Yoga and nutrition for PCOS: exercises, holistic approach to nourish the body naturally | Health

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects millions of women worldwide and while conventional medicine often focuses on managing symptoms through medication, a holistic approach like Yoga emphasizes nourishing the body naturally. This approach integrates lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, physical activity, and spiritual practices to address the root causes of PCOS and promote overall well-being.

Yoga and nutrition for PCOS: exercises, holistic approach to nourish the body naturally (image by ArthurHidden on Freepik)

Understanding the holistic approach

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, shared, “A holistic approach to PCOS involves treating the individual completely, not just the symptoms. It takes into account the interconnectedness of mind, body and soul and aims to restore balance and harmony within these domains. Benefits of this comprehensive treatment plan include improved hormonal balance, improved physical and mental health and a sustainable way to manage PCOS in the long term.” According to him, this approach includes –

  1. Diet and Nutrition: Healing from Within – Diet plays a crucial role in the development and management of PCOS. Consuming large amounts of sugar, fructose, trans fats, animal fats, and processed foods can contribute to obesity and insulin resistance, worsening PCOS symptoms. On the other hand, a balanced diet rich in whole foods, fiber, and healthy fats can help manage weight and improve insulin sensitivity. Including more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats such as those found in nuts and olive oil can make a significant difference in managing PCOS. Adequate supplementation of vitamins B12 and D and iron is also essential.
  2. Physical Activity and PCOS – Physical inactivity can worsen PCOS symptoms. Regular exercise helps control weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and regulate menstrual cycles. Women with PCOS are encouraged to engage in regular physical activity such as aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises such as yoga. Flow asanas such as Surya Namaskara and Chandra Namaskara can be included in the routine. However, Surya Namaskaras should be avoided in chronic PCOS. Gentle stretching exercises are recommended and overstretching should be avoided. Water activities such as swimming are also beneficial.
  3. Coping with stress and emotional well-being – Stress has a major impact on PCOS, as chronic stress can lead to hormonal imbalances and ongoing low-grade inflammation, worsening symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles and acne. Managing stress through techniques like Mindfulness Meditation, yoga, and therapy can help improve overall well-being, reduce the severity of PCOS symptoms, and manage inflammation in the body. Reducing anxiety and fear is crucial, and mindful meditation practices can help. Practices like the Siddha Walk (figure-8 walking) and the Healing Walk (walking with raised hands) can harness body communication, channel blood flow, and produce positive results. In addition to managing stress, prioritizing rest and self-care is crucial for women with PCOS. Adequate rest allows the body to repair and rejuvenate, which supports hormonal balance and overall well-being. Creating healthy sleep patterns, engaging in relaxing activities like reading or meditation, and making time for self-care rituals can all help promote a sense of calm and inner balance. Taking care of yourself holistically means attending to your physical, emotional and spiritual needs, creating a deeper connection with yourself and promoting healing from within.

The role of yoga and meditation

Siddhaa Akshar from the Himalayas claims that yoga and meditation are powerful tools for balancing hormones and reducing stress. He revealed that specific poses and exercises that are beneficial for women with PCOS include:

1. Yoni Mudra held on the perineum: This mudra improves and circulates blood flow; improves reproductive health.

2. Sahaj Shankh Mudra, Adi Mudra and Mushti Mudra: These mudras help channel energy and promote hormonal balance.

3. Hanumanasana and Baddha Konasana: These asanas open the pelvis and improve blood flow.

4. Paschimottanasana and Vajrasana: These asanas are beneficial for taking care of the calf muscles and improving overall flexibility.

Reducing exposure to environmental toxins

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar emphasized, “Reducing exposure to environmental toxins is essential in managing PCOS. Practical tips include using natural or organic products, avoiding plastic containers for food storage, and reducing the use of personal care products with harmful chemicals. These steps help minimize the intake of hormone-disrupting chemicals and support overall health.”

Restore balance and harmony

Restoring balance and harmony within yourself and with the earth is crucial in managing PCOS. Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar advised, “This involves nourishing the body naturally, attuning it to its intrinsic rhythms and fostering a deep, spiritual connection with nature. Spiritual practices such as waking up early with sunrise and water activities such as swimming and treating yourself grounding with the energies of the earth can promote balance and harmony. Understanding the connection between lifestyle factors and PCOS is crucial for effective management of the condition. While genetics sets the stage, lifestyle choices play a crucial role in the severity and progression of PCOS. “

By eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and minimizing exposure to environmental factors, women with PCOS can improve their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. This holistic approach, which includes lifestyle changes such as yoga, exercise, and dietary changes, offers the most effective strategy for managing PCOS.

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