Fertility Yoga & Exercise Programs
Fertility yoga supports your body to be as fertile as possible, enhancing your chances of pregnancy and birth.
Fertile Body Yoga works in harmony with your menstrual or IVF cycle, spends time in the relaxation response, moves energy and blood throughout the body, and helps to balance hormones.
On a mental level, Fertile Body Yoga offers space for meditative moments, visualizations, Yogic philosophy, and community.
Kerry’s fertile body yoga classes are soothing and healing for mind and body. Each class has a thoughtful, grounding theme that always speaks to me. I keep coming back to my mat for Kerry’s classes because my mind, heart and body feel calm, grounded, peaceful and grateful following each class. I have gratitude for Kerry’s approach to teaching, which includes clear instructions and options, depending on where your body is during each class. This journey of life is hard, no matter where we are on it, and Kerry’s classes offer a safe, happy, nurturing place to bring your whole self.
Fertility and Stress
Research shows, with overwhelming evidence, that it is stressful to be infertile and/or undergo ART. Not a huge surprise!
Studies have also shown that those with a lower stress level are more likely to become pregnant, especially when doing IVF.
If you are tired of hearing that you need to relax to get pregnant, which stresses you out more – KEEP READING!
Pregnancy and Stress do not have a cause and effect interaction with pregnancy. Women all over the world are getting pregnant while totally stressed out, and many women are not getting pregnant who are super chill. Stress does not negate pregnancy! It is one variable of a very complex biological and hormonal dance.
Yoga and Fertility
Research is also showing that the use of Yoga and other mind/body practices to mitigate the inherent stresses of assistive reproductive therapy and infertility can greatly reduce the symptoms of stress.
Those that regularly practice Yoga are better able to handle the ups and downs of treatment, are overall less stressed out, and have higher pregnancy rates.
And even more specifically, studies looking at Fertility Yoga programs from 6 weeks to 3 months long show that those participating had statistically significant higher rates of pregnancy for Frozen Embryo Transfers.
Benefits of Fertility Yoga
In case you’re not convinced yet that Yoga can benefit your fertility, check out this list of all the benefits of Fertility Yoga.
- Helps to balance hormones
- Increases blood flow to the reproductive organs
- Reduces Inflammation
- Decreases anxiety
- Decreases mild depression
- Improves quality of life
- Improves sleep
- Decreases the symptoms of stress
- Reduces isolation
- Provides community support
- Yogic principles help to put your experiences into perspective
I have really enjoyed, and gotten a lot out of the Fertile Body Yoga classes with Kerry. It has helped me to both learn about and pay attention to the mind-body connection, as well as keep my stress level down while trying to conceive. I have appreciated the unique opportunity to connect and have conversations with other women who are also trying to conceive.
Each class has a theme and focuses on a concept that relates to fertility. My favorite part of every class was the wonderful meditations at the end that would connect to the theme. I would wholeheartedly recommend this class to any woman trying to conceive!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most often fertility, infertility, and its treatment revolve around the physical body and its systems – generally the reproductive organs and the endocrine (hormonal) system. Similarly, many view the practice of Yoga to be one of mostly the physical body.
However, there is so much more to fertility than the reproductive organs, and so much more to Yoga than physical Asana (postures). If we understand the mind/body connection (that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind) then we can see fertility obstacles and their treatment to be experiences of both the mind and body. This makes Yoga a perfect addition to your fertility efforts because it is a system that addresses physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Fertile Body Yoga takes all these layers of mind/body/soul into consideration. You’ll find that many other fertility yoga classes emphasize postures and offer inspirational platitudes. As much as I would love for there to be a magic pose that would help you get pregnant, there just isn’t (and you should be weary of those offering one!). It is all that Yoga has to offer that assists in making your body as fertile and receptive as possible.
Fertile Body Yoga is appropriate for those building a family through pregnancy.
FBY honors that every situation and relationship is different. The majority of people who access Fertile Body Yoga classes are cisgender women with single or dual factor cases of infertility and undergoing some sort of ART (assisted reproductive treatment). However, support has been found here by many from the LGBTQ+ community, others who are opting for IVF because of genetic conditions, single moms by choice (SMBC), and surrogates.
For those not seeking intervention, or just starting to try to conceive, Fertile Body Yoga can also be supportive to your efforts. Nurturing the body, balancing hormones, and staying positive and grounded all enhance the body’s ability to be as fertile as possible.
