Struggling to conceive? Try YOGA, say experts
Taking just one yoga class a week could dramatically boost your chances of getting pregnant, particularly if you're undergoing IVF.
Those mountain poses and downward dogs aren't just incredibly effective at toning your limbs and easing away muscle tension, they also lower anxiety levels - something doctors now believe is key in improving fertility.
Previous research shows that one in four women stop IVF treatment because of anxiety. In the latest study of 50 women, conducted by the Fertility Centre of Illinois and Rush University Medical Centre, participants reported their stress levels were reduced by 20 per cent after just six weeks of 45-minute Vinyasa yoga classes.
A control group of 50 women who didn't do yoga reported no reduction in stress during the same period.
Yoga has long been used in Indian culture to ward off disease and fight stress, but modern research has proven the meditation, slow, focused movements and stretches have a very real biological effect. Recent studies show that yoga can reduce stress-induced ageing, blitz inflammation in cancer patients, improve asthma symptoms and soothe insomnia.
"Cost remains a top reason couples stop infertility treatment, but close behind remains emotional distress." says study author Dr Jenny Hirshfeld-Cytron of Fertility Centres of Illinois.
"We believe yoga can help to alleviate this stress and allow couples to stay in treatment."
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