Yoga for PCOS Patients

Yoga for PCOS Treatment

Many women have to deal with out of balanced hormones. One such problem is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which impacts between 7-10% of women. According to the PCOS Foundation, polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most prevalent hormonal endocrine disorder.

Women who suffer from PCOS develop small cysts on their ovaries. The cysts can trigger hormonal imbalances that cause menstrual difficulty, undesirable changes in appearance, and fertility problems. If the condition is not treated, it can increase the chances of getting heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. PCOS patients should not sit by and allow the condition to control their lives. Instead, they should be proactive by using natural PCOS remedies such as yoga.

Why is Yoga Beneficial for PCOS?

Yoga is one several types of exercises for PCOS treatment. Yoga enthusiasts take every opportunity to stretch, pose and breathe their way to better health. Although yoga is not a cure, it can help manage and stop many of the symptoms of PCOS.

PCOS is known to cause problems with insulin levels. When the body can’t use insulin properly, blood-sugar levels rise and risk of diabetes increases. Many weight-bearing poses in yoga help increase muscle mass, which in turn helps fight against insulin resistance.

The high insulin levels from PCOS causes the body to produce more androgens. These male hormones can cause women to gain extra weight. For many women, losing the weight can be difficult. When a person is burdened with excess body fat, other health problems can occur such as high cholesterol, sleep apnea, hypertension, infertility, and endometrial cancer. Some experts believe weight gain can also trigger the menstrual abnormalities that are common with PCOS.

The muscle mass women build when they do yoga is not only beneficial for managing insulin levels, it can also increase their metabolism. Although yoga is considered a low impact exercise, it can accelerate the heart rate and provide an excellent cardiovascular workout. This in turn will help melt away fat and prevent any additional weight gain from PCOS.

Being diagnosed with PCOS can take a toll on the mind. It can cause an excessive amount of stress and other symptoms such as loss of hair. When people practice yoga for PCOS and infertility, they don’t just focus on the physical exercise, they also concentrate on breathing. For this reason, there is a mind-body connection.

Many yoga poses promote hormonal balance and help manage androgen levels by promoting deep relaxation. A study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility noted women with higher stress levels had a tougher time conceiving. Being overweight can also play a role in infertility challenges. The combination of stress reduction, weight loss, and hormonal balance from yoga can increase the likelihood of getting pregnant.

The increased oxygen that flows through the body during yoga can improve circulation and combat the energy loss many women with PCOS experience.

Best Yoga Poses for PCOS

There are various types of yoga to manage PCOS. However, poses in standing, sitting or supine positions are especially beneficial to patients. Some ideal moves include the Kayakalpa, Padottanasana, Prasarita, Shavasana and Nispanda Bhava. For instance, the Kayakalpa controls the endocrinal gland that can trigger swelling in the ovaries. And the wide stance and the forward bending motions of the Padottanasana can work the lower back and hips, which can increase blood flow to the ovaries. Some of the other listed moves center on deep breathing and are useful for relaxation.

Many yoga teachers believe women with PCOS should avoid all inverted yoga poses that require the pelvis to be higher than the heart. Other poses are considered safe if they are practiced properly and modified to compliment a person’s level of fitness.

There are many styles of yoga, simply pick one and stick with it. Yoga is not a one-off treatment. In order for Yoga to be effective treating PCOS, patients have to make the practice a regular part of their lives. Women who have never done yoga before can get started by attending yoga classes, buying videos or using online resources. However, it is recommended to consult a physician before beginning yoga for PCOS.

Fertility Chef

Fertility Chef provides online PCOS diet & nutrition resources for women. Learn what a PCOS diet is & how it works.

1 Comment
  1. Thank you for sharing! I began yoga with CorePower Yoga some time ago (shameless plug!) and I honestly didn’t realize my body (and mind!) would take it so well. It was one of the best decisions I made that had the added extra benefit of being helpful to my health. Who knew I’d find an article explaining how it could be useful for managing PCOS!? Made my day! Great article and super motivating to continue my quest in strengthening my practice.

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