Many have found Fertile Body Yoga classes beneficial for healing from pregnancy loss and trauma associated with loss. Having a place to turn during these times is so important, as we can often feel alone and unsupported after losing not only a physical child, but also the mental and emotional associations with that pregnancy. When ready, processing these losses through the body, can, in time lead to the other layers of emotion and mind. Although Fertile Body Yoga is not labelled as ‘trauma-informed’ Yoga, Kerry takes the perspective that there is trauma everywhere and that providing choice during practice can lead to profound healing. Kerry has continuing education in Trauma-Informed Yoga Therapy and Pregnancy Loss Support.
Start as soon as possible.
Students sometimes wait until they are in their IVF cycle to add yoga to their process. Although this is better than no yoga at all, I would highly recommend starting at least the month before. Yoga, relaxation, meditation, and movement are all practices – the more prolonged exposure and practice you give yourself, the easier it is to access or benefit from these practices.
When starting a Fertility Yoga program, being in the right mind set is important. There needs to be an understanding that Yoga is not a miracle cure, nor is it a quick fix. It is a slow nurturing process of retraining and rebuilding the mind/body connection. It takes time and dedication.
I get this question a lot! When you are trying to conceive and may have one or multiple diagnoses (including unexplained infertility) the best style of physical yoga for enhancing your chances of conception are: fertility yoga, restorative yoga, yoga nidra, somatic yoga, and slow flow yoga. These types of yoga are replenishing, nurturing, and balancing – exactly what we want for this time. Heated yoga and power vinyasa, which are depleting, should be avoided, especially during IVF cycles and if you think you might be pregnant.
Some people have a hard time giving up their heated yoga…I get it! I want to work with your body instead of against when you are trying to conceive!
When you’re trying to conceive, finding the right exercise is important – because when the body moves, so do the emotions and stress! Keeping healthy improves immunity and reduces inflammation (all needed for a healthy reproductive system!)
And let’s be clear, there is a difference between exercising and ‘working out’ – we are focusing on moving the body to be healthy and balanced, not to lose weight or get a six pack at this time.
I always recommend doing the exercise that is the one you will do!
My favorites for fertility are fertility yoga, walking, hiking, cycling, and swimming.
If you have regular healthy periods and jog or run moderately, this is fine! Marathon running and sprinting you may want to put on hold.
Remember, talk to your doctor about what is appropriate for you and your fertility treatment.
It depends on what you mean by ‘work’. Yoga is not a cure for infertility, nor will it ensure a positive pregnancy test. BUT – studies have shown that women who do weekly fertility yoga for more than 6 weeks have statistically higher rates of successful IVF cycles, pregnancy, and birth.
No one really knows what it is about yoga, but since fertility yoga helps to reduce stress, balance hormones, and calm the mind, which improves fertility, we can say that yes, having a regular fertility yoga practice can improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
Yoga is a wonderful companion to navigating fertility.
Please note that fertility yoga is NOT heated nor is it power yoga. These styles of yoga are not recommended when you’re trying to conceive.
Fertility is a body & mind affair – so boosting fertility really involves working at both levels.
Let’s start with the BODY.
What are you putting in it? The food you eat affects your fertility – so following a fertility friendly diet is important. This will be individual, based on your needs, so working with a nutritionist who specializes in fertility is advised. But in a pinch, follow a Mediterranean style diet with as much organic food as possible.
What are you putting on your body? Sometimes we don’t think about this, but there are hormone disrupting, estrogen mimicking chemical in most of the body and beauty care products in production. It is important to put non-toxic products on the largest organ of your body! Check out my recommendations!
How are you moving your body? If you are consistently depleting your energy by ‘working out’ then it’s time to reduce your output. Walking, Swimming, cycling, and fertility yoga are great fertility friendly exercises. Don’t over do it!
How is your sleep? If you are having insomnia or frequent wakings during the night, it’s time to work on your sleep. Studies have shown that a sleep deficit reduces fertility. There are some great natural products that you could try to get a good nights sleep – but always check with your doctor first!
The mind level
What are you filling your mind with? What media do you consume, how do you speak to yourself , and who do you surround yourself with?
Are you getting support from a professional or group? These avenues can be so helpful in reducing isolation.
Meditation is a wonderful way to calm the anxiety, fear, and frustrations of infertility.
When our mind is calmer, the body follows. When the body is calm, it is more receptive and balanced – thus boosting fertility.
All these and more fertility boosting practices are covered in Fertility Foundations: Mind + Body Practices to Boost Fertility. An 8 week small group program.