Did you know that an estimated one in six couples attempting pregnancy will have fertility challenges? Infertility affects men and women equally. (National Survey of Family Growth, CDC). If you are struggling with this issue, you are not alone. Apart from the fact that ability to achieve successful pregnancy declines with age (after 30 years for women and after 50 years for men), excessive weight gain or loss, excessive smoking or alcohol consumption, and excessive physical or emotional stress are other common causes of infertility.
Recent surveys suggest that more and more women are finding it harder to conceive due to stress. Poor diet or irregular eating and sleeping habits may add to the problem and also cause hormonal changes and imbalance. Work pressure or family and relationship related issues can take a toll on body and mind and the inability to conceive and pressure of expectations may add to the stress, creating a vicious cycle. Although initially, the consequences of stress are not so visible, eventually mental and physical well-being starts getting affected. The inability to get pregnant may leave a woman feeling hopeless and depressed.
In spite of their nonstop endeavors and therapeutic help, numerous couples are unable to conceive. Although the holistic practice of Yoga is not a substitute for any medical treatment, it certainly helps restore your mind-body balance and help you overcome most of the common causes of infertility mentioned above.
Yoga is a comprehensive practice of mind, body, and soul which helps in making sure that wellbeing of a person stays intact at all levels. The Yoga taught in courses like Hormonal Therapy Yoga, Fertility Yoga, Pre, and Postnatal Yoga and Yoga Teacher Training course can be helpful in treating the problem of infertility in the following ways:
Studies suggest that women with high levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme that correlates with stress, and women with high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, can affect ovulation and chances of conception.
Yoga is an incredible method to beat the problems of stress and accomplish significant peace of mind. Yoga isn’t just about the body; it is additionally about how you relax. The breathing systems related to Yoga can help bring down the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body. This, in turn, can build the odds of getting pregnant. Not simply that! With the pressure gone from your life, you can also sleep better, think better and maintain a healthy routine.
Increases blood circulation:
Many times, the problem of infertility emerge because of blockages in blood flow. Healthy eggs need plenty of oxygen-rich blood flow. With Yoga, you can increase the blood circulation and guarantee that it reaches the regenerative organs. This can help make a positive environment for getting pregnant.
Helps in detoxification:
There are many yoga asanas that can help detoxify the body and help support fertility by helping you maintain a healthy body. A regular and gentle detox, daily, will also give your new baby a healthy start. It will also help your body fully absorb all the nutritious supplements. Yoga can likewise help loosen up tight muscles while helping the connective tissues to relax.
Ovaries stay healthy:
Some yoga asanas reroute the bloodstream so as to reach the ovaries. This helps in providing these particular organs with more oxygen, making them more beneficial. Conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) caused due to hormonal imbalance can cause cysts on ovaries. It is critical to note that ovarian problem is a typical reason for infertility in ladies. Yoga can be an incredible instrument for women who have ovary problems as it helps regulate the function of the ovaries.
The practice of Yoga is one of the best ways to improve the immunity of a person. It makes you more aware of your daily choices, resulting in improved diet, better lifestyle, good sleep, etc, all of which helps boost your immunity. With the regular practice of Yoga, a person can find inner peace and eliminate stress.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that defend the body from germs, viruses, and microorganisms. The practice of yoga asana and deep breathing helps restore the functioning of the immune system which in turn helps keep many diseases and infections at bay, thus increasing your chances of baby making.
No hormonal irregularities:
In case you are now battling with the problem of infertility and are undergoing any kind of hormonal treatment, Yoga can help calm your nervous system and detox your organs to restore hormonal balance. When we experience stress, the brain hypothalamus secretes corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) which in turn initiates the release of the adrenocorticotropic hormone, which further prompts adrenal to release cortisol.
With each of these hormones in the body, it is easy to suffer from mental and physical stress which exhausts you and also sends negative signals to thyroid glands and ovaries, which can result in altering or shutting down your reproductive system. The negative energy can become the reason for suffering from infertility. With yoga, you can limit these symptoms and increase your possibility of getting pregnant.
YOGA ASANAS FOR INCREASING FERTILITY IN WOMEN:
1. Bhramari Pranayama
Bhramari Pranayam is extraordinary and easy to do breathing technique to decrease pressure and tension. Since stress is a common cause for infertility, Bhramari Pranayama is a highly effective tool to relieve mental tension and instantly relax the mind and body.
Sit in any comfortable posture with hands resting on the knees. Close your eyes and relax your body. Raise your hands, close the ears with the thumb, and rest the remaining fingers on the head. Inhale through the nose and exhale slowly in a controlled manner, making a deep and steady humming sound, like that of a bee. This Pranayama is also called the humming bee breath. Repeat this for 2 or 3 minutes.
