I won’t go into the detailed scientific explanation of PCOS. It’s a condition where small cysts form in the ovaries which affects the hormones and disrupts the normal menstrual cycle.
If you suffer from these symptoms, please get in touch with a doctor or a Gynecologist.
Some of the common causes of PCOS are excessive stress, anxiety, depression, a faulty lifestyle or perennial tension.
I don’t suffer from PCOS but I do have a very painful menstrual cycle. I am paralysed with pain for the first 3 days of my periods. Its nauseating and at times I’ve had to take injections for the pain. Pain killers were my only saviour and we all know how bad they are for the body. When I started doing yoga , I realised that the period pain over time had minimised. Instead of taking 3 pain killers a day , I could survive on just one. Also my cycle became more regular and on time.
Yoga helps with PCOS and menstrual cramps. It’s not a cure. But it will control and help you manage the symptoms. The relaxing and rejuvenating power of yoga helps a lot in dealing with PCOS symptoms because it helps release the stress in the system. One of the major effects of PCOS is weight gain and we all know how yoga can help you with weight loss. Another symptom of PCOS is reduced fertility because it throws the hormones out of balance. Yoga poses helps to enhance blood supply to the brain which in turn aids to restore hormonal balance. Certain poses also stimulate the functions of the thyroid gland and increases the chances of conception. Another side effect of PCOS is a gastrointestinal upset, but yoga can help in solving digestive disorders as well. The yoga poses provide massage to the digestive organs and improve their functions.
A Doctor’s diagnosis is very important. If you have been prescribed medication , please don’t stop taking them. I reiterate, yoga helps manage PCOS , it does not cure it.
Here are a few yoga poses that are beneficial for managing PCOS symptoms.
Badhakonasana (Butterfly pose)
This asana helps to open up the pelvic region and promote relaxation which in turn helps to reduce stress and relieve discomfort related to menstruation. Most importantly you must have a cool and calm mind while practicing this yoga pose.
How to do it: Sit straight with your spine erect and legs spread in the front, bend your knees and bring the feet near the pelvis with the soles of the feet touching each other. Try to pull in the heels close to the genitals. Now, take deep baths and press the thighs and knees down towards the floor by providing gentle pressure. Now, begin flapping both legs like the wings of a butterfly in slow, controlled motion for 1 minute and then come to a stop.
Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s Twist)
This is a relaxing seated yoga pose that works the spinal column and helps in treating the symptoms of PCOS. Regular practice of this yoga pose helps to balance blood pressure and normalize the problems of menstruation and promote overall relaxation by rejuvenating the spine and muscles and soothing the nervous system.
How to do it: Sit on the yoga mat with legs stretched in front and arms resting on both sides of the body. Now, bend your knees and bring them close to the left hip such that the weight of the body is resting on the right buttock. Rest the left ankle on the arch of the right foot. Slowly twist your upper body to the right side as much as possible keeping the right hand on the floor and the left hand on the outer portion of the right thigh. Try to twist your body further with each breath. Remain in this position for 1 minute and then gently come back to the original position and repeat the same procedure on the opposite side shifting the weight on the left buttock.
Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Women of all ages can practice it right from PCOS diagnosis in order to control the symptoms naturally. This posture exerts soothing pressure on the stomach and aids to stimulate the functions of the ovary. It also helps in better digestion and reducing stress. But it’s best not the hold this posture for more than 30 seconds at a time.
How to do it – Lie on your stomach with toes placed flat on the floor, legs together and hands under the shoulders with palms down on the floor and elbows close to the torso. Inhale deeply and lift your head and torso off the floor. Support your raised torso with both hands keeping them straight and arching your back as much as you can. Tilt your head upward and look up. Keep your shoulders free and away from the ears. Keep breathing normally in this state, wait for 30 seconds and return to the starting position.
Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
It helps to stimulate the functions of the reproductive organs, relieves menstrual discomfort and normalizes the menstrual cycles.
How to do it: First lie on your stomach with feet resting hip-width apart and arms resting on the sides of the body. Grip your ankles by folding the knees and bringing them near the hips. Lift your chest off with ground and pull your legs up so that your body takes the shape of an arched bow. Stabilize this pose and stay for 30 seconds while taking deep breaths. Exhale and return to the starting position by releasing the ankles.
Superman Pose (Viparita Shalabhasana)
This specific yoga pose works as good as belly breathing exercise for developing a toned abdomen. It also helps to promote blood circulation to the reproductive organs, tones the abdomen and lower back muscles, strengthens the chest, shoulder, arms, and legs and opens the chest.
How to do it: Lie on the stomach with toes placed flat on the ground, legs close to each other. Now, stretch both the arms in front and lift the head, chest, arms and, thighs and legs off the floor as if you are flying in the air. Feel the stretch in the arms, legs and torso and keep breathing normally for 30 seconds and then go back to the starting position by relaxing your chests, arms, and legs.
