Yoga for PCOS: 9 Best Yoga Poses for PCOS

Yoga for PCOS is universally acknowledged as it is a natural and healthier way of shedding that extra fat. PCOS has become every modern-day woman’s nightmare: not only does this condition affect the normal functioning of your body, it also affects your appearance. 

And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it affects 6 to 12% of women during their childbearing years.[1] Moreover, in India, this figure goes up to 20%, one in every five women of reproductive age.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is an acronym for a polycystic ovarian syndrome which is one of the most common causes of female infertility. This common female endocrine disorder in which the level of androgens (male hormones) in a woman’s body goes up. 

Additionally, it changes your body’s morphology and functioning of internal organs, resulting in irregular periods, weight gain, and problems with fertility and ovulation.

Symptoms of PCOS

Following are symptoms a woman suffering from PCOS will show:

  • Irregularity in menstruation –  either caused by delayed or no ovulation
  • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) on the ovaries, seen in a sonograph
  • Difficulty in losing weight
  • Excess body, facial hair, and acne
  • Difficulty in conceiving

Acanthosis nigricans – a condition in which the skin develops thick,  dark, velvety patches, especially in skin folds (such as armpits, neck folds, groin, etc.)

Causes of PCOS?

However, there is no one factor that can be attributed as the cause of PCOS – it is caused by a combination of hereditary as well as environmental factors. 

Yet, stress, Androgen levels, Excess weight, and family history have been very commonly linked to the development of PCOS. 

Additionally, some other health complications that often go hand in hand with PCOS include obesity, diabetes (type 2), mood disorders, etc.

9 Effective and Best Yoga for PCOS

Yoga for PCOS helps you in easing the symptoms of PCOS weight management, decreasing testosterone levels, stress management, and more. 

Here are the 9 best yoga poses for PCOS with pictures.

1. Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar

Surya namaskar is listed under the best yoga for PCOS. Moreover, weight loss, hip, and waist fat shedding, menstrual cycle regulation can be facilitated by performing the sun salutation yoga pose every day.

How to Perform Surya Namaskar Yoga Pose:

  • To start, stand straight, keeping your feet together and distributing your weight evenly between both feet.
  • And relax your shoulders and expand your chest.
  • Now, lift both arms from the sides as you inhale, then bring your hands together in front of your chest in a prayer position as you exhale.
  • Then, breathe in and stretch your entire body, from heels to the tips of your fingers.
  • Breathe out and simultaneously bend forwards to touch your toes, keeping the spine straight.
  • Then, Push your right leg backward and keep it straight and gaze straight.
  • Now, get in the push-up position and hold there for 1-2 seconds.
  • Then, get in the bhujangasana (cobra pose) position.
  • Continue breathing normally as you perform this yoga.
  • Then get back to standing straight and touch your feet.
  • Repeat for 3-6 times.

2. Garland Pose or Malasana

This yoga for PCOS strengthens the pelvic floor and abdominal core while opening the hips. 

Moreover, it benefits individuals with PCOS by increasing circulation and blood flow to the pelvic region, improving metabolism, and aiding digestion.

How to Perform

  • To start, get your feet about your shoulder-width apart.
  • Then, bend your knees and lower your buttocks toward the floor to come into a squat position.
  • Now, bring your hands in a prayer position (Anjali mudra). If you want you can allow your thumbs to touch your sternum to help keep the chest lifted.
  • Then, press your upper arms/triceps inside of your knees and stay engaged with your spine straight (elbows press into knees to open the hips).
  • And, extend the low back and draw shoulder blades toward one another.
  • Remain in this position for up to 20-60sec and repeat the pose a total of three times.

3. Cat-Cow Pose or Chakravakasana

This yoga poses for PCOS strengthens your spine, abdominal organs and helps you in stress management. 

How to Perform

  • To start, get in a tabletop position with your palms down, wrists and elbows aligned under shoulders, knees under hips, ankles straight back from the knees. 
  • Note, you can curl the toes under or tops of the feet down, as the flow moves you.
  • Now, inhale, bend the elbows, lower the belly, lift the chin and the tailbone simultaneously, moving each of the vertebrae of the spinal column in a wave.
  • Then reverse the movement on the exhale by tucking the tailbone and chin, and doming the back as you draw the navel toward the spine as the chin tips toward the chest.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

4. Boat Pose or Naukasana

This yoga for PCOS focuses on the abdominal muscles and organs and is also known to control thyroid function. 

Moreover, it also strengthens and stretches your thigh and spinal region.

How to Perform

  • To start, lay straight on the floor Keeping your arms straight alongside your body with palms facing down.
  • Now, as you inhale, start elevating your arms and legs to make a boat-like v shape. 
  • Hold this position for 20-50 seconds before exhaling slowly and descending.

5. Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana

This yoga for PCOS weight loss helps in making the body flexible, promotes weight loss, and relieves stress. 

Additionally, yoga asana is widely included in the list of yoga for PCOD problems.

How to Perform

  • To start, lay straight on the stomach, keep your elbows close to your body with palms facing down. 
  • Now, start straightening your arms to elevate your chest off the floor and try to recline backward as much as you can as you inhale.
  • Make sure your navel should be in contact with the ground.
  • Hold this position for 30-45 seconds before exhaling slowly and descending.
  • Repeat the pose 10-15 times.

6. Bow Pose or Dhanurasana

This yoga for PCOS may help relieve menstrual discomfort, stimulate reproductive organs, and regulate menstrual flow.

Moreover, increased circulation to the pelvic region releases tension from abdominal organs and also stretches the neck, shoulders, and legs muscles. 

Additionally, it may improve anxiety and decrease stress also.

How to Perform

  • To start, lie down on your stomach with your arms on the side of your body.
  • Then, fold your knees up and reach your hands to hold your ankles.
  • Now, breathe in and lift your chest up off the ground while pulling your legs up.
  • Hold this yoga pose for PCOS for 15 seconds, and remember to keep breathing.
  • Repeat the pose 3-6 times.

Also, See… Best yoga for thyroid health.

7. Reclining Butterfly Pose or Supta Baddha Konasana

This yoga for PCOS weight loss is a restorative pose that completely supports the spine and back body. Furthermore, it gently releases tension from the shoulders and chest and opens the heart and the hips.

How to Perform

  • Try to relax by sitting on the mat with legs extended in front of you.
  • Now, bend your knees and bring your heels toward you to press the soles together. 
  • Hold your feet together with your hands and draw them as close to your torso and lean backward until your back is on the floor.
  • Now, close your eyes, breathe deeply for 3–5 minutes, or longer if you are comfortable.
  • Make sure to come out of the pose mindfully, by rolling to your right side and pausing there for several breaths and then up to seated, or in any way that works best for you.
  • Hold the posture for 1-2 minutes and then relax and repeat for 3 times.

8. Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana\

This yoga for PCOS can calm the brain and reduce stress and anxiety while relieving tension in the back muscles.

How to Perform

  • To start, lie on your back with your knees folded and feet hip-distance apart on the floor.
  • And keep your hands, palm down beside your body.
  • Now, inhale while slowly lifting your lower back, mid-back, then upper back off the floor (while the pelvis lifts up, lengthen from pelvis to sternum).
  • Then, gently roll the shoulders and bring the chest toward the chin.
  • Always, keep thighs parallel to each other and the floor with all four corners of the feet pressed firmly into the ground.
  • Breathe with ease and stay in this pose for 60-90 sec and repeat up to 5 times.

Also, See… Best yoga for anxiety.

9. Head-to-Knee Pose or Janusirsana

This yoga pose stretches your thigh, spine, and abdominal organs and is helpful in toning the abdomen. Moreover, it is considered one of the best yoga for PCOS.

How to Perform

  • To start, sit down on a yoga mat.
  • And, extend the left leg to the corner of your mat, foot flexed, back of the heel down, toes to the sky. 
  • Then get your right knee bent with the foot tucked as close as comfortable to the groin.
  • Now, extend your arms over the legs, breathe in deeply, and exhale, moving the upper body gently toward the left foot, while slowly bringing your right arm in an arc over your head. 
  • Feel the twist in your torso, the shoulder/hip opener, the gentle massage of the sacroiliac joint, and the movement of kidneys, ovaries, and each internal organ with each deep breath.
  • Do the pose 6-9 times and repeat for the other side.

Also, See… Best Yoga Poses for Emotional Health.

How Does Yoga Help With PCOS?

The below-mentioned benefits of yoga for PCOS make it perfect in the ability to benefit your body and mind at the same time.

Lower testosterone levels in the female body

  • By reducing Stress [2].
  • Effective in Reducing anxiety. [3]
  • By reducing chronic pain. 
  • Improving blood circulation.
  • Helping in weight management.

Also, See… Best Yoga poses for Weight Loss.

Conclusion

Yoga for PCOS may help ease the symptoms of PCOS and decrease testosterone levels, weight management, and also promote relaxation. 

Additionally, it is an entirely natural health prescription for PCOS, which are obesity, stress, and hormonal imbalance.

Moreover, regular practice of this yoga for PCOS can boost your health and reduce your stress levels by weight loss and correcting hormonal imbalances in the most natural and healing ways.

However, yoga is only one part of an overall treatment plan for PCOS. And you also need to take care of diet, cardiovascular exercise and medication are all treatment options your doctor may recommend.