- Become stronger, more flexible, and more relaxed
- Gain more awareness and insight into your thoughts and feelings
- Enjoy the benefits of stress reduction
Plus, most yoga students I know enjoy the lovely feeling of walking out of a yoga class with a slight yoga “buzz.” In this blog, I answer some of the questions that community members have asked about how to get started with yoga.
Q: How do I learn yoga?
A: If you are just starting out with yoga, and aren’t sure where to begin, try one of the following:
- Find an experienced, passionate teacher at an established yoga studio.
- Check out a yoga class at your local gym.
- Find yoga videos and DVDs on the web, in stores, or on YouTube.
There are so many styles of yoga out there, and every teacher is so different. You may want to try several different styles or teachers until you find the one that clicks with you. (Remember: if you are trying to get pregnant, check with a fertility specialist or your doctor first before starting a new exercise program).
Q: Can I just try yoga at home?
A: Sure! If you prefer to practice yoga at home, here are 5 easy steps to get started:
- Get a yoga mat, or spread out a large towel.
- Identify a quiet room where you can practice without interruptions.
- Put on a yoga DVD or practice what you have learned in your yoga classes. Commit to at least 15 minutes on your mat. Breathe.
- Notice any physical or emotional feelings that come up. What do you start thinking about? Nourish those inner voices and feelings and then gently let them go.
- Finish the session with a relaxation pose. Lie on your back and relax all of the muscles in your body and face. Rest there peacefully, feeling the healing effects of your practice.
Q: How often should I practice?
A: By slowing down, tuning inward, and breathing steadily, you can gain the benefits of yoga with just one session. To get the most benefits, practice regularly and consistently (daily or every other day if possible). I find that it is usually the days when I need to practice yoga the most that I avoid doing it. On stressful and emotional days, I glare at my yoga mat. I would much rather comfort myself with some chocolate and bad reality TV. But if I (ahem, force myself to) practice, I really feel the benefits. I sleep better, I feel better, I’m more pleasant to be around, and I feel way more peaceful. I notice my stress level decreases and I’m not so tense. It feels like a massage for my entire nervous system, emotions, and spirit. Plus, it’s much healthier than chocolate and TV!
Q: Are you saying that yoga can help me get pregnant?
A: Just to be clear, I want to reiterate what I mentioned last week. As far as I know, yoga does not cure infertility. I have not seen any studies claiming that yoga boosts IVF success rates. But, I do believe that yoga (if it’s your type of thing) can help you deal with some of the emotional hardships of infertility.
Q: Are there Yoga for Fertility classes near me?
A: I do see ads for “Yoga for Fertility” classes in different cities from time to time. Some fertility clinics, like The Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI), even offer yoga for women with infertility problems. FCI partners with Pulling Down the Moon, a holistic fertility treatment center, from time to time to offer integrated yoga services for their patients. Patients at FCI can also meet with clinical psychologists Dr. Marie Davidson and Dr. Ariadna Cymet-Lanski, to learn how to deal with the stresses and uncertainties of infertility. Call FCI at (312) 253-4585 to learn more about their programs, or check with a fertility clinic near you for similar programs.
Britt Berg is a medical writer from Atlanta. Co-author of Making a Baby and a former yoga instructor, Britt is obsessed with all things related to fertility, pregnancy, and birth.