- Top 7 Yoga Poses That Help Boost Fertility
- 1. Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)
- 2. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
- 3. Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
- 4. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
- 5. Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)
- 6. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- 7. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
- 20 best yoga poses for fertility
- How yoga poses for fertility increase your chances of conceiving
- A sequence of yoga poses that enhance fertility
- Beyond the yoga poses for fertility, Adia: a platform for your journey
- How Yoga Changes Your Brain
- What’s so great about yoga?
- New back pain guidelines: Try yoga or acupuncture before drugs
- Yoga can help people better process stress.
- Dr: Yoga students respond better to stress
- I’m trying to get pregnant. Should I start doing yoga right now?
- What Is Fertility Yoga?
- What Are the Leading Causes of Infertility?
- How Do Yoga Poses Boost Fertility?
- Benefits of Yoga Asanas for Fertility and Conception:
- Top 17 Fertility Poses to Get Pregnant Fast
- 1. Bhramari Pranayama
- 2. Paschimottanasana
- 3. Hastapadasana
- 4. Janu Shirasana
- 5. Baddha Konasana
- 6. Supta Baddha Konasana
- 7. Balasana
- 8. Kapalbhati Pranayama
- 9. Sarvangasana
- 10. Setu Bandhasana
- 11. Bhujangasana
- 12. Viparita Karani
- 13. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
- 14. Upavishtha Konasana
- 15. Salamba Shirsasana
- 16. Shavasana
- 17. Dandasana
Top 7 Yoga Poses That Help Boost Fertility
As professional success has become one of the greatest priorities amongst 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 wellbeing.
Infertility is one of the most common troubles induced by stress and erratic lifestyles. Despite their continuous attempts and medical assistance, many couples still complain that they are unable to conceive. If this seems like your problem too, it’s probably time you embrace the curative practice of yoga.
In addition to healing your mind, body, and soul, yoga will also help ensure that the good news comes knocking on your doors soon. Here are the top seven yoga asanas that can help boost fertility.
1. Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)
The Bhramari Pranayama, or Bee Breath, is a great asana for stress-relief. A study by Fertility and Sterility reports that psychological stress is a significant factor that results in infertility.
This Pranayama calms the body and relieves it of stress, anxiety, and worry. With a calm state of mind and body, you can increase your chances of conception to a remarkable extent.
Sit straight with your eyes closed and place your index fingers on the cartilage of your ears. Inhale deeply and gently press the cartilage when you exhale. Keep pressing the cartilage in and out as you inhale and exhale while making a humming sound.
Do 6-7 reps of this breathing pattern.
2. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Credit: Kristin McGee
Paschimottanasana, commonly known as Seated Forward Fend, helps exercise the hamstrings, lower back, and hips. This asana even helps vitalize the ovaries and uterus, the key organs responsible for conception. This asana can also improve your psychological state.
Sit straight with your legs stretched out and your toes flexed towards you. Inhale and stretch both your arms above your head. Exhale and bend forward at the hip, touching the sides of your feet with your arms, while keeping your spine erect.
Breathe steadily and bend further towards your legs each time you exhale. Stay in this position for one to two minutes and then inhale deeply and come back to the sitting position with your arms stretched out.
Exhale and lower your arms.
3. Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Credit: Kristin McGee
This asana exercises your inner thigh and groin muscles. It also helps relieves stress, along with the discomfort of symptoms associated with IVF, menstrual cramps (bloating), and a medicated fertility cycle.
Exhale and lower your back towards the floor, with the support of your hands. Lie on your back, and rest your neck on a pillow if needed. Bend your knees, and place the soles of your feet on the ground. Slowly, let your knees drop open to the sides, such that your soles touch each other. Place your hands beside you, with your palms facing up.
Stay in the pose for up to 10 minutes and continue to inhale and exhale. Press your thighs together with the help of your hands. Turn onto one side and gently rise from the position.
4. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
Image Credit: Julia Lee
Here’s an asana that helps stimulate the thyroid gland, the dysfunction of which can lead to infertility. It also helps calm your mind and relieve stress.
Lie with your back on the ground, your legs stretched out, and your arms on the sides of your body with your palms facing up. Now, raise your legs up to form a 90-degree angle. Press your palms into the floor and lift your waist up, bringing your legs forward, keeping them vertical to the ground.
With the support of your palms hold your waist and raise your legs to form a 90-degree angle to the floor. Hold that position for one and a half minutes. Gradually lower your legs and back and place your hands on the ground, as your entire body rests parallel to the floor.
5. Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)
The Viparita Karani asana when performed after intercourse enhances the chances of conception. This asana will help keep the sperm inside your body close to the uterus, opening and thus increasing its chances of reaching the matured egg for fertilization.
Lay on your back and raise your legs straight up against a wall. Hold this position for 15-20 minutes.
6. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Cobra Pose, or Bhujangasana, is one of the best asanas for improving fertility. 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.
Lie on your stomach with your palms facing the floor and your feet top-down on the floor. Inhale and exhale slowly, as you lift the top of your body, arching your back while pushing your feet, hands, and hips downwards.
