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Can Yoga Help Manage PCOS?

April 14, 2021. 10 mins read

What is PCOS? An insight

A hormonal disorder, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS, is being increasingly seen in women across the world.

Though research on nailing down the exact cause is ongoing, factors such genes and lifestyle may cause hormonal imbalances that lead to PCOS. An increase in pollution, noise, chaos and pandemic fatigue also reflect deeply on our bodies, worsening the condition.

My name is Aditi Uppal and I have been practising Yoga for 10 years now. I have worked with over 100 women who were suffering from PCOS and chose to try yoga as a solution. The condition is complicated and demands holistic lifestyle modification including an appropriate diet, medical attention as well as physical activity. Yoga has proven to help most of my clients tremendously on their journey.

The Key Contributor? Hormonal Imbalance

To put it in short, the key culprit behind PCOS are androgens—male hormones that are present in every female body. A disturbance in the balance of these hormones can cause a long list of symptoms associated with PCOS, such as irregular menstrual cycles, hirsutism (excess body hair), acne, infertility, and pelvic pain.

BUT, there is hope!

Yoga regulates multiple bodily functions and helps manage PCOS effectively. It not just deals with symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, and weight gain—but also helps combat the after-effects of stress and anxiety. 

How can Yoga & Breathwork help?

So far, researchers have not found any single cure for PCOS. Women must mix and match and find what works for them. A routine with physical activity and a correct diet can go a long way in managing PCOS. Research has also shown that a well-curated routine centred around Yoga asanas for PCOS, can be an effective form of intervention.

  • Hormone Regulation

PCOS can result in higher insulin resistance, and can also affect your overall lipid profile, leading to higher cholesterol, and complications with regard to cardiovascular health. Research has shown that a carefully designed routine of yoga for irregular periods and PCOS can contribute to improving the resistance values of glucose, lipids, and insulin in adolescent girls, thereby restoring hormonal balance in the body.    

  •  Keeping Weight In Check

Insulin resistance causes a build-up of sugars in the blood, making weight gain an unfortunate side effect of the condition – which further affects a number of bodily functions, and can also place extra strain on cardiovascular and circulatory function.

Sequences of energetic postures are a great way to ensure you get regular exercise which helps maintain healthy body weight and limits the impact that the condition has on the body.

  • Pain Relief

PCOS can cause ovarian cysts to develop, which may lead to pain in the pelvic and abdominal regions. Gentler yoga asanas can help relax these muscles, thereby providing pain relief, as well as reducing the frequency and intensity of the pain itself.

  • Mental Wellness

PCOS may also cause inflammation, which results in higher levels of cortisol – a hormone that contributes to symptoms of stress and even depression. Breathwork and guided meditation techniques such as visualization train the mind to shed negative emotions and have proven to be effective tools to help deal with stress and anxiety.

 

Asanas That Can Help With PCOS

The key is to be consistent. Users who have practised with us for 3 months have come back reporting regularised menstrual cycles, and an even shorter duration of disciplined practice will help you see a change in your energy levels. It is important to keep at it.

 

The writer, Aditi Uppal is a yoga trainer with Mindhouse. The Yoga for PCOS course by Mindhouse includes a combination of breathwork and yoga, that helps to relieve the biological and physiological symptoms of PCOS. You can book your trial here or reach out to their team at @mindhousehq for more details!

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