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Expert-approved yoga asanas to help manage PCOS

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Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a common lifestyle disorder affecting many women today. Some common signs that a woman may have PCOS are inconsistent period cycles, excess facial and body hair, acne, unusual weight gain, thinning hair, as well as ovaries with multiple cysts. 

In a 2014 journal article published in the National Library of Medicine, researchers found that women who have been diagnosed with PCOS suffer from issues that are not just physical, but also mental. 

“Due to development of this syndrome, their beauty was impaired by obesity, hirsutism, hair loss, and facial acne. In addition, resulting menstrual disorders and infertility had impaired their feminine feeling, had made them ashamed, and had decreased their self-confidence as they considered themselves inferior to other women,” the study revealed.

In India, PCOS affects many women as stress levels rise and life becomes more hectic, with many being forced to multitask at the cost of their health. 

What can help?

Divya Rolla, yoga expert at Cult endorses practicing yoga daily to effectively manage symptoms. She says, “Yoga is one of the key unlocks in helping reverse this condition. It has been observed that yoga for PCOS can help open up the pelvic area, release deeply stored stress in that region, and promote complete relaxation of both the mind and body.”

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While revealing the best yoga asanas to try, Rolla adds, mere practice of these asanas alone will not be helpful. It needs to be coupled with improving sleep quality, actively managing stress better, and being conscious of eating healthier.

Here are the five asanas you need to try, as prescribed by Rolla: 

Chakki Chalanasana: This includes circular movements of the body and helps improve digestion along with the flexibility of the spine.

Baddha Konasana: Also known as the butterfly pose, this asana stimulates the reproductive organs by opening up the hips and groin.

Supta Baddha Konasana: This is a reclined variation of the baddha konasana, giving your inner thighs a deeper stretch to help relax the area.

Bharadvajasana: This asana aids digestion and detoxification of the body through a seated spinal twist, stretching the spine, shoulders, and hips.

Bhujangasana: Commonly known as the cobra pose, it strengthens the spine, opens up the chest, and improves flexibility, helping you let go of stress and energising the body.

pcos, yoga, yoga asana, pranayama, exercise, polycystic ovary syndrome Maintaining a nutritious diet and avoiding junk food is essential for women who are serious about managing PCOS (Source: Freepik)

In addition to the above asanas, Rolla stresses that pranayama or breathing exercises coupled with relaxation exercises should also be practiced daily for better results. She mentions the following techniques:

Abdominal breathing: Promotes better breathing habits and oxygenates the whole body.

Anuloma viloma pranayama: Pranayama yoga helps to enhance the oxygenated blood supply to the brain which in turn helps to restore the hormonal balance.

Savasana: Promotes deep relaxation and reduces cortisol levels in the body. 

Maintaining a nutritious diet and avoiding junk food is essential for women who are serious about managing PCOS symptoms. Chandni Haldurai, head of nutrition at Cult, mentions the following things to keep in mind when you prep your diet plan:

  • Avoid processed foods, alcohol, and refined sugar
  • Include adequate protein in every meal – chicken, eggs, lentils, etc
  • Include more fibre-rich foods (fresh fruits/vegetables) and whole grains (buckwheat, quinoa, oats)
  • Drink green tea, peppermint tea, spearmint tea (reduces excess testosterone), chamomile tea (helps with sleep)
  • Eat foods that are rich in Omega 3 such as salmon, nuts, and seeds
  • Consume Dark chocolate (cocoa) 75 – 85 per cent (in moderation for cravings)

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