Yoga practice

Yoga is a multifaceted spiritual tool that promotes human well-being[1]. This practice includes asanas (physical postures), pranayama (regulated breathing), and meditation. Because of physical components, exists the belief that yoga is just another kind of physical exercise. But it has many differences, for instance, emphasis on breath regulation, mindfulness during practice. As a result, yoga benefits both physical and mental health and has a more significant effect than simple exercises[2]. Moreover, it is beneficial for female and male fertility, which is especially interesting for us.

How it works

Despite the lack of a direct relationship between yoga and fertility, its practice can heighten the chances of getting pregnant[3]

For women struggling to conceive, their bodies don’t do what they want them to; that’s why they often feel betrayed and disconnected from them. Yoga is a way to reconstruct this crucial connection by concentrating on your own body and turning your attention inward. Yoga helps us understand our bodies’ messages, get in touch with them, and feel their needs. And this is an essential part of fertility treatment. 

There is another factor that can interfere with pregnancy. Stress is known to elevate the likelihood of infertility[4], creating a domino effect in our bodies and throwing off our hormones. In addition, women with fertility issues experience anxiety and depression rates similar to those of patients with cancer and other severe diseases[5]. Yoga is an effective way to cope with stress and anxiety[6]. This method suppresses our “flight or fight” stress response and activates our parasympathetic nervous system, creating a feeling of safety.  There are yoga types, such as the Chakra system, based on connection with important endocrine glands. Practicing some poses can help reduce the hormonal imbalance. 

Moreover, yoga can help improve blood flow to reproductive organs, relieve tension and relax. Therefore, it is beneficial for people who sit all day and create a blood limit in the pelvic area. In addition, by doing yoga, we learn to hold discomforting poses for a long time, which prepares women for birth.  

Female fertility poses

If you are trying to conceive, here are a few poses to get you started.

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)

  1. Extend the legs along with the mat.
  2. Reach your overhead. Extend the spine upward and fold forward, hinging at the hips and keeping the back straight.
  3. Fold forward as much as possible while keeping the spine extended.

For stimulating the uterus and ovaries and relieving stress.

Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)

  1. Place some support (blanket, pillow) a few inches away from and parallel to the wall.
  2. Lie down against the wall with your legs up. There should be no space between your legs and the wall. Hips and lower back should be on the support.
  3. Rest your head and shoulders on the floor beside you.
  4. Place your arms in a “T” with your palms facing upwards. 
  5. Hold here and breathe deeply with awareness. Stay in this position for at least five minutes. 

For relieving backache and Improving blood flow to the pelvic region.

Janu Sirsasana (One-legged Forward Fold)

  1. Sit up on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you and straight back. 
  2. Bend your right leg and place the right foot against the left thigh, keeping the right knee on the mat.
  3. Inhaling, raise both arms above your head and stretch up.
  4. Exhaling, bend forward from the hip joints keeping the spine straight. Go as far as you can, directing your chin to the toes.
  5. Hold and breathe deeply in this position for five breaths. You can use a yoga strap wrapped around your left foot or a piece of clothing to help you fold forward over your leg if you’re less flexible.
  6. Switch legs and repeat the same thing on the other side.

For stretching the hamstrings, strengthening the back muscles, and relieving tension from the lower back.

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose)

  1. Sit with your spine straight and bend legs in knees, feet towards the pelvis as close to the genitals as possible. The soles of your feet should touch each other.
  2. Grab your feet tightly with your hands underneath the feet for support.
  3. Take a deep breath in. Then, exhaling, press the thighs and knees downward towards the floor with a gentle effort. 
  4. Start flapping both the legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly, gradually increasing the speed and amplitude. 
  5. Slow down, breathe in. Then, press your elbows on the knees, forcing the knees and thighs closer to the ground. 
  6. Take deep breaths, feel how the muscles are relaxing. 

For improving flexibility while stretching the muscles of the inner thighs, genitals, hip area. Helpful for less painful delivery.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle)

  1. Lay on your back with your legs extended in front of you and your arms beside, palms facing up.
  2. Bend both knees outward and bring the soles of your feet together; try to reach the ground with your knees, how in a Butterfly position.
  3. Relax into the pose, take 10-15 breaths.

For releasing stress and tension in the hips. 

Male fertility poses

Some poses to boost male fertility are here.

