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Benefits of Yoga in PCOS

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a disorder that is often accompanied by metabolic syndrome which is very hard to deal with especially with all that weight gain when you are already struggling to lose the existing fat from your body to maintain a hormonal balance. So, women with PCOS are advised to do vigorous exercising for at least about 150 minutes a week. Most women want to do away with all the difficulties that PCOS brings and thus they try out the most unachievable and unsustainable routines which exhaust them much more than required and is too difficult to continue with.

But only some of the women know that Yoga has more benefits than any cardio or resistance training exercises and also is beneficial in improving balance, strength, flexibility, and also mindfulness. Other exercises might also have a contribution in improving mental health and relieving stress but nothing can be better than Yoga and the extent to which it helps deal with anxiety and other psychological issues PCOS creates is commendable.

Reduces anxiety:

Yoga engages both your mind and body by having a great impact on sympathetic nerve activity. It helps your mind to concentrate on your body increasing mindfulness. It works excellent in reducing the stress hormones which create tension in your nervous system. Easing stress has a direct impact on the symptoms of PCOS because increased stress means an excess of androgens in the body. This is because the stress that the body experiences increases the androgen production from the adrenal glands which are responsible for the hormones that help in fight or flight situations such as adrenaline and DHEA which are adrenal androgens. Studies have shown that 30 to 40% of women with PCOS have excess adrenal androgen production leading to more of these male sex hormones in the body further disrupting the hormonal balance. Thus, it is very important to relieve the stress, and women with PCOS also suffer from psychological issues because of this stress. Yoga has also proven to be very effective in improving sleep habits. Sometimes when women with PCOS get adrenal fatigue, they feel difficulty sleeping at night because of high levels of cortisol which are secreted comparatively lesser during the day making it very hard for them till midday. Yoga can also help in sleep apnoea, yet another side effect of PCOS and stress.

Improves hormones:

Research has proved that performing Yoga daily for at least one hour has a significant impact on the hormones like the luteinizing hormones, testosterone, anti-mullerian hormones, etc. Luteinizing hormone, as we know, is vital in the process of ovulation in the ovaries, and improvement in the levels of luteinizing hormones would also mean that your menstrual frequency can increase and reach back to normal. Regulating the level of testosterone in the body not only helps in the menstrual cycle but also helps improve the body’s sensitivity towards insulin if you experience insulin resistance which is quite common in women with PCOS.

Improves metabolic activity:

Improving metabolic activity is very crucial for maintaining a healthy weight in PCOS and many women also suffer from the metabolic syndrome in which they are not able to do away with the excess weight gain also making the women obese sometimes. Insulin has an important role to play in contributing to the worsening metabolism of the body. Yoga has a direct and definite impact on insulin levels as well as cholesterol levels in the body which further helps to regulate your blood sugar levels.

Improves menstrual cycle:

Since Yoga is very effective when it comes to improving hormone levels in the body especially testosterone, this can be extremely beneficial to help regulate your menstrual cycle. Yoga also improves flexibility in the pelvic area which makes blood circulation better in the pelvic that is the uterus and hence the ovaries. Better blood supply and exercise of the pelvic also help prevent other complications that women with PCOS have higher chances of developing such as Endometrial cancer. Yoga not only ensures a better blood flow in the pelvic but also provides a great amount of relief from bad period cramps that most women with PCOS suffer from since they either have very heavy periods or after months.

Some of the Yoga poses that experts say are most effective for PCOS are:

  • Garland Pose/ Malasana: this pose strengthens the abdominal core which would further help in losing abdominal fat along with improving movement and strength of the pelvic floor. It is also effective in improving metabolism and aiding digestion.
  • Bridge Pose/ Setu Bandhasana: the bridge pose is one of the stress busters that you would need for the entire hectic day ahead as it calms the brain while reducing stress and tension in muscles.
  • Bow Pose/ Dhanurasana: the Bow pose is considered one of the best exercises for menstrual cramps. It stimulates the reproductive organs regulating the menstrual flow and blood supply in the pelvic region. It also reduces muscle stress from the abdomen, neck, shoulders, and legs. So, it is a complete exercise in itself.
  • Cat-Cow Pose/ Chakravakasana: the cat-cow pose improves the core strength and helps endure menstrual cramps and childbirth. It also strengthens the spine.
  • Head to knee pose/ Janusirsana: this is the ultimate pose for women struggling with obesity and abdominal weight gain. It cuts fat around the belly and also tones the muscles.
  • Butterfly or Bound Angle Pose/ Supta Baddhakonasana: this pose is a power pack exercise for the spine and the back body along with the pelvic. It eases the spinal cord and may also help in correcting the posture.
  • Cobra Pose/ Bhujangasana: The cobra pose, again one of the best poses for PCOS, ensures better functioning of the ovaries and therefore is a must for all women suffering from PCOS. It might also help in bringing your ovulation cycle back to normal. It also gently stretches the abdominal region and also is effective in relieving tension from the neck region.
  • Boat Pose/ Naukasana:  it is the most effective exercise for retrieving the normal hormonal balance and works for women of all ages and is extremely effective in losing belly fat.
  • Locust Pose/ Shalabhasana:  the locust pose is helpful to women with PCOS to the maximum extent possible as it helps the body recover from the ovary and uterine disorders, stimulates organ activities, tone the abdominal muscles, strengthens the lower back muscles, and also helps a lot in correcting posture. 
  • Lotus Pose/ Padmasana:  this also comes in the category of best exercises for PCOS as it is very effective in balancing hormones in the body thus helping eventually to deal with PCOS and also increases pelvic strength.

It is proven to be better than conventional exercises and recent researches have proved that Yoga has a better impact on women with PCOS along with a good diet. Yoga for one hour daily will not only work wonders for PCOS but also for other ailments that you might have or prevent your body from any future problems. Our ancestors have left behind a great legacy which is now accepted gradually by the entire world and nearly all ob-gyns would recommend Yoga over other conventional exercises as it does not even overstrain your body and will also be busting the stress if performed for a longer duration. While on the other hand, overdoing other normal exercises that are already difficult for beginners can cause headaches and cervical aches causing even more fatigue than it is meant to relieve. So, the better and cerebral option for women with PCOS would be to adopt Yoga as part of their lifestyle.

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