When you're trying to have a baby, every day can be filled with unexpected challenges. The journey is highly charged and all-consuming at times, and we often feel ultra vigilant. But we have to live and work, so we strap on our armor and go out to face the world—determined, fearful and brave.
Yoga can help you feel a bit more at ease, mama.
Yoga helps us tune in to ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to shed that armor and grow the emotional, physical and spiritual possibilities we barely knew existed within ourselves. When talking about her fertility, Nancy, a grade-school teacher and new mom, said, “One of the greatest challenges of coping with fertility for me was in maintaining a sense of calm and a positive attitude throughout the process."
Yoga poses can tune up your reproductive health.
Fertility yoga is a sequence of specific poses designed to help women who are trying to conceive. This restorative series of yoga poses helps us unify our emotional and physical selves through a rhythmic dance of breath and movement focusing on the reproductive and hormonal systems. Many of the poses will open up the energy in the hips and the perineal floor, which houses our reproductive organs. Other poses in the sequence will focus on bringing energy and vitality to our hormonal system.
Here are the 5 best yoga poses to boost your fertility and mood:
1. Frog pose
I use frog pose (adho mukha mandukasana in Sanskrit) across all my yoga classes. The benefits include an increased openness in your hips and reproductive area, not to mention much-needed grounding and centering. Stay in this one for a while and breathe through your nose. Focus at a spot in between your thumbs and just breathe.
- Position yourself in a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
- Place your right and left knee out towards your side as you exhale.
- Turn your feet out towards so that your inner feet, inner ankles, and inner knees are touching the floor.
- Place your forearms flat on the floor or pressed together—do whichever feels most comfortable to you.
- Hold for 10 breaths.
2. Fish pose
The fish pose (matsyasana) can help our hormonal balance and is a wonderfully feminine pose. It redirects the blood flow through the thyroid and parathyroid glands, and strengthens and brings us hormonal balance.
- Begin on the back, placing your feet and knees hips distance apart.
- Position your inner thighs down towards the floor.
- Lift your hips without letting the knees move apart.
- Place your hands on the floor palms down, then lower your butt onto your hands.
- Gently move your feet forward.
- Lift your shoulder blades and your spine into your chest.
- Hold for at least 10 breaths.
3. Warrior II pose
When you need to advocate for yourself, Warrior II (virabhadrasana II) seems to do the trick on so many levels. Warrior II helps us increase our stamina and determination while opening up, increasing the energetic flow (chi) to our hips and reproductive organs.
- Turn your right toes to the right wall and bend the right knee directly over your right ankle.
- Turn your hips and the shoulders towards the front and reach towards the side. Turn and look at your right hand.
- Press into your feet. Sink the hips down towards the floor, and reach the the sky.
- Place your shoulders down and back.
- Pressing your chest forward.
- Hold for at least three breaths.
4. Bridge pose
There's nothing like bridge (setu bandha sarvangasana) to improve the flow of chi through the reproductive area, alleviate stress, calm us and stimulate the thyroid gland and reproductive area.
- While lying on your back, bend both knees and place the feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Place your arms alongside your body with the palms facing down.
- Press your feet into the floor, while lifting the hips up to the sky.
- Press down into your arms and shoulders to lift your chest upwards.
- H old for at least four breaths.
5. Goddess pose
Utkata konasana, aka goddess pose, is a very empowering pose. It is essential for your fertility yoga practice, as it stimulates the reproductive areas by increasing the energetic flow (chi) to your hips and pelvis. It makes you proud to be a woman.
Yoga teaches us that it's okay to be a work in progress. By bringing yourself to the yoga mat, you're increasing your chances for pregnancy as well as for a life that's healthier and easier to understand.
- Stand with your feet 3 feet apart. Bend your elbows at shoulder height and turn the palms facing each other.
- Turn your feet outwards as close to 45 degrees as possible.
- Exhale while bending your knees over your toes in a squatting position.
- Press your hips forward, and your knees backwards.
- Slowly lower your shoulders and press the chest toward the front of the room.
- Look straight, keeping your chin parallel to the floor.
- Hold for at least three breaths.
[Editor's Note]: Please consult with your doctor before trying these yoga poses. The exercise, instructions and advice presented here are in no way intended as a substitute for medical treatment or counseling. Keep in mind that these physical movements may not be appropriate for everyone. There are no guarantees that by practicing these yoga poses you will get pregnant.