So what exactly is PCOS?
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is something that's coming up in discussions quite often now. The reason is that this condition is affecting more and more women and many more are now speaking about it. One in every five women in the age group of 15-44 suffers from it though it can set in anytime after puberty. PCOS is an imbalance in the reproductive hormone that causes metabolic, fertility, and appearance-related problems. In this condition, several small cysts form on the ovaries that lead to these imbalances altering the levels of menstrual cycle-regulating hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and the ovulation hormones i.e. FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (Luteinizing hormone).
How do you feel when you have PCOS?
It is good to know the symptoms of PCOS and talk to your specialist if you experience:
- Irregular or no periods
- Inability to conceive
- Unintended weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Excessive acne or oily and dark/ patchy skin
- Hirsutism i.e. excessive hair growth on the face, back, chest, etc.
- Frequent headaches
What causes PCOS?
The exact reasons why a woman gets PCOS are still unknown. Your chances of getting it increase when:
- It runs in your family.
- You are obese or diabetic, which makes you resistant to insulin.
- You suffer from a low-grade inflammation that stimulates your ovaries to produce androgen.
How can I manage my PCOS? The cure for PCOS has not been found. However, the good news is that taking a more holistic approach towards the way you live your life can help you manage your symptoms. This includes managing your weight by eating well and exercising regularly. However, it's not all physical! Having a positive disposition keeping stress and anxiety at bay also helps greatly in PCOS.
How can yoga help my PCOS?
Several studies have been undertaken to assess the impact of yoga, the ancient art of yoga that builds a harmony between our mind and body, on PCOS. These studies along with first-hand experiences of women who have been practicing yoga for PCOS have shown a positive correlation between yoga and their alleviated symptoms. Yoga poses for PCOS have shown to have physical and mental benefits in bolstering your health & wellness. Here is how yoga for PCOS helps you:
- Yoga asanas for PCOS helps in abdominal compression, improving blood circulation and metabolism.
- Yoga asanas for PCOS help in decreasing the levels of cortisol.
- Yoga for PCOS helps in decreasing blood sugar and insulin resistance.
- Yoga for PCOS helps in regulating menstrual cycles.
- Yoga for PCOS works wonders in reducing anxiety and stress.
- Yoga poses for PCOS helps in decreasing painful inflammation.
- Yoga for irregular periods and PCOS may help in reducing androgens.
- Yoga asanas for PCOS helps in reducing weight. This helps in dealing with feelings of body shame and disappointment and inducing self-acceptance.
- The benefits of yoga for relaxation and stress relief, especially in those with PCOS cannot be reiterated enough. Yoga for PCOS along with yoga- pranayama helps in inducing sleep that helps in helping you stay calm.
- Regularly practicing yoga to cure PCOS helps in adopting other healthy habits like healthy eating, being more active, and taking plenty of sleep.
Which are the most effective yoga poses for PCOS?
Let us look at some of the most effective asanas of yoga for PCOS:
- Bhadrasana (Butterfly pose)
- This is one of the most effective Hatha yoga: Yoga for PCOS asanas that help in stretching the muscles of the pelvic area, improving blood circulation in the abdomen, and easing menstrual pain.
- Start by sitting in the Lotus pose and position your feet so that they touch each other.
- Grasp your feet together and keep your spine straight.
- Inhale and place a hand on both knees.
- Exhale and move your knees up and down.
- Inhale and bring your knees back.
- Repeat this 3-4 times.
2. Malasana (Garland pose)
- This is an excellent asana of yoga for polycystic ovary syndrome that helps in regulating your menstruation, improving the function of the colon, and in conception.
- Stand with your arms at your side.
- Lower into a squat. The distance between your thighs should be wider than your torso.
- Bring your hands together in a prayer position and press your elbows against the inside of your knees.
- Shift your weight on your heels keeping your spine straight.
- Hold this for 5 breaths and release.
3. Sarvangasana (Reverse body)
- This pose of yoga for PCOS is extremely beneficial for the ovaries and helps in the proper functioning of the pituitary and thyroid glands. This asana of yoga for PCOS and PCOD also balances your hormones.
- Raise your legs as you exhale and make a right angle with your body.
- Raise your arms as you hold your waist and push your body up as far as possible.
- Shift your hands slowly towards the waist with your fingers at the back of the hip bones.
- Set your chin in a jugular notch and place your weight on the shoulders.
- Hold the pose for 5 seconds to 2 minutes and release.
What are some tips for getting started?
Here are some things to keep in mind before embarking on your journey to heal from PCOS with YOGA:
- Ensure that you start practicing yoga for irregular periods and PCOS with proper guidance. Doing yoga for PCOS without adequate training may cause more harm than good.
- Start slow and don't practice yoga for PCOS too fast and too much.
- Don't do asanas of yoga for PCOS that put pressure on your abdomen.
- Be it PCOS exercise yoga or any other workout, consistency is the key.
- Don't practice yoga poses for PCOS when you have fever, flu, or are stressed. This will increase the body heat and lead to anger and irritability.
- The practice of yoga for PCOS should be followed holistically i.e. with a nutritious diet and adequate rest & sleep.
Remember, that yoga for PCOS is a lifelong journey. Enjoy your body and mind and start accepting and loving yourself and see your stress, anxiety, and PCOS discomfort melt away!