Yoga is a mind-body exercise that combines spiritual traditions with physical movements. It was first practiced by Hindus in India more than 5,000 years ago. These movements, known as "postures," involve deep stretching and meditation (Pic. 1). The word yoga means "union" in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit (ancient Indian language).

Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual core. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology (branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge) and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy (one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy).

Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, heart disease and infertility. The results of these studies have been mixed and inconclusive, with cancer studies suggesting none to unclear effectiveness, and others suggesting yoga may reduce risk factors and aid in a patient's psychological healing process.

It appears that there is a burgeoning number of women who struggle to get pregnant naturally. As a result of infertility problem, many mothers experience chronic stress. It can wreck havoc on body, change mood and depress the immune system. In this case, yoga not only increases blood flow and strengthens pelvic region but also addresses the root cause of stress. 

Some major ways in which yoga can effect and treat infertility:

Reduces stress

As mentioned before, stress plays a major role in slowing down your fertility. Yoga is a great way to beat stress and achieve peace of mind. Yoga is not just about the body it is also about breathing. The breathing techniques associated with yoga can help lower the stress hormone cortisol in the body. This in turn can increase chances of conceiving.
Detoxifies the body
Certain yoga poses can help detoxify the body and help boost fertility. Yoga can also help relax tight muscles and connective tissues.

Increases circulation

Many infertility issues arise due to blockages. With yoga, it is possible to increase blood circulation and ensure that it reaches the reproductive organs. This can help create a positive environment for a pregnancy.

Works on immune system

Yoga is great way to boost immunity. Practicing yoga helps find inner calm, which in turn can help raise the number of white blood cells in the body. This not just helps keeping common diseases at bay but can also help beat infertility.

Helps keep the ovaries healthy

Certain yoga poses reroute the blood flow to reach the ovaries. This helps to provide these specific organs with more oxygen, making them healthier. It is important to note that ovarian dysfunction is a common cause of infertility in women. So, yoga can be a great tool for women with ovary related issues.

Helps deal with hormonal treatment better

With all those hormones in the body, it is easy to fall into the depths of physical and mental distress. This negative energy in the body can reduce chances of conceiving. With yoga, it is possible to minimize these side effects and increase chances of becoming pregnant.
Yoga involves a lot of stretching poses and exercises, thus strengthening reproductive muscles and organs which play a major role both in pregnancy and delivery. Fertility yoga is gentle and not demanding. An example of fertility yoga is Hatha which is slow-pacing. 

These simple yet powerful fertility yoga poses should be practiced on a routine basis. Learning from a good yoga teacher is advised to get the pose right. These are some of the poses advisable for increasing fertility.(Pic.2)

•    Cobra pose
•    Lotus pose
•    Legs up the wall pose
•    Bridge pose
•    Cobbler´s pose
•    Supported head stand
•    Supported shoulder stand  

There is no need to be experienced in these practices to try fertility yoga. Doing these special poses can help women to gain more confidence about themselves and help towards parenthood. It can also help through reproductive difficulties.

Women are unique individuals and the desire to reproduce can be over-whelming. Never is that yearning more magnified then when they are unable to accomplish getting pregnant. Yoga can get women to the place they need to be so that they can free their hearts and prepare for a baby.

People with disc disease, fragile or atherosclerotic neck arteries, a risk of blood clots, extremely high or low blood pressure, glaucoma, retinal detachment, ear problems, severe osteoporosis or cervical spondylitis should avoid some yoga poses. Certain yoga breathing techniques should be avoided in people with heart or lung disease.

Some experts advise caution in people with a history of psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia), because there is a risk of worsening symptoms, although this has not been clearly shown in studies.Yoga should only be used in adjunct with other treatments and not as a solitary treatment for fertility. 

Although yoga is a natural form of exercise, it is in no way intended to substitute or take away from a physicians care or medical attention. Before beginning any new exercise or work out program, getting doctor’s permission first is recommended.

Increased body weight is also another very important reason behind infertility. Therefore, it is very important to maintain your body weight in order to get pregnant. Yoga and other body exercises are a very good option to maintain your body.

It is common for yogis to develop painful sacroiliac joints, (joints between the sacrum and the ilium bones of the pelvis) with serious consequences: dysfunction at the sacroiliac joint inhibits the hip muscles and starts a vicious cycle of hip instability and body misalignment. Painful sacroiliac joints must be treated and stabilised to avoid chronic pain and it is not advisable to continue with any yoga practice that causes sacroiliac pain. Successful treatment by a specialised therapist is life-altering for yogis suffering from sacroiliac dysfunction. 

Pain from injuries like muscle strains and tears is felt immediately and is usually confirmed by bruising and swelling: a small amount of internal bleeding happens when a muscle tears although an acute strain may not have bruising but is a similar injury. A torn or strained muscle tends to go into spasm to protect itself from further damage and stays contracted during and after the healing process. A damaged muscle often feels hard and painful if it is touched. Muscle tears take about 3 weeks to heal and total rest of the affected muscle is important – continuing to exercise a torn muscle will cause muscle imbalances to develop – it is important to consult a physiotherapist if a torn muscle is suspected.

Muscle tears happen in yoga from forcing stretches or stretching deeply without warming up properly. Patience, massage and gentle heated yoga are helpful for stretching muscles back to a normal length after the tear has healed.
Also foot pain and cramping is fairly common in all styles of yoga and has a variety of causes: some foot cramps are caused by sedentary modern lifestyles and shoes and some by yoga practice.

Yoga has its side effects. However, the adverse effects does not need to be cause for concern so as not to practice it at all.

Trying to conceive can be a long and challenging process. Removing the stress load in life and learning to breathe and relax can have healthful benefits to mind and body. For women what are looking for a more stress free lifestyle, this might be the correct practice.

Yoga not only addresses the problem on infertility but it also facilitates smooth pregnancy and lessens the risk of birth complications. In a clinical trial conducted in India, which tests the efficiency of yoga postures on pregnancy, revealed that women who attended yoga practices throughout the pregnancy period have improved birth weight, reduced preterm labor and averted delivery complications.

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