Years ago I began taking yoga classes at the gym in the University I worked for and wondered why it took me so long! It’s a gentle, wonderful exercise form that leaves your body not only feeling stronger, but limber, relaxed, and refreshed.
One of the biggest hold outs I had in doing yoga was this thought that it was ‘new age-y’ or not in line with my own spiritual beliefs. What I’ve found is that the breathing and chanting are to focus your mind on something else, allowing your body to fully relax. Very much unlike reading a book or watching T.V. while on the treadmill!
Exercise is also really important for women looking to conceive, helping you prepare your body for carrying a baby. Yoga is especially beneficial in that it helps to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, can help balance hormones, strengthen the thyroid, and regulate the menstrual cycle. It also helps to relax the body and reduce the effects that daily stress has on your body.
Recently, I’ve been trying out the DVD “Bend, Breathe, Conceive” (available on Amazon) by Dr. Anna Davis, Ph.D., RYT. I’d actually been doing some searching for a good yoga DVD as I was in the process of becoming overwhelmed and stressed out this past summer, so I asked if I could review it. It seemed to me that it would help me right where I was at; wanting to get physical exercise, lower stress, and relax my body.
I was rather impressed by the thoroughness of this DVD. She begins by explaining how yoga helps to support and increase fertility, how daily anxieties can cause stress hormones that disrupt the normal functioning of our reproductive organs, leads you through how to breathe correctly, and covers the equipment you’ll need.
The actual practice section of the DVD is an hour-long which has been difficult for me to find the time each day, but is easily done a couple of times per week even with a busy schedule. The poses are easy to do, the backdrop gorgeous, and the entire DVD is calming in nature. Actually, before I ever practice with the DVD, I tend to just watch it first. Call it lazy if you will… I call it research! But even just watching her through the entire practice I felt much calmer and I noticed my breathing was deeper and rhythmic, even without focusing on it. Which leads me to one of my favorite parts of this yoga DVD – you can hear an audible breathe as she’s leading you through poses! I tend to forget when and how to breathe, so having an audible (but not annoying or overly loud) breathe in the background I was able to control my breathing.
You can watch a short trailer on the Bend, Breathe, Conceive website to get a better idea of the yoga practice if you’re interested in the DVD, as well as read about the studies done on yoga and infertility.