Relying On Yoga + Faith Through Your Fertility Journey
May 11, 2021
By Candice Clark
Relying On Yoga + Faith Through Your Fertility Journey
Sadly, as many as one out of every eight couples in the United States struggle to get pregnant. Infertility can have a major impact on the relationships, mental health and spirituality of both partners. The journey isn’t an easy one, but yoga and faith can play a positive role in helping individuals and couples manage the highs and lows.
Whether you’re just beginning your journey, or you’ve been trying to conceive for a while, here’s how regular yoga practice and a strong foundation in faith can support you along the way.
Yoga and Fertility
Yoga offers so many benefits for the mind and body. Not only does it improve your mindfulness and help you release tension, but it also boosts your strength and flexibility. Even more than that, yoga offers some major benefits for those who are struggling to conceive.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
Most of us start our fertility journey believing that it will be easy to get pregnant, but for many couples, that’s simply not the case. As the months go by without a successful pregnancy, it’s normal to become stressed, anxious and even depressed.
On top of that, our modern world is full of stress, from bills and current events to work and relationships. Adding trying to conceive into the mix often takes day-to-day stress to a whole new level.
Unfortunately, stress can interfere with conception by creating a domino effect that throws our hormones out of balance. This can wreak havoc on menstrual and ovulation cycles, as well as sleep patterns, energy levels and the immune system. So, when you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s important to keep your stress levels as low as possible.
According to fertility coaches at the Yinova Center Acupuncture in Brooklyn, “Yoga is going to help with stress reduction because it calms the parasympathetic nervous system through the use of breathing techniques. If women can start to bring in the expansiveness of yoga practice into their lives it will help them feel less scared, rigid, tight and anxious.
Reconnection with Your Body
Yoga is a fantastic way to reconnect with your physical body. Most of us spend our days sitting at a desk, stuck in our heads without a whole lot of thought for the health of our physical bodies. The resulting disconnection means that we aren’t listening to the subtle cues our bodies give us to tell us what it needs, such as nourishment, rest or sunshine and fresh air.
When you’re trying to get pregnant, this disconnect often becomes even stronger. It’s normal to feel betrayed by your body when it’s not doing what you want it to. Rebuilding that connection through yoga practice can be very beneficial. It presents an opportunity to step away from everyday life and turn our attention inward.
As we focus on our breathing and bodies, we begin to notice subtle messages our bodies are sending us. Connecting in this way helps us tune into our body’s natural rhythms. Strengthening this connection is a vital part of the fertility process.
Improved Circulation and Blood Flow
Good blood flow and circulation to the reproductive system are crucial for those who are trying to conceive. Sitting at a desk all day limits blood flow to the reproductive organs. And many of us hold stress and tension in the pelvic area, too.
The endocrine system consists of a network of glands that are responsible for producing many different hormones, including reproductive, adrenal and thyroid hormones. When one part of this system isn’t functioning as it should, it throws the entire system out of whack, resulting in hormonal imbalances.
As you can imagine, a healthy hormone balance is crucial for conception and a healthy, full-term pregnancy. As we’ve already mentioned, stress is a major contributor to hormonal imbalances. Yoga reduces stress by calming the parasympathetic nervous system, which results in healthier cortisol levels.
Reducing the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, results in a balancing effect for the entire hormonal system. Each of the seven main chakras of yoga also line up with a gland in the endocrine system. Many yoga poses influence these glands and promote healthy hormone balance.
Yoga practice offers a safe environment for processing challenging emotions and building resilience. It requires us to hold a challenging position longer than we might like, knowing the situation is temporary. This is a valuable lesson to learn, not only when we’re trying to conceive, but it will also benefit us during labor, delivery and even into parenthood.
Many practitioners experience an emotional release during certain poses because their body and mind become so intimately connected. Allowing this openness and release of challenging emotions helps us process the challenges of infertility and open ourselves to the possibilities.
Relying on Faith Throughout Your Fertility Journey
You probably didn’t give fertility much thought until you were ready to have a baby, but now you can’t. You suddenly find yourself tossing negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test into the trash can month after month.
You put your hand over your flat stomach, waiting for life to grow, imagine how you’ll look and feel when you’re finally pregnant. It’s enough to make anyone question their faith.
But keep in mind that you’re not the one who’s calling the shots. Instead of questioning your faith, rely on God for strength and healing. Trust in Him because He is the one who grants miracles.
Find reasons to be thankful to Him and all the wonderful things He does in your life. Learn to accept that He does what’s best for you, even when you can’t see it. Remember that His timing is always better than ours.
When you open your heart and trust in Him, you open yourself up to receive what He really wants to give, His love. By finding joy in His love and not your own desires, you will find peace in your fertility journey.
Even though you haven’t yet conceived, your heart will be full of love and life. And that is truly a miracle all of its own.
Candice is a registered counselor and yoga teacher that specializes in trauma and mental health. She has completed an Honors Degree in Psychology & has a calling for the healing and restoration of broken hearts. Spoken over her before she was 1 year old! She loves to write, love on her hubs & 2 fur-babies and spend uninterrupted time in God’s presence. She is currently wrapping up her Yoga Therapy training via Holy Yoga. You can find out more about her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/candsclarkvz or on her website www.candiceclark.co.za