How Yoga Benifit in PCOD

How Yoga Benifit in PCOD

How Yoga Benifit in PCOD

What is PCOD?

PCOD stands for Polycystic Ovarian Disease, which is caused due to hormonal imbalance. It is one of the most common conditions that affect 5% to 10% of women who lie in the age group of 12 to 45 years. It generally affects women in their reproductive age. Ovulation is a phase in the menstrual cycle that is the release of the egg from a woman’s ovary. Ovaries also produce a small number of androgens, which are the male reproductive hormone. In PCOD, the hormonal imbalance leads to excessive secretion of the male hormone. This causes a delay in periods and the formation of cysts in the ovaries. PCOD strikes mostly at an early age, therefore, a substantial number of young adults go through this problem.  It is important for the youth to understand this disease at its onset, along with its causes and implications in the future.

Causes of PCOD

It is a hormonal disorder thus various reasons can contribute to it. Some of the factors associated with PCOD are.

Excess insulin: Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar (glucose) — your body’s primary energy supply. When human cells become resistant to the action of insulin, the blood sugar level increases. As a result, the body produces an excess of insulin to control this increased blood sugar level. Excess insulin might also affect the ovaries by increasing androgen production, which may interfere with the ovaries’ ability to ovulate.

Presence of low-grade inflammation: Your body’s white blood cells produce substances to fight infection in a response called inflammation. Women with PCOD have low-grade inflammation and this type of low-grade inflammation stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens.

Heredity: Certain genetic correlations may exist too, so the women who have it might have got it from their mothers or somebody else in the family.

Signs and symptoms of PCOD

Many women do not even realize that they are suffering from PCOD. It is very important to pay attention to these symptoms for an early diagnosis of the problem. The symptoms of PCOD include excess hair growth (hirsutism), scalp hair loss, acne, irregular or infrequent periods, weight gain, difficulties with fertility, and increased anxiety and depression. Not every woman with PCOD will have each and every symptom, also the personal experience of each woman can vary too as it is a result of hormonal breakdown. Symptoms can also change during the course of a woman’s life. The first thing that you should do is consult the doctor for the appropriate treatment.

How can yoga benefit you in PCOD?

Although yoga cannot completely cure PCOD, it may help with some of the symptoms.

 It improves general well-being and at the same time it eases the symptoms associated with PCOD such as stress, stress can significantly impact PCOD which is why it is crucial to relax your mind and that is what yoga allows you to do.

Studies show that it allows you to relieve stress and reduce stress hormones in the body.

Weight gain is one of the common symptoms of PCOD, & yoga poses are a great way to keep weight under control. Research shows that by boosting the overall metabolism, it encourages calorie burning in your body.

Infertility is one of the main concerns of women with PCOD and yoga is a great way to deal with it. It can help restore your neuro-hormonal balance & increase blood circulation in your pelvic region.

Additionally, PCOD can also cause gastrointestinal complaints. Yoga postures provide much needed massage to the digestive organs, improving their functioning & metabolism.

Here are some exercises that you can do regularly to ease the PCOD symptoms.

Starting with the breath work.

1. Nadi Shodhana / Anulom Vilom –

It purifies the energy channels and enables a resistance free flow of vital energy (Prana) to promote relaxation of the mind, body & soul.

How to Perform?

  • Sit relaxed with a gentle smile on your face. Keep your shoulder loose and spine straight.
  • Place the left hand on your left knee. Your palm should be open towards the sky or in a chin pose.
  • Put your middle and index finger between your eyebrows. Also, keep your thumb on the right side of the nostril and a little finger and ring finger on the left nostril. For opening and closing of the left nostril, a ring finger and little finger will be used. Also, for the right nostril, the process is done by the thumb.
  • By pressing your right nostril by the thumb, exhale through the left nostril.
  • After breathing through the left side, press your left portion of the nostril gently with a little index finger.
  • Now exhale from the right side by releasing the thumb from the right side.
  • Breathe in from the right side and exhale from the left nostril. Now you have completed the first round of Pranayama.
  • In the same manner, breathe through alternative nostrils.

2. Kapalbharti –

It’s a fantastic breathing exercise that fights oxidative stress, increases blood circulation to all organs & it helps in weight loss by positively influencing the pancreas.

How to perform?

Step 1. Sit in a comfortable crossed-leg position with your Back straight. Hands resting on knees in either chin or gyana mudra. Face being relaxed.

Step 2. Inhale deeply through both nostrils, expand the abdomen and exhale with the forceful contraction of abdominal muscles. (Pull the abdomen in by quickly contracting the abdominal muscles and exhale through the nose). The air is pushed out of the lungs by contraction of the diaphragm.

Step 3. After exhalation again, inhalation but inhalation should not involve any effort. To inhale just relax and the lungs will automatically expand and filled with air.

