Pcos is polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is every modern-day woman’s nightmare, not only does this condition affect the normal functioning of the body, it also affects the appearance. Also, in extreme cases, pcos can prevent a woman from conceiving.
In this, the level of androgens (male hormones) in a woman’s body goes up. As a result, body morphology and functioning of internal organs changes. A woman suffering from pcos will have the following symptoms –
- Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) on the ovaries which can be seen in a sonograph
- Irregularity in menstruation caused by either delayed or no ovulation
- Excess body, facial hair, and acne
- Difficulty in losing weight
- Difficulty in conceiving
- Acanthosis nigricans – a condition in which the skin develops dark, thick, velvety patches especially in skin folds like armpits, neck folds, groin, etc
Yoga against pcos: does it work and why?
Yoga is not just exercise, it is a way of life. Yoga refers to a set of principles that form the basis of a lifestyle that, if practiced through life, will take closer to moksha (liberation from the circle of life, death, and rebirth). The principles of yoga are based on attaining, the highest level of harmony between all the five senses, different body parts, thoughts, emotions, and the entire being.
The most commonly known and widely practiced school of yoga is the hatta yoga and focuses on the following main aspects of personal discipline –
- Mitahara or proper diet
- Shatkarma or proper body cleansing
- Asana or proper body posture
- Pranayam or proper breathing
- Dhyan or meditation
- Kundalini a form of primal energy located at the base of the spine
11 best yoga for pcos
Baddhakonasan or butterfly pose
It works on the muscles of the groin area, the inner thighs and organs in the abdominal cavity. In women, it is known to regulate the function of the ovaries and to soothe the menstrual cycle.
Supta badhakonasan or reclining butterfly pose
It is a modification of the baddhakonasan and is shown to have similar benefits.
Bhujangasan or cobra pose
It is the seventh pose of surya namaskar and works on the swadishthan chakra said to be located in the sacrum. It does wonders on activating the kundalini (primal energy that is the main driving force of all life, in literal terms, sexual energy) thereby aiding in controlling symptoms of pcos.
Naukasan or boat pose
This works on the abdominal muscles or organs located in the abdominal cavity. It is also known to regulate thyroid function, one of effects or having pcos.
Dhanurasan or bow pose
This is the best pose to help constipation, it is also beneficial in relieving menstrual discomfort – cramps, stiffness, etc. It also stimulated the reproductive organs, thereby helping them function better.
Balasana or child pose
This has no direct impact on any particular organ in the body. However, it is a great asana to strengthen the hips. In spite of that, this asana makes it to the list of yoga asanas for pcos because it is a good counter asana which helps the body return to its normal state after being stretched and extended in the other different asanas.
Marjariasana or cat pose
This is known and practiced by many to get rid of back pain. It is a great pose to strengthen the spine. Also, it helps strengthen the core muscles giving strength to endure childbirth and tackle menstrual cramps.
Bitilasan or camel pose
This camel pose is the opposite of the cat pose. It acts to balance the cat pose and should always be practised together with it.
Prasarita padottanasana or wide legged forward bend
This asana too works on the hips, it helps to open them up wider, so that childbirth will be easier. This also helps to tone the abdominal muscles and visceral organs.
Padmasan or lotus pose
This is a great asana for both men and women, it works on the reproductive organs of both the sexes. In men, padmasana is known to ease sciatica too. In women, sitting in padmasan during the menstrual cycle can relieve cramps. The pelvic girdle is worked on by this asana.
Setu bandha sarvangasana or bridge pose
This regulates thyroid function, an important aspect of pcos. It is also known to stimulate organs in the abdominal cavity. Also, it helps cure symptoms of menopause, a very significant feature with respect to treating pcos.
Other are paschimottanasana or seated forward bend, shalabhasana, or locust poseor malasan or garland pose.
Yoga has a lot of health benefits but be careful while practicing yoga. Here are some precautions –
- Use a yoga mat.
- Use stretchable clothes.
- Listen to the body. If unable to do an asana perfectly, do not push the body.
- Use ambient music instead of loud pumping beats music.
- Don’t take a heavy pre-workout meal before a yoga session.
- Do not forget to drink water.
- Do not bring the phone to the floor.
- Always perform asanas first, then pranayam and then dhyan. Do not mix up this sequence.
PCOS is simply one of the disorders that yoga can positively affect and help manage. Yoga is a holistic way of life is hence guaranteed to uplift the quality of every aspect of life.