Above: Catherine Allen of Forrest Yoga demonstrating Frog Lifting Through pose.
Students often ask me how to use yoga to help them prepare for pregnancy and conceive. I teach them to breathe, do yoga, and live in a way that creates a womb that is clean and welcoming.
Ana Forrest's Top Tips on Preparing for Pregnancy
1. Breathe deeply.
Breathe deeply down into belly, pelvis, and genitals frequently. Use breath to bring in feeling. For many women, this area is often shut down or numb. What a glorious time to wake up your pelvis!
2. Energize your belly
Certain abdominal poses will energize your belly and womb and rebuild any broken connections to this area. They will also move out any lingering numbness and "gunk," including physical gunk (such as badly digested food that leads to constipation, which can lead to illness, and old menstrual blood) and emotional gunk (any sexual trauma, anger, betrayal, or resentment that you may hold). Frog Lifting Through is an especially good pose for conceiving because it opens up the pelvis and inner legs while activating the abs.
Frog Lifting Through Pose
Lie down on your back, interlace your hands behind your head, bend your knees, and bring your knees up in line with your hips. Straddle your thighs apart—knees stay bent at 90 degrees in line with your hips. Flex your feet. Inhale, lift your head and shoulders up. Exhale, press the top rim of your sacrum (lower back) down while you curl your tailbone up to lift your pelvis and send your thighs apart. Pull your belly down. Inhale, lower your pelvis to the floor, keeping your head and shoulders up. Exhale, press the top rim of your sacrum down and curl your pubic bone toward your belly. Send your thighs apart. Pull your belly down. That’s two rounds. Do 5–10 rounds. Note: Once you are pregnant, you will need to modify your yoga practice. You can find descriptions and pictures of more Forrest Yoga abdominal poses in Fierce Medicine.
3. Make your body a welcoming home.
Your baby will be dependent on your body, including the nutrients you consume as well as your ability to fight off infection. Eat wholesome organic foods as frequently as possible. Focus on using your yoga practice to help you create a welcoming, loving home inside your body.
4. Get some sleep.
Good sleep enables your nervous system to down-regulate, your immune system to power up, your hormones to work effectively, and much more. Your hormones are a huge factor in being able to conceive. High stress levels and lack of rest fire up your adrenaline and cortisol, your "fight or flight" hormone. Cortisol causes inflammation in the cell tissues and many experts now say that it is inflammation at a cellular level that is the cause of disease.
5. Connect to your heart.
Include heart-opening poses and backbends in your yoga practice. Connect to your heart and nurture compassion for yourself and for the little human that you want to bring into the world. The step into parenting takes courage and heart.
6. Enjoy sex.
Take the stress of "we must conceive" out of your sex life. Instead, have sex focused on loving connection, pleasure, and ecstasy. Help each other step into maturity to better care for your baby and create a harmonious family.