IVF · Uncategorized · Yoga

Yin Yoga for IVF: My First Home Practice

The frosty glitter on a 2 degree Celsius yoga practice

Practicing yoga outside this year has saved my yoga practice. No seriously. Starting in May, as soon as it was relatively warm on our deck I was outside practicing yoga.

Oh sure, there were flies, and the cold and wasps to contend with. But the trees, the wind, the gurgling river (the screaming neighbourhood children ahem…). It became my mission and by this summer I had built up a 5-6 day 40-45min yoga practice. Almost exclusively practiced outside. Even on a damp deck. In the drizzle. And recently in a tuque and three layers amidst a frosty, glittering wonderland.

I practiced my regular, vinyasa, heart pumping practice with plenty of twists to get those eggies growing and ending with 5min of calm meditation up until about a week before IVF retrieval. Despite the needles every night, or the increasing feeling of tightness, or the bruising that was sore when my belly touched the floor. Despite the never-ending string of stressful bad news and financial worries of paying for something that should be part of our “free” Canadian healthcare system. Yoga always brought me back and kept me grounded.

About a week before retrieval I started to feel exhausted and a bit “ick”. I naturally cut back to every other day and then on the Monday before retrieval I was hit with nausea that knocked me off my feet. No more yoga.

As I sat in the surgical room in my gorgeous hospital style gown feating delicate blue flowers complete with a hair net and feet booties, 5 days after retrieval with the mind blowing news that we had managed to grow THREE little blastocysts (aka proto-beans, aka-microscopic fertilized cells), the physician and Ihad a little chat about yoga.

You see, it would appear that any vigorous activity after transferring proto-bean is most certainly NOT recommended. No vigorous movements (surya namaskar-see ya latah), no twists (le sigh) and no inversions (especially YOU downward dog!).

Yin Yoga, the dreaded enemy of a highstrung EcoYogini, here I come.


Despite my trepidation and previous experiences that Yin is often more challenging to force a slow down of my mind without any of the physical body exertion, I was going to Yin this yoga up like a BOSS.

There isn’t a whole lot of information out there on what poses are safe for IVF or after transfer postures. From what I gathered the following asanas would be safe:

  1. Child’s pose
  2. Supta baddha konasana (supine bound angle) & seated
  3. One and Two leg seated forward fold
  4. Cat/Cow (gentle)
  5. Legs up against the wall

The first three were specifically approved by the physician (who practices yoga, so she had a good idea of the asanas) while the last two were recommended by a few yoga-fertility sites.

While Andrew played Destiny on mute I set up some candles, found some calming Deva Premal playlists, stole every single pillow from our couch and a few of my grand-mère’s quilts and dove in.

35 minutes later and I was flabbergasted that I had done it. It wasn’t the same feeling as coming from a great vinyasa practice, but I definitely felt calmer, more grounded and more relaxed. I was so ready for sleep.

One of the best parts of that practice was the time I allowed myself to visualize and meditate on helping that little proto-bean take and hopefully grow.

Lessons I learned for next time? Songza is not the best playlist connoisseur. Right when I would start to relax a weirdly jarring plinking piano number would start. Note to self- find a better playlist (suggestions?).

Finally, mute doesn’t necessarily mean “not distracting”. Although it was nice of Andrew to put his video game on mute, I could still see the bright flashes of light from the tv screen, even with my eyes closed and here is frantic button mashing on the couch. Next time I’ll try to either choose a time before he plays Destiny or practice in the piano room.

Look out Yin Yogis- a new gal is on the BLOCK!


4 thoughts on “Yin Yoga for IVF: My First Home Practice

  1. Love this post! ON a whim, I checked your old blog today, and found the link to this one. congratulations and best wishes. I’m looking forward to reading about your journey.


      1. I’m sure you can as long as you don’t put any compression on the belly or do any inversions, or intense back bends or forward bends. I’m currently studying yoga therapy for woman’s issues including pre-natal/pregnancy/post natal. How is your pregnancy going?


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