Yoga and Fertility:
As professional success has become one of the greatest priorities among modern day individuals, stress and its associated health problems have also become increasingly prevalent.
Even though their consequences may not be visible immediately; late nights, short deadlines, packed schedules, and hurried lifestyles impact both your physical as well as mental well-being. Infertility is one of the most common troubles induced by stress and erratic lifestyles.
When people think of yoga, they think of the added benefits of anti-ageing and as a method for losing weight. The fact of the matter is, yoga has many other benefits besides flexibility and toning such as improving fertility.
“Yoga is a great way to help you prepare for pregnancy. Since ages it has been propagated for relaxation of mind and body. Even though yoga does not directly guarantee conception; it acts by reducing stress levels," says Dr Rajalaxmi Walavalkar, Consultant, IVF and Reproductive Surgery, Cocoon Fertility.
Some fertility benefits of yoga:
Yoga stimulates the ovaries ,strengthens and stretches the back muscles, purifies the energy channels, flushing out toxins from the body, makes the groin, hips and the spine more flexible, relieves stress and anxiety, reduces tension, mood swings and enables smooth delivery.
Yoga has been shown to improve blood supply to uterus and ovaries.
It also helps to “reset” your endocrine system; aiding hormonal balance.
Fertility yoga for reproductive health:
There are countless methods of yoga that a person can perform. Each yoga pose not only helps to strengthen your mind but can help you to regain balance in your body, including reproductive system.
A concept of fertility yoga has been put forth in this regard. Fertility Yoga is one of the best ways to support reproductive health as it reduces stress in your life and subsequently prepares you for conception and pregnancy. It uses key yoga poses that help to nurture, support and strengthen the endocrine and reproductive system. Your endocrine system is essential for proper hormonal balance, so using fertility yoga poses that promote healthy endocrine function is just as important as using poses that support the reproductive system.
1.Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama) and Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana) ‘ reduce anxiety, worries and improves psychological state of mind.
2. Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana) helps in reducing discomfort associated with fertility treatment.
3. Famous asana “Bhujangasan-cobra pose” has numerous benefits. It helps increase the flow of blood flow to the ovaries and the uterus. This aids in creating hormonal balance, as well as the production of cervical mucus that makes the journey of the sperm to the egg easier.
4. Certain yoga poses act on endocrine glands which affect fertility; eg. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) helps stimulate the thyroid gland, the dysfunction of which can lead to infertility. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) also acts on thyroid gland.
5. Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani) -This yogasan helps in retaining sperms close to the uterus after keeping relations.
Making yoga part of your daily routine:
"Yoga can definitely be used for fertility benefits alone or as an adjunct to different fertility modalities. It should be an integral part of our routine to achieve the said goal" adds Dr Anagha Karkhanis, Director Cocoon Fertility.
As with any new exercise program, it can be difficult to get yoga into a routine. It can be a bit straining on your body and time management skills.
Do not be hard on yourself if your poses are not identical to the instructor. Over time, with practice your strength, flexibility and balance will improve dramatically. It may be best to begin this practice at your own pace. Begin by doing Fertility Yoga 2-3 times a week and gradually increase it to 5 times a week if you would like.