My yoga teacher told me I should start prenatal yoga since I am trying to get pregnant. Is that a good idea?
No – You should not go to prenatal yoga class when you’re trying to conceive or doing fertility treatment.
I get pretty worked up when a new student comes to one of my fertility yoga classes and says that their yoga teacher or studio owner/manager suggested they do prenatal yoga because they are trying to have a baby.
Here’s why this infuriates me!
- Nobody going through fertility issues wants to be around belly rubbing, glowing, pregnant folks complaining about how much their backs hurt. It’s not inspirational nor is it filling those who are TTC with hope! It is activating to the nervous system and causes unneeded stress and sadness.
- The goals of a prenatal yoga class are VERY different from the goals of those of a fertility yoga class. Prenatal yoga = prepare the body and mind for birth, alleviate the common discomforts of pregnancy, and other pregnancy-specific goals. Fertility yoga = prepare your body for conception and make sure your practice is SAFE & SUPPORTIVE of the cycle that you’re in – whether IVF or menstrual (something that pregnant folks aren’t dealing with). There are specific poses that really benefit your fertility, that you may not do in a prenatal class because….
- In general, in a group prenatal yoga class, you will not do any deep closed twists, anything lying on your back or front, or deep back bending. All of these practices, at the right time in your cycle when trying to conceive or during IVF, can be extremely beneficial! You require a yoga teacher who actually knows the indications and contraindications for those trying to conceive.
- I can guarantee that 90% of the prenatal yoga teachers out there will have no idea what an FET or Stim cycle is – this means they do not know how to keep you safe during an IVF cycle or offer supportive poses to your follicular or luteal phases.
- If you talk to a studio owner/manager about your fertility and they recommend taking a prenatal class – know that they are suggesting this for the most part from a business perspective. They do not want to lose a paying student who would be better served by working with a teacher outside of their studio who specializes in fertility yoga.
If you want to use yoga during your family-building journey, you need a yoga teacher who understands the demands and terminology of fertility treatment. Not only to keep you safe but to also practice smartly so you do the right poses at the right time in your cycle to boost your fertility!
There aren’t a lot of us out there who specialize in fertility yoga – but this is what I do! I have a virtual yoga studio dedicated to supporting those on their fertility paths. Live and on-demand classes are available
If you’re a yoga asana teacher or prenatal teacher and would like to learn more – check out my fertility yoga teacher training mentorships.