Hold this position for half a minute and concentrate on your breathing. Then, release your body and lie flat on the floor.
7. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
This asana helps your pelvic region open up and expand. It stimulates your thyroid gland by increasing the flow of blood, and thus improving its function. This asana also treats symptoms like anxiety, stress, depression, and fatigue.
Lie down on your back keeping your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor, slightly apart. Keep your arms on the side with your palms facing up. Exhale and press your lower back to the floor. Form an arch by curling your tailbone and lifting your spine and buttocks from the floor.
Hold the pose for one to two minutes as you inhale and exhale. Gradually loosen up your body and bring it back to the floor.
Regularly practicing these asanas will surely help improve your mind and body state while also increasing your chances of conception. However, reaching out to a certified yogic practitioner for training and inputs on these asanas is better than trying them out by yourself as doing so may put you at the risk of injury. Good luck!
20 best yoga poses for fertility
Countless studies, such as Dr. Domar’s mentioned above, have shown the linkage between stress and fertility health. We have already written about this in the post “Fertility and mental health”. Yoga and mindfulness meditation is another area to explore that can be effective too.
Purify the body
In addition to the nutrition guidelines mentioned above its also really important to stay hydrated. This is often something we tend to overlook in our busy lives. It is advisable to drink plenty of water to ensure you are properly hydrated in order to help your body flush out any toxins and maintain a healthy digestion and overall diet.
Connect with nature in a less toxic environment
Performing daily walks in green areas of clean air allows you to connect with the rejuvenating energy of nature and increase blood flow and oxygenation.
It is advisable to opt for ecological cleaning and hygiene products, as well as to reduce the exposure to the electromagnetic waves of Wifis, mobile devices, and appliances.
In addition, it is worth observing how the people and situations that surround us affect us. This stress is as harmful as any other.
How yoga poses for fertility increase your chances of conceiving
This article focuses on key yoga and breathing techniques and postures that seek, among other things, to increase overall blood flow. Yoga is still heavily debated and naming it as a magic solution for fertility is something not many doctors would say. However, studies have proven that yoga is an effective way to reduce stress and the link between mental and fertility health has also been well documented.
Improve ovarian health
In particular, the postures are also designed to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs and the hormonal glands.
With many of them, in addition, the tension in the abdominal area is reduced, which allows the blood to reach these areas better. On the other hand, it helps to regulate the normal functioning of the hormonal and endocrine systems, which aids your overall health in many ways.
The effect of a more conscious breath
Breathing is the basis of practice and it is helpful to be aware of it.This simple gesture of paying attention to breathing leads to a more relaxed and focused state close to the state of mindfulness, which helps to reduce everyday stress and enjoy the present.
Greater flow of energy
The postures, known as asanas require you to exert energy and get the body moving. They teach to connect with various parts of the body that are essential in fertility health.
Physical yoga practice provides not only the benefits of each position but a greater flow of energy through the meridians, nadis, or energetic lines. Do not forget that asana in Sanskrit means “sitting down” so it’s important to remember not to over exert yourself as well. You should be comfortable in poses and stable with a deep and calm breath.
A sequence of yoga poses that enhance fertility
The yoga poses for fertility of this article are offered in a specific order, in a sequence, with the optimal contraposition to create a balance between prana and apana, two types of energy, 2 types of the five Vayus.
The practice ends with a meditation in which, after releasing body tension, the mental and emotional tension is released. It is the perfect opportunity to return to oneself and calm the mind.
You can practice this sequence during the whole cycle, except, in general, during your period. So, avoid these asanas in menstruation, because it is a time in which the body needs a special rest.
Beyond the yoga poses for fertility, Adia: a platform for your journey
Meditation is great for switching off from the hustle and bustle of life and re-centering yourself after a hectic day. It can also be useful when you are trying to conceive. Yoga helps you also calm the mind and get the body moving in ways that can aid the health of key organs involved in fertility health. However, it is also important to seek the advice from fertility and general medical experts.
As mentioned at the start of the blog, the Adia platform has a series of free podcasts with meditation coach Clare Connelly, designed especially for those trying for a baby.
We are a digital platform that helps women take a more proactive approach to their fertility. Membership is free and by joining you can access a whole host of content on subjects such as nutrition, contraception, female hormones and fertility, so you can feel empowered in your preconception planning.
Through the platform you can also ask questions for free directly to our panel of fertility experts, we always aim to answer your questions within 48 hours.
Our community is growing fast, which just shows how many women want to feel more in control of their fertility.
Sign up for free and make a big step forward in your journey.
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After years of struggling to conceive, many women might just give up, or start to pursue alternative options for parenthood. But not Yasaman Dehkordi, 31, who has experienced three miscarriages in seven years. The Clarksburg, Maryland resident has finally found a solution to help her work through the stress and emotions, and may even boost her fertility: yoga.
Dehkordi started taking “infertility yoga” classes offered at Shady Grove Fertility in Rockville, Maryland a few months ago and now calls the practice “life changing.”
