The number of women having irregular menstrual cycles has been growing alarmingly, with several of them diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and related conditions.
PCOS often leaves women with severe mental distress; its manifestations include mood swings, weight gain, excessive growth of body hair, receding hairlines, in addition to missed periods.
Nevertheless, several women with PCOS have been vouching for yoga and how it’s been able to streamline their period to the normal 28-31 day cycle.
Yoga experts explain how 15 minutes of a particular yoga regimen can ensure a lifetime of reproductive wellness. Dr Sarita Devi, a yoga instructor at the University of Hyderabad, says, “Every year, as new batches of students join the university, many of them come up to me and ask how their irregular menstrual cycles can be streamlined. My only answer to them is: Surya Namaskar.” Dr Sarita has pursued PG Diploma and M.Sc in Yoga Studies and has been practising the same for the last 15 years.
Surya Namaskar, she explains, helps stimulate the various hormone glands in the body. “It is an all-round body exercise that includes working the muscles around the pelvis and the abdomen. It ensures that all the glands that secrete hormones are released in a timely manner,” she says.
These hormone-secreting glands often tend to malfunction due to our irregular diet and schedules. She adds that all women struggling with irregular periods must focus on three critical aspects for a sustainable yoga experience, namely, eating light and healthy, following a regular sleep and diet routine, and doing yoga regularly.
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The series of asanas
Surya Namaskar: 12 poses to be performed at moderate speed with sufficient rest in a single round. Each round to be repeated for up to 15-20 minutes. Ends with a Savasana.
Ushtraasan (Camel pose): Kneel with the back straight, raise one hand upwards and then bring it back, while arching the back and touching the heel. Bring the other hand to the same position.
Supta Vajrasana: Sit upright with the knees bent inwards. Place the hands on the floor beside the buttocks. Bend the hand at the elbow and lean the body backwards till the elbows rest flat on the floor. Lower the head backwards until the top of the head touches the floor. Bring the palms together before the chest and hold the posture. With the support of the elbows, slowly return to the index position.
Shashankasana: Sit upright with the knees bent inwards. Raise both the hands above the head with the palms facing forward. Stretch them out to touch the floor as you bend, with the face down.
Uttanpadasana: Lie on the back, with the palms beside the buttocks and facing the floor. Slowly raise the legs with toes pointed at 45 degrees. Don’t bend the knees. Hold the posture until its comfortable and slowly bring it down to the rest position.
Sarvangasana: Lie on the back and raise the legs while breathing in. Eventually, raise the buttocks and the upper body from the floor. Slowly extend the legs and back until the weight of the body rests on the neck, shoulders and upper arms. The chin must touch the chest and the back and legs should form a vertical line.