Yoga, Ujjayi Pranayam have already helped many women balance their hormones and lose weight. Also yoga is known to regularize inconsistent periods. Learn how to stretch, do yoga and fight PCOS.
It all started seven years ago when a 32 year old working women started missing her menstrual periods and also noticed a sudden weight gain. Her face looked puffy with increasing acne and she also developed a feeling of lethargy. She was taken aback when her reports revealed that she had hormonal imbalances leading to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
As treatment, she was advised to lose weight. She started a regular exercise program, but there were no results. She had to undergo laproscopic procedure by which the cysts in her ovaries were punctured and then she was put on a hormone treatment.
This regularized her periods but the weight gain was constant. Two years ago, she was put on Metformin, a medicine given to break the metabolic abnormality in the body. But still there was no weight loss and to add to her problems she was detected with borderline hypothyroidism. That’s when she decided to take full and fair trial of yoga as an add-on to her ongoing treatment.
She started yoga and Pranayam and within few months she got her energy and stamina back. Ujjayi Pranayam even helped her thyroid functions regained normalcy.
As the body weight was still an issue, she changed to a batch where deeper yoga was offered. She was now off all hormone tablets. With the deep holding of postures, special sequences of practices, deeper breathing exercises, not only she toned up, but her periods got regularized and she lost significantly in inches. Her resistant obesity too responded as she noticed a weight loss of 2 Kilograms after a long time. She is now sure, that she is on the right path and more weight loss is to follow
How Yoga helped Balance Hormones & Weight Loss?
PCOS is a lifestyle disorder affecting more than 20 percent of women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS typically have many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) in their ovaries, due to an underlying hormonal imbalance. These women are usually very flexible but lack muscle tone and strength. The good news is that even a 10 percent reduction in body weight can break the cycle of insulin resistance and restore the hormonal balance.
So losing weight is the most essential part of the treatment. Yoga has many techniques to offer for PCOS: asanas, breathing practices, kriyas and yogic diet (Sattvik, vegetarian). The challenge lies in doing them the right way – the deep way, to break the vicious cycle which has its roots in the core.
Core Yoga Tips
- Doing Yoga or any form of exercise, without the core tone and muscle strength does not help much in PCOS.
- Deeper the muscles work and the breathing, more it stimulates metabolism. This leads to a sustained weight loss with greater calorie and fat burning and detoxification.
- Core yoga postures that open and stretch lower back and hips and improve the blood circulation to the ovaries help more than superficial muscle work.
- Core twisting asanas improve digestion and eliminate constipation, water reten-tion, and bloating.
- Breathing practices that arouse the thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus glands work to harmonise the hormones.
Core Yoga Asanas
- Longer maintenance: All asanas work the muscles, but the deep change comes with holding and sustaining the postures longer. Addition of light weights during asana holding, adds on to increasing metabolism in muscles (to be done under experienced teacher)
- Minimal props: With supports, one gives up the use of the depth of muscles. Holding the asanas with the help of muscle strength is the need to correct the disordered physiology in the core of the muscles.
- Co-ordinated deep breathing: Based on scientific fundamentals, proper breathing while practicing asanas, awakens the metabolism
- Improving blood circulation to ovaries: Badhakonasana series, Prasarita hastapadasana, Virabhadrasanas, Rajkapotasana, Naukasana, Vrukshasana with foot pressing an acupressure point.
- Avoiding inverted postures like Sarvangasana, Halasana, Sirsasana as they could be detrimental.
Mindful deep breathing from the centre, improves the flow of energy or the life force in the subtle energy channels called as nadis. This corresponds to better flow of impulses in our nervous system which leads to healthier functions all over. The solar plexus is a junction of nerves emanating from the core to all parts of the body.
- Deeper rather than faster Kapaalbhati tickles and stimulates the core fire
- Long Ujjayi breathing while performing the asanas makes them core deep
- Anuloma-Viloma Pranayama to correct the energy imbalances
- Chanting (bhramari, Om) resonates the hormonal axis with subtle vibrations.
Special self massage
Massage is a powerful treatment that helps to increase fertility and control PCOS/Ovarian cysts. The scientific massage, is found to regulate ovulation, support hormone balance, promote egg health and reduce the ovarian cysts. Polycystic ovary is only a syndrome, not a disease, if detected in early stages it can be easily tackled. Let us not ignore the young obese as obesity has become a disease.