Prenatal Yoga: Exercise for Health

Fertility Yoga: Exercise for Fertility and Pregnancy Health

For many women, Yoga has become inextricably intertwined with enhanced pregnancy health. Coordinating breath and movement in yoga has the desired effect of coordinating mental and physical balance. From preconception to childbirth and beyond, yoga tunes the body, and attunes the mental with the physical, reducing stress and allowing energy to flow. For both TTC and pregnant women, practicing yoga (and there are exercises specifically designed for pregnancy) energizes the mind and the body.

The impact of yoga can been seen throughout the entire path of having a child - from enhancing fertility (by reducing stress and increasing physical health) and to preparing for the physical and emotional stresses of childbirth. The physical dimensions of yoga strengthen muscles and bring increased flexibility. Breathing techniques used in yoga offer physical and psychological benefits, lowering stress levels and facilitating feelings of well being, focus, and positivity.

Benefits of Yoga Include:

By enhancing overall physical and emotional health, yoga increases the chances for conceiving a baby - and facilitates healthy menstrual cycles and regular, more predictable ovulation. Yoga exercises gently work on the reproductive organs and pelvis to ensure a smooth pregnancy and a relatively easy childbirth. At a physical level, these exercises ensure optimum supply of blood and nutrients to the developing fetus. Breathing techniques - or Pranayama – ensure the abundant supply of oxygen and a better life force for you and your child, and meditation will help you resolve fears and conflicts, which are so common during pregnancy. Common symptoms of pregnancy discomfort (backache, fatigue, weight gain and mood swings) can be eased, and yoga breathing techniques can be very helpful during labor. Also, yoga relieves tension and stress - and helps you prepare for the labor and delivery experience. Practicing yoga during and after pregnancy helps to prevent stretch marks and makes it easier to get back into shape following childbirth.

Yoga may be intimidating for beginners, but if you focus on what your body is telling you, it will be a relaxing and fulfilling experience on many levels. Experts recommend practicing yoga every day, some days for 15 minutes, other days for 20 to 30 minutes. However, before starting any new exercise program, you should check with your doctor.

Click here for our recommended Fertility Yoga DVD: Bend, Breathe, and Conceive

> Fertility Acupuncture
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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.