get into Downward Facing Dog pose with your forearms on the floor and your knuckles bound and touching the wall.
- Walk your feet in slightly and put your head on the floor between your forearms. Your arms should bracket your ears.
- Push up hard on your forearms so no pressure goes into your neck; if your neck and shoulders begin to curl inward, stop and do not attempt this pose. Try poses that strengthen the arms and shoulders first, then move on to this one.
- Bend your knees and take your feet off the floor.
- Squeeze in at your core and begin to straighten your body.
- Extend your legs up above your head, resting against the wall behind you if necessary for support.
Hold for as long as you are able. When you come down, spend an equal amount of time in Child's Pose before rising.
Bridge pose is a moderate backbend that tilts your pelvis into the air, stimulating hormone production and aiding in blood flow to the pelvis.
- Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Move your feet in toward your buttocks until you can touch your heels with your fingertips. Keep your feet and knees hip width apart.
- Press into your feet and raise your pelvis up into the air. Angle your chest to come up toward your chin, opening it across the ribcage.
- Pull your shoulders underneath you to raise your chest higher and intertwine your fingers beneath you.
When you come down, lower upper back, middle, then lower. Pause and repeat.
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend is a rejuvenating pose that stretches the hamstrings and hip joints while relaxing the mind.
- Sit up straight with your legs in front of you in Staff pose.
- Slowly open your legs out as far as you are able to go comfortably.
- Bend forward at the waist, leaning forward from the chest, not the head. If you are able, lean your forearms on the ground.
- Keep your feet flexed and your kneecaps pointing upward.
- Relax your head and neck toward the ground.
Child's Pose is a restorative posture that can be done at any time to center and relax the mind and body.
- Kneel with your feet together and knees together or apart.
- Sink back onto your heels and bend forward from the waist until your forehead is touching the mat.
- Stretch your arms out in front of you.
Seated Forward Bend
Seated forward bend, or Staff pose is a seated forward fold. It stretches the hamstrings, improves hip flexibility and rejuvenates the body.
- Sit up straight with your legs extended in front of you and your feet flexed.
- Draw your shoulders back and your chest up.
- Bend at the waist, bowing forward from the chest, not the head.
- Reach forward with your hands as far as they will go.
- Relax your head and neck.
Bound Angle Pose
Bound Angle pose releases and stretches the inner groin muscles, while rejuvenating the body and stimulating the ovaries.
- Sit up tall with the soles of your feet touching one another.
- Allow your knees to fall out to the sides as far as they will go. Don't worry if they don't open all the way.
- Grasp your ankles with your hands and gently apply pressure to your knees to stretch the groin.
Simultaneously stimulate and relax the abdominal and reproductive areas with these poses:
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Bound Angle is a restorative posture that relaxes the mind and body while also softening the pelvis.
- Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
- Open your knees outward and join the soles of your feet together.
- Let your knees fall open. If this is uncomfortable to your hips, place a rolled towel, pillow or block beneath your knees.
- Allow your hands to fall wherever is comfortable.
Lotus Pose is a relaxing pose that frees the mind from the body and prepares it for meditation. It also strengthens the abdominals and the pelvic region.
- Sit up straight with your legs extended in front of you.
- Grasp the right foot, bending the leg at both the knee and hip to bring the foot in and place it on top of the left leg where it meets the groin.
- Grasp the left foot, bend the leg and hip in to place the foot on top of the right leg where it meets the groin.
- Place your hands palm up on your knees, straighten your spine, drop your shoulders back and lift your chest.
Reclining Hero Pose
Reclining Hero pose opens the hips and groin while relaxing the body.
- Kneel upright with your knees together and your feet apart.
- Sit down on your bum between your feet.
- Slowly lower yourself back until you are laying on your mat. If you are unable to lower yourself all the way, place pillows or bolsters beneath your back and shoulders.
- Relax into the pose.
Tips for Success
To help gain the greatest chance of success, make sure to incorporate some of these tips into your practice:
- Set an intention. Before you begin your practice, focus on what it is you wish to gain from it. When your mind wanders, bring it back to your intention.
- Try a fertility retreat. Some people have great success at fertility retreats such as those at The Domar Center for Mind/Body Health or at The Fertile Soul.
- Don't force yourself into a posture. Relax, go as far as your body will on its own, and use props as needed.
- Do not try a posture that is beyond your ability. If you experience discomfort or pain, stop.
- See a doctor if you are experiencing infertility. There may be a medical explanation for your diffculties conceiving.
Incorporate Yoga Into Your Life
The more you practice yoga, the more that you will notice the benefits such as decreased stress levels and increased flexibility. Incorporate a strong yoga practice into your life as you try to conceive to help ensure a healthy mind and body throughout the pregnancy.