Yoga for Stress and Infertility

Written By

Upama Misra

Yoga for stress and infertility.Nov10 2015.Final1_yoga for stress-03 Loading

Infertility has become a major source of concern among Indian women, lately.

Amongst many factors, changes in lifestyle and late marriages are mainly responsible for this trend. These have led to an increase in stress levels among women.  A recent survey revealed that Indian women are the most stressed out in the world. What stresses them most is the constant juggling of traditional responsibilities at home and work.  This stress has the most detrimental effect on fertility.

Stress is an expression of the body’s natural instinct to protect itself. It may warn you of immediate danger but prolonged stress negatively affects our physical and emotional health. It may cause various hormonal imbalances in the body and manifest itself in various health related problems like hyper/hypo thyroidism, endometriosis, PCOS, lack of ovulation, menstrual irregularities, fibroids etc.  — in short , ‘infertility’.

A woman’s body needs to relax and exercise more in order to cope with everyday challenges. The only form of workout that helps you do both at the same time is Yoga.  It is wrong to call Yoga just a  way to exercise. It is in fact a way of life. It is the science of self-development through self-direction and self-discovery. It believes in total integration of mind and body. The Asanas, Pranayams, Kriyas in yoga have a unique role in bringing the practitioner into a relaxed state both physically and mentally.

For women, practicing Yoga is helpful in balancing hormones and to open up  the hip-and-pelvic region.  Various asanas ease the joints and increase the blood flow to the blocked areas.

Doing fertility-specific asanas improves blood flow to the reproductive organs. Reproductive glands are stimulated due to the release of muscle tension from the reproductive organs, which enhances their function to conceive.

There are several techniques in Yoga to control stress and improve fertility through asanas, pranayama and kriyas.

Asanas for stress release and fertility:

KonasanaNadi ShodhanSetubandhasanaParyankasana

Konasana, Nadi Shodhan, Setubandhasana and Paryankasana, respectively.

  1. Matsyasana: Relieves tension in the neck and shoulders, encourages deep breathing.
  2. Setubandhasana: Stretches the neck, chest and spinal cord, improves blood circulation to reproductive organs.
  3. Marjariasana: Provides a gentle massage to the spine and abdominal organs.
  4. Adhomukha shwanasana: Releases the tension in your shoulders and scapula.
  5. Paschimmotasana: Reduces fatigue, anxiety, stimulates ovaries.
  6. Paryankasana: Increases oxygen intake. Thyroid and parathyroid are stimulated, blood flow to reproductive organs is enhanced.
  7. Supta Badhha konasana: Helps open the pelvic area, relaxes spine.
  8. Dhanurasana: Stimulates the reproductive organs, and is a fatigue- and stress-buster.
  9. Pawanmuktasana: Is good for all abdominal organs, and strengthens the back.
  10. Dradhasanan: Aids digestion.
  11. Shavasana: Relaxes both body and mind.
  12. Yog nidra: Or, conscious relaxation.

Pranayams:

  1. Nadi shodhan pranayama: Harmonizes both hemispheres of the brain, helps in free flow of Prana, and calms the mind.
  2. Bhastrika Pranayama: Oxygenates and energizes the body.
  3. Brahmari Pranayama: Regulates the functioning of the endocrine system.
  4. Kapalabhbati Pranayama: Improves blood circulation, energizes the body.

NOTE:

  1. All yoga techniques should be performed under the guidance of a qualified and trained yoga teacher.
  2. It is important to warm up a little before starting the practice by rotating, moving joints and stretching the whole body.
  3. Yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach or 3-4 hrs after a meal.
  4. Women with other health issues should consult a doctor before starting the practice.

 Sa tu dïrgha-kala-nairantarya-satkärävito drdha-bhumih [Patanjali’s Yogasutra 1.14]

(Practise becomes firmly established when it has been cultivated uninterruptedly and with devotion over a prolonged period of time)

One must remember that Yoga is not magic. It should be practiced daily and for a prolonged period of time to experience its benefits.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Upama Misra is an Independent Yoga Coach and trainer from world renowned "The Yoga Institute", Mumbai. She practices Ashtanga Yoga and Iyengar Yoga and also has exposure to alternate therapy. She is an expert in yoga related to women’s health issues and pre- and post-natal care. Apart from her passion to help women improve their health and well-being, she is the mother of two and a travel enthusiast.

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