PCOS Exercises: Yoga Asanas, Stretches and Breathing Exercises

11breathing exercises and yoga asanas for pcos
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Looking for yoga asanas to manage PCOS symptoms? Research shows that practising yoga can help reduce PCOS symptoms.

2 Breathing Exercises for PCOS

Breathing exercises or pranayama, can help manage specific symptoms of PCOS, such as stress and anxiety. Here are two breathing exercises that can be beneficial for women with PCOS

1. Anulom Vilom

This breathing exercise can help to balance the hormones and reduce stress and anxiety. Nadi Shodhana or anulom vilom also known as alternate nostril breathing.

How to do Anulom Vilom

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed.
  2. Start with your right thumb and use it to close your right nostril.
  3. Inhale deeply through your left nostril, and then use your ring finger to close your left nostril; as you exhale through your right nostril.
  4. Inhale through the right nostril, then close it with your thumb as you exhale through the left nostril.
  5. Continue this pattern for several minutes, focusing on the breath and the sensation of the air moving through the nostrils.

Health benefits of Anulom Vilom

  1. It is used to calm the nervous system and helps in good night sleep.
  2. This breathing exercise will help purify the blood and also help to increase concentration.

2. Kapalbhati

In yoga, Kapalbhati Pranayama is a breathing technique that involves forceful exhalations and passive inhalations. It is also known as internal kriya for the cleansing technique.

How to do Kapalbhati?

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hands resting on your knees.
  2. Take a few deep breaths to prepare, then exhale forcefully through your nose, contracting your abdominal muscles.
  3. Allow the inhalation to happen passively, without effort, as your abdominal muscles relax.
  4. Repeat this breathing technique for several seconds.
  5. You can do 10-20 rounds and gradually increase it to 50

Health benefits of Kapalbhati

  1. It cleanses your respiratory system.
  2. It helps to boost the energy levels.
  3. It is good for digestion and also helps reduce constipation.
  4. It makes your abdominal (core) muscles strong.

Important note from Fitness with Nidhi

  1. Kapalbhati should be practised with caution and under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher, especially if you have health concerns.
  2. It is not recommended for pregnant women or someone with high BP, heart disease or medical conditions.
  3. It is also important to maintain a slow steady pace without strained breathing and over-exerting the abdominal muscles.

4 Yoga Asanas Stretches for PCOS

Stretching is an important part of any exercise routine and can be beneficial for women with PCOS who may experience tightness or tension in certain areas of the body.

1. Garland Pose (Malasana)

Garland pose also called Malasana in Sanskrit is a yoga posture that involves squatting down with feet close together and heels on the ground. This pose is often used to strengthen your pelvic floor and abdominal core while opening the hips.

Garland Pose Yoga Asanas PCOS

How to do a Garland Yoga Pose (Malasana)

  1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and lower your hips down towards the floor, keeping your heels on the ground and your feet close together.
  3. Bring your palms together in front of your chest, using your elbows to gently press your knees apart.
  4. Hold the pose for several breaths, then slowly rise back to the standing position.

Health benefits of Garland pose

  1. Garland pose is an excellent posture for stretching the hips, which become tight and tense from prolonged sitting or inactivity. This can help improve flexibility, reduce stiffness and relieve tension in the lower body.
  2. Squatting in Garland pose can help to strengthen the legs and core muscles including the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.
  3. Improves digestion and improves constipation.
  4. It calms your mind.
  5. Garland pose helps prepare you for childbirth.

Important note from Fitness with Nidhi

  1. Before practicing Garland pose, it’s really very important to do a few stretches for warm-up.
  2. If it’s difficult to squat down comfortably, use props such as a block or cushion to sit on.
  3. While squatting down, it’s important to keep your back straight.
  4. Remember to listen to your body and practice with caution.

2. Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat pose also known as Navasana in Sanskrit, is a yoga pose that targets your abdominal muscles, hip flexors and spine.

Boat Pose Yoga Asanas PCOS

How to do a Boat Pose (Navasana)

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Place your hands on the floor behind your hips, with your fingers pointing towards your feet.
  3. Lean back to slowly lift your feet up
  4. Straighten your legs, and lift them towards the ceiling, until your body forms a V-shape.
  5. Extend your arms forward, parallel to the ground, with your palms facing each other.
  6. Keep your backbone straight and your chest lifted up
  7. Hold the posture for 5-10 breaths, or as long as feels comfortable for your body.
  8. Exhale and lower your legs and arms.

3. Bow Pose (Dharurasana)

The bow pose of Dhanurasana in Sanskrit is a yoga pose in which the chest and feet are lifted up from the ground, holding your ankles.

Row Pose Yoga Asanas PCOS

How to do a Bow pose?

  1. Lie on your stomach and bend your knees to bring your heels close to your butts.
  2. Extend your arms back to hold the ankles with your hands.
  3. inhale and lift your chest and legs off the ground while pulling your ankles and thighs up.
  4. Try holding in this pose for a few seconds.
  5. Exhale lower your chest and legs back down to the ground.
  6. Repeat the pose a few times.

Health Benefits of Bow Pose

  1. The bow pose will help reduce stress.
  2. It will also help to strengthen the back muscles.
  3. It also helps digestion and alleviates bloating and constipation.

Important notes from Fitness with Nidhi

  1. Warming up is a must before doing any yoga pose.
  2. Core muscles should be engaged while performing the bow pose.
  3. Always listen to your  body and modify the pose to suit the level of flexibility

4. Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)

The Cat-Cow Stretch (Chakravakasana) is a yoga exercise in which you have to flex your spine and then extend it. Inhale during arching your back and exhale.

Cat Cow Yoga Asanas PCOS

How to do a Cat and Cow pose?

  1. Start on your fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Now, inhale and arch your back. This is called cow pose.
  3. Exhale and round your spine. This is called cat pose.
  4. Continue this for several seconds.

Health benefits of Cat-cow pose

  1. It stretches and strengthens your spine.
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How effective is yoga for PCOS?

    Yes, it’s important to consider yoga as a lifestyle modification for treating PCOS.

  • Does PCOS Yoga help in weight loss?

    Yoga practices along with a healthy eating plan will surely help reduce weight and PCOS symptoms.

  • Can we do PCOS Yoga during periods?

    PCOS Yoga will provide relief to the pain and will help regulate period cycle.

  • Does PCOS Yoga balance your hormones?

    Yoga will help relieve anxiety, regulate menstrual cycles, and increase metabolism.

  • Are there any side effects of doing Yoga?

    There are no side effects but in case the pain is severe, it’s best to avoid it.

  • Should yoga be practiced on an empty stomach?


  • What to eat after Yoga?

    It’s important to refuel after yoga. Any meal with a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates and protein can be consumed after practicing yoga or any other physical activity. The ratio will change depending on the intensity of the workout.

Many other asanas can be done for PCOS. Contact us for a customised disease-specific home workout program.

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About the author

Nidhi Gupta is an ACE certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 10 years of experience helping people reach their fitness goals. She is passionate about helping people live healthier lives and loves sharing her knowledge and expertise with others. Get in touch with her to learn more about how she can help you on your fitness journey.
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