The Paschimottanasana, otherwise called as the seated forward fold is a yoga asana that helps in extending the muscles on your lower back, hips, and hamstrings. It is extremely helpful in improving fertility in women as it vitalizes significant organs like the ovaries and stomach while decreasing mental pressure.
To do this asana, sit straight with your legs stretched and your toes flexed in your direction. Now inhale and stretch both your arms above your head. Exhale slowly and bend in the forward direction and try and hold the toes or hold any part of your leg that you are able to touch comfortably without rounding your spine. Keep breathing in a calm way and try and deepen the forward bend with every exhalation. Stay in the same position for at least one or two minutes and come back in the sitting position while inhaling deeply.
Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand is practiced for the purpose of stimulating the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is an important part of fertility; its dysfunction can become the cause of infertility.
To perform this asana, lie down in prone with your back on the ground, your legs extended, and your arms on the sides of your body with your palms facing down. Now raise your legs and continue to press your palms on the ground while lifting your legs
in the upward direction, holding them perpendicular to the floor.
Bend your hands at the elbow and with the help of your palms, support your back while raising your buttocks and spine off the mat, and allowing your body to rise vertically from the floor. Stay in this posture for one minute. To release, slowly begin to drop your legs down, gently placing your back on the floor as you release the hands and allow them to rest on the side. Relax as you rest your entire body on the mat.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana
This yoga asana is helpful in exercising your inner thighs and the groin muscles. It is also helpful in relieving stress and other reproductive problems like menstrual cramps, IVF symptoms, and an irregular cycle.
To perform this yoga asana, also known as the reclined butterfly posture, from a seated butterfly posture, begin to recline all the way to the floor. Exhale deeply as you lower your back and use your hands to support your back to recline gently. Lie straight on your back, or rest the back on a yoga bolster.
Keep the knees bent and ensure that the soles touch each other. Place both your hands beside you and face your palms in the upward direction. You can also rest your palms on your thighs, allowing them to open up and relax gently. Hold on to this yoga posture for 5 to 10 minutes while continuing to relax. To release, hold the knees together to relax the thigh muscles, and then turn to any one side and return to a seated position.
The Bhujangasana or the cobra pose is one of the best yoga asanas that can be practiced for improving fertility. It assists in improving the blood flow to both the ovaries and the uterus which further helps in creating a hormonal balance and the production of cervical mucus that helps the sperm reach the egg in an easier manner.
To perform this asana, a person should lie on their stomach with both the palms in the direction of the floor and the feet top-down on the floor. Bend the elbows and place your palms on either side of the chest, inhale and lift the upper body off the floor. Arch the back and press the feet, hands and the hip firmly into the floor. Stay in this yoga posture for 1 to 2 minutes while focusing on breathing slowly.
To release the posture, relax the upper body and bring the chest and forehead down on the mat. Rest your forehead on the hands and lie in a prone position in a relaxed manner.
6. Setu Bandhasana
This yoga asana helps the pelvic region to open up and expand in the right manner. It also helps in stimulating the thyroid gland by increasing the blood flow and improving its functions. This asana is also helpful in treating problems like stress, anxiety, fatigue, and sleeplessness.
To perform this asana, lie down on your back and keep your knees bent and your feet pressed into the ground. Keep the feet hip-width apart. Make sure that your arms are on your side and you can either place your palms facing down, or interlock your fingers or use your palms to support your back. Now exhale and lift your lower back off the floor forming an arch by curling the tailbone in and then raising the hips and spine in the upward direction. Stay in this posture for 1 or 2 minutes. To release, relax your body and bring the spine and hips back to the floor.
7. Viparita Karani
Viparita Karani asana or legs up the wall pose, if practiced after copulation increases the chances of conceiving. This yoga asana will help to keep the sperms within the body close to the uterus. It also opens and increases the chances of the mature egg for the purpose of fertilization.
To perform this yoga asana, lie straight on your back with your buttocks close to a wall. Raise your legs and rest them on the wall; the legs are perpendicular to the floor. Stay in this yoga posture for 10 to 15 minutes to reap maximum benefits.
Use of Yoga props such as blankets, bolsters, eye pillows, blocks and meditation pillow can help you achieve the right alignment and also allow you to hold the posture for long. Practicing these asanas on a daily basis will doubtlessly help improve your mind and body and help you maintain good physical and emotional health, which in turn increases your chances of getting pregnant.
Be that as it may, connecting with and training under an experienced yoga specialist who has a certification in yoga teacher training can contribute in a great way. The instructors have the right knowledge to guide the patients/students and help them practice Yoga that does not cause any damage or injury. If you practice Yoga under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor then the chances of getting pregnant will increase manifold.
Author Bio– Devakar Sandhu is a renowned Yoga practitioner with more than 10 years of experience in Yoga teaching. He holds a certification in 500-hour and 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh India Course. He guides and suggests ways for lifestyle modification through Yoga.