One can begin with 15 respirations. After completing 15 quick exhalations and natural inhalation, inhale and exhale deeply. This is one round. One can start the practice of Kapalbhati pranayama with 3 such rounds for practice.

3. Surya Namaskar –

One of the best exercises for PCOD. Repeating five times every day can help in weight loss and regulate the menstrual cycle.

How to perform?

This has been the most popular yogic kriya for decades, as it integrates 12 yoga asanas in a yogic sequence.

  1. Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
  2. Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)
  3. Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  5. Dandasana (Stick pose)
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with eight parts)
  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  10. Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
  11. Hastauttanasana (Raised arms pose)
  12. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

4. Marjarasana (cat & cow pose) –

This pose causes a lot of movement in the spine and helps to relax tight shoulders and neck. It also stimulates & massages the abdominal muscles, and the reproductive organs & boosts the functions of the nervous system.

How to perform?

  • Get on all fours, like a cat. Shoulder over wrists and hips over knees, with your weight evenly distributed along with your hands and knees.
  • Start with a neutral spine. Focus on a point in front of you.
  • Inhale and expand the belly toward the floor. Raise your chin and tilt your head back toward the spine. Point the tailbone up as you stretch like a cat.
  • Then exhale and pull the belly button in, towards the spine. The chin should rest on the chest and direct your vision toward the nose. Your back should be rounded.
  • Complete as many rounds as you’d like, working toward a fluid movement that stretches and relaxes your spine.

5. Paschimottanasana (western stretch)-

It offers full body stretching & supports the hamstrings, lengthens & stretches the spine. It massages the internal organs, especially the digestive organs, a great choice for women who struggle with obesity & weight gain.

How to perform?

Begin by coming to sit in Staff Pose (Dandasana) with your legs straight in front of your body.

  1. Bring your arms straight out to the sides and up over your head, reaching toward the ceiling.
  2. Inhale and draw your spine up long.
  3. As you exhale, begin to come forward, hinging at your hips. Imagine your pelvis as a bowl of water that is tipping forward.
  4. On each inhale, lengthen your spine. You may come a bit out of your forward bend to do this.
  5. On each exhale, deepen into your forward bend. Imagine your belly coming to rest on your thighs, rather than your nose coming to your knees. This will help you keep your spine long.
  6. Keep the neck as the natural extension of your spine, neither cranking it to look up nor letting it go completely.
  7. Take hold of your ankles or shins, whichever you can reach. You can also use a strap around your feet. Keep your feet flexed strongly throughout.

6. Badhakonasana (butterfly pose) –

It promotes relaxation in your body, furthermore it relieves menstrual discomfort & stress.

How to perform?

Begin seated in Staff Pose (Dandasana) with your legs outstretched straight in front of you.

  1. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together as you let your knees fall out to either side.
  2. Draw your feet in as close to your body as is comfortable. Back off if you feel any pain in your knees.
  3. Press the outer edges of your feet together strongly. The feet may begin to open like a book. You can encourage this with your hands or hold onto your big toes in a yogi toe lock.
  4. Sit up tall with a long spine while keeping your shoulder blades on your back and your shoulders moving away from your ears.

7. Supta Badhakonasana (reclining butterfly pose) –

One of the best poses, more relaxing than the classic butterfly pose.

How to perform?

  • Start with a sitting Dandasana, i.e., sit with your spine erect and legs stretched out, feet touching each other, and toes pointing upwards
  • Now bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other, making a diamond shape with legs
  • Grab your feet with your hands. You may place the hands underneath the feet for support and make an effort to bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible
  • Gently breathe in and make a gentle effort to make the chest and the spine erect
  • Once you feel comfortable, you may gently lie down and rest your back on the floor. Your arms can rest on your inner thighs
  • Relax your muscles and take 5-10 deep breaths in this position
  • To come out, you can either stretch your legs or relax for a few minutes. Then roll onto your right side and with the help of your hands gently sit up

Tip – you can also place a pillow or cushion under the hip to improve support for beginners.

8. Navasana (boat pose) –

It builds abdominal and core strength. In addition to the abdominal muscles, it works the deep hip flexors. These muscles get weak when you sit too much. It will also help you build your balance. It helps reduce body fat, improves blood flow to the reproductive organs and enriches the function of the ovaries.

How to perform?

  • Sit with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your knees, lift the chest, engaging the back muscles as you inhale
  • Engage your inner thighs and draw your lower belly in and up
  • Tip back on the back of your sitting bones and lift your feet to about knee height, toes spread out
  • Bring your arms parallel to the floor
  • To go further, straighten your legs
  • Stay for 2-5 breaths, work up to 10 breaths
  • To come out of the pose, on an exhalation bring your feet down, and sit with a straight spine, holding on to your legs for a couple of breaths

9. Bhujangasana (cobra pose) –

Bhujangasana works like a charm on your back muscles. Our modern lifestyles tend to stiffen the muscles of the upper body, and this yoga asana helps strengthen the spine. This pose encourages healthy ovaries by soothing the stomach & allowing it to function properly. It also helps improve digestion and reduces stress.

