Yoga. It’s the all-inclusive, mind-body-focused, therapeutic form of movement that can help with the S-word (stress), the C-word (cancer), and the F-word:
Yeah, that F-word.
For couples, men, and women who dream of raising children, the first step is trying to conceive. But what happens when things don’t work out right away?
Besides getting medically tested and treated, as well as researching fertility options, you can also incorporate a few “alternative” — and ancient — methods to boost your fertility.
And, luckily, these ones are non-invasive, inexpensive, and you can do them right on your living room floor:
In this article, you’ll learn how fertility yoga may help to pave the path to conception, as well as 11 yoga moves you can use daily to boost fertility.
Fertility Yoga - How Yoga Can Help You Conceive
To truly appreciate how fertility yoga can help you conceive, here’s a little background on why yoga works as well as it does.
The story goes that when the ages-old yogic sage, Patanjali, wanted to digest his food, he would sit on his knees with his legs tucked under him and his hands gently placed on his thighs.
Here’s the science behind this.
This yogic posture, called Vajrasana, is a meditative seated pose intended to help people with a weak digestive system properly process their meal. Through this posture, all the digestive organs align and are able to function much better than plopping down on a couch and compressing your gut against your diaphragm.
Besides this, Vajrasana also helps with lower back and sciatic issues, gout, and rheumatic pain in the knees.
All this from sitting. Crazy, right?
Well, not really. Over the past two decades, researchers across the world have taken to measuring the positive physiological, anatomical, mental, and emotional benefits of yoga.
What they’ve gathered is nothing short of miraculous.
From getting people to quit smoking and helping those with chronic diseases, to bringing cancer patients into remission and relieving the physical symptoms of menopause, yoga seems to be able to “do it all.”
And that applies to fertility as well. There is a significant amount of research that shows specific yoga poses can help boost fertility, especially when couples are pursuing other fertility options.
The conclusion from just one of those studies showed that “yoga can provide stress management for patients with infertility, with beneficial effects on fertility,” among others.
Clearly, the science behind yoga speaks for itself.
How Does Yoga Increase Fertility?
Now, you may be wondering why fertility yoga works so effectively. Well, the principles behind yoga are thousands of years old and span quite a few texts, so here’s the short version.
Yoga is about union, harmony, and alignment. Several health issues we face today — from an out-of-whack immune system to endocrine disruption to chronic diseases and even cancers — relate to stress and imbalance.
Just like the seated pose Vajrasana helps to align the digestive system, certain yoga poses can realign the imbalances in your body connected to infertility.
Specifically, fertility yoga:
- Reduces stress (especially in the case of adrenal fatigue)
- Increases circulation
- Detoxifies your body
- Supports your immune system
- Helps with hormonal imbalance
- Addresses the reproductive organs
In other words, stop stressing out. Your body’s working just fine. What it needs from you is support (which we’ll cover below) and for you to allow it to do its thing!
11 Yoga Moves to Boost Fertility
These fertility yoga moves impact every aspect of your body, including your breath. And, along with other strategies like incorporating fertility boosting foods, you can count on these “simple” techniques to improve your chances of conceiving.
#1. Vinyasa Flow (Aka Surya Namaskar)
Because “Surya Namaskar” or “Sun Salutation A” is a series of poses put together, you’ll need to execute this movement in something yogis call a “flow.”
Essentially, you’re flowing from one pose to the next along with your breath. Here’s how it works:
- Start with your palms in a prayer position. Stretch them upwards, and then drop all the way down, hinging at the hips. Place your stomach as close to your thighs as possible.
- Next, lift up halfway, take a deep breath, and then place your palms on the floor.
- Get into a plank pose, and then lower down to the mat until your body is flat against the mat (you can also do this on your knees).
- Come up with your thighs pressed against the ground and your chest open into the upward-facing dog position.
- Slowly lift from your stomach into downward-facing dog (which looks like a pike push-up).
