Yoga Rx for Infertility
Approximately 6 million couples in the U.S. have fertility difficulties, and with expensive medical treatments achieving only a 50% conception rate many are looking to non-traditional ways to promote fertility. A holistic approach to improving both partner’s general health is essential to successfully conceive a healthy child. Overwork, stress, smoking, alcohol and a poor diet must all be avoided as they are known contributing factors to infertility. Yoga’s effectiveness at promoting fertility is due to its emphasis of a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as its ability to balance hormonal problems and stimulate and strengthen the reproductive organs.
Hormonal imbalances are usually due to a deficiency (Langhana) or under activity of bodily functions and insufficient production of bodily substances. Deficiency symptoms of infertility include: fatigue, dizziness, depression, backache, general weakness, chronic illnesses, scanty menses and long or short periods.
For hormonal imbalances, focus on activating and balancing the endocrine system, especially the ovaries/testes, hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Practice child, seated head to knee, pyramid/runners stretch, side seated angle and meditation to stimulate and balance the hypothalamus and pituitary. Practice hip openers, low back bends and belly down poses to stimulate and balance the ovaries as well as strengthen the reproductive organs. To tonify a deficiency pattern use a gentle practice with long posture holds, focus on inhalation, and practice Mula Bandha frequently throughout the day.
Structural or functional problems usually involve excess (Brahmana) patterns of overactive body functions and obstructions of energy. Excess symptoms of infertility include: abdominal pain, easily irritated or angered, PMS, irregular periods with dark blood and clots.
For structural or functional imbalances, practice hip openers, twists and low back bends to stimulate and strengthen the reproductive organs. To reduce an excess pattern, use an active and dynamic practice of repeating vinyasa movements with short or no posture holds, use calming meditations, focus on exhalations and end your practice with a long relaxing shavasana pose.
Even though 70% of infertility is due to problems with the woman’s body, both partners should practice yoga, preferably together. Your practice should be in a calming, nurturing and loving environment.
A complete list of postures for reproductive problems is in the Yoga Therapy section of YogaBasics’ premium membership site.