Some women seem to have no difficulty getting pregnant, but in this fast-paced world, more and more mothers-to-be are struggling to conceive. While yoga won't get you pregnant, it can certainly help.
Whether you're trying to conceive naturally or using fertility treatments, yoga can truly help in so many ways. Regular yoga practitioners know what a calming practice it is, which is exactly what a woman needs when she is trying to get pregnant. Yoga is confidence-building, which helps us rely on ourselves and trust our body to do what it needs to do.
Yoga unites the mind and the body so we can really be in touch with what our body needs and treat it with compassion. Yoga reduces stress, and trying to get pregnant—with or without meds—can be very stressful. Yoga helps us stay present and in the moment, and all we can do is take each breath and each day as it comes. Yoga is low-impact and great for opening up the hips and bringing blood flow to the pelvis.
When trying to conceive, you want to avoid deep twists, as your ovaries are stimulated—but other than that, most poses are safe and effective for balancing out the hormones and helping with stress and anxiety. If you're trying to conceive naturally, these poses will help open up the pelvic region and bring blood flow down to the genitals.
Below are six poses that help us unite our body with our mind so we can feel harmonious and aligned as we envision our body making a beautiful little being.
Start seated at the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Inhale, arch out of your lower back and open up your chest as you look up to the ceiling. Exhale, curl your spine, pull in your abdominals, and round the back. Continue arching and rounding for 6 to 8 cycles. This move is great for opening up the pelvic region and getting blood flowing to the lower half of the body. It also releases the chest and upper back and alleviates stress and anxiety.
2. Pelvic circles
Next, start circling your hips around in a clockwise direction letting the spine be nice and loose. After 6 to 8 cycles in one direction, stop and start the counterclockwise circling. I love this exercise for really opening up the hips and lubricating the pelvic floor region. Imagine stirring up fertile energy.
3. High altar side stretch
After circles, stop and sit up nice and tall. Inhale, lift your arms up overhead, interlace the fingers, and invert the palms to the ceiling. Lift up out of your lower back and exhale over to the right side. Hold for five breaths, then come up to sit and repeat on the opposite side. The image of an altar overhead is powerful for holding something on it you want to bring into your life. Stretching to the sides helps open up the lungs and bring in fresh air and positive thoughts.
4. Ankle to knee
Sit at the edge of your seat and cross the right ankle above the left knee, letting the right knee drop open to the side. Feel a great stretch in the outer hips and feel free to fold forward to make it more intense. Ankle to knee opens up the hips and allows for more blood flow to the lower half of the body.
5. Pigeon pose
Pigeon is one of my all-time favorites fertility poses. It really opens up the hips and entire lower body. Pigeon also stretches the hip flexors, which are like the fight-or-flight muscles. When we release the adrenaline built up, it helps our bodies relax and conceive. Start with your right outer thigh on the seat with the knee open to the side. Extend the left leg back behind you and press through the ball of the foot. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths then repeat on the opposite side.
6. Goddess pose
Finally, end with goddess pose. Start at the edge of your seat and open your legs wider than your hips, turning your toes out. Bring your hands together in prayer at your chest. Imagine your body as a vessel for conception, and breathe into the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, and lower abdominals. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths.
Practice these postures 3 to 5 times per week while you are trying to conceive or undergoing fertility treatments. Complementary alternative medical practices such as yoga are really incredible for helping the process along. I truly believe my yoga practice played such a huge part in building my family, and I hope to encourage all women to take the time to be kind to themselves and slow down.