- From here, get back into a plank pose. Bring both your legs to the front of your mat, bend over your thighs once more, and hang out here for a breath.
- Hinge back up until you’re standing straight and bring your palms flat together in prayer position once more.
For fertility purposes, running through a series of sun salutations can help you:
- Manage menstrual cramps.
- Alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
- Strengthens the pelvic muscles, which are crucial for childbirth.
- Improves sexual function or libido by restoring balance to the sexual glands.
To accomplish this fertility yoga move, here’s what you need to do:
- Bend the upper body into a forward fold, bending at the hips.
- With steady inhales and exhales, try and have your abdomen touch your thighs.
- Keep your head and neck hanging free.
- Your legs should be as straight as possible without feeling any pain in the hamstrings. If that means you need to bend them, that’s fine.
As an option, you can slide the palms of your hands under the soles of your feet for a nice wrist stretch. Be gentle and ease off if you feel any pain.
The power of this pose is in the connection between your belly and thighs. Not only does it promote flexible hips and hamstrings, but this pose also releases stress from the abdomen and uterine areas.
#3. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Cobra is a crucial pose to build lower back strength, as well as help you gain awareness of your posture.
To get into bhujangasana:
- Get down on your belly and extend your legs to the back of your mat.
- Press your ankles together and keep your hips, legs, and the tops of your feet pressed firmly into the floor.
- Lift the knees off the ground (don’t let them rest).
- Now, place your forearms alongside your body, right beneath your shoulders (they shouldn’t extend further than that).
- Squeeze your elbows tight against your torso, as if you’re going to lift yourself up.
- As you inhale, you’ll do just that — raise your upper body off the floor. Your forearms, which are now flat against the ground or mat, will help support you.
- Keep pushing off against the floor as you lift your chest. Doing this will strengthen your core muscles and open up the pectoral area. You’ll be able to breathe easier and feel more relaxed.
- Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds, building strength and stamina as you go.
Remember to keep your neck extended. Many of us have a tendency to scrunch our shoulders while sitting or even standing. This is your opportunity to relax those shoulder blades down the body by pulling them back.
#4. Malasana (The Goddess Squat)
Malasana, also known as the goddess squat, is a super-effective way to loosen up your hip muscles and challenge the strength of your inner thighs and pelvic muscles. Those are the muscles you engage during childbirth, but they’re also necessary for the actual act of conception.
To get into the malasana squat:
- Spread your feet apart and point your toes to the side (rather than keeping them straight in front of you). This is called a “plie.”
- From here, sink your hips as far down as they will go while keeping your back straight at your hips forward.
- If you find yourself leaning forward, you’ve gone too far down.
- If you find your booty sticking out, you’ve gone too far down. Readjust as necessary and keep your breathing slow and steady.
Initially, it’s better to do this against a wall to keep your spine aligned. Malasana will help lubricate your hip joints, strengthen your inner thigh muscles, and keep your internal organs aligned.
You’ll learn to deeply breathe from your belly rather than taking shallow breaths through your mouth. This helps slow down your nervous system and allows the body to de-stress, which is always a good way to boost fertility.
#5. Mandukasana (Frog Pose)
The frog pose is another fantastic fertility yoga move, as it strengthens the hip joint and makes the inner thigh muscles more flexible. However, it’s much more restorative than malasana, and can be deeply relaxing for your sexual organs and your pelvis.
Follow these basic instructions to get into frog pose:
- Get on all fours, in a neutral tabletop position. Your knees should be under your hips and your wrists should be directly under your shoulders.
- From here, start to slide your knees out but keep your feet flexed.
- Go as far as you can. You can get down on your forearms, if you’re flexible enough. Otherwise, feel free to stay on your palms.
- Draw your shoulder blades and back together and just breathe. Eventually, you’ll make it down to the ground.
- If you have sensitive knees, feel free to put some cozy pillows or a blanket underneath them as you slide out. You should feel supported, not stressed in this restorative pose.