Dhanur Asana (Bow pose)

  1. Lie on your abdomen on a floor mat. Keep the arms beside the body and the legs two feet apart.
  2. Breathe slowly and while exhaling, fold the knees and hold the ankles with your hands.
  3. While inhaling, pull the chest off the ground and stretch the legs up straight on the tops of the feet. Only your abdomen must touch the floor.
  4. Continue to take deep breaths for 15-20 seconds in this pose.

For increasing the blood flow to the reproductive organs and enhancing sexual wellness. Helpful for combating erectile dysfunction.

Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Fold your knees and keep your feet hip-distance apart on the floor.
  3. Keep your arms beside your body, palms facing down.
  4. While exhaling, slowly pull your back off the floor. Reach the chin with the chest, supporting yourself with your shoulders, arms, and feet. Both thighs should be parallel to each other and the floor.
  5. Keep breathing slowly.

For improving pelvic blood circulation and increasing sperm motility.  

Halasana (Plough pose)

  1. Lie on your back with your arms beside you, palms facing down.
  2. While inhaling, press your abdominal muscles to push your feet off the ground, raising your legs vertically.
  3. Supporting your hips with your hands, lift them off the floor.
  4. Turn your legs over your head till your toes reach the floor, and your back is perpendicular to the ground. 
  5. Hold this pose and relax.

For improving overall sperm count.

Nauka Asana (Boat pose)

  1. Lie down on your yoga mat, with your feet together and your arms beside, and your fingers outstretched towards your toes.
  2. Start breathing. As you exhale, lift your chest and feet off the floor, extending your arms towards the feet.
  3. Put the weight of your body fully on the buttocks.
  4. Keep breathing and stop in this position for a few seconds.

For toning the pelvic muscles and helps in releasing the sex hormones.

Kumbhakasana (Plank pose)

  1. Lie on your tummy on the yoga mat. 
  2. Put your hands next to the shoulders and push the body up from the carpet.
  3. The whole body must be off the floor in a straight line.
  4. Hold the body in this pose on the palms and toes for at least 15-30 seconds and slowly bring it down.

For strengthening the upper body and increasing sexual endurance.

Pranayama (breathing techniques)

Pranayama is control and regulation of breathing. Prana means life force or energy; Ayama translates as “to extend or draw out”. 

These techniques involve breathing through the nostrils in a specific pattern of inhalation and exhalation. Some yoga breathing exercises include Ujjayi (victorious breathing), Quiet Breathing, Deep Breathing, Fast Breathing, Bhastrika pranayama (Bellows Breath), Bhramari pranayama (Humming Bee Breath), Surya Bhedana Pranayama (Right Nostril Breathing), and Nadi Shodhan pranayama (alternate nostril breathing). Each of them has its own technique, rhythm, speed, and deepness. For example, Ujjayi should be both energizing and relaxing and is created by gently constricting the throat to create some resistance to the air passage.  

Breathing is a critical functioning of a live organism. When done wrong, it may even harm. Pranayama goes a step further than a simple awareness of the breath; it brings us various health benefits, such as calming, reducing worries and anxiety, improving concentration and attention, boosting vital energy, and positively affecting cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune systems[7].


  1. Govindaraj R, Karmani S, Varambally S, Gangadhar BN. Yoga and physical exercise – a review and comparison. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2016. Jun;28(3):242-53. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2016.1160878.
  2. Ross A, Thomas S. The health benefits of yoga and exercise: a review of comparison studies. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jan;16(1):3-12. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0044. 
  3. Darbandi S, Darbandi M, Khorram Khorshid HR, Sadeghi MR. Yoga Can Improve Assisted Reproduction Technology Outcomes in Couples With Infertility. Altern Ther Health Med. 2018 Jul;24(4):50-55.
  4. Nakamura K, Sheps S, Arck PC. Stress and reproductive failure: past notions, present insights, and future directions. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2008 Feb-Mar;25(2-3):47-62. doi: 10.1007/s10815-008-9206-5.
  5. Domar AD, Zuttermeister PC, Friedman R. The psychological impact of infertility: a comparison with patients with other medical conditions. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 1993;14 Suppl:45-52.
  6. Kirca N, Pasinlioglu T. The effect of yoga on stress level in infertile women. Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2019 Apr;55(2):319-327. doi: 10.1111/ppc.12352.
  7. Novaes MM, Palhano-Fontes F, Onias H, Andrade KC, Lobão-Soares B, Arruda-Sanchez T, Kozasa EH, Santaella DF, de Araujo DB. Effects of Yoga Respiratory Practice (Bhastrika pranayama) on Anxiety, Affect, and Brain Functional Connectivity and Activity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Front Psychiatry. 2020 May 21;11:467. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00467.