“You place your feet on that mat and you automatically get this calmness in your body, and just focus on yourself and your breathing,” Dehkordi explained.
How Yoga Changes Your Brain
Sept. 18, 201700:55
Trying to get pregnant is no easy feat — and for women struggling with fertility, the process can come with a side of stress, anxiety or just feeling like a failure. Yet two recent studies have found that a yoga practice might help women cope.
Before you roll your eyes and write this off as another hokey study, take a look at the research: One study, conducted in India, took a closer look at the impact of yoga on women who had undergone one unsuccessful round of IVF treatment.
Over 100 women preparing for a frozen embryo transfer were randomly selected into one of two groups: one group didn’t practice yoga, while the other group did three months of yoga asanas (exercises) and pranayma (breathing exercises). After the procedures, 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.
“I wanted to explore yoga as a therapeutic modality,” Poonam Nayar, one of the researchers, wrote via email. “(I’ve) felt a need to make a scientific, evidence-based approach to yoga and its possible application in medical settings.”
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What’s so great about yoga?
There’s a lot of bending, stretching and breathing, but what makes yoga so much better than other forms of exercise?
“Throughout my entire career, I’ve felt that yoga is a great component for women trying to get pregnant,” said Dr. Alice Domar, executive director of Domar Centers for Mind/Body Health and the director of integrative care at Boston IVF. “Especially if a woman is doing IVF, it behooves them to do some kind of intervention to lower their stress levels.”
IVF can be a tough process for women, noted Domar, and in addition to feeling stressed, infertile women might feel angry at their bodies. Yoga can help them feel good again — and there are other serious benefits, too.
New back pain guidelines: Try yoga or acupuncture before drugs
Feb. 14, 201700:25
“Even if the main purpose is yoga, the women may get there early and schmooze with other women — the practice offers a lot of social support,” said Domar.
For Dehkordi, that connection with other women going through similar experiences is a major part of why her yoga practice has been so beneficial.
“All the ladies who attended were experiencing the same feelings, and going through different steps of the journey, which in ways helps you on your journey,” Dehkordi said. “The best part — we felt like we weren’t alone.”
Yoga can help people better process stress.
It’s not news that yoga as a practice can help people deal with stress and anxiety — that’s why wellness “gurus” tout its benefits all day long. Though, there is further research to support that it could be a beneficial tool for women struggling with fertility.
Dr: Yoga students respond better to stress
Dec. 8, 201102:03
Researchers in Chicago studied yoga’s impacts on 26 infertile patients. Participants in the study were enrolled in online or in-person yoga training, and preliminary results showed a significant reduction in anxiety for patients who practiced yoga in both settings.
I’m trying to get pregnant. Should I start doing yoga right now?
“If a patient came to me and said, ‘I’ve seen these studies, what do you think?’ I’d definitely say, sure, why not try it? But I would not feel comfortable telling them it could improve their chances of becoming pregnant,” said Dr. Kevin Doody, an OB-GYN in Dallas and spokesperson for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, noting that the study from India was conducted on a relatively small number of patients.
“I would never say you have to do yoga to get pregnant,” added Domar. “And for people who don’t like yoga, there are lots of other things they can do to lower stress levels, like cognitive behavior therapy.”
Though for women like Dehkordi, yoga might just be the puzzle piece that was missing.
“Do I wish I’d started this sooner? Yes! It has been a life-changing experience,” she said. “I was the one to laugh at people when they said yoga had changed their life.”
The answer to that question seems to be a resounding “yes” for couples who took part in a program supervised by Sachdev at St. Peter’s Medical Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which was based on the ongoing programs at the Mind-Body Institute at Harvard University created by Herbert Benson, M.D., researcher and author of The Relaxation Response. The program incorporated stress reduction practices like yoga and meditation, emotional support such as group discussions and sharing, and changes in diet, including cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, fats, and sugar.
The results were remarkable: Couples had a 50 percent fertility rate within one year of finishing the program. What made the results even more astounding is that regardless of the cause of the woman’s inability to conceive, whether it was unexplained infertility or low sperm counts, participants were helped in encouragingly high numbers.
Other recent evidence echoes the positive effects of yoga for infertile women. In 2000, Harvard Medical School researcher Alice Domar, Ph.D., published the results of a study in Fertility and Sterility (Vol. 73, No. 4) that showed women who participated in her program, which included relaxation and yoga, were almost three times more likely to get pregnant than women who didn’t. In Domar’s 10-week mind-body workshop, 184 infertile women who had been trying to get pregnant for one to two years were put into a cognitive behavioral group. This group received methods for emotional expression, nutrition and exercise information, and relaxation training—including yoga, meditation, muscle relaxation, and imagery. Interestingly, the group also learned cognitive restructuring, identifying recurrent negative thoughts, such as “I will never have a baby” and changing that thought to “I am doing everything I can to get pregnant.” The results: 55 percent of the women in the group using yoga and other techniques got pregnant within a year, in contrast with 20 percent of the women in the control group who conceived in that same time period.
