Ovarian cysts are non-cancerous masses that develop in the ovaries. They can lead to a sharp pain in your belly and make it uncomfortable for a person. While it leads to pain in the abdomen, it doesn’t make interfere with your daily life. It can happen to anyone, sometimes even to the healthiest people. The fact that it can happen even to the ones who are the healthiest doesn’t exactly serve as motivation. This is the reason why people seek inspiration from women who have persevered through the problem, and been able to overcome the consequences. Yoga and wellness coach Shani Dayal is one such woman who dealt with ovarian cysts like a warrior.
Popularly known as Shaniyoga on Instagram, she took to her social media to share her journey with ovarian cysts and how she overcame it.
Ovarian cysts came as an unwelcome guest in Shani’s life despite being healthy. ” A couple of years back I got an ovarian cyst, and it came as a very big shock because I was living a healthy life. I practised yoga, went to the gym, and ate healthy,” shares the yoga coach in her video.
Being healthy doesn’t ensure safety from ovarian cysts, as evident by Shani’s case. However, she soon realised how she was approaching yoga and a healthy lifestyle was not the way it should be. While she was leading a healthy life, she was also putting too much mental and physical stress on her mind and body. She points out that it all happened despite her following a healthy lifestyle.
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When things were not going according to plan and she got to know about her diagnosis of ovarian cysts, she realised the shortcomings of the practice. “I was actually practising yoga just for Asana and not including it in my lifestyle. I was not listening to my body and there was no connection between mind and body. I was putting myself under too much physical and mental stress,” she adds.
Shani writes in the caption that mental and physical stress can cause heart ailments, diabetes, and more such diseases. But there are other signs that our body shows and the ones we tend to ignore, including “weak reproductive health, weak digestive health, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloating, weak immunity, acne, and chronic pain.” These are the signs that tell us that there’s something we aren’t doing right.
After realising the mistake of practising yoga for the Asana and not as a lifestyle, the yoga expert changed the way she looked at yoga. Here are the steps she took to change her approach towards yoga to avoid problems such as ovarian cysts in the future:
The first thing she did was listen to her body. “Our body is constantly having this conversation with us, telling us only a natural way to do things, but we completely ignore it. I realised that I was pushing myself too much physically. Exercise causes stress in the body. It’s good unless it becomes too much. With no rest, there is stress buildup leading to chronic stress.”
While stress may not directly lead to ovarian cysts, it may affect your reproductive health which could lead to the problem. Studies have shown that long periods of stress can cause hormonal imbalances, which can lead to the development of ovarian cysts.
“I started to prioritise my sleep because sleep is the basis of good health.” Did you know sleep is the time when your body relaxes and restores your cells? As per the study published in Stat Pearls, your body heals and repairs replete cellular components required for biological functions. In other words, sleep is the much-needed detox for your body so get 8 hours of sleep every day to avoid problems.
You can include yoga as a lifestyle to really heal yourself. Shani realised that she was focusing only on Asanas, and not on yoga as a holistic practice. This is when she shifted her focus to “Pranayam, meditation, and other limbs of yoga.” Further explaining the benefits of focusing on every aspect of yoga, the expert writes, “Pranayam, meditation, yoga nidra- apart from spiritual benefits, all these practices induce deep levels of relaxation. Activates para-sympathetic nervous system (rest & digest system) reducing stress hormones, improving energy blood flow to reproductive, digestive organs, heart.”
Also Read: Yoga asana to improve reproductive health
With so many diet trends flooding the market, it is easy to fall prey to fad diets and trends that don’t last long. Rather than focusing on following trends, it is better to go back to the roots and eat home-cooked healthy meals. “I completely stopped taking all those smoothies and shakes because I realised it was not suiting me at all. I’m constantly bloated and I went back to my roots.”
If you have been noticing any symptoms that are out of the ordinary, stick to local and home-cooked meals. You are different, so make sure you are eating food according to what suits you.
She also warns that yoga doesn’t cure ovarian cysts, but including yoga as a lifestyle and listening to your body can help you understand your body better. She stresses the importance of noticing the signs that your body is trying to tell you to avoid complications. People tend to “ignore these signs, sometimes run behind trends, judge ourselves, get influenced, and instead of listening to our bodies, ignore our inner voice completely,” concluded Shani.