The research on the effects of exercise on infertility
seems to be unclear. It is well known that vigorous exercising,
e.g. training to run a marathon, can have quite a detrimental
effect on fertility rates for both females and males. These
effects can apparently be diminished once the intensity
of exercise is reduced.
Women who engage in moderate levels of exercise should
check with their physicians regarding the advisability of
limiting their exertion levels during infertility treatment.
Many women tend to use exercise as an effective method to
help reduce stress, and they miss this activity during infertility
treatment. Mind/Body techniques offer alternative ways of
relieving stress that may help. Another helpful approach
is gentle yoga.
In today's hustle and bustle world, it's harder and harder to
find the inner peace and quiet our bodies and minds crave. When
you're trying to conceive, finding that inner peace becomes more
important than ever.
Yoga is a mind/body exercise enabling you to re-charge on all
levels and allow your body to work its innate magic. The word
yoga means union. In the physical postures of yoga, this union
is the uniting of the attention of the mind and the awareness
of the breath to the movements of the body.
Tuning into the breath helps many women feel more connected to
their own bodies. There is a strong focus in yoga on linking the
postures with the breath, as the body is eased into each of the
poses. This helps to create a state of calmness and self-awareness
as each woman learns to listen to her body as it stretches and
Yoga poses (a.k.a. asanas) foster the awareness of feelings,
both physical and emotional. The poses build strength and flexibility
by irrigating the spine, opening the chest and the muscles of
the back and strengthening the hips, thighs and hamstrings. It
is believed that we hold a large percentage of our emotional tension
in our hamstrings. Yoga poses help nourish and lubricate the joints
and help release tension and buildup of toxins in the body. They
also have positive effects on all the internal organs. Twisting
poses, for example, massage the abdominal area with a "squeeze
and soak" effect, squeezing the internal organs and soaking
them with fresh blood. Flushing out the internal organs like this
helps them function at an optimal level. Twists help eliminate
toxins and waste products, tone the diaphragm for improved respiration,
improve circulation and promote lateral flexibility of the spine.
More subtle benefits of twists are the release of emotional and
physical tensions and the calming of restlessness and agitation.
The benefits of other poses, such as back bends, balance and inverted
poses are numerous.
The result of a balanced yoga class is an inward quality of stillness
and quiet. Your body feels rested and reenergized at the same
time. Your internal organs are recharged allowing them to function
more effectively. Your mind is calm, clear and alert.
So if you're having trouble conceiving, why not give yoga a try?
You have everything to gain.
Note: please consult your physician before doing any type of
yoga other than gentle poses and stretches.
Angelika P. Schwab, R.Y.T.
Angelika has been practicing yoga for a number of years. She became interested in yoga while living and working
in London. She received her 200-hour certification through Ananda
in California. She teaches a variety of classes in the Dallas
area, while specializing in pre- and postnatal yoga. You may contact
her at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 972.247.2324.