Yoga is great for your physical and mental health and has rightfully gained major global popularity over the past few years. However, is yoga effective for PCOS too? Read on to find out!
There is something in yoga for everyone. No wonder it has gained so much global popularity in a period of just a few years. But does yoga work for chronic diseases? What about yoga for PCOS? Which yoga poses work for PCOS? Don’t worry we have got you covered on all your questions about yoga and PCOS.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental and physical health. It involves the use of various kinds of body movements, breathing techniques and meditation tactics. Yoga has gained massive popularity over the past few years due to the many health benefits it brings to your overall health.
Benefits of Yoga for PCOS
Yoga is undoubtedly the easiest and the most affordable alternative to heavy and not-so-pocket-friendly workouts at gyms. It has various benefits for those with PCOS as well.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that affects women of the reproductive age group. As PCOS causes a woman’s ovaries to produce more androgens (male hormones) than normal, it leads to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia and causes various disturbing symptoms such as irregular periods, weight gain, and infertility.
Some of the benefits of doing yoga for PCOS include:
1. Improves Hormonal Balance
Studies suggest that yoga has multiple health benefits for women with PCOS as it enhances your body’s blood flow and circulation towards the pelvic region. It aids your body by improving the levels of sex hormones and regulating the menstrual cycle, thereby improving fertility. Yoga may lower the levels of testosterone in women and reduce the symptoms of PCOS such as weight gain, irregular periods, etc.
2. Reduces the Risk of Chronic Diseases
PCOS is a chronic condition, but it also increases the risk of developing other chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and heart disease. Yoga not only improves PCOS symptoms but also reduces the risk of these chronic diseases. It improves the regulation of glucose and cholesterol levels in your blood. It also reduces insulin resistance in women with PCOS.
3. Improves Mental Health
Regular practice of yoga is known to reduce stress and anxiety, which are common symptoms of PCOS. Yoga reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body, calms the mind and also shows a positive effect on the sympathetic activity of the nerves.
5 PCOS Yoga Asanas
Yes, there are several PCOS yoga poses that you can adopt in your routine. Some yoga poses that can help you manage your PCOS symptoms include:
1. Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose)
Dhanurasana pose may help relieve menstrual discomfort, improve the functioning of reproductive organs and also regulate menstrual cycles.
How to do it:
- Start with lying on your stomach with your arms at the sides of your body.
- Fold up your knees and try to hold your ankles with your hands.
- Breathe in by raising your chest upwards along with pulling your legs up.
- Hold the pose for 15 seconds and keep breathing.
- To release, bring your chest and legs back to the ground.
- Relax with your face down. Repeat this pose three times.
2. Supta Baddha Konasana (The Butterfly or Bound Angle Pose)
Supta Baddha Konasana is one of the easiest yoga poses to do for PCOS. This pose not only relaxes your body, it also relieves your body from the distress caused during menstruation.
How to do it:
- Make sure to sit straight on the floor or on a yoga mat before doing this pose.
- Your aim should be to keep your back or spine straight while you sit with your legs spread apart.
- Bend your knees and bring your heels closer to each other.
- Flap both your folded legs like the wings of a butterfly for about a minute.
3. Setu Bandhasana (The Bridge Pose)
Setu Bandhasana can be referred to as one of the most effective yoga poses for relieving the symptoms of menopause. It is also known for reducing stress and anxiety along with reducing the muscular tension in the back.
How to do it:
- Lie on the floor with a straight back and folded knees, keeping your feet at a hip distance apart.
- Place your hands beside your body.
- Slowly lift your lower back (from the pelvis to sternum) while inhaling and make sure to keep your toes stuck to the floor.
- Breathe slowly and stay in this position for 1-2 minutes.
- Repeat it at least 5 times in one set.
4. Malasana (Garland Pose)
Malasana pose helps strengthen your pelvic floor by increasing blood flow to that particular area and therefore helping with better digestion. It also reduces the discomfort caused by symptoms of PCOS such as irregular periods and period cramps.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet wide apart, with more than the distance between your hips.
- Bend your knees while lowering your buttocks to achieve a squat position.
- Make a prayer position with your hands.
- Breathe inwards and outwards as you do the squats.
- Repeat this pose 3 times.
5. Kapalbhati Pranayama (The Breath of Fire Breathing Technique)
Kapalbhati Pranayama is a breathing exercise that helps your body fight oxidative stress and increases blood circulation to all the organs. It stimulates weight loss by reducing stress levels and improving the functioning of the pancreas, thereby reducing blood sugar levels.
How to do it:
- Sit on the floor with your legs crossed.
- Close your eyes and let your body relax for a while.
- Take a deep breath while expanding your chest.
- Exhale with forceful abdominal muscle contractions and relaxation.
- Repeat it 10 times for up to 5 minutes on an empty stomach.
