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Yoga Poses to Help You Conceive

Match your yoga routine to your menstrual cycle to up your chance of getting pregnant.

Yoga Poses to Help You Conceive

What if we told you yoga could actually help you conceive? Navigating fertility, naturally or with IVF, can be physically challenging and emotionally draining. And while staying active can be a big aid in prepping your body for pregnancy, high-intensity workouts don’t necessarily create optimal conditions for conception. Yoga, on the other hand, can help you build a mind-and-body connection that will help you better understand your physical body and mental health and that is essential to getting your body ready for pregnancy. Not only does it help balance hormones, reduce stress and encourage blood flow, it also increases flexibility in the pelvis and hips area -- all of which are key factors to getting and staying pregnant!

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For your fertility-boosting yoga practice to work best, your cycle needs to be regular so that you can cater the poses you do to each phase. So it’s important to carefully observe your menstrual cycle, take note of your periods and cervical mucus or get a hormonal profile from your doctor. Once you have a good understanding of your menstrual cycles, you can start matching your yoga practice to your cycle. To help you boost your chances of conceiving, here are the poses you want to do based on the different phases of your cycle.

1. For the menstrual phase: During this phase, practice restorative yoga that encourages blood flow down with gravity. Usually, this means avoiding inversions and favoring on low-impact poses that focus on breathing and relaxation to ease tension and anxiety -- two factors that are linked to infertility.

Poses to consider: Bound Angle, Reclined Bound Angle, Child’s Pose, Seated Forward Folds, and Reclined Hero’s Pose.

2. For the follicular phase: In this phase, you start to feel more energized, and a strong vinyasa practice is recommended to get blood flowing and to increase endorphins. Poses that stimulate the thyroid gland to balance hormones and encourage a stronger reproductive system are great additions at this point of the month. Plus, many of the poses can bring your body into balance, which can also boost conception.

Poses to consider: Shoulder Stand, Bridge Pose, Sun Salutations, Camel, Pigeon and Wheel Pose.

3. For the ovulation phase: When your egg is released from the ovary to the fallopian tube, doing active breathing work can help stimulate oxygen flow to your uterus and ovaries. What’s more, you want to stretch the muscles surrounding the reproductive organs to encourage more space in the uterus and upper body and increase flexibility to the pelvis and hips area.

Poses to consider: Kapalabhati and Ujjayi breathing, Bound Angle Pose, Janu Shirshasana, Bridge Pose, cat / cow pose, side stretches, seated Gomukhasana and Garudasana arms.

4. For the luteal phase: In this phase, restorative Yoga is key since we're encouraging a fertilized egg to implant into the uterine lining. So what to do? Practice yoga like you're pregnant. That means avoiding hot yoga, abdominal work and deep twists. This is a significant phase, and this type of practice is helpful for people going through IVF. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of props to help support your body and to take time for yourself. Stress can boost production of cortisol, a chemical that can negatively affect fertility. So the luteal phase is a great time to practice meditation and relaxation through breathing techniques. It will help you feel your best and will balance energy throughout the body.

Poses to consider: Legs Up The Wall and Reclined Bound Angle.

Self-care and patience can be tremendous help when navigating fertility. So aside from catering your yoga practice to your menstrual cycle, it’s important to keep a balanced, healthful diet and get a support system. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can also help regulate your cycle and give rise to great bodily and emotional conditions for conception.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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