If you have ever opened a magazine, turned on the television or stepped into a studio, you have probably seen pretzel-like women clad in body-hugging yoga pants performing poses that appear to defy human physiology. You have probably stared with both envy and admiration while silently cursing your PCOS body.
Fear not because we will be discussing why PCOS and yoga are the perfect combination and how you can get started anytime, anywhere from the comfort of your own home to a professional studio.
Whether you have been diagnosed with PCOS two months or twenty years ago, yoga is one of the most beneficial and complete forms of exercise that focuses on the mind, body, and spirit with added muscle and cardio building benefits.
Why Yoga and PCOS are the Perfect Marriage
Like Saturdays and sleeping in, yoga and PCOS were simply meant to be together.
The philosophy of yoga describes certain poses that stimulate energy systems within the body that may be lacking in women with PCOS. Such poses can help bring the body into balance. A 2012 study found that twelve weeks of a one hour a day holistic yoga program in adolescents with PCOS was significantly more beneficial than a conventional physical exercise program. The yoga program reduced anxiety symptoms, mFG scores for hirsutism, improved menstrual frequency, glucose, lipid and insulin values in addition to insulin resistance values.
Certain weight-bearing poses help build muscle which helps burn fat and combat insulin resistance – a critical component of PCOS management. More active yoga can also increase heart rate, providing a cardiovascular workout which promotes heart health and weight loss.
Beyond the Body
The Sanskrit root of the word yoga is yuj which means “to join” and is often defined as “to unite.”
Contrary to mindlessly running on a treadmill or pedaling a bicycle, yoga unites the body, mind, breath and spirit, increasing awareness and teaching the individual to become more accepting of capabilities and limitations which promotes confidence and self-care, habits that are great for longevity. Even the simple act of breathing intentionally through a physically demanding pose can teach people how to manage stress in everyday situations by breathing. In turn, a person can manage physiological responses to stress which further promotes more balanced hormones.
We won’t be touching on the spiritual side of yoga much in this post much but it’s worth mentioning that yoga teaches its participants to let go of everything outside the room and to center yourself and turn inward in a positive way.
In today’s modern world, there are a number of ways to get started doing yoga. We recommend finding a professional class with a certified instructor who is experienced and will take the time to teach you proper form and modify your poses based on your level of experience and fitness. There are many small studios that are less intimidating than a gym setting however, if you’re more comfortable getting started at home, there are many options for you as well.
Books, magazines, DVDs and YouTube videos are widely available for you to practice yoga safely at home. There is even a wealth of popular and useful yoga apps available for iOS and Android. If you find classes prohibitively expensive, a free or cheap app is a great alternative that can help get you started.
Figure 1 Source: topfitnessapps.com
The most popular are Yoga Studio, Pocket Yoga and Daily Yoga.
In the meantime, build your confidence and health with yoga and explore various types until you find the one you enjoy the most. There more than we can list here but the most common type is Hatha yoga among others like Vinyasa and Bikram or hot yoga.
We also recommend taking a high quality supplement. Furocyst, for example, is extracted from the Fenugreek seed without using chemicals and is rising in popularity as a beneficial supplement. Clinically proven safe and effective for managing PCOS, Furocyst is shown to reduce the size of ovarian cysts and improve insulin sensitivity. For more information, visit www.furocyst.com.
The statement and product mentioned in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.