Yoga looks after your mind, body and fertility

15th June in Blog, Exercise, Lifestyle, Uncategorised

As our lives get increasingly busy, and stresses come at us from every aspect of life, including home, work and relationships, many people are beginning to practice Yoga – a ‘system of philosophy’ that originated in India 5,000 years ago. Yoga offers us a holistic approach to life and encompasses looking after your mind, body and fertility; it can provide us with the ‘tools’ to cope with the challenges of daily life. Yoga can also teach us techniques that complement medical science and therapy for specific conditions.

Yoga is both a physical and spiritual practice; there are many types of yoga but the most popular style practiced in the UK is Hatha Yoga, which is differentiated in to many forms such as Lyengar, Bikram, Ashtanga and Vinyasa. These consist of elements of yoga postures (asana), breath awareness (pranayama) and relaxation and meditation.

There are a number of benefits from practising yoga, including:

  • Better quality sleep
  • Reduction of anxiety and depression
  • Improved efficiency of lungs and cardio-vascular system
  • Improved posture, flexibility and strength
  • Improved concentration
  • Enhanced feeling of well-being

Yoga to help boost fertility

If you’re planning a family and having difficulty conceiving, or you are already going through fertility treatment, then you will know how stressed and overwhelmed you can soon begin to feel. Unfortunately, this can soon become a vicious circle because evidence suggests that stress can take its toll not only on your mind and body, but may also influence your chances of conceiving. In relation to infertility, studies have shown that yoga can help to promote general relaxation and reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Research suggests that yoga may also significantly help to promote conception on a physiological level. It is, however, important to appreciate that yoga used as a therapy for infertility cannot treat medical problems that cause infertility such as blocked fallopian tubes, but it can help to reduce the stress caused by the medical issue.

Five top reasons why yoga may aid conception:

  • Reduces stress – the relaxation techniques used in yoga help the body relax, calms the mind and slows down breathing. This in turn will help to lower stress hormones such as cortisol. Reducing stress helps to promote a good night’s sleep, which is important when trying to conceive either naturally or through Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART).
  • Strengthens the immune system – breath control and meditation reduce stress and help produce positive changes in the immune system. Learning to listen to one’s own natural body rhythms can also bring a sense of inner peace and connection.
  • Increases blood flow to the uterus – there are often energy blockages below the waist with infertility. Certain yoga poses (such as the pigeon) can help to reduce these blockages and allow energy to flow.
  • Improves ovarian function – yoga poses will aid circulation of blood to the pelvis which will bring more oxygen and nutrients to the reproductive organs.
  • May help to improve the quality, amount and motility of sperm – a study conducted by Sengupta et al. in 2013 also concluded that yoga has positive effects on stress reduction and wellbeing in men by lowering cortisol levels.


Further reading:

Sengupta et al. (2013) Male reproductive health and Yoga. Int J Yoga.; 6(2): 87–95.

Stress and hormones Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jan-Mar; 15(1): 18–22. Salam Ranabir and K. Reetu


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