Stress has physiological effects that will alter the balance of hormones in the body—especially relating to fertility. “Recent research supports the theory that psychological distress can have effects on multiple systems, including inhibition of hypothalamic GnRH, activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and alterations of the immune systems,” concludes Domar’s study. “The impact of these perturbations by psychological stress and depression could then in turn adversely affect ovulation, fertilization, tubal function, or implantation.”
According to Roger Cole, Ph.D., physiologist and yoga teacher, stressful emotions activate the sympathetic nervous system, causing the adrenal glands to release epinephrine into the bloodstream. Many strong emotions like fear and anger, which are actually other names for stress, can cause the body to produce more cortisol and fewer sex hormones. All of these changes are part of the “fight or flight” response, which prepares the body for emergency action but also interferes with its ability to repair itself and digest and assimilate food, and increases the chances of infertility.
One of the most powerful effects of epinephrine is that it constricts blood vessels. Dr. Sachdev says this constriction may also occur in the uterus, thus interfering with conception. This coincides with the yogic idea of apana, the downward moving prana, or energy, which for women is centered in the pelvis. Allowing apana to flow freely could be the key for reproduction to occur. Yoga poses like Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose, done with the sacrum on a bolster and the knees bent) and Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose) help to gently stimulate apana energy, as well as increase micro-circulation in the reproductive tract.
Ellen Saltonstall, a Manhattan-based yoga teacher trained in the Iyengar method and certified in Anusara Yoga, was the yoga teacher for Dr. Sachdev’s program for four years. “I focused on poses which open the pelvis and hip joints,” explains Saltonstall. “I used restorative poses which I felt allowed the apana to increase. I also gave the students mild inversions to relax them.”
In addition to allowing apana to move more freely, certain asanas help to soften and “make space” in the pelvis and let go of tension in the abdomen. Women in Salamba Baddha Konasana (Supported Bound Angle Pose) and Savasana (Corpse Pose) should pay special attention to the belly and pelvic region. On the inhalation, they can imagine that the belly is soft and infused with energy; on the exhalation, they can imagine that all impediments to conception are leaving with the breath.
The Whole Package
Alice Domar recommends yoga to the participants in her study not only to relax but also to establish a more loving connection with a body they may feel angry at for failing them. Domar also recommends partner yoga because it allows a couple to be physical together in a nonsexual way, since sex often becomes emotionally charged and linked with failure.
The good news is that improving the general health of the whole person, such as getting proper nutrition, sleeping more, cultivating healthy relationships, and keeping a positive body image will greatly increase the chances of fertility. The better news is that couples who successfully use these tools to bring new life into the world often find a whole new lifestyle emerging—one that not only helps them have a baby but that also helps them become less stressed and more patient parents. “I don’t know if yoga is the reason I got pregnant, but it helped us let go of our tension and frustration so much,” Maria says. “We are really grateful we found it.” Maria has also continued her practice after the birth of her child. “It helps my feelings of stress and of being overwhelmed by being a part-time mom and trying to work part-time at home. I can’t imagine my life without it now.”
Women battling infertility often look for new ways that will help them to become pregnant. Yoga is one of them!
Researchers studied two groups of more than 100 women who were having trouble getting pregnant and after half of them incorporated yoga into their routine for three months, 63 percent of women became pregnant while 43 percent of women in the group who did not do yoga did not get pregnant. Preliminary findings also showed a significant reduction in anxiety scores from all patients who did yoga.
Yoga has been known to lower stress which is a major factor for women dealing with infertility. Besides battling stress, certain yoga poses can also increase blood flow to the pelvic region and release muscle tension. Let’s take a look at which poses are best to boost fertility.
Half-Knee to Ankle
This pose opens up your hips to better align your uterus, increasing the chance of conception.
Sit in staff pose with your right knee bent. Put your right ankle on your thigh above your left knee. Keep your left foot flexed. Flex your right foot and press the palm of your left hand against the sole of your right foot. Place your right hand about your right knee and press your thigh down firmly. Hold for three breaths and repeat on the other side.
Alternating Knee to Chest
This pose can release tension in tight hip flexors and help correct alignment. By increasing circulation, you can increase your chance of getting pregnant.
To get started, lie on your back with your left leg straight on the floor, foot flexed. Bend your right knee into your chest and clasp your hands around the top of your shin. If you can’t reach, you can always use a towel. Hold for five breaths and release. Repeat on the other side.
When you twist you wring out any tension in your organs and muscles that can be preventing you from conceiving.
Sit with your legs crossed. Put your left hand on your right knee and inhale. Engage your abdominal muscles and twist to your right. Reach your right fingertips to the floor behind you. Make sure your neck follows the movement. Hold the pose for 8 to 10 breaths before releasing and repeating on the other side.
Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)
Bust stress that could be contributing to your infertility with Bhramari Pranayama, or Bee Breath. This pose helps to get rid of anxiety.
