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Yoga for Fertility - Harvard Studies Show it Works!

Yoga for Infertility

Overall, yoga is one of the best ways to promote a healthy body, however not many people know that yoga can also make a positive difference for those who are trying to conceive, yet having difficulties. The Mayo Clinic states that chronic stress eventually leads to a wide array of health and emotional problems, and yoga is very effective in reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, yoga can actually detoxify a woman's body, relaxing tight muscles and offering a calming routine which gently stretches the body's muscles. Yoga for fertility emphasizes the lower back, hips, groin and pelvis, improving the blood flow and circulation in these crucial areas and leading to overall healthier gynecological functions.

Calming the Mind, Relaxing the Body

While yoga is relaxing a woman's body, the mind gradually centers, and the deeper breaths used in yoga aid the nervous system and lower cortisol in the body, a well-known stress hormone. The entire infertility journey is likely to be fraught with higher than normal levels of stress and anxiety, and the woman who practices yoga learns to listen to her body's natural rhythms while breathing in a deep, peaceful sense of control. Yoga in general allows women to connect to their own innate healing system-once this occurs, many times the body places itself in an optimum position for pregnancy.

Yoga for Fertility Studies

Many individuals who are currently dealing with medical conditions, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, other chronic conditions, or infertility learn meditation, breathing and specific yoga techniques for their bodies. Research has definitively shown that women who underwent Yoga training had significantly higher rates of conception than their counterparts who did not start such a program. Further, the isolation and depression that so many women who are undergoing fertility issues experience was shown to be substantially reduced once they began learning yoga and meditation with a group of their peers.

Stress as a Fertility Inhibitor

The underlying message is that the stress associated with infertility issues brings about more negative health issues, and it becomes a cycle; when a woman is unable to become pregnant she experiences stress, which in turn makes her body even more unreceptive to a pregnancy. One study stated that the stress levels of women having trouble conceiving a baby are almost as high as those of a person who has just been told they have HIV. Needless to say, those are fairly high stress levels, and the body will react, usually in a negative manner. The question as to whether relieving that stress can create fertility, seems to be a resounding "yes." The Mind-Body Institute at Harvard University incorporates an entire litany of stress reduction practices such as yoga, meditation, group therapy, changing to a healthier diet and cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, sugar and excess fat in the diet. Within one year of finishing Harvard's program, previously infertile couples experienced a 50 percent jump in fertility , regardless of the woman's inability to conceive.

Researcher Alice Domar, PhD, published the results of her study in Fertility and Sterility which showed that women who participated in her program of yoga and relaxation were almost three times as likely to get pregnant than those who did not. Domar conducted a ten week mind-body workshop with 184 infertile women who had been attempting to conceive for two years or more. They received methods for good nutrition, healthy exercise, as well as relaxation training in the form of yoga, meditation and muscle relaxation. 55 percent of the women in the group were pregnant within a year as opposed to 20 percent of the women in the control group who did not undergo the relaxation methods. If you are trying to get pregnant, yoga might be the best solution, so look into it and give it a try.

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