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More Therapeutic Yoga for PCOS – Apana Energy

Beth Heller, MS, RYT

According to yoga physiology, apana vayu is the downward flow of energy that governs the menses as well as elimination of toxins from the body.  In the yogic view of PCOS, the apana vayu has become stagnant and by stimulating apana we re-invigorate the menstrual cycle.  Poses that stretch and open the hips and lower back facilitate the flow of apana.   Strengthening apana energy flow is just one goal of our therapeutic yoga practice for PCOS.  A well-rounded practice for PCOS also includes twisting and folding poses to stimulate agni , back-bending poses to enliven the nervous system, restorative poses that induce the relaxation response and gentle inversions that stimulate the thyroid, hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

This series of poses to strengthen apana begins with a vinyasa of chair (utkatasana) and standing forward fold (uttanasana) for a simple flow that is both energizing and grounding.  Follow this sequence with warrior 2, to continue to build strength and open groin and hip muscles.  Finish with Supine Cobbler’s Pose, a gentle supported back-bend that stimulates the relaxation response.


Uttanasana “Forward Fold”

Virabhadrasana 2 “Warrior Pose”

Supta Baddha Konasana – Supported Reclining Cobbler’s Pose