Yoga poses for fertility may or may not cure infertility completely, but it will help reduce stress, anxiety, and make you feel better than before. You may also prefer to merge these fertility yoga asanas with other treatment options to enhance your fitness.
Getting pregnant is no easy deed and for women struggling with fertility, the route can come with a side of stress, anxiety or just feeling like a failure. Recent studies have found that yoga poses for fertility might help women cope with these problems.
One study, conducted in India, took a more in-depth examine the impact of yoga on women who had undergone one unsuccessful round of IVF treatment.
About 100 women were randomly selected in two groups preparing for a frozen embryo transfer. One group did not practice yoga and the other group did three months of yoga asanas (exercises) and pranayama (breathing exercises). After the trials, researchers found that 63 percent of women who practiced yoga became pregnant, while 43 percent of women in the control group (who did not do yoga) became pregnant.
One of the researchers, Poonam Nayar, writes “I wanted to explore yoga as a therapeutic modality. I have felt a desire to do a scientific, evidence-based approach to yoga and its possible application in medical settings.”
Many women come to yoga for the first time when they learn that they are pregnant. They have heard it will help them through pregnancy, labor, and delivery. This is true, but if you are planning a family and do not already practice hatha yoga, the best time to begin is before you even become pregnant. Two years in advance is prudent.
Benefits of Yoga Poses for Fertility
Yoga poses for fertility promote the hormonal balance, menstrual regularity, and organ tone. If you begin early this yoga pose for fertility will benefit you more than that of a crash course at the eleventh hour.
What is more, if you practice hatha yoga regularly you will develop the mental, relaxation, and breathing skills that are so valuable during the birth process.
The series of hatha yoga practices described here promotes reproductive health and stacks the deck in favor of conception. It invigorates the organs and glands responsible for a woman’s reproductive capacity, tones pelvic nerves, and provides strength and flexibility throughout the pelvis.
It tones muscles of the back, spine, abdominal wall, and pelvis and thus helps prepare the body to carry a baby. Make the following series the core of your yoga practice and add postures to match your other needs.
Walk or do another aerobic activity often, and be aware of your rest and dietary habits—poor diet, stress, lack of rest, and unresolved emotional issues can affect your ability to conceive.
8 Yoga Poses for Fertility
These fertility yoga poses are safe for anyone in good health, but if you have any outstanding and specific gynecological problems do check with a doctor before you begin. Do not eat for two to three hours before performing this series. When you learn you are pregnant, replace these practices with yoga poses for pregnancy.
1. Agni Sara (Energizing the Solar System)
- Tones abdominal and pelvic muscles
- Revitalizes all abdominal organs
- Stimulates pelvic glands (e.g., the ovaries)
- Regulates the autonomic nervous system at the solar plexus, which in turn regulates digestion, elimination, and metabolism.
- The urogenital diaphragms that benefit sexual function and recycle prana (vital energy) are strengthened.
Don’t do agni sara if you have menstruation. Also do not do this exercise if you have cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, an ulcer, or a hiatal hernia.
It is best to learn agni sara on all fours. Then once you have the feel of it, sit on the heels with your hands placed on top of the thighs and try the sequence below coordinated with the breath. There are three contractions to identify and master.
Since you will be doing Kegel exercises (pelvic floor exercises) during pregnancy and postpartum, we will begin with the root lock. Picture the perineum or pelvic floor as a soft wide canoe at the base of your pelvis. Think of squeezing this canoe towards a small point at its center between the anus and the vaginal opening. Narrow from the sides, shorten the length, and then lift up at the central point. This is the basic root lock and it is the first step in agni sara.
If you’ve ever sucked in your stomach at the beach, this is the feeling of the next two stages. Maintaining the root lock, pull in your lower abdominal wall from the pubic bone to the navel; then, holding the first two stages, pull in from the navel to the breastbone as if you are faking getting punched in the stomach. Together these three contractions make up agni sara. To do the practice, coordinate the movements with the breath, like this:
As you slowly exhale,
1. Pull up the pelvic floor
2. Pull in the lower abdomen
3. Pull in the upper abdomen.
As you slowly inhale,
4. Release the upper abdomen
5. Release the lower abdomen
6. Release the pelvic floor.
To help feel the sequence, visualize an internal elevator rising on the exhalation, and lowering on the inhalation. Five repetitions are a good start. Add up to 25 repetitions incrementally as your skill improves. This practice may take some time to perfect, but it is definitely worth every effort.
2. Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
Tones pelvic organs and glands; strengthens the entire body.
- Lie prone, legs together, arms along the sides of the body.
- Place the flat front part of your chin on the floor.
- Make fists and place them under your thighs, thumb-side down.
- Exhale and extend the legs along the floor as if someone is pulling on them, then inhale and raise both legs.
- Hold 5 seconds or longer, breathing evenly.
- Exhale as you slowly lower the legs to the floor.
- Repeat twice more.
If you find lifting both legs too strenuous, work with one leg at a time.
3. Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)
- Sit with your spine erect, legs together.
- Bend the right knee and place the sole of the right foot at the inner left thigh.
- If you can, place the heel at the perineum.
- Stretch the whole torso by inhaling and reaching the arms overhead.
- Bend forward from the left hip as you exhale, keeping the spine long and the head between the arms.
- Grasp the toes of the left foot if possible. If not, reach as far as you can and then allow the arms to rest on the left leg or on the floor.
- Breathe evenly for 5 seconds or longer, depending on your comfort level.
- If you are comfortable, relax more deeply and see if you can flatten the spine along the length of the leg.
- To come out of the pose, inhale and lead with the arms and head to stretch up to sitting.
- Repeat with the right leg extended.
4. Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
Provides strength and flexibility throughout the body. Stretches pelvic nerves and muscles; invigorates pelvic organs.
- Kneel with the legs together.
- Exhaling, arch back and place the palms on the soles of the feet.
- Hold for 20 seconds while breathing evenly. Inhale to come up.
- To achieve the effect of the pose without going to extremes, kneel approximately 10 inches in front of a doorway, arch slightly back, and hold onto the door frame on each side.
- If you have neck problems, keep the head supported as you arch back. This variation feels as if you are keeping your attention on something above you, like a bird overhead.
5. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Improves flexibility in hips and pelvis; promotes relaxation and internal focus; relieves tension throughout the pelvic region.
- Sit on your heels.
- Bend forward from the hips as you exhale until the stomach rests on the thighs and the forehead touches the floor in front of the knees.
- This pose is very relaxing, but do not remain in it more than 5 minutes, as it reduces circulation in the legs.
- If you have excess weight, spread the legs apart for comfort.
6. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)
Promotes balance to the endocrine glands of the neck region that regulate menstrual activities. Sarvangasana helps If you have problems of prolapse or dislocation of the uterus.
Don’t do Sarvangasana if you have menstruation. Also do not do this exercise if you have cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, an ulcer, or a hiatal hernia.
- Lie on your back and fold your legs into your chest.
- Exhale and sway the lower legs up over your head to raise the pelvis off the floor.
- Bend the arms and place your hands on your back as close to the shoulders as possible.
- Point the fingers toward the waist.
- Get to your feet directly up and make sure hips are as high as they can be.
- Press the breastbone toward the chin. Breathe evenly and hold for 30 seconds or longer.
- It is advisable to hold it longer If you find this pose at ease. Add time in increments of 30 seconds until you can stay in the pose for up to 5 minutes.
7. Ardha Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Stretches the organs and muscles of the abdomen; stimulates the regulatory glands in the throat.
- Sit upright with your legs extended in front of the torso and feet together.
- Lean back onto your elbows and forearms.
- Archways back as you enlarge the chest and put the back of the crown of the head on the floor.
- The weight of the torso should be spread between the pelvis, the head, and the two forearms.
- Carry the elbows in toward the body’s midline and arch the head downward toward the back to strengthen the stretch.
- Breathe calmly and hold for 20 seconds or longer.
- When you want to come out of the pose, press on the elbows and let the head to slide away from the torso, and lie down supine.
8. 2:1 Breathing
Promotes relaxation; is restorative to the nervous system; cleans toxins from the blood.
- Lie supine with your legs spread comfortably apart, arms 8–12 inches from the sides, palms up.
- Establish smooth, even, diaphragmatic breathing.
- Focus on the exhalation and allow it to gradually lengthen.
- Here the goal should be to make exhalation twice as long as the inhalation. You may wish to count (e.g., inhale: 1, 2, 3, 4; exhale: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
- If you cannot double the time of the exhalation, just make it as long as you can. With regular practice, it will come.
Becoming a parent will transform your life, and everything you do now to prepare for this change will serve you many times over. Remember, moderation and awareness are the pillars of any practice.