Close your eyes and sit straight. Put your index fingers on the cartilage of your ears. Take a deep breath in and gently press the cartilage when you exhale. Do this six to seven times while making a humming sound.
To improve flexibility, try the Clever Yoga Yoga Wheel. Click here to check out the Yoga Wheel now!
Getting a few shoulder stands into your exercise routine can help to stimulate the thyroid gland. Thyroid issues are known to contribute to infertility.
Lie down with your legs stretched out and your arms along your sides, palms up. Lift your legs so they are at a 90-degree angle. Press your palms into the floor and lift your waist. Bring your legs forward but keep them vertical to the ground.
Use your palms to support your waist as you raise your legs to a 90-degree angle with the floor. Hold for a minute and a half. Slowly lower your legs and back. Put your hands on the ground as the rest of your body lowers.
Cobra Pose, or Bhujangasana (boo-jang-GAHS-anna), helps to increase blood flow to the ovaries and uterus. It also balances hormones and produces cervical mucus which helps with conception. This pose is one of the best to improve fertility.
Lie on your stomach with your palms towards the floor and the top of your feet touching the floor. Inhale and exhale slowly as you lift the top of your body and arch your back. Push your feet, hands, and hips down. Hold for thirty seconds. Release your body to the floor.
To work out any former back tension or pain experienced during any of these stretches and poses, try incorporating a Yoga Block. They’re commonly used in physical therapy sessions and can help you as you try these fertility-boosting poses!
Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Once you get the green light, practice some yoga moves with a pose or two every day. Incorporating yoga into your routine is a powerful way to balance your hormones and improve fertility.
Last Updated on January 23, 2020
Recent trends suggest that more women are finding it harder to conceive due to stress, as it takes a toll on physical as well as psychological health. According to statistics published by the World Health Organisation, about 15% of couples worldwide seek help for fertility issues. Of the many options available to couples, one which is fast gaining popularity, is fertility yoga. This form of yoga has been mostly preferred by those who are sceptical about other treatment options available for infertility. Bear in mind that fertility yoga may or may not cure fertility completely, but it will help reduce stress and make you fitter than before. You may also choose to combine these yoga asanas with other treatment options to up your fitness, which is often recommended before starting any treatment for infertility. Read on to know more about fertility yoga.
What Is Fertility Yoga?
Fertility yoga is derived from the ancient practice of yoga asana. It is a set of asanas that could help treat infertility. As you know, yoga is a 5000-year-old Indian practice that can bring revolutionary changes in your mind, body and soul. Each asana is designed to bring about holistic healing. Fertility yoga is not a separate type of yoga that cures infertility, but rather a set of certain yoga poses and asanas that help reduce stress levels and cleanse the body of toxins. A combination of these yoga poses is ideal for women looking to get pregnant, as they can help strengthen the body and boost chances of conceiving. A study by Harvard has proved that women who took fertility-focused yoga courses were more likely to conceive than those who did not.
Before we head to knowing the different type of asanas that can increase fertility, let’s take a look at some leading causes of infertility.
What Are the Leading Causes of Infertility?
There are several causes of infertility in women. Knowing the accurate cause can help tackle the condition. Here are some of the leading causes of infertility in women:
In women, fertility declines as they age. It dwindles especially after the mid 30’s, and it is primarily because a woman is born with all the eggs she is going to produce during her lifetime, and the number and quality of these eggs decrease as she grows older. The diminishing ovarian reserve eventually leads to infertility.
Smoking can reduce the likelihood of pregnancy by affecting a woman’s fertility. Cigarettes contain toxins which have an adverse impact on the reproductive system. They age the ovaries, which decreases the number of healthy eggs or lead to miscarriages.
While there is no proven information about the exact effects of alcoholism on fertility, various studies conducted globally indicate that regular consumption of alcohol increases the risk of infertility.
- Eating Disorders
Women with eating disorders and an inactive lifestyle are prone to infertility. Eating disorders can disrupt regular periods; a condition medically called amenorrhea. This, in turn, lowers fertility. Eating disorders also lead to excessive weight gain or weight loss, which again, are not beneficial for fertility.
- Damage to the Fallopian Tubes or Uterus
Damaged fallopian tubes, poorly functioning reproductive organs, blockages, infections or chronic medical illness could be some more reasons that cause infertility. These could either prevent the sperm from travelling to the egg or affect the movement of the fertilised egg to the uterus, making it difficult to conceive.
Work, family or other reasons for stress can take a toll on the body and reduce your chances of getting pregnant. Infertility could also add to the stress, creating a vicious cycle that one must break out of.
Yoga for fertility helps you overcome some of the causes mentioned above. The asanas can help increase your chances of getting pregnant while increasing your fitness levels. Let’s see how certain yoga poses could benefit women and help boost fertility.
How Do Yoga Poses Boost Fertility?
A healthy body and a calm mind are the prerequisites for increasing your chances of getting pregnant. Yoga is a wonderful way to boost fertility as it allows you to have a holistic approach to strengthening and conditioning your body. It marries both the physical and mental aspects of health. Some yoga poses can boost both in one go. When practised regularly, these poses make for the best yoga for fertility program.
