Written by Guest Blogger: Jennifer Edmonds of Element Pilates & Yoga.
Most women come to Fertility Yoga at the point where they feel they’ve tried everything. I certainly did. It felt like a “last resort.” Oh, how I wish I had known about it sooner.
While this gentle form of yoga can absolutely help you fall pregnant, there are so many other ways it can help you along your journey.
However, keep in mind a couple of things.
Firstly, your practice needs to be consistent in order to notice the benefits. While Fertility Yoga is safe and gentle enough to be practiced every day, committing to 3-4 days per week is often more manageable. If you are keen to practice every day (which is great!) always leave a day off each week. Allowing time for your body to rest is important, too.
Secondly, because we are aiming to increase egg quality through yoga, allow 3-4 months for the practice to have an impact (it takes 3-4 months for an egg to complete its maturity cycle).
So how will Fertility Yoga help you?
1. Balances Hormones and Improves Egg Quality
There are many studies linking stress reduction with improved fertility outcomes. There are even more studies linking yoga with stress reduction. So it follows that practicing yoga (in the recommended way) will be amazingly helpful for relieving anxiety during this time.
So how exactly does this affect egg quality?
In 2 ways. Firstly, when we are stressed, our body produces the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Your brain doesn’t understand the difference between a dangerous situation and a dangerous thought. It responds in the same way to both. So even if you’re not in danger, your brain thinks it is. The release of these hormones can interfere with ovulation and halt egg production in prolonged times of stress. Secondly, when your brain is in this “fight or flight” response, it sends blood to the organs essential for your survival (heart, lungs, brain). It limits the flow of blood to those non-essential for survival (ovaries, uterus).
Practicing Fertility Yoga reduces your stress response. Your body stops producing so much cortisol and adrenaline. Fresh, healthy, and oxygenated blood is sent to your reproductive organs.
2. Allows You to Feel Capable and Confident
There is so much about the fertility journey that feels out of our control. We once pictured an exciting and enjoyable path to having a family. This is replaced by medical appointments, blood tests, ovulation tracking, and endless waiting.
Yoga allows you space. Space in your day, space for yourself, space to breathe. It helps you connect with how you’re feeling physically and emotionally. Once you tap into these feelings it’s easier to trust your intuition and follow the next step on your journey.
3. Helps You Sleep Better
Did you know that by simply taking a few deep breaths, you’re signalling to your nervous system that you’re safe and it’s ok to switch over into that “rest and digest” state? This is crucial for your body to fall asleep easily and sleep deeply. Every Fertility yoga courses session should include moments of deep, focused breathing.
4. Relieves Aches and Pains
Yoga has an amazing ability to release tension in your body. The sequences and poses provide you with an opportunity to move through discomfort, increase blood flow to your hips and spine, build strength and feel stronger in your everyday life.
5. Connects You to Your Womb & Your Baby
How often on your fertility journey do you stop to ask how your womb is feeling? If you’re new to yoga, this may sound silly. But think about it – you’re asking your womb to create new life. You’ve been struggling through this. If you’ve been through IVF then your womb has also been through a lot of intense procedures. It’s a LOT. Fertility Yoga allows you to deeply connect with your womb (and ultimately your future baby).
6. It Shows You What an Amazing Life You Already Have
I didn’t realize this until a few months into practicing Fertility Yoga. Slowly, I began to appreciate what my body was capable of (rather than what it wasn’t). I felt closer to my husband. I had so much more empathy for people going through difficult situations.
I wish Fertility Yoga was a quick fix or a magic pill that could guarantee a pregnancy. However, if something could make your journey a little easier, relieve stress, and allow some space into your life that’s not about endless medical appointments…
Wouldn’t that be worthwhile in itself?
Element Pilates & Yoga supports your journey to motherhood through tailored, online Pilates + Yoga programs. Our aim is to work with your cycle & assist with natural conception or where needed, we also guide you through assisted fertility cycles and IVF. Once you’re pregnant, we continue to coach you through safe pre & post-natal exercise. Our goal is to help you feel empowered. To know you’re making the best choices for your mind + body. To be in your element.
P.S. Catch Jennifer’s interview in this week’s episode of The Hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E Podcast – Yoga and Pilates for Fertility. You can also find the episode on this podcast page as well as Spotify, and Stitcher. Don’t forget to subscribe, follow, and write us a review on Apple Podcast (if you LOVE it).