Fertility yoga classes are becoming quite popular. They are designed to be restorative in nature and the movements are tailored to women who are having difficulty conceiving.
"I use breathing techniques that start to activate the parasympathetic nervous system," said fertility yoga instructor Jessica Ladd Lefterova, who is the director of operation for the North Texas region of Oh Baby! Fitness, and specializes in pre and post-natal fitness. In April, she implemented fertility yoga classes at several Texas Health facilities.
Lefterova takes students through a series of key poses to support and strengthen the body's endocrine and reproductive systems.
"The possibilities are incredible and good," said Fertility Specialist Dr. Alfred Rodriguez, of Texas IVF and medical director of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Department at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.
Rodriguez is also a proponent of yoga for women who are having difficulty conceiving. He said while science has shown that strenuous, intense exercise during fertility treatments can be harmful to a woman's pelvis, gentle movements that promote relaxation and deep breathing for stress reduction can help to balance hormones.
"Any activity that involves mindfulness, breathing techniques and meditation has powerful physical, emotional and mental benefits," said Dr. Rodriguez. "Yoga can be a calming antidote for any woman consumed by the desire to have a baby, the resulting stress of which can become a barrier to conception itself."
He continued, "Success rate is hard to measure, but I hear a lot of positive feedback from patients."
Ajla Karacic is one of those patients who began coming to Jessica's fertility yoga classes three months ago. She and her fiancé have been trying to get pregnant for six years.
"Everybody’s going through the same thing," said Karacic. "It’s like a therapy session every Thursday."
Fertility yoga can help to increase circulation to the reproductive system, detoxify the body and support a healthy immune system, and reduce stress.
"The breathing exercises that Jessica teaches in class -- I use them every day," said Karacic. "In my car, at home, at work; It’s helped me to relieve a lot of stress, and I know that’s a big factor in infertility."
By stimulating nerve receptors, Jessica's fertility yoga classes are offering women like Karacic a connection to their bodies that they hope will lead to motherhood.
For more on fertility yoga classes, go here.