Benefits of Yoga Asanas for Fertility and Conception:
Adopting yoga is a good way to start preparing if you want to start a family. Here are some of the most prominent advantages of practising yoga for fertility in women:
- Yoga Reduces Stress
The breathing exercises in yoga lower the stress-causing hormone called cortisol in your body, increasing your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby. With lower stress levels, you can get a good night’s sleep and detoxify too.
- Yoga Increases Circulation
Yoga beats the evils of chronic illness and blockages that act as a hindrance to a healthy reproductive life. Practising fertility yoga improves blood circulation by flushing out all the toxins from your blood. The quality of blood is crucial to conception and pregnancy as it ensures proper development of the foetus.
- Yoga Helps to Keep Hormonal Imbalances in Check
The ability to not have a baby due to hormonal imbalances is distressing and can impact not just your physical, but emotional health as well. Yoga keeps your mind calm while controlling the hormones that would otherwise cause imbalance.
Trying out yoga for conceiving could end up being the best way to dispel any unnecessary hormonal changes by your body that could hinder pregnancy.
- Yoga Keeps the Ovaries Healthy
Ovarian dysfunction is one of the leading causes of infertility among women. Apart from medical treatment, yoga is an excellent way to treat ovary related issues naturally.
By trying out yoga for conceiving, you will be able to add a lot of positive energy to your body.
A healthier body responds better to medicines that are used to induce pregnancy. Read on to know some yoga poses that can help increase fertility in women.
Top 17 Fertility Poses to Get Pregnant Fast
Try these yoga asanas for conceiving a baby and begin the fight against infertility. These asanas should be practised regularly so that your body gets used to them.
1. Bhramari Pranayama
Bhramari Pranayam is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Since stress is a major reason behind infertility, this asana is a must-try pose. The asana is also called the ‘Humming Bee Breath’.
How to Do It:
- Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.
- Place your index fingers on the cartilage of your ears to block all surrounding noise.
- Inhale deeply and exhale while making a humming sound.
- Try to hum in a high pitch and as long as you can.
- Repeat the asana 5-6 times.
The Paschimottanasana is also known as Seated Forward Fold. This yoga asana stretches the muscles on your lower back, hips and hamstrings. It is very useful for improving fertility in women as it vitalises important organs like the ovaries and stomach while reducing mental stress.
How to Do It:
- Sit with your legs stretched and toes pointing towards you.
- Inhale and stretch your arms over your head.
- Bend slowly keeping your spine straight to touch the sides of your feet while exhaling.
- Hold the position for 2 minutes.
- Inhale and come back to the sitting position again with your arms stretched out and then exhale.
- Practice till you’re comfortable, but do at least 5-6 reps every day.
Popularly known as the standing forward bend, Hastapadasana stretches all the muscles in your back and abdomen while improving blood circulation in your body. This yoga pose is also vital for making your body flexible and releasing all stress from the abdomen area.
How to Do It:
- Stand straight while stretching your arms over your head.
- Slowly bend forward and try to touch your toes with your hands. Do not bend your knees while doing it. If you can’t touch your feet, try to bend forward, as much as you can.
- Hold the pose for a minute and get back up slowly.
- Try to do around 10-12 reps. With practice, you should be able to touch your feet.
4. Janu Shirasana
This yoga asana is not only crucial for conceiving but is also useful during pregnancy.
It is one of the popular poses in yoga for infertility treatment and is also known as the one-legged forward bend or the head to knee pose. It stretches the calves and the hamstrings of your body while relaxing the muscles of the abdomen.
How to Do It:
- Sit comfortably with your legs stretched in front of you.
- Fold your left leg in, while keeping your right leg stretched out. Bend forward as much as you can and touch your right foot with your hands.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds and get back up. Fold your right leg in and stretch out your other leg out to repeat the same process.
- Bend down as much as you can to touch your left foot, hold the pose and get back up again to complete a set.
- Repeat the sets 4-5 times.
5. Baddha Konasana
The Baddha Konasana pose is also known as the butterfly pose or the bound angle pose. It improves your flexibility while stretching the muscles of your inner thighs, genitals, hip area and knees. It is one of the more helpful fertility yoga exercises, and it can also help in smoother and less painful delivery when the time arrives.
How to Do It:
- Sit comfortably with your spine straight, and legs stretched in front of you.
- Bend your legs inside so that the soles of your feet are facing each other.
- Hold your feet together and pull them as close to the pelvic area as possible.
- While holding your feet, move your thighs up and down like the wings of a butterfly.
- Practise this asana as many times as you can. 5-10 sets a day is ideal.
6. Supta Baddha Konasana
This yoga pose strengthens your inner thigh and groin muscles. It is also helpful in relieving menstrual cramps, bloating and stress. The asana opens the hip area and is also called a reclined/ reclining bound angle pose.
