Saira Francis runs Mellulah Therapy & Yoga Retreats in Dorset UK. She teaches Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation and Stress Relief classes and retreats throughout the year. [email protected] / mellulah.co.uk
If you’re trying to get pregnant, looking after yourself is vital. Self care, exercise, nutrition, staying relaxed and being kind to yourself become more important than ever when you are trying for a baby. This can be a very exciting time, but can also be one of the most stressful too.
Yoga is very different from other forms of exercise, because it isn’t just about looking after your physical body, but also your mental and emotional wellbeing. Yoga is an ancient practice, with its roots in India, that is becoming more and more popular in the West for its benefit on our wellbeing. Our lives can be busy and stressful enough without the added pressure of trying to conceive, which sadly isn’t the best environment for us when we’re trying to get pregnant.
Its likely that as you start to share with friends and family that you are trying to get pregnant, everyone will be telling you how important it is to stay relaxed. That can be really hard, especially if you’re having problems conceiving and you’re starting to feel upset, sad, frustrated and perhaps very angry with your body. A Harvard Medical School study showed that women, struggling to get pregnant, are likely to be as stressed as someone with cancer or another serious disease. Its important to recognise if you are feeling stressed, its hard not to feel that way if you’re having problems with fertility, but its best to try to find a way to stay calm if you can.
Yoga can help to feel more peaceful and become deeply relaxed. Practised regularly either in a group or at home, yoga can help you find lasting benefits to how you feel both inside and out.
Stress can seriously affect the hormonal system in the body, this needs to be working at its best to conceive. Yoga brings balance and calm to the hormones and and the body can be a well functioning environment for conception. Yoga also helps stretch and tone the muscles as well as stimulating the reproductive system in both men and women and calming the nervous system so you feel better, sleep better, your libido lifts and you feel more positive.
Practicing yoga reconnects us to our bodies, if you are disappointed month after month, at not getting pregnant, its easy to start to feel disconnected from your body altogether, particularly around the lower abdominal area of hips and the reproductive organs. Its really important to feel accepting and happy about this area of the body. Loving your body will create an open energy to welcome conception. A few simple yoga poses can help you feel like the perfect, beautiful woman you truly are.
Yoga also works in more mystical ways. Prana is energy that moves through our body and when we are stressed or have a lot of negative emotion, energy blocks can occur. These blocks can go back to childhood and often when we face challenges in adult life, clearing these energy blocks can help us move through old trauma and pain that might be holding us back in some way.
Try these yoga poses a few times a week, or more often if you can. As you hold the pose, repeat the positive affirmation to yourself, either aloud or mentally, at least three times. Positive thinking helps to release old negative patterns and keeps us open to receiving miracles and blessings in all
kinds of ways.
1. Sukhasana – (Easy Pose) Flex & Curl
Benefits – gentle massage for the spine and for the reproductive organs
• Sit cross legged with an upright, extended spine. Bring hands to the knees and close the eyes.
• Flex the spine by taking an inhale and pushing the the chest forward and squeezing the elbows and shoulder blades together. Lift the chin.
• As you exhale, curl the spine back by drawing the navel back into the spine, tucking the chin in.
• Repeat for 3 minutes, in a smooth slow rhythm with the breath, forward and back.
• As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “I flow with the rhythm of my life, I allow myself to surrender to all that is”
2. Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) & Bitilasana (Cow Pose)
Benefits, as above, a gentle warm up for the spine
• Come to all fours, knees below hips and wrists below shoulders with a flat back.
• As you inhale come to Cat, take the tail bone high and look up.
• Exhale to Cow, tuck the tail bone under, pull the navel up to the spine and look to the belly.
• As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “My body is strong, I feel alive and my vitality is increasing everyday”
3. Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose
Benefits – Connects us to our lower body, stretches and tones, harnesses our inner feminine
power and deep strength within
• Take the feet wide apart and turn them slightly outwards, bend the knees, keeping the knees above the ankles.
• Keeping the tailbone tucked in and the abdomen drawn in and up, come into a squat, pull up the pelvic floor muscles.
• Lift the arms to shoulder level and bend the elbows, spread the fingers.
• Either hold for 5 deep breaths, release and come into the pose again 3 times or
• Inhale straighten the arms and legs and exhale come back into the pose, repeat 5 times
• As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “I embrace my feminine power, I connect to my beautiful, sexual, goddess energy”
4. Malasana – Garland Pose Squat.
Benefits – tones and stretches the groin, connects to the pelvic floor and energy centres at the root and sacral chakra.
• Begin in Tadasana, Mountain pose, standing with spine long and feet together.
• Take the feet slightly wider apart and bring the hands together at the heart.
• Slowly come down into a squat, if the heels don’t touch the floor place a folded blanket underneath them.
• Inhale lengthen the spine, exhale squeeze the elbows into the inner knees.
• Hold for 5-10 breaths.
• As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “I love my body, I accept my body, I am open to receiving miracles and blessings from the universe, in which ever form those gifts may come”
5. Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Bound Angle Pose.
Benefits – Stimulates the abdominal organs and ovaries. Improves circulation, tones inner thighs
and groin, helps relieve stress, depression and hormonal imbalances.
• Lie on your back with the soles of the feet together.
• Draw the heels in towards the body, allow the knees to drop out.
• Tuck the chin in and keep the spine long.
• Bring the hands to your lower belly and feel your breath creating a rise in the belly on the inhale,
lowering as you exhale. Hold for 5-10 minutes. As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “I am birthing new ideas, creative projects and a fertile energy is coming into my life, bringing excitement, hope and trust that all will be well. I allow myself to dream big and enjoy creating a new exciting future for myself