STRIKE A POSE: Five top yoga moves to improve your fertility
We love yoga here at IVF babble but can it help you get pregnant?
Well, a number of studies have shown that yoga can help to reduce stress, which can affect your fertility. Many health and fitness experts also believe that specific poses can help promote baby-making by increasing the blood flow to your pelvis, stimulating hormone-producing glands and releasing muscle tension. As yoga increases circulation it can also help to detoxify the body and promote an inner calm.
Fiona Kacz-Boulton from Awakening Fertility and Dr Geetha Venkat from the Harley Street Fertility Clinic give their top five yoga poses to boost your fertility:
The Washing Machine
The position: Stand with your shoulders relaxed. Now, simply twist from side to side swinging your arms loosely working your way up from waist level to shoulder level, then start back at waist level. Pivot your outside foot in the direction of the arms as illustrated in picture.
Benefits: Rinses stress out of the body and leaves you feeling invigorated. It is so easy, anyone can do it.
The position: Form a standing position with your legs 3 feet apart and turn the right toes pointing forward toward the top of your mat and left foot stepped back at at 45-degree angle (pointing toward the left corner of your mat). Inhale and press the left hips out to the left as you slide both arms to the right parallel to the floor.
Exhale and rotate only the arms, raising the left arm up and resting the right hand against the right leg, with the palms facing forward.
Press into the feet, pull up the knee caps, keeping the legs strong. Reach the finger tips away from each other, bringing the arms into one straight line with the shoulders stacked on top of each other. Press the left hip forward and the right hip back. Breathe and hold for 5 breaths.
To release, inhale and reach the raised hand up towards the ceiling as you press down into the feet using the whole body to lift back into 5 pointed star. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This pose stimulates and improves blood circulation throughout the body. This helps to reduce blood pressure and stress as well as strengthening the hips and opening up the groin area.
The position: Start in a kneeling position and sit your buttocks towards your heels as you stretch the rest of your body down and forward. First do the Extended Child’s Pose lengthening the arms as far forward as you can so as you lengthen your spine. Then, rest your arms in a relaxed position along the floor, rest your stomach comfortably on top of your thighs, and rest your forehead on the mat.
Benefits: The Child Yoga Pose gently stretches out the hips. It helps to relax and calm the head relieving both stress and fatigue. It enhances your intuition and prepares the mind and body for meditation at the end of the routine too. It also helps relax the back and neck when done with the head and torso supported.
Legs Up The Wall Pose
The position: Lie on your back with your buttocks as close to the wall as is comfortable for you. From there, you extend your legs up the wall, so that the backs of your legs are resting fully against it. This pose should be done daily for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
As a variation you can also enjoy Shoulder Stand up the Wall as pictured…
Benefits: This pose is one of the most powerful fertility-supporting yoga poses that you can practice. This position helps to remove toxins from the bloodstream and the abdominal organs are nourished and revitalized when the blood from the feet and legs pools in the lower belly.
The Five Tibetans Sequence
Rite 1: Stand upright, extend your arms at shoulder level away from your body and spin clockwise keeping your eyes looking directly in front of you, do not focus on any one point, let your vision blur as you spin. Turn up to 21 times.
Rite 2: Lay down on your back with your arms to your side, palms up, keep your legs straight, begin your inhalation, raise your legs off the ground until as high as possible and pick your head off the ground, bending your neck with your chin falling toward your chest. Again, repeat up to 21 times breathing in and out.
Rite 3: Kneel with your legs together, arms extended, palms of your hands on the side of your thighs, drop your chin to your chest, begin your inhalation, raise your head and lean back, move your hands to the back of your thighs and let them drop lower and support your weight, crane your head and neck backward, relax your lower spine. Begin your exhalation, start to come forward back to kneeling position with your head back up in the straight position. Repeat up to 21 times breathing in going backward and breathing out coming forward.
Rite 4: Sit on the floor with your legs a little less than shoulder width apart, arms to your sides with hands extended flat on the ground and fingers pointed forward. Drop your head toward your chest, begin your inhalation, raise your buttocks off the ground while bending your knees, shift your weight to your arms/hands and legs/feet, continue to raise your buttocks until your trunk and thighs are parallel to the ground, let your head fall back. Begin your exhalation and return to sitting position with your head dropped forward. Repeat up to 21 times breathing in when raising off the ground and breathing out when returning back to sitting position.
Rite 5: Get down on the floor on your hands and knees (in push-up position) with hands and legs a little less than shoulder width apart. Begin your inhalation, come up on your toes with weight in your arms, straighten your legs, arch your back, lean your head back, do not let any of your body touch the ground except for your toes and hands. Begin your exhalation, bend at the waist, bend your knees, push your buttocks up into the air, make an inverted V shape with your legs and arms straight, tuck your chin toward your chest (Downward Dog in Yoga), try to put your feet flat on the ground. Begin your next inhalation and repeat up to 21 times.
(Be guided by video here when you click “5 Tibetans” via www.youtube.com/QiYoga4London)
Benefits: This is a powerful combination of five yoga poses to help activate all muscles and systems in the body as well as the main energy centres which leave you feeling emotionally balanced.