How to Do It:
- Lie straight on your back on the floor. Keep your neck on a pillow if you need to.
- Keep your palms facing upwards firmly by your side.
- Bend your knees upwards with your soles touching the floor.
- Stretch your knees to the side so that your feet touch each other.
- Relax the entire body and continue touching the sides of the knees to the floor.
- Hold the asana for 7-8 minutes.
Balasana helps relieve stress and increase blood flow, which is important to enhance fertility. It is also called child’s pose as the asana resembles a foetal position. This yoga asana stretches the muscles of your back, knees, hips and thighs. Your stomach must be empty before doing this asana, so practice it at least four to six hours after a meal.
How to Do It:
- Kneel on the floor and see that your toes touch each other as you sit on your heels.
- Spread your knees hip-width apart and slowly bend forward.
- Stretch your arms forward and place them in front of you.
- Lie in the same position for as long as you can and continue breathing normally.
8. Kapalbhati Pranayama
Kapalbhati is one of the most popular yoga asanas and acts as a remedy to many maladies. It also helps your mind remain fresh so that your stress levels are reduced immensely, making you more positive.
How to Do It:
- Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and back straight. You may sit in the lotus position on the floor or sit upright in a chair.
- Inhale deeply through your nostrils and exhale forcefully so that your stomach goes inside.
- Ensure there is no pain in your stomach, lungs and chest when you exhale. You may stop doing the asana is you experience pain.
- Perform this asana for 5 minutes every day and experience the transformation in your mind and body while doing it.
Sarvangasana, also known as the ‘Shoulder Stand’, helps treat thyroid conditions and relieve stress at the same time. This asana targets the thyroid directly and is one of the most effective yoga poses that can help treat infertility.
Thyroid conditions are a major cause of infertility in women, as a lack of the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) can lead to many health complications that inhibit your ability to conceive.
How to Do It:
- Lie on your back with legs straight on the floor.
- Raise your legs to 90 degrees and press the floor with your palms to lift the waist and the legs upward.
- Fold your arms at the elbow and support your waist with your palms.
- Keep your legs straight and held together.
- Hold the pose for 50 to 100 seconds.
- Repeat the posture for 5-10 sets based on your comfort level.
10. Setu Bandhasana
Popularly known as the Bridge pose, it improves blood circulation in the body while having a calming effect on the brain and central nervous system.
How to Do It:
- Lie on your back with your arms by your side.
- Slowly bend your knees and bring your feet towards the buttocks. Stop where your feet touch the floor.
- Lift your pelvic area upwards while balancing your body on your arms and feet forming a bridge.
- Ensure the pose is steady. If not, gently get down and try again.
- Try to stay in the same posture for 10-15 seconds.
Bhujangasana resembles the posture of a Cobra. It increases flexibility, tones the abdomen, strengthens the back and shoulders and improves blood circulation. The famous Surya Namaskar also has Bhujangasana, but it can be done all by itself, especially as part of fertility yoga.
How to Do It:
- Lie flat on the ground on your stomach.
- Keep your legs close to each other.
- Fold your elbows and place both your palms on the floor near your chest.
- Take a deep breath and lift your upper body pulling away from the ground and stretch as you push your upper body backwards.
- Keep your feet together on the ground. Do not raise or fold them.
- Breathe out and slowly come back to the original posture.
- Hold each posture for at least 5 seconds and repeat at least 5 times every day.
12. Viparita Karani
Viparita Karani is believed to have anti-ageing effects on your body. It also improves blood circulation to your pelvic region. The asana is also called the leg up the wall pose, and some believe, it can increase the chances of conception if done immediately after sex.
How to Do It:
- Sit close to a wall, facing it, and lie down on the floor.
- Stretch your legs at a 90-degree angle and move your hips towards the wall so that they touch the wall.
- Lie on your back with your legs stretched out straight on the wall.
- Hold the pose for as long as you can.
- Repeat the posture around 5-8 times.
13. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
Popularly known as Anulom Vilom or alternate nostril breathing, this yogic exercise purifies your body from negative emotions, stress and depression.
How to Do It:
- Sit comfortably in a lotus position with your spine straight.
- With the ring finger of your right hand, close the left nostril and inhale through your right nostril.
- Now with the thumb of your right hand, close the right nostril and exhale through your left nostril.
- Repeat the same process with your left hand, but close the right nostril with the ring finger of your left hand, and the left nostril with the left thumb.
- Do this asana at least for 5 minutes every day.
14. Upavishtha Konasana
Upavishta Konasana is a stretching yoga pose which helps boost fertility. It strengthens the abdominal area, stretches the thighs, strengthens the spine and has a calming effect on the mind and body.
How to Do It:
- To start, sit comfortably on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you.
- Now, move the legs away from each other. Stretch them as wide as possible.
- Inhale, and while exhaling, slowly bend forward.
- Stretch your arms and try to touch your toes.
- Hold the pose for about a minute. Keep breathing normally.
- Inhale while coming up.
- Repeat the same process five times at least.
