Why Is Yoga Good For PCOS?

by Becky Miller on December 7, 2012

cross legged seat 1 Why Is Yoga Good For PCOS?PCOS Weight Loss

Why is Yoga Good for PCOS?

Yoga isn’t just for skinny, flexible, vegetarian women, despite what our society portrays! Yoga is good for the body in too many ways not to mention, especially PCOS weight loss. I will be focusing on the health benefits of yoga for PCOS. Let’s look at the reasons why all women with PCOS can and should benefit from yoga as a supplemental exercise…yes, supplemental. Supplemental means, in addition to. So, in addition to eating right for PCOS and regular exercise, yoga can complement your PCOS wonderfully. Here’s why.

  • Yoga is a discipline
  • Breathing learned from yoga helps us to relieve day-to-day stress and lose weight (hello!)
  • Gives you tools for dealing with life
  • Increases fertility & regulates hormones
  • Yoga restores gastrointestinal balance

Yoga is a Discipline

Just hearing the word discipline makes me conjure a few negative memories of elementary school or my childhood, but it’s such a good thing here. You see, discipline is defined as a sort of training. Making just ONE choice to be disciplined, or trained, helps you to continue to succeed in other disciplines. Plainly, if you can commit to incorporating yoga into your lifestyle, you’re more likely to eat better, exercise, drink more water, etc. to maintain all of the hard work you just did in those daring poses!

Yoga Relieves Stress and Reduces Weight

So, if you’ve never been to a yoga class, you’re missing out on some major relaxation! The atmosphere, the people relaxing with you, the super calm music, and the soothing voice of your yogi…it’s just ALL good! A major symptom of PCOS is stress. High cortisol levels (the stress hormone), higher androgens, usually in the form of testosterone, and higher adrenaline levels are typically seen in high levels with PCOS. The bad news? They all contribute to weight gain. So, not only do we get the benefit of taking a chill pill when we practice yoga, we’re actually reducing our waists in the process. Fancy that!

Yoga Gives You Tools for Daily Life

Everybody deals with many forms of stress in their lives. Work, relationships, family, and so on. If you practiced yoga, you could learn to tap into your inner strength, learning breathing techniques, called Ujjayi breathing, to keep from blowing a lid in times of stress. This is not just mumbo jumbo, this is proven science, ladies. Deep breathing calms you! Yoga teaches deep breathing. By focusing on breathing in the 3 major areas; diaphragm, lungs, and ribs, you clear your mind of busyness, worry, and anxiety. These breaths bring your body back into alignment. Who couldn’t use that?!?

Yoga Regulates Hormones & Increases Fertility

This is where it gets fun! Practicing yoga increases blood flow to the brain. So why is this good? PCOS is an endocrine disorder where hormones are thrown out of balance, beginning in…you guessed it, the brain! By performing the ‘inversion’ poses of yoga we flush blood to our brains signaling it to restore hormonal balance. The poses mentioned below are great for stimulating thyroid activity through what is called the ‘throat choke sensation.’ By balancing your hormones, you’re aligning yourself for greater chances of conception. A few great ones to try are:

  • Standing Separate Leg, Head to Knee (yep, that’s the name)
  • Rabbit
  • Eagle

Yoga Restores Gastrointestinal Balance

A major side effect of PCOS is some sort of gastorintestinal (digestive system)upset. Whether your taking a medication that causes you to run to the bathroom or you just wish you could go sometime…today, yoga will help. Your digestive organs receive a much needed massage by performing what is called the ‘spinal strengthening series’ of poses. They include locust, baby cobra, and floor bow.

Tips to Remember

  • Try to avoid ever popular yoga DVD’s and apps. They can cause more permanent damage than you know. Look for a certified and trained teacher. They are trained to help your body properly align. A major recognized name is training from the Yoga Alliance.
  • Different types of yoga all offer these benefits to PCOS women. Hot yoga has increased heat for increased cardio. Hatha, Bikram, and Astanga are all wonderful.
  • Women who are pregnant should seek a yogi who is certified with a pre-natal certification to handle the increased risks of baby in belly!

For more information on yoga and PCOS, contact Becky Miller. To learn more about how CROWN Coaching can help you in reaching your PCOS goals and dreams, Becky is always available!

Thanks to Bethany Caddell for being a wonderful, Christian yogi and friend to me. She is responsible for the detailed information on yoga and PCOS. To learn more about her practice, visit her blog, Christian Yoga Studio.

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