Q: Who is your Fertility classes, services, and workshops designed for? Is it only for people who are undergoing fertility treatments or should I come if my partner and I are just thinking about conceiving?
A: Our Fertility programs are for any woman and her partner who is in the process of trying to conceive or is planning to in the near future, whether it is with fertility treatments or not.
Q: Will yoga really help me conceive?
I can’t give you a definite yes as there is no hard scientific evidence that supports that. I do know that the poses oxygenate the pelvic organs increasing physical and energetic circulation. They release tension from the abdomen and can help to regulate hormonal function by eliciting the body’s innate relaxation response. In addition, they impart an overall feeling of well-being and peace of mind.
Q: My partner and I have just started trying to conceive. What yoga do you recommend for us?
A: I recommend a regular yoga practice, one that bolsters your energy. Yoga is fantastic for building and maintaining overall good health, including hormonal balancing and reproductive health. If you already have a regular practice that feels good to you, feel free to continue it (some recommended modifications are in the following question). If you are just beginning on the yoga path, start by finding a teacher who inspires you. Take notice of how you feel after your yoga class. Do you feel energized or depleted? Look for a feeling of well-being in your body and mind.
Q: Are there yoga poses that shouldn’t be done while trying to conceive?
A: I recommend no deep twisting for several months before and during the time you are trying to conceive. However, open face twists are fine. I think of this as a time to make space for the life you are trying to create, literally and figuratively and deep twists tend to squeeze the reproductive organs. I recommend modifying anything that feels like it is squashing or compressing any of your organs. This is not hard science but came from my own experiences – yours might be different and each person is encouraged to find their own middle ground. For me, this became a time of slowing down and working on a subtler level, making my practice gentler. Always, but even more so during the time we were trying to conceive, we wanted our yoga practice to be supporting and nurturing, building our energy for our upcoming pregnancy and eventual childbirth.
Q: Is yoga safe to practice when I’m going through fertility treatments?
A: There’s no conclusive evidence that says unequivocally that yoga is safe while undergoing fertility treatments. However, a gentle practice, emphasizing restorative yoga, throughout IVF treatment is a relaxing complement. If you are undergoing IVF, I recommend taking it very easy for the few days between egg retrieval and transfer as well as for a few days to a week after the transfer. I think it’s a good idea to take it easy after any medical procedure. I recommend removing strong inversions and not doing an intense physical practice. The restorative poses should be fine, but if something feels too intense, even a gentle restorative pose, be sure to modify it or carefully come out of the pose.
Q: Is restorative yoga also beneficial for my husband/boyfriend/partner?
A: Yes, absolutely! Everyone can benefit from the physiological effects of restorative yoga. If you are interested in learning more about restorative yoga look into Judith Lasater’s book, “Relax and Renew, Restful Yoga for Stressful Times.
Q: Do you have nutritional recommendations?
A: I have found that people’s bodies and their relationships to food are extremely individual and varied. I subscribe to the moderate road. I recommend cutting out caffeine, alcohol, and lowering sugar intake. In addition, eating in a way that’s easy on your digestion seems sensible as your body needs energy for conception and other functions. As this isn’t my expertise, recommend checking into Julia Indichova’s website, www.fertileheart.com, or finding a nutritionist who specializes in women’s health.