Besides improving fertility chances, open hips do a world of wonder when it comes to healing sciatica, taking the stress off your lower back, helping you sleep deeper and better, and experiencing less pain when doing everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs.
#6. Janu Sirsasana
There is so much to love about janu sirsasana. First off, it’s an invitation to totally relax. Secondly, you’ll build strong and flexible hamstrings and calves, while releasing your lower back, neck muscles, and spinal column.
To get into janu sirsasana:
- Sit with your feet extended in front of you.
- Draw one leg up and fold at the knee. Draw it all the way to your body and position it as close as you can, while placing the sole of your foot against the inner thigh of your other leg.
- Your sit bones, which are the bones under your buttocks, should be pressed against the ground. They have a tendency to lift off if your hip isn’t too flexible. If that’s the case, just extend your folded foot farther out instead of keeping it close to your pelvis.
- Take a deep breath and lift your arms in the air. As you exhale, fold at the hips and come down as far as you can.
- Don’t push — you shouldn’t feel any tension in the lower back. Instead, imagine the motion of your spine elongating — along with your breath, that’s what should help you move forward. Eventually, you’ll be able to reach your toes and lie your head against your thighs.
To improve chances at conception, this fertility yoga pose helps boost blood flow to the pelvic region and relaxes the abdominals.
#7. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly)
Baddha konasana, also known as the butterfly pose, is an inner thigh strengthener. It improves the vitality and flexibility of the entire pelvic region, including your genitals, hips, and even the knees.
All you need to do for baddha konasana is:
- Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs in a diamond shape. Keep the soles of the feet together and touching.
- If needed, you can add blocks or cushions to keep your knees supported.
- Sit up right, with your spine straight and chest open.
- Lay your hands on your feet and start to bring them closer to your pelvis.
- As you bring your feet closer, deeply inhale and exhale. You might feel some light stretching on your inner thighs, and that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen.
You shouldn’t feel pain on your knees or inner thighs at any point in this pose. It’s way too easy to strain these muscles, so go slow.
Eventually, you’ll be able to draw your feet right to your crotch while keeping your knees open and against the ground.
The reason it’s called “butterfly” is because you can flap your knees gently, up and down, to help loosen up the hips when you’re sitting in this pose.
#8. Supta Baddha Konasana
Image Source: yogabycandace
Supta baddha konasana is the reclined version of the butterfly pose.
To get into supta baddha konasana:
- Open your legs up in a diamond shape, the way you would in baddha konasana.
- This time, you’re going to relax down and on your back.
- Keep your knees supported with cushions, again, if you need.
- Put one hand on your belly or on your groin region and just breathe.
This pose improves circulation to the genitals, relaxes your abdomen, soothes stress and bloating, and still stretches the inner thighs, despite being quite a relaxing fertility yoga pose.
If you’re feeling some discomfort on your lower back, feel free to pop a cushion there too!
#9. Halasana (Plow Pose)
Halasana is an especially important fertility yoga pose for men, so listen up guys!
Done regularly, plow poses can help you relieve stress and tension in the neck, strengthen the quads, and, most importantly, increase sperm count and motility.
One of the primary reasons that couples experience infertility is due to factors like low sperm count, lazy ovaries, and inhospitable uterine environments. These details can make all the difference when you’re trying to conceive, so it’s in your best interest to practice halasana regularly.
This is a pose that’s safe to try when your body is warm, towards the end of your yoga practice.
To get into halasana, simply:
- Lie down on your back and lift your legs into the air.
- Hoist your hips up, as though you’re doing a reverse crunch, and get your hands under your lower back so that you’re basically supporting your legs up in the air.
- Shimmy and adjust your palms, lifting your legs higher and higher, until your palms are resting on the spot where your kidneys would be.
- Bring down your legs, towards your face.
