We announced our big news last week: Trying To Conceive will be coming soon to the Baby2Body app! If you want us to update you as soon as our new program is available, be sure to sign up here and let us know what you’d like to see most!
We’ll be including more content for you expecting-to-expect mamas, and today we want to share a little fertility flow, with some of our yoga poses for conception. But before we go any further it’s important to note that yoga has never been linked to directly increasing fertility or one’s chances of conceiving.
There isn’t a flow out there that will guarantee conception no matter how often you do it. But what it can support is stress reduction, muscle tone development, increased strength, improved breathing, healthy weight maintenance and better circulation overall. In fact, the noted physical and psychological benefits of yoga has led some infertility experts to recommend yoga as supplemental stress relief to couples undergoing IVF or using assisted reproductive technologies (ART). There’s some more reading on that here. So there’s definitely no harm in incorporating more yoga into your preconception lifestyle habits!
Our ‘fertility flow’ style plays off the Vinyasa practice, where you focus on the power and rhythm of inhalation and exhalation and let your breathing guide you through yoga poses in one fluid, continuous motion. While you’re doing this, think about aligning your breath, your heartbeat, your thoughts, your physical body and your soul into one continuous energy and experience.
We’ve listed the flow in the order we like to practice it in, but feel free to mix it up, skip an asana or two, or hang out in one pose for the whole time. All you need is a yoga mat or soft space to practice and a willingness to trust yourself and your body. Enjoy and namaste.
1. Mountain Pose
Healthy circulation is crucial for healthy fertility — and much of that has to do with posture and alignment, which this pose is designed to work on. This is also a great place to start for bringing focus into your practice.
Stand with your feet parallel and about hip width apart. Press down through your heels and lift through your knees. Keep your chin parallel and your arms at your sides, fingers spread wide. Remain here until you find serenity and feel ready to move on through your flow.
2. Standing Forward Fold
This pose helps release stress and tension held in the core, and provides an excellent stretch to your full back, improving circulation in your back body and pelvic region.
Bend at the hips and soften your knees (bending if necessary) until your palms reach the ground. You want to feel your head reaching toward the ground and your hips lifting towards the sky.
3. Downward Dog
Use this pose to ground yourself and generate energy and strength as you transition into later poses.
Step back into a plank from forward fold, tuck your toes and lift your pelvis towards the sky, pressing through your palms and knuckles. Your arms and back should form a straight line.
4. Bent Knee Three Point Downward Dog
This pose is designed to relax your nerves, reduce fatigue and tension headaches, and the bent knee variation will help to open up your hips.
Lift one leg off the ground and bring into a straight line with your arms and back. Gently the bend your knee and let your foot fall towards your opposite hip.
5. Low Lunge with Upward Stretch
As you move into a low forward lunge you’re further opening your hip flexors. The upward stretch is an excellent chest opener to help reduce feelings of anxiety.
Step your lifted leg forward and in between your planted hands with your knee over your ankle. Bend your other knee and let it rest on the ground, press forward and keep your hips square to the front of your mat. Raise your arms above your head and bend up and backwards into a gentle stretch.
6. Repeat poses 4-5 on the other side.
Move back into downward dog, then lift the opposite leg into three-legged dog with bent knee, and then step forward into your low lunge. When you finish, step back into Downward dog, then slowly step to the front of your mat until you come into a forward fold and slowly roll up to standing.
7. Yogi Squat
This pose will continue to open your hips and build good pelvic floor strength. (By the way, a strong pelvic floor is a must-have for reducing pregnancy-related incontinence, but it’s also an easy way to spice up your sex life and strengthen your grip – if you know what we mean…).
Place your feet slightly wider than your hips and turned outwards at 45 degree angles. Bend gently into a squat and work on going as deeply as you can without your knees spilling over your toes. If you feel any strain in your knees, you’ve gone slightly too far, lift yourself back up into a comfortable squat.
8. Repeat poses 2-3
This is to help you flow smoothly into your next set of poses, but you can feel free to vary your transition. We recommend returning to standing from your Yogi Squat and bending into a Forward Fold, then stepping back into Downward Dog.
This pose actually works to redirect blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, stimulating hormone production necessary for improved fertility.
Lower yourself from downward dog into a plank and then onto the ground. With your elbows at your sides and your arms in parallel in front of you, press through your palms and lift your head up, arching your back gently and opening your chest by looking up to the sky. Make sure to stay elongated through your spine.
10. Child’s Pose
This will help with pelvic alignment and blood flow to the area, it’s also one of the best poses for stress relief.
Keep your knees on the ground but lift your hips up and back so that your butt comes to rest on the soles of your feet, and your chest is pressed down towards the ground. You can tuck your arms back along your sides, or keep them outstretched depending on how you’re feeling.
Once you’ve come into your child’s pose, your vinyasa flow can come to an end, or you can begin again through the entire flow. Alternatively, you can move into a few asanas – more static yoga positions – for as long as you need to further help with hip opening, increased blood flow to your uterus and ovaries, and overall relaxation.
We also recommend the following asanas for your fertility flow
Butterfly pose: Sitting down with equal weight on your sit bones, bring the soles of your feet together, and let your thighs float down into a comfortable position. Work on lengthening your spine and keeping your hips forward, not tucked underneath you.
Bridge pose: On your back, bend your knees up so that your feet are flat on the floor a few inches away from your bum. Keeping your chest lifted, curl your tailbone and lift your spine off of the ground until your upper body forms a straight line from your chest to your knees. Keep that bum engaged!
Goddess pose: On your back, bring the soles of your feet together again and this time let your legs fall down to the floor, opening up your hips. Place your hands in a comfortable and natural position on your stomach or hipbones and spend as much time as you need breathing into this pose and finishing off your yoga practice.
Want expert advice and information on your reproductive health during pregnancy and the fourth trimester? Check out our free ios app!