3 Ways Yoga Benefits Your Infertility Journey

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September 7, 2021


You’ve probably heard by now that yoga helps women cope with infertility. In this blog post, we share three powerful ways yoga builds self-awareness, reduces stress and anxiety, and encourages you to take back control through choice. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

1. Yoga and Awareness

Here’s How it Works with Infertility —

Developing self-awareness helps you better understand your thoughts, feelings, patterns, and behaviors, and helps you develop an awareness of others. This is essential when working with and communicating with a team of reproductive specialists, and friends and family members.

Initially, it starts with cultivating a sense of awareness of your thoughts and feelings as it relates to your infertility journey. Doing this allows you to cultivate an inner knowing that informs how you take care of yourself, how you communicate, how you shift behaviors and patterns to better suit your current needs. 

What occurs over time is you start to deepen your awareness of self and begin to explore other aspects of your own nature. This opens up a new discovery for you, offering opportunities to integrate this new level of awareness, not just along your infertility journey, but also into everyday life.

2. Yoga and Breathing Strategies

Here’s How it Works with Infertility —

Breathing is the one thing we can’t live without for the shortest period of time. It’s automatic, and it’s rarely something we think about. How’s your breathing? Once we start thinking about our breath we have a tendency to start shaping it and controlling it — Did you do that just now? 

Did you know that the way you breathe can have a huge impact on you physiologically? In yoga, we talk about using our diaphragms when we breathe. This is important because as we exhale our diaphragm stimulates our vagus nerve telling our heart rate to slow down. This, in turn, lowers our blood pressure, and also signals to our brain that we are safe. In times of stress, we tend to breathe into our ribs and collarbones, reducing our ability to regulate our heart rate. Proper deep breathing helps reduce anxiety and depression, it helps us think clearly, and focus better. 

By tuning into your breath, you are able to shift from a state of fight, flight, or freeze to rest and relaxation. We suggest that you use these deep breathing techniques to soothe your nervous system while at a doctor’s appointment or after receiving negative results. It’s one tool we all have available to us that we can use anywhere without anyone else knowing. We will offer a few techniques in an upcoming blog post.

3. Yoga and Choice

Here’s How it Works with Infertility —

Choices present themselves every moment of every day. The path to parenthood, especially when facing infertility, is littered with decisions — from choosing a fertility clinic to choosing to do another round of IUI or IVF (or not). When we practice mindfulness, we become more aware of the different directions available to us.

Yoga helps us use interoception (sense the internal state of your body) to gather information about which option we want to choose: knee down lunge with blocks underneath the hands or knee down lunge with the arms overhead. When a yoga teacher gives you the option to choose which one will support you the best, you’re establishing a connection between that choice and the feeling state of your body. This means that the next time you’re deciding to wait for a cycle or not, you might use interoception to choose which route feels the best to you right now.

In doing so, you’re guided by your inner knowing rather than feeling the weight of the clock ticking or familial pressure to have a child. By being aware of the choices in front of you, you’re better prepared to choose which direction feels right. In addition, you’ll feel confident in your decision (even if it doesn’t work out exactly as planned) because you did the best you could with the information you had at that time. 

We could keep going on and on about how yoga helps women (and men) cope with infertility, but we think you get the idea. In the coming weeks, we’ll offer practices of yoga or asana, meditation, and pranayama to help those trying to conceive grapple with the emotional and mental challenges induced by infertility. We publish a new blog post every Tuesday so check back next week!