Yoga Movements

T WO YEARS AGO, I FOUND MYSELF GOING THROUG HMY SECOND LAPROSCOPIC SURG ERY FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS.

In the recovery room, I was told I had a frozen pelvis and scarred fallopian tubes and that In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) would be my only option for having a second baby. In the months leading up to my first my IVF cycle, I wanted to prepare my body as best as possible for what was to come. I created a basic program to help me move safely and effectively during this unique time, and these are a few of the exercises that I found especially beneficial. They’re meant to improve circulation, especially in the abdominal and pelvic areas, which is important to the health of our organs. This series is also designed to help increase mobility in areas that may have scar tissue, while stabilizing joints that can be affected by the hormones taken during fertility treatments. Going through treatment can make women feel confused, powerless and frustrated. Try using your Pilates practice to find some empowerment and peace within your body, and to help navigate you through this unique time.

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Tips for teachers Here are some important things to keep in mind when working with a client going through

IVF. THE SE MOVES AREN OTMEANT TO IMPROVE FERTILITY IN ANY WAY.

It’s important not to make any claims about increasing someone’s chances of getting pregnant.

AVO ID ABDOMIN ALEXE RCI SESBE FORE AND DURING FERTILITY TREATMENTS.

Intense abdominal work—such as the Series of Five and planks—is generally not recommended during this time, as it can funnel vital blood flow away from the abdominal and reproductive organs and to the muscles that you’re working. Fertility treatments are a time for gentle and focused movements—not extreme exercising.

THERE IS APO INT IN AN IVFCYCLE WHEN THE INJECTIONS BEGIN.

It’s called the “stimming” phase, which indicates the time that hormones are given to increase follicle and egg production. The exercises here are not recommended during that period, as they can cause injury to the ovaries. Make sure you understand where your client is in their IVF cycle, and always have them check with their doctor before starting an exercise protocol during fertility treatments.

Spine twist into seated rotation stretch PURPOSE improves circulation and mobility in the abdominal and pelvic organs SETUP Sit tall with your legs hip-width apart and hands behind your head. Find a neutral spine, and lift up out of your pelvis.

1 . Inhale as you rotate to one side; exhale to return to center. Do 10 reps, alternating sides.

2 . Bend your left knee, and place your foot on the floor outside of your right knee; place your left hand on your bent knee and your right hand on the floor behind you. Rotate toward your bent knee, lengthening through your spine for a deeper stretch; hold for 3 breaths. Repeat to your other side. TIP Keep your elbows wide, and your hips facing forward as you twist.

Prone leg lift into swan PURPOSE strengthens the glutes while stabilizing the pelvis; improves extension throughout the spine; stretches the anterior torso SETUP Lie facedown with your legs hip-width apart and hands under your forehead.

1 . Exhale as you lift one leg toward the ceiling, making sure there is no increased extension in your low back or rocking of your pelvis. Do 10 reps on both sides.

2 . Separate your legs a little wider, and place your hands underneath your shoulders. Exhale to prepare, and then inhale as you lift up into full extension. Do 3 reps.

MODIFICATION If you’re uncomfortable on your stomach, do this exercise in a quadruped position.

Pelvic tilt into bridge PURPOSE improves mobility in the pelvis; strengthens the hips SETUP Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart on the floor and palms by your sides.

1 . Exhale as you tuck your pelvis, and then inhale to return to neutral. Do 10 reps.

2 . Exhale as you roll through your spine one vertebra at a time to lift up into Bridge. Inhale to pause, and then exhale to return to the starting position one vertebra at a time. Do 10 reps. TIPS Focus on isolating the pelvic movement during step 1. Teachers, watch out for neck tension and thoracic (ribs) extension, which are common movement strategies when there is a lack of pelvic awareness and mobility.

Spinal balance PURPOSE stabilizes the hips and pelvis while strengthening the posterior sling SETUP Get into a quadruped position with your spine neutral.

1 . Exhale as you extend your opposite arm and leg, making sure to keep your spine in a neutral position. Hold for up to 3 breaths.

2 . Repeat on your other side. Do 3 sets. ADVANCED This is a great position to work on stability and core strength without overworking the abdominals. Add variations such as pulses of the arm and leg, or leg lifts.

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