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Staying healthier with fertility yoga

DeAnna Houston knows all too well how important it is to maintain her mental health while trying to conceive. During her own four-year fertility journey, she became a yoga instructor and learned to practice meditation. She became more aware of her body and be in touch with her emotions. These daily life habits helped her reduce stress, slow her busy mind and establish lifelong coping skills.

Like many people trying to conceive, DeAnna tried everything to get pregnant while living with the pressure and heartbreak associated with infertility. After several years, DeAnna and her husband decided to try in vitro fertilization (IVF) as a final attempt. While she trusted the fertility clinic, she knew how important emotional support was during the invasive medical treatments.

Through her yoga and meditation practices, she found the stability and trust she needed to stay positive. And after two IVF cycles, DeAnna and her husband were excited to learn they were expecting twins.

Why yoga and meditation?

Yoga and meditation are ancient practices going beyond just stretching the body or silencing the mind. Practices such as focusing on the breath, imagery or fluid movement are valuable tools. They calm the mind and help regulate the nervous system.

Research has shown that people with infertility often have the same levels of anxiety and depression as people with cancer, heart disease or HIV.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8142988/. Accessed August 25, 2022. Studies found that yoga can lower stress levels in people struggling with infertility.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30657179. Accessed August 25, 2022. If practiced on a regular basis, yoga and meditation has more benefits. They can improve sleep and mood. They can also reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Adding meditation to yoga helps to create a mind-body connection to become more present and clear-minded.https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-and-mindfulness-what-you-need-to-know. Accessed August 25, 2022.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433116/. Accessed August 25, 2022.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5116432/. Accessed August 25, 2022.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-016-0661-2. Accessed August 25, 2022.https://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/11/yoga. Accessed August 25, 2022.

What is fertility yoga?

While all types of yoga have benefits, fertility yoga tailors to those trying to conceive. It takes traditional yoga poses and modifies to support fertility treatments and the women’s menstrual cycle. Fertility yoga is a gentle-paced class. It focuses on calming the mind, reducing stress hormones and stimulating the reproductive system.

In a group setting, fertility yoga can be a great opportunity to connect with others facing similar family building challenges.

How can I find fertility yoga and meditation classes near me?

Fertility specific classes are becoming more popular across the country. A quick Internet search will help you find a practitioner in your area. Many fertility focused instructors also hold virtual classes.

If you have any questions about this article or have other fertility needs, email the Encompass Fertility, by CVS Pharmacy® CareTeam.

This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about your medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment. CVS Specialty assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result. 

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