How to perform?

  1. Begin on your belly with your feet hip-distance apart and your hands beside your ribs.
  2. Extend your big toes straight back and press down with all ten toenails to activate your quadriceps.
  3. Rotate your inner thighs toward the ceiling to broaden the lower back.
  4. Pressing down lightly with your hands, start to lift your head and chest, rolling your shoulders back and down.
  5. Keep the back of your neck long and focus on lifting your sternum instead of your chin.
  6. Straighten your arms while keeping your shoulders remaining away from your ears. Keep at least a slight bend in your elbows.
  7. To exit the pose, release back to your mat.

10. Dhanurasana (bow pose) –

Dhanurasana mainly focuses on the spinal column, and, when it’s done with full intent, it strengthens your back and abdominal muscles. It helps those with PCOD alleviate symptoms. Stimulates reproductive organs, relieves menstrual discomfort, and normalizes the menstrual cycle.

How to perform?
  1. Lie on your stomach with your feet apart, in line with your hips, and your arms by the side of your body.
  2. Fold your knees, take your hands backward, and hold your ankles.
  3. Breathe in, lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and towards the back.
  4. Look straight ahead with a smile on your face.
  5. Keep the pose stable while paying attention to your breath. Your body is now curved and as taut as a bow.
  6. Continue to take long, deep breaths as you relax in this pose. But, bend only as far as your body permits you to. Do not overdo the stretch.
  7. After 15 -20 seconds, as you exhale, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground. Release the ankles and relax.

11. Setu Bandha (bridge pose) –

It is the most effective pose for reducing symptoms of menopause & it stimulates the abdominal cavity. It helps regulate thyroid function, which is essential in preventing PCOD.

How to perform?

  • Lie down on your back, you can cushion your shoulders and neck with a folded blanket as well.
  • Fold your knees and bring your feet as close to your hips as you can and keep your feet hip-width apart from each other.
  • Keep your hands on the floor beside your body, palms facing down.
  • With inhalation, press your palms, shoulders, and feet on the ground and slowly lift your hips, you can tighten your hips so that you don’t put too much pressure on your back
  • Using your thighs, keep your knees close as they may spread out.
  • Engage your shoulders to keep your neck neutral.
  • You can clasp your hands behind your back, and keep your arms straight.
  • Stay for 5-8 breaths or longer if you are comfortable.
  • To release, simply exhale, unclasp your hands and lower your hips to the ground.
  • Relax!

12. Savasana (corpse pose) –

Savasana holds an essential role in yoga. Without this end of the session posture no yoga session can be considered complete. Practicing this posture helps relieve stress and tension and relax the body & mind which is beneficial for people with PCOD.

How to perform?

Lie down on your back.

  1. Separate your legs. Let go of holding your legs straight so that your feet can fall open to either side.4
  2. Bring your arms alongside your body, but slightly separated from your torso. Turn your palms to face upwards but don't try to keep them open. Let the fingers curl in.
  3. Tuck your shoulder blades onto your back for support. This is a similar movement to tucking the shoulders under in Bridge Pose, but less intense.
  4. Once you have set up your limbs, release any effort from holding them in position. Relax your whole body, including your face. Let your body feel heavy.
  5. Let your breathing occur naturally. If your mind wanders, you can bring your attention to your breath but try to just notice it, not deepen it.
  6. Stay for a minimum of five minutes. Ten minutes is better. If you are practicing at home, set an alarm so that you are not compelled to keep checking the time.
  7. To come out, first begin to the deepen your breath. Then begin to wiggle your fingers and toes6 , slowly reawakening your body.
  8. Stretch your arms overhead for a full body stretch from hands to feet.
  9. Bring your knees into your chest and roll over to one side, keeping your eyes closed. Use your bottom arm as a pillow while you rest in a fetal position7 for a few breaths.
  10. Using your hands for support, bring yourself back up into a sitting position.

In conclusion, yoga will not treat PCOD. In truth, no drug can cure PCOD. Yoga, on the other hand, can considerably lessen the symptoms of PCOD, particularly those that influence fertility, and can also minimize your need for tablets or medicine to regulate your hormones. However, your practice will need to be regular to reap its benefits.

And the good news is the number of benefits you reap is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into your yoga practice. So even if you start with a little effort, it will pay off!

Long and consistent yoga practice is all you need to quit worrying about PCOD.

Follow the above-mentioned yoga poses for PCOD to head towards a healthy lifestyle.