Mill Churning Pose (Chakki Chalanasana)
The movements involved in this exercise helps modify the functions of the endocrine gland, thereby facilitating optimum hormonal secretion, and it also massages the uterus, reproductive organs, liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
How to do it: Sit on the ground with your spine straight, hands outstretched and arms raised at shoulder height and palms clasped together. Inhale deeply and begin moving the upper part of the body in a circular motion forming an imaginary circle with the body. Inhale while moving forward and exhale as you go backward. Continue to breathe deeply while rotating for 1 minute and feel the stretch in the arms, legs, abdomen and groin. You can make 20 rounds in one direction and then 20 rounds in the opposite direction.
Naukasana (Boat pose)
It is the best type of yoga for weight loss that helps to achieve a perfectly flat abdomen. It puts controlled pressure on the abdominal region, increases blood flow to the reproductive organs and enhances the functions of the ovaries.
How to do it: Lie down on the back with feet joined together and arms resting beside the body. Take a deep breath and lift up your head, chest and feet off the ground as you exhale stretching your arms towards your feet. Maintain your eyes, fingers and toes in a straight like while breathing deeply. Feel the tension in the navel and abdominal muscles. Maintain this pose for 30 seconds and return to the starting position.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide legged forward Bend)
This particular yoga posture works the hips and lower back by flexing the muscles within turn increase energy and facilitates blood circulation to the ovaries. The exercise also lengthens the spinal column and stretches the leg and back muscles.
How to do it – Begin in the Mountain Pose or Tadasana, exhale and lower your body in front so that the palms touch the floor right under the shoulders. Lengthen your legs to press the hips up towards the ceiling, feel the stretch in the spine as you press the head down further. Hold the position for 30 seconds while breathing deeply and then return to the starting position. You can use yoga blocks under the hands if your hands don’t touch the floor.
Supta Badhakonasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose)
This pose has to be practiced laying down which makes it extremely relaxing. Beginners can do this posture by placing a cushion or pillow under the hip in order to gain better support.
How to do it: Lie down on the floor or yoga mat with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the ground. Now, bring your heels close to the grin, press your palms on the floor beside the hips and contract your abs as you breathe out and move your tailbone towards the pubic bone. Maintain the pelvic tilt. Now exhale and allow your knees to open and come down towards the ground forming a stretch in the inner thighs and groin region. Join the soles of your feet together and place the outer edges of the feet on the ground. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Stay in this condition for 30 seconds to 1 minute breathing fully and slowly and then return to the starting position.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
One of the vital yoga poses included in PCOS natural treatment is the child’s pose that brings about relaxation by soothing the Central Nervous System. It also releases lower back tension, menstrual cramps, and PMS symptoms and normalizes blood flow throughout the body.
How to do it: Kneel down on the yoga mat and sit on the heels, keeping your knees separated about hip-width apart. Now, bring your head down in front to touch the floor and lay your torso down between your thighs. Place your hands on the floor at the side of the torso and relax the shoulders towards the floor. Rest in this posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then go back to starting position.
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Padmasana is a basic meditation pose that is often included in pranayama breathing exercise. This pose helps to stretch the pelvic region and also helps to correct hormonal imbalance which is vital for PCOS treatment. It helps to reduce menstrual discomfort, control blood pressure, ease childbirth and relax the mind.
How to do it: Sit on the floor with the spine straight, bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh such that the sole of the feet are pointing upwards, and they rests close to the abdomen. Bend the left knee and place the left foot on the right thigh in the same way. When both legs are crossed, place your hands on the knees while keeping your head straight. Maintain this posture for 1 minute while breathing deeply and gently.
Nispanda Bhava (unmoving observations)
Stress and tension have negative impact on the symptoms of PCOS and make things worse, so controlling stress is also an important part of the treatment. One of the best ways to alleviate stress is by practicing Conscious relaxation through Nispanda Bhava, which works as good as relaxing Tai Chi techniques. This exercise involves passive listening which brings forth mental peace and relaxation.
How to do it: Sit comfortably on the floor, reclining your back against the wall and legs spread out. Maintain comfortable distance between two legs and let your shoulders and head relax so that there is not any kind of stiffness in the body. Rest your hands on the thighs, palms facing upwards. Relax in this state for 5 to 10 minutes keeping your eyes closed. Engage your mind in the fading sounds around you without trying to analyze any specific sound.
Shavasana (Corpse pose)
Last but not the least is the corpse pose, which holds an extremely important place in yoga, and no yoga session can come to an end without this ending posture. This relaxing posture is beneficial for polycystic ovary syndrome also because it helps to relax the body and mind and relieve stress and tension in an effective manner.
How to do it: After completion of the yoga session lie down on your back without any cushions or blankets and close your eyes. Keep your legs slightly apart and your feet and knees completely relaxed. Place your arms at your sides a little apart from the body, palms open and facing upward. Gradually relax your entire body while breathing slowly and deeply. Wait for 10 minutes or till you feel completely relaxed and then gently get up from the ground.
Hope this was helpful !
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