With research showing the link between stress and infertility, it’s important to explore methods and techniques that help women reconnect their minds and bodies. If you’re trying to conceive, here’s how yoga can benefit your reproductive health.
The journey to motherhood can be quite the wild ride, filled with loops galore. Fortunately, there are some great tools at your disposal to smooth the path, yoga being one of them.
For women who are trying to conceive, it’s clear that nutrition is incredibly important to reproductive health. However, there is also a critical link between fertility and mental health, which is why movement and mind-body practices must also be explored as stress management techniques.
Yoga is one of the most powerful forms of self-care and movement for fertility support.
The benefits are multifaceted, fortifying reproductive health on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Here are seven reasons why yoga may be the perfect movement practice for you if you’re trying to conceive.
1. Provides stress relief
It’s no secret that trying to conceive can be downright stressful. And stress, while not inherently bad, can negatively impact reproductive health when in excess and unchecked. Unmanaged stress can contribute to insulin resistance, cause irregular menstrual cycles, and lower libido. Yoga provides an outlet for your stress and helps you respond rather than react to stressful circumstances.
2. Increased blood circulation to uterus and ovaries
Our reproductive organs are situated in an area that, in our sedentary culture, doesn’t always get a lot of movement, which can hamper blood flow to them. In many traditional medicine systems, increasing blood flow to the pelvis is heralded as one of the key goals of treatment for fertility. It makes sense, right?
Blood carries nutrients towards, and carries waste away from our uteruses and ovaries. Anything that improves blood circulation is certainly important, and certain yoga poses can help do just that.
The physical and mental health benefits of community doesn’t get nearly enough attention. It’s important to emphasize strong social ties as they’re one of the pillars of good health. Yoga classes offer an opportunity to breathe and move with people who have similar interests and possibly similar goals. That’s powerful.
4. Low impact
While exercise is important when trying to conceive, not all forms of exercise are ideal. Vigorous activity is not always the best way to go when trying to get pregnant. But most forms of yoga are far more gentle than conventional cardio and weightlifting. But don’t let its gentleness fool you. It’s still incredibly effective.
5. Improved endocrine function
Our hormones, to a great degree, rule our reproductive health. Whatever we do to support our hormonal health, will ultimately increase our chances of conceiving. And fortunately, we have a fair amount of research indicating yoga positively impacts our hormones, making it ideal for a number of women’s health concerns.
6. Decreased inflammation
Chronic inflammation has been implicated in the development of a number of chronic diseases and likely negatively influences fertility. Yoga, by addressing some of the underlying causes of chronic inflammation, such as unmanaged stress, hormone dysregulation, and insomnia, can help mitigate its negative effects. This can help protect our organs from damage, including the uterus, ovaries, testes, and the blood vessels that carry blood to them.
7. Improved body awareness
The focus on fertility can often make people feel disconnected from their bodies. That disconnect can make it pretty difficult to hear the subtle cues your body is giving you about what it needs and when. Yoga, fortunately, is amazing at improving interoception, the ability to hone in on your body’s signals to influence our decisions.
Now, before you run out and join a yoga class, I strongly recommend seeking out a fertility yoga class. Strenuous or heated forms of yoga are not ideal when trying to conceive, so if you can’t find a fertility yoga class near you, yin yoga, slow flow, and restorative classes can be great options too.
And of course, the most important reason to move your body through yoga isn’t just for functional purposes: yoga just simply feels good.
Be sure to do it because you enjoy it.
Adapted from the original article.
Kendra Tolbert MS, RDN, RYT is a registered dietitian and yoga teacher specializing in PCOS and fertility wellness. She helps women balance their hormones with simple and effective lifestyle changes, without deprivation. Visit Live Fertile for more information about nutrition and yoga for women’s health.