We are currently running the Yoga for Endo Challenge (register here to get in on it) and one of the questions I have been asked, is “how does yoga specifically address endometriosis?”
Yes, we get that yoga can help loosen adhesions as we are physically moving the body in a certain way. Or perhaps you get that yoga can help with better delivery of nutrients and oxygen – another cool and important thing… but how does it specifically address endometriosis?
In this video, I want to share how it is all just a giant loop and how the body is all inter-connected. You are going to love the dots I have managed to join 🙂
So to re-iterate this and to write it out for you…
Endometriosis is triggered by having too much oestrogen in the body. The more of this imbalance we have, the more we will develop endometriosis growths such as cysts and lesions. Oestrogen and progesterone should be in balance within the body and typically with endometriosis, we see an excess of oestrogen and insufficient progesterone. We want to bring back the natural balance between these hormones. They act like a see-saw and we need more progesterone to balance the excess oestrogen.
Unfortunately, there is a bigger player involved and that is our stress hormones. Cortisol sits on top of all the other hormones and will command more of the resources and yes, attention to itself. If you are stressed out our anxious about anything – easy to do, when you have endometriosis – then inevitably, your cortisol levels will rise. Interestingly, cortisol also rises with certain types of exercise or when we don’t honour our cycle with exercising.
Because the need to make more cortisol is key when we are stressed, other hormones are often neglected and we, therefore, have insufficient amounts of them – like progesterone.
As I mentioned, progesterone needs to be in balance with oestrogens and when we are stressed, we will simply not make enough progesterone to counter the effects of too much oestrogen. So, inevitably progesterone remains low and oestrogen flares up – causing more growths, cysts and pain as we know with endometriosis.
How does yoga address endometriosis?
Yoga has the ability to bring down the need for cortisol as it regulates your stress. It does this in two ways – it allows you to be more present and it encourages deep breathing, which instantly drives down the cortisol response within the body. When we drive down the need for cortisol, we instantly help regulate our hormones.
Another way Yoga helps regulate hormones is by providing good blood flow to the main hub station where our hormones are produced (in the pituitary gland, located in the head). Good blood flow means better delivery and better clearing of waste too 🙂
So, I hope you can see how Yoga does help you manage your endometriosis and reduce the actual condition – not just the associated symptoms.
Feel free to leave a comment below on what your experience has been in using yoga to help manage endometriosis or if you have any questions about what I have shared here.