Yoga for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Written by Dr. Minakshi Welukar.
Yoga is an outstanding technique for keeping harmony between various body systems. By keeping the uterus and ovaries healthy, yoga can aid to overcome polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Yoga addresses infertility, weight gain and psychological challenges which are all important issues of PCOS.
PCOS: A Frustrating Experience for Women
PCOS is a common hormonal disorder characterized by an enlarged ovary filled with small cysts. A PCOS woman can suffer from psychological, reproductive and metabolic consequences due to hormonal disturbances.
Poor hormonal signaling can result in high level of male hormone and insulin resistance. This results in excessive hair, acne, irregular menstrual cycles, and propensity to weight gain and infertility. PCOS is a major cause of metabolic consequences like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. All these can adversely affect the psychological well-being of women, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
Yoga to Overcome PCOS
Yoga is recognized as a complementary treatment in combating PCOS and help to prevent symptoms from getting worse due to the following health benefits:
- Yoga modifies glandular function so that the endocrine system works at maximum efficacy and accords the hormonal secretions.
- Yoga brings harmony within the body, mind and emotions to control PCOS naturally.
- Yoga assists in optimization in lifestyle by enhancing body awareness and self-care.
- Yoga brings peace and comfort and hence a path to healing painful symptoms of PCOS.
Stress, PCOS and Yoga
Stress is attributed as a major cause for hormonal imbalance. Stressed out working women of modern era are highly susceptible to PCOS. On the contrary, striking PCOS symptoms also lead to stress and depression.
Yoga eases any stress through breathing techniques that bring complete relaxation within the body. Relaxation can work to offset the effects of hormonal imbalance and take care of any negative emotions, irritability and frequent mood swings. By keeping your mind steady, yoga can take care of depression and anxiety.
Anulima-Viloma (alternate nostril breathing),Bhramri (bee pranayama) and kapalbhati are well known breathing techniques that can relieve deep stress from the body.
Weight gain, PCOS and Yoga
Weight gain without apparent reason is another major issue associated with PCOS. Excessive insulin production in PCOS leads to cellular insulin resistance. The insulin hormone controls cellular uptake of glucose for energy production. However, insulin resistance prevents utilization of glucose, and excessive glucose is ultimately stored as body fat leading to weight gain.
Yoga strengthens the muscles, improves hormonal levels and combats insulin resistance. Yoga along with a healthy diet helps to lose weight. Losing just 5-10 percent body weight is sufficient to normalize the menstrual cycles in PCOS women. Achievement of healthy body weight normalizes hormone levels and improves reproductive and psychological features.
Recommended Asanas for PCOS
Yoga is such a handy technique that can be incorporated as an everyday fitness program. When it comes to selection of asanas for PCOS, they should have an effect on reproductive, endocrine and nervous systems of the body.
Recommended asanas for PCOS are:
- Badhakonasana (Butterfly pose)
- Suptabadhakonasana (Reclined bound angle)
- Bharadvajasana (Bharadvajasana twist’s)
- Chakki Chalanasana (Mill churning pose)
- Shavasana (Corpse pose)
- Padma Sadhana
Practicing these asanas will become a reason to boost the health of the pelvic organs such as uterus and ovaries and improve functioning of the endocrine glands. Coupled with relaxation techniques, yoga promotes good health and perks up energy levels.
- Read more of Dr. Minakshi Welukar.
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