While you can’t actually get pregnant during a particularly sweaty Bikram class, a little yoga every day can help reduce stress and improve muscle strength, both of which can boost your fertility.
How fertility may improve with yoga
Certain positions especially can help build important pregnancy muscles in your back, pelvic floor, and hips.
Stress, yoga, and fertility
Stress interferes with fertility because when you’re experiencing chronic stressors, your brain produces more hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, which can interfere with your ovulation. More importantly, stress can impact other factors such as weight problems, sleep deprivation, and lack of sex drive. All of these can significantly interfere with fertility and make conception more difficult.
Yoga and other athletic pursuits are an important part of weight and stress management. The stretching and breath techniques practiced during yoga can help relieve stress by releasing endorphins, your body’s “feel-good” hormones.
Physical benefits of yoga
- Slow your mind and release stress and tension: Practicing gentle yoga such as Hatha or Kripalu once a day, alongside other activities such as meditating, allows your body to get rid of all your daily stressors and increase wellness.
- Strengthens your pelvic floor: These muscles are essential for pregnancy and even your sex life. Squats are a good way to help tone these integral muscles.
- Aligns your hips, pelvis, and lower back: Positions such as bridge facilitate lower body alignment and stimulates your endocrine and immune systems.
- Brings you closer to your partner: Yoga can wring out your insides and release emotion, helping connect and build emotional and physical strength with your partner.
- Smith C, Hancock H, Blake-Mortimer J, Eckert K. “A randomised comparative trial of yoga and relaxation to reduce stress and anxiety.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 15(2):77-83. Web. 6/7/2015.
- Gyorgy Csemiczky, Britt-Marie Landgren, Aila Collins. “The influence of stress and state anxiety on the outcome of IVF-treatment: Psychological and endocrinological assessment of Swedish women entering IVF-treatment.” Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandinavica. Volume 79, Issue 2, pages 113-118. Web. 12/24/2001.
- Louis GM, Lum KJ, Sundaram R, Chen Z, Kim S, Lynch CD, Schisterman EF, Pyper C. “Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: evidence in support of relaxation.” Fertility & Sterility. 95(7):2184-9. Web. 6/11/2015.