Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that is particularly common in the UK and the rest of the world. While no cure is currently available, there are a long list of treatments that can help manage the condition. Medication, such as birth control pills, anti-androgens, and fertility drugs, isn’t your only option as a PCOS sufferer.
Self-care, in the form of a healthy diet and regular exercise, offers an effective treatment for those looking to ease the uncomfortable symptoms associated with PCOS.
Yoga has been particularly successful in managing the day-to-day impact of PCOS symptoms. But the restorative nature of practising regular yoga helps in more than just a physical way.
Yoga takes care of the negative emotions and mood swings that often go hand-in-hand with a PCOS diagnosis. Regular practice relieves tension in the body and calms the mind to help improve symptoms on a whole different level. Relaxation is integral to managing PCOS, whatever the severity of your condition or the range of symptoms experienced.
Certain yoga poses have been found to be especially helpful when managing PCOS, so breathe, find balance and give the following PCOS healing yoga asanas a try.
The butterfly pose works by opening the hips and offers an excellent way to achieve a full stretch. It may be a yoga basic but it is very effective for relieving stress and anxiety.
Start in the lotus pose and bend your knees to bring the soles of your feet together. Rest your hands on your legs and pull your pubic area inwards.
Inhale deeply and on the exhale push your knees to the ground to create a stretching but controlled flapping movement. Be sure to keep your spine straight throughout.
Women with PCOS may want to adapt the asana to make it feel more comfortable and to unlock further benefits. Resist the urge to flap your legs too much and instead hold the pose for longer.
The reclining butterfly
Maximise the effects of the butterfly pose by practising the classic asana lying down. The reclining butterfly pose is deeply relaxing and stretching.
You can place cushions under your hips for support if you’re new to this pose or require more comfort.
Targeting the muscles and organs within the abdomen, the bridge pose is a great way to find relief as a PCOS sufferer. It has also been connected to better thyroid function regulation.
To practise the bridge, simply lie back, bend your knees and bring your feet a hip’s width apart. Now push your hips high and press your shoulders to the ground, clasping your hands together on the ground beneath.
Hold this position for five deep breaths and squeeze your shoulder blades together whilst drawing your chin away from your chest.
Pelvic pain is a common symptom of PCOS, but unbeknown to most relief can be found through exercise. The cobbler pose effectively eases pain and provides comfort, and it’s super easy to practise too.
Sit with your legs stretched out straight in front of you to start and bring the soles of your feet together towards your pelvis, just like you did with the butterfly pose. Hold the asana keeping your pelvis in a neutral position.
Why not give hot yoga a try?
It’s not just specific yoga poses that make a huge difference when managing PCOS. The type of yoga practised can make living with PCOS a breeze.
Hot yoga for example offers effective relief thanks to its detoxification benefits. Here Conquer Your PCOS explains more:
“Hot yoga is pretty much like yoga in a sauna. This is very important for women with PCOS, as toxicity can contribute to weight gain and obesity, infertility and irregular cycles, and high levels of the acne and excessive hair producing hormone, testosterone. In addition, the poses chosen during hot yoga are specifically designed to detoxify your body. The focus is brought to your organs and your muscles in an effort to improve your well-being.”
Whatever type of yoga you choose to practise, you can get started at home with our handy beginner’s guide.
YouTuber Your PCOS Girl also demonstrates a great exercise routine for PCOS that incorporates the asanas above and more right here.