Getting ready to try and have a baby? Exercise is vital for fertility, says Victoria-based dietitian Areli Hermanson, but too much can interfere with ovulation, so it’s important to strike a balance. That’s why she’s a fan of yoga.
“Gentle exercise is very important, and yoga can help get you in tune with your body and processing energy,” she says. Read on for her recommendations for the most important moves to try:
1. Legs-up-the-wall pose (viparita karani)
Choose an unobstructed wall to perform the pose on. Use a folded blanket or bolster for support and position it five or six inches away from the wall. Sit sideways on one end of your support, and position one side of your body against the wall. Exhale and swing your legs up onto the wall in one fluid movement, as your shoulders and head lie back lightly on the floor. Open your shoulders away from the spine. Your hands and arms should be at your sides, palms up. Keep your legs still and firm, holding them in place against the wall. Soften your gaze. Stay in the pose for as long as you’d like (five to 15 minutes is recommended), concentrating on your breath. Gently come out of the pose and return to a sitting position.
2. Reclining bound angle (supta baddha konasana)
Begin with an exhale. Lower your back toward the floor, leaning on your hands for support. Lie all the way on your back, supporting your head and neck with a folded blanket or bolster if needed. With the next exhale, slowly open your knees towards the ground creating a stretch across the inner thighs and groin. Place the soles of your feet together as the outer edge of feet rest on the ground. Lay your hands and arms on the floor beside you, palms up. If you’re a beginner, stay in this pose for one minute and work up to anywhere from five to 10 minutes, focusing on your breath. To come out of the pose, use your hands to press your thighs together, then roll over onto one side and push yourself away from the floor.
3. Easy pose (sukhasana)
Begin by sitting on the front edge of a folded blanket or bolster, then cross your legs starting with your left leg in first and then your right leg, sliding your feet under your opposite knee. Rest your palms on your knees. Come lightly forward onto your sit bones. Avoid leaning back and rounding the spine. Inhale and lift up through your spine. Exhale and relax your shoulders. Relax your facial muscles and jaw and close your eyes. Breath slowly through your nose for as long as it’s comfortable, focusing on the rhythm of your breath. Concentrate on grounding the sit bones and hips and lifting and lengthening the spine. Come out of the pose by straightening your legs forward and giving them a shake. Repeat, crossing legs the opposite way.
Click here for a fertility meal plan to prep your body for pregnancy.