- Your legs should go all the way down, over your head. If you can’t straighten your legs out right away, don’t worry. You do need some hamstring flexibility for this, so it’s okay to keep your knees bent. Eventually, you want your toes to touch the ground above your head.
- Don’t crunch your neck and keep your breathing nice and long. This is crucial because shallow, panicked breaths will trigger your mind’s alarm system. You’ll quickly feel compressed and as though you can’t breathe.
- When you’re ready, lift your legs back up and come out of the pose as you went into it.
#10. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath)
Bee breath is a curious little de-stressor that’s highly effective in recentering your mind and body. Done consistently, it’s a useful self-soother and can help heal anxiety and depression.
Here’s how you breathe like a bee:
- Place your index fingers into your ears.
- Sit up straight in a quiet place.
- Now, inhale deeply.
- As you exhale, make a humming sound, gently, sort of like a bee.
- Gently press on the cartilage in your ear to block out the sensation of any other sound.
- Keep it high-pitched to attract your conscious attention.
- Continue this series for about five to 10 breaths.
- Once you’re done, remove your fingers but keep your eyes closed and observe the sensations in your body.
While you’re dealing with boosting your fertility, bee breath can help keep you stay relaxed, aligned, and stress-free.
Paschimottanasana is exactly like janu shirasana, but even simpler.
Here’s how it works:
- Keep both legs outstretched in front of you and make sure your sit bones are pressing firmly into your mat.
- Take a deep breath, elongate your upper body, and raise your arms high.
- As you exhale, hinge at the hips so that your upper body gently begins to fold over your lower body.
- Just like janu shirasana, you can outstretch your arms as far as they will go without any pain. If this means you’re holding onto your shin instead of your ankles or feet, that’s fine.
- The key is to stretch the spine and recline over your thighs, not to pull from your lower back. If you feel a twinge in your lower spine, back off. Don’t try to push your body where it’s not ready to go.
This is a fantastic fertility yoga pose because you can relax and send oxygen to your abdominal muscles, removing tension from the lower back and neck. Your organs are also detoxing as they compress and are released once more.
10 Other Ways to Boost Fertility
Now that you’ve addressed the stress factors that stand in the way of boosting your fertility, it’s time to look at a few other aspects of your lifestyle.
There are plenty of other strategies you can use to boost your fertility, including:
- Going for a daily walk or incorporating some form of low-impact cardio.
- Maintaining your body’s circadian rhythm by going to sleep at the same time every night.
- Monitoring your ovulation cycles and ensuring they’re fairly regular (you can use devices like the Daysy Fertility Tracker to know your optimal conception times).
- Replacing some animal proteins like meat, fish, and eggs with vegetable protein sources (such as beans/legumes, nuts, and seeds).
- Incorporating natural fertility supplements rich in folate, zinc, and lutein.
- Choosing high fat dairy.
- Cutting out caffeine (or limiting it to once a day).
- Keeping your iron supply steady (by incorporating organ meats, if you can).
- Using supplements linked to increasing fertility such as organic Maca, bee propolis, and royal jelly.
- Getting tested for PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, as this issue crops up when your body’s hormones are imbalanced. Our supplement Go With the Flow can also help reduce the symptoms of PCOS, PMS, and menopause, if that’s what you’re dealing with.
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Fertility Yoga Recap
Fertility is a tricky topic to tackle because so many women (and men!) feel that the process should happen naturally. After all, it’s what the body was made to biologically do, right?
Well, it’s time to cut yourself some slack. We live in the modern era, where a whole bunch of environmental factors (like toxins and pollution) could be affecting fertility. Furthermore, the greatest shift from our ancestors’ lives to ours is the introduction of mental and emotional stress.
Fertility yoga helps you address the imbalances you might be experiencing daily from these issues, which accumulate, and worsen if you’re stressed out about not having a baby “at the right time.”
So, leave behind the “should’s” and make these fertility yoga poses a part of your “must-s.”. You’ll be surprised at how well it works — after all, it’s helped thousands of people just like you already.