Empower yourself on your fertility journey through these 6 Modifications to your home yoga practice.
1. Breathing is Enough
Take it easy during your period. Listen to how much energy you have. Don't force yourself to complete a vinyasa flow if your energy is low. Your heavy bleeding days are the perfect time to choose a restorative video, or lay in reclined butterfly on your couch in meditation. I like to call this the Breathe Phase, to remind myself and my students to breathe and just be. Whatever phase of your cycle, sitting with your breath is a great yoga practice.
2. Know Which Days to Work your Core
Right after your period, especially if you've allowed yourself to take a break, you'll probably be feeling more energy. Use this time to choose a faster-paced practice. Work your core and strengthen your pelvic floor.
After you ovulate (or after a transfer), because you might have a little something special growing inside you, tone it down with the core work. You want to send your body messages that you're safe, so that it feels like it's in the right environment to bring new life into the world. Tight contractions of the abs and strong breathing do not send this message. Know where you are in your cycle so that you can empower yourself.
3. Add in Fertility Yoga Poses
If the YouTube video you're following along with doesn't include them, tack these traditional fertility poses on at the beginning or the end of your practice:
- legs up the wall (aids the lymphatic system and is calming)
- pigeon or thread the needle (traditional poses to balance the sacral chakra)
- goddess or low squat (open and strengthen the pelvis)
- twists (stimulate the ovaries, but warning see below)
4. Avoid Certain Poses
When trying to conceive, things are stressful enough - we want to avoid adding extra stress on our bodies. Now is not the time to start learning a difficult pose that you've never done before. Generally speaking, we want to avoid full wheel and headstand, but you know your body best.
If you have endometriosis or PCOS, you want to avoid closed twists or any position that compresses the ovaries.
5. Add in Self-Soothing Touch
This is your time to mother yourself. Take the time for a bit of self-massage - using a tennis ball between your shoulder blades against the wall feels fantastic. Massage your feet in butterfly. My students' favourite is the ovulation-style sun salutation, where you run your fingers over your back and front as you move. I also like to start practice with 30 seconds of holding myself in a hug - it releases the same hormone as when someone else hugs you so that you feel safe and cared for.
6. Practice Womb Meditation
During your whole yoga practice, you can anchor to the present moment through your awareness of your pelvis. While sitting or lying in meditation, try placing one or two hand over your lower belly, sending love and light to the whole region. I like to imagine golden light flowing down from my heart.
If you would like guidance while trying to conceive to make sure that your exercise routine fits with your natural or IVF cycle, I help women with infertility feel as empowered as possible.