I have heard many women who have taken my Yoga for Fertility class say that they cried through much of the class. And I completely understand. One student recently told me, “for the first time in my life I felt like I could finally let go and BREATHE!”
Yoga is an ancient philosophical and spiritual discipline that can bring deep healing to the practitioner. Tears sometimes flow during a yoga class because the specific asanas (also called poses) and breathing techniques help calm the nervous system in such a way that the incessant mind chatter we think is who we are is silenced (even if only for a breath or two), and we are able to feel, sometimes for the first time in our lives, our Divine-Self, or Spirit, shining through. This connection, or union, with our Spirit brings with it a deep sense of peace and feels like a coming home. Yoga also connects us to our own innate healing capacity, helping us feel more empowered in our daily lives. The asanas and breathing techniques we practice in a yoga class have profound healing benefits for our physical bodies as well. Unlike other exercise, yoga nourishes the internal organs while stretching and toning our muscles and connective tissue. Yoga increases circulation to the reproductive organs, balances hormones, and reduces stress – what better exercise is there for fertility than that?!
The following yoga poses are wonderful ways that you can help your body become more fertile. You can safely do them in the privacy of your own home whenever you wish. I suggest that you listen to soft music while you do these poses, creating an atmosphere of peace and healing.
Baddha Konasana ( Bound Angle Pose):
B.K.S. Iyengar has referred to this pose as a blessing to women because of its therapeutic effects on the ovaries and abdomen. This pose helps to open the hips and increases blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Sit comfortably on the floor or yoga mat and draw your heels together and in toward your pubic bone, allowing your knees to fall apart. (If this causes too much stress, sit on a blanket and or pillow to elevate your hips.) Bring your hands to your feet. Press your feet together and lift up from the crown of your head, elongating your spine. Next, as if your feet were a book, attempt to open the pages of the book, still elongating your spine. Breathe deeply. Focus on your lungs expanding, and then your belly softens and rises as well. Envision a beautiful ball of golden and white, healing light filling your belly and uterus as you breathe in. On the exhale, pull your belly button gently to your spine, messaging your internal organs. Continue this breath for 10 to 15 breaths. Next, inhale deeply hinging from the hips and fold forward leading with your heart. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths here, making sure to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose, also called Goddess Pose):
Next, place a rolled blanket or firm pillow lengthwise along your lower back. Place another rolled blanket or pillow perpendicular to the other. Now, with your feet still drawn together toward your pubic bone, lay back onto the blankets and open your arms out making a cross with your body. ( Your head should be on the blanket.) The blankets help to create a gentle slope with your body – your head is highest, then your heart center, and then your pelvis is on the floor. If your groins are too tight or loose, place pillows under your knees for added support, helping the pelvis relax. Now focus on your breath. Breathe deeply into your belly. Feel the chest rise then the belly follows. On the exhale, feel the chest fall and, again, the belly follows. Envision a ball of golden, white light in the center of your uterus, nourishing and toning it. And just breathe. Breathe into any tight places and relax. (Stay here for 5 to 15 minutes for the greatest benefit.)
Partner supported Goddess Pose:
Goddess Pose is also a great pose you can do with your partner. You can do it on the floor or your bed with your partner as your support behind you instead of blankets. Your partner can sit crossed legged with a pillow over his lap, then you lay your shoulders and head on the pillow. He can then gently massage your head, face, ears, neck, arms, and shoulders as you breathe. It is a wonderful way to be intimate with your partner without the pressure of sexual contact. When we are going through stressful fertility treatments, we ALL know how romance and intimacy can go straight out the window! Doing this pose together can help you reconnect to each other. Listen to quiet music that you both love, turn off the television, unplug the telephone, turn off all cellphones and lights, light some candles and enjoy! Your partner can also place his hands directly on your belly, breathing in the golden, white light through his hands, sending love and healing thoughts to your womb, envisioning that this is soon to be the place where his beautiful child will begin life. I also like the idea of your partner whispering directly into your ear sweet thoughts of why he fell in love with you, what he loves most about you, etc.. Sounds like HEAVEN, right? 😉 Stay in this pose for 5 to 15 minutes for the greatest benefit. If your partner is open to it, you can reciprocate.
by Cynthia Powers-Broccolli
Yoga for Fertility Instructor at Syracuse CNY Healing Arts Center
Tuesdays, 5:30-7:00 pm Yoga for Fertility (class meets afterward for 45 minutes of sharing and creating community with one other – optional)
Call 315-671-5755 for more information.