15. Salamba Shirsasana
Salamba Shirsasana is the classic headstand yoga posture, making it one of the most challenging but more effective yoga postures to increase fertility. This yoga pose requires a lot of practice. If you are doing it for the first time, it is better to learn it from a qualified instructor who will break it down in steps and also support you while you do the asana.
How to Do It:
- Take a soft mattress or cushion for head support.
- Sit on your knees in front of the pillow.
- Lock your fingers together and place your locked hands on your head.
- Bend down and place your head on the pillow kept on the ground.
- Transfer all your body weight onto your head and hands by lifting your folded legs straight over your head. Balance your body weight.
- Try to hold the pose for as long as you can and continue to breathe normally.
This yoga posture is very popular because of its simplicity. Also known as the corpse posture, Shavasana is performed at the end of each yoga posture to normalise the heartbeat and also relax strained muscles.
How to Do It:
- Lie flat on your back with your hands by your side.
- Continue to breathe normally and relax every part of your body.
- Maintain the posture at least for 3 to 4 minutes.
Dandasana helps correct the posture and also strengthens the back muscles, the hamstrings and the core. This pose is also believed to energise the body, which is much required by women stressed with fertility issues.
How to Do It:
- Sit down with your legs stretched in front of you.
- Keep your toes pointing towards the ceiling.
- Place your palms next to your hips on the ground and straighten your spine.
- Lower your shoulders, keep your neck straight, chin levelled and focus on a point at a distance.
- Remain in this position for at least a minute and repeat this asana 3 to 5 times.
Yoga helps you adopt a holistic approach toward infertility treatment. However, it is recommended that you couple it with accurate diagnosis and treatment by a doctor. When the issue has been identified, and treatment recommended, you will be ready to welcome that much-awaited new member in your family.
Also Read: Foods to Improve Female Egg Quality
My second round of Yoga for Fertility classes at the Reproductive Medical Associates have begun. About 10 percent of reproductive age couples have trouble getting pregnant; and I have to imagine that number is even higher. Many women are waiting to have children later in life due to building their own careers or taking more time before tying the knot. After the age of 35, the decline in fertility starts to accelerate.
In addition to age, stress and diet play a huge role in fertility. One of my favorite acupuncturists, Jill Blakeway, founder of the Yin Ova Center, nails it on the head when she says, “In times of War and Famine, women’s bodies shut down as a means of survival”. So many women these days are at War (daily stress, work issues, busier schedules, etc) and undernourished (either through poor food choices, too few calories or too many of the “wrong” type of calories).
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is important and it varies from one person to the next. Some women may need more healthy fats in their diets (even some saturated fats, animal proteins and full fat dairy have helped in certain cases), others may need more leafy greens and less caffeine. As far as diet is concerned, it’s best to work with a good nutritionist and find out what is right for each individual case.
I personally think stress reduction is the most important part of the puzzle when it comes to fertility. As women, we can be so hard on ourselves, yet it is crucial for us to nurture and care for our bodies, minds and spirits, in order to care for another. We start to blame ourselves, and our bodies for not responding or doing what we want them to do. The whole process of going through fertility treatments can be scary, overwhelming and stressful.
I truly believe yoga can be an incredible complementary care method for aiding women along the process to getting pregnant. Yoga connects us back to our source and helps us find a calm, centered place where we can slow down, breathe and be kind to ourselves. We start to respect our bodies and do the best we can for them while also learning that some things are just not in our control. We can’t force our body to always do things biologically but we can work on how we react to certain life circumstances and upsetting processes and experiences.
Slow flow Vinyasa, Yin yoga, Iyengar and Restorative yoga are all great forms to practice. They are gentle enough (for women going through treatments or trying to get pregnant strenuous exercise is usually not the best); yet also get the blood flowing to key areas in the body and help build strength, stamina, flexibility and security. I teach a combination of all of the above at the RMA. I also open and close with meditation that helps each woman align herself with her own potential energy and the energy of the universe. It’s amazing how after class, all the women open up and start to share their experiences and what they are each going through.
The yoga practice creates a safe environment for everyone to let down their guards and vent about their experience. Morning monitoring hours (going in every morning or every other morning for bloodwork, ultrasounds, etc.), they say, are horrible. No one looks at or talks to each other, it’s like standing in a crowded rush hour subway. I’m always so blown away at how yoga can create a community so easily and unite a group in a way nothing else can. I will continue to do what I can to help these women relax and form a loving relationship with themselves no matter what.
Here is a brief sequence everyone can benefit from; but I love it especially for my female clients who are trying to conceive naturally or with treatments.
The Fertility Flow Sequence opens up lungs, stretches the hips, waist and back, brings blood flow to the pelvic floor region, and is deeply soothing and relaxing. It stays low to the ground connecting to the energy of Mother Earth and it eliminates the rajastic, masculine chaturangas. You can end the sequence in Goddess, Legs up the Wall or asupported backbend or shoulderstand with the hips on the block.
Cat/Cow – Go through 5 to 8 cycles linking breath and movement