What is yoga?
To understand what fertility yoga is, it is a good idea to remind ourselves first of what yoga is. In an age where Instagram yoga is quickly becoming the general benchmark for practising, achieving the picture-perfect pose is becoming the priority, followed closely by physical fitness. The roots of why the practice exists in the first place are often forgotten. Though a much gentler practice of yoga, Fertility Yoga goes back to the roots, helping mind and emotions settle through movement and breath, allowing the practitioner to connect with a deeper part of themselves and find perfect balance.
How we practise yoga frequently reflects how we ‘practise’ or live life.
The word yoga means ‘to unite’ and ‘to connect’ – to connect with yourself, with life, with an experience, and to bring together as a whole the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of a person’s being. Through yoga, we can experience our mind through our body, through how we move and breathe. How we use our breath in yoga is an uncannily accurate indicator for how we live our lives. If the breath is erratic and shallow when faced with a challenging pose, we may be pushing ourselves beyond our limits, allowing our ego to take over and, as a result, disconnecting from our true selves and becoming off-balance. If on the other hand the breath is calm and deep, we are connected, moving through the challenge with focus, and accepting where we are at that moment – we are balanced. How we practise yoga frequently reflects how we ‘practise’ or live life.
Over the last 50 years, the pace of life has increased with the advent of technology; stress is on the rise with day-to-day pressures coming from more to do and less time within which to do it; many more women invest in their careers and choose to start a family later in life; our environment has changed with increased pollution in the air we breathe, pesticides and antibiotics present in the food we eat, chemicals lacing the water we drink, and mobile phones and tablets disrupting our sleep patterns. This all contributes to increased stress on both physical and mental levels. Coincidentally, infertility numbers are increasing with one in seven couples affected by fertility issues in the UK alone, ranging from egg/sperm deficiencies to the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.
Countless studies have been conducted on the link between stress and the human body’s performance, with the NHS now reporting that one in five visits to a health physician are stress-related. Day-to-day life is already stressful. Add infertility problems to it and the stress levels peak considerably. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness are now being encouraged by the medical profession for stress management.
The whole practice helps to create a safe, nurturing space that welcomes new life.
Fertility yoga is a modified version of classic yoga, conceived specifically to work on encouraging blood flow, energy and space in the reproductive area, and fostering calm, positivity and balance across mind and emotions. Using modified postures, breath work, relaxation, positive mantras and visualisation, it is a more yin practice to balance the yang of day-to-day life. By gently easing stress and tension, fertility yoga helps to rid the body and mind of factors that could be contributing to physical and energetic blockages that are standing in the way of conception or being able to sustain a pregnancy. It allows women and their partners to give themselves permission to relax, reducing the intensity of their lives, and coming back into balance.
The sequences are designed to be gentle, slow and nurturing. They can be planned for specific times of the month and even for each phase of an IVF cycle.
- Movement and postures are chosen to invite increased energy, flow and good circulation into the reproductive areas of the body, and to work on easing stress and tension out of those key areas.
- Pranayama (breath work) invites a sense of connection between mind and body to facilitate the flow of energy.
- Meditation and visualisation help to maintain mindfulness, positivity and calm to keep anxiety at bay.
The whole practice helps to create a safe, nurturing space that welcomes new life, whether it’s being used in preparation for conception or during an IVF cycle.