Precautions to be Taken While Doing Yoga for PCOS
Although yoga can be a highly beneficial activity for your body to achieve mindfulness, an active body, and a healthy lifestyle, it is important to consider a few precautions before performing yoga at home. Remember to:
- Place a yoga mat or a thick carpet on the floor before performing any yoga poses to avoid slipping and getting hurt due to the hard flooring.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing while doing yoga. Prefer wearing loose, stretchable and comfortable clothes while doing yoga.
- Do not push yourself over it if you are not able to perform an asana. It takes time for your body to get used to any asana.
- Stay hydrated. Even though yoga doesn’t make you sweat a lot, hydration is still the key to a fit and healthy journey.
- Consult a doctor before adding yoga to your daily routine if you are pregnant as some poses might not be suitable for you.
Have a light meal at least an hour before doing yoga. However, it is not necessary to have meals before yoga as some yoga asanas put pressure on your abdominal muscles and can make you feel sick.
Other Health Benefits of Yoga
- Yoga helps increase blood flow throughout the body and also improves your muscular strength, body balance, and flexibility.
- Yoga helps relieve stress and body inflammation, which may further promote a healthier heart. The effects of other factors that play a role in the development of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and excess weight can also be reduced by yoga.
- Studies suggest that yoga can improve arthritic discomfort such as pain and tenderness in the joints. It also improves mobility and eases pain in your lower body.
- Yoga relaxes your mind and muscles and improves your sleeping quality and quantity.
- Yoga may improve your mood and create a state of positivity in your mind. It also increases your mental alertness and physical energy.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Yoga involves the use of various kinds of body movements, breathing techniques and meditation tactics. It is great for your overall health and also works for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
- PCOS causes women’s ovaries to produce more androgens (male hormones), which leads to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia, causing various symptoms such as irregular periods, weight gain and problems with fertility.
- Some of the benefits of doing yoga for PCOS include improvement in hormonal balance, a decrease in the risk of chronic diseases and improvement in mental health.
- Some of the yoga poses that can help with PCOS include Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose), Supta baddha konasana (The Butterfly or Bound Angle Pose), Setu bandhasana (The Bridge Pose), Kapalbhati pranayama (The Breath of Fire Breathing Technique) and Malasana (Garland Pose).
- Some of the precautions that you must take before performing yoga at home include placing a yoga mat or a thick carpet on the floor, avoiding wearing tight clothing while doing yoga, not pushing yourself to do an asana, staying hydrated, consulting a doctor if you are pregnant, and having a light meal at least an hour before doing yoga.
- Other health benefits of yoga include increased blood flow throughout the body, reduced stress and body inflammation, a healthier heart, weight management, improvement in arthritic discomfort, better sleep quality and quantity, and increased mental alertness and physical energy.
- Start your PCOS management journey with Phable. Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading gynaecologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and dieticians; order medicines; book lab tests; and get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a PCOS Management program that provides 360º care.
Friendly Asked Questions
No, PCOS cannot be cured, not even with yoga. However, yoga can help you manage the distressing symptoms of PCOS. Yoga relaxes your mind and body, reduces the risk of chronic disease and also improves the hormonal imbalance caused in your body due to PCOS.
Yes, yoga is extremely beneficial for your pelvic floor. It helps strengthen your pelvic region and reduces pain and discomfort. A strong pelvic floor can be linked to a better body balance, and a healthier gall bladder and reproductive system.
Yes, studies suggest that yoga can be good for promoting fertility in both men and women. It does so by strengthening the body, reducing stress and anxiety, and balancing hormones.
No, yoga cannot reverse PCOS. PCOS cannot be reversed, but it can be managed. Hence, yoga can help you manage PCOS effectively by helping ease symptoms such as hormonal imbalance, irregular periods, etc. Yoga improves the circulation and flow of blood to your pelvic region, thereby regulating the sex hormones and reproductive efficiency.
Yoga can be beneficial for your body in several ways if you have PCOS. It can improve the blood flow and circulation to the pelvic region and further stimulate the functioning of sex hormones and reproductive organs. It reduces the levels of androgens in your body and helps ease the symptoms of PCOS such as irregular periods, stress and anxiety, etc.
No, kapalbhati cannot cure PCOD/PCOS. However, it helps improve the flow and circulation of blood to all the organs of your body. Thereby, it can help you manage symptoms of PCOS such as weight gain and high blood sugar levels.
Though one of the best yoga poses for PCOS, surya namaskar cannot cure PCOS. It can, however, help manage the symptoms of PCOS and assist in weight loss and regulation of menstrual flow or periods.
The five best poses of yoga for PCOS include Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose), Supta baddha konasana (The Butterfly or Bound Angle Pose), Setu bandhasana (The Bridge Pose), Kapalbhati pranayama (The Bonus Breathing Technique), and Malasana (Garland Pose).