Improve, sustain, balance: Yoga for PCOS
Yoga, a form of mind-body discipline involving a combination of muscular activities and directed towards mindful awareness of the self, the breath, and energy can work wonders for PCOS
Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary syndrome are like a shuffled deck of cards, you never know which card you will be dealt with. But the heartening news is that yoga, a form of mind-body discipline involving a combination of muscular activities and directed towards mindful awareness of the self, the breath, and energy can work wonders. So it’s no brainer then, that the art of yoga is being readily accepted and suggested by doctors in aid of assisting women with Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS).
To begin with, let’s walk through the condition of PCOS. “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder. Women can get affected by PCOS during their childbearing years like between 15 to 45 years of age. This disorder affects a woman’s ovaries. During PCOS, the reproductive hormones get out of balance due to which women may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels,” says Dr. Aruna Kalra, Senior Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram.
Yoga for PCOS patients can help open up the pelvic area and also release deeply stored stress and promote relaxation of the mind and body. “A combination of naturopathy and yoga allows the restoration of hormonal balance besides offering a remedy for anxiety and depression that are common among women with PCOS.The deep-rooted knowledge of the intrinsic mid-body balance, yoga offers a highly viable solution to tackle the condition of PCOS,” says Deepika Dikshit, Sr. Yoga Teacher, Jindal Naturecure Institute.
Dr Chytra Anand believes yoga works on the sympathetic nervous system and calms anxiety and practising yoga regularly reduces the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), luteinizing hormone, testosterone in the body.
“Practicing yoga on a daily basis helps in decreasing the testosterone levels, and also helps in controlling depression and anxiety associated with PCOS. Any woman with PCOS should practice yoga for about 30 mins for 5 days in a week and that would help in reducing the testosterone levels to about 30%,” adds Rajat Jain, Dietitian.
Patients who implement healthy habits with regard to diet and exercise, enhance their hormonal function considerably and help their bodies in the long run. “In PCOS, sattvic food plays an important role. Fresh home cooked meals, supplanted by plenty of drinking water, and reducing salt intake three days before the menstrual cycle, will make a difference. Obesity due to the illness should be treated naturally by changing one’s lifestyle. Green leafy vegetables should be consumed regularly, especially for breakfast and lunch,” says Sheetal Bhatt, Ayurveda practitioner.
Stress has a negative impact on PCOS symptoms too. It is of utmost importance to relax the mind so as to keep the cortisol levels under control. Cortisol levels (testosterone) are responsible for weight gain. Hence, conscious relaxation techniques should be incorporated in daily life to calm the entire body and mind and alleviate stress. “Yoga asanas promote relaxation and even help in reducing body weight. It relaxes the mind which in turn helps in the regularity of the menstrual cycles,” adds Dr Kalra.
Asanas that are helpful
Strengthens abdominal and pelvic muscles. This asana increases circulation and aids in digestion.
2. Surya Namaskar
Helps in improving flexibility, controls blood sugar and helps in weight loss
3. Bhujang Asana
Improves ovarian function and helps in relieving stress .
This asana opens up the pelvic area , promotes relaxation and relieves period pain.
Apart from helping in weight loss, it improves reproductive health.
6. Supta Baddha Konasana
This asana strengthens pelvic floor muscles and promotes relaxation.
7. Anulom Vilom Pranayam
Controlled breathing helps in deep relaxation and de-stressing.
Inputs by Dr Loveleena Nadir
Senior consultant obstetrics and Gynaecologist, Rosewalk Hospital