How To Beat PMS and Bloating With Yoga
Let’s face it, that time of the month can be nothing short of misery when it comes to bloating. This all-levels yoga sequence has been created for you by our expert, Jane Beevers of www.body-balanced.com to remedy that. It is designed to help you beat PMS with yoga, the natural way, providing you with some relief; physically, emotionally and mentally.
Give yourself some time, turn off the phone, have some comfy cushions or pillows handy, a blanket or yoga mat along with a yoga block or a few books. If you do not have the full 30 minutes, you can pick and choose a few of these that work for you. As you practice them and get used to the shapes, you might find you choose just a few that become your favorites. Feel free to take as long as is comfortable in them. Just five or ten minutes can make a huge difference.
Follow our step-by-step yoga sequence to beat PMS
1.Start seated in a kneeling position. Close your eyes and have your hands gently cupping the belly. The goal is to relax, take a few deep breaths, and set an intention to feel better. Remind yourself this is temporary and will pass.
2. From a kneeling position, make hands into two fists and press gently into the lower belly. Keep them there and fold forward over your thighs, creating a compressing, massaging effect. Place your head towards the ground (you can rest on a block or books if you like). This helps to encourage blood flow to our internal organs, rinsing out and encouraging digestion, and eliminating toxins, boosting circulation around the gut, liver, stomach, and reproductive organs.
3. Lie down on your back, knees to chest and hug your forearms and hands around your shins. Pull your thigh bones towards your belly (you can separate your knees a little here if you like). This is – quite literally – a wind-relieving pose. This time of the month we often seek comfort foods, which might not always agree with the gut, so if you feel free, let your wind go free!
4. From here keep your knees bent and take your legs wide for happy baby pose. Holding the feet, gently rock your legs side to side, opening the hips. Lightly press your shoulder blades down, opening the chest. Pressing arms into the legs to encourage opening inside the hip.
5. Stay on your back, bend both knees and roll your legs over to the right side, taking your arms wide or bent and looking over the opposite shoulder for a twist. This will boost digestion and wake up the nervous system (twists are very good for encouraging detoxification). Switch sides enjoying a few breaths each side. If your outer hip feels tight, place a blanket, block or a few books between the thigh bones. You can place your opposite hand on top of the leg to encourage the thigh down. Do not force the knees to the ground (you can place a block or blanket under the bottom knee).
6. Come up to a seated position with your legs extended straight forward. Take a bolster or a couple of pillows or cushions on top of the legs and gently fold the torso over the cushions. Arms should be just resting down by the side of the legs. This is not about getting a deep stretch but allowing yourself to relax over the support of the cushions, close the eyes and relax here for a few breaths. Forward folds are very calming, and you’ll get the added benefit of mild to moderate compression of the abdominal wall. This is my absolute favorite, feel free to place a blanket under your hips for more support.
7. Same as above but in a hip opener, bending one knee and drawing the foot towards the groin.
8. Then bend the same knee towards the ceiling with your foot on the ground. Sit up and twist (with your right arm behind you and your left arm hugging the right knee). Repeat for both sides. Encourage your naval to your spine, lifting up through the spine and chest, rolling the back shoulder back.
9. Now for bridge pose with block under your sacrum. Lay down on your back with your feet on ground and knees bent. Lift your pelvis up, sliding a block under sacrum. Hands can be interlaced around the block encouraging space around the shoulders, belly, reproductive area, front of thighs/hip flexors. As a variation, try lifting one leg, with your foot towards the ceiling for a few breaths, and then switch sides. If this feels too intense, take the block or books down a little so the hips are not so high.
10. Remove the block and gently hug your thighs to chest. This is your second opportunity to take your wind relieving pose!
11. Rock up to a seated positions, legs extended forward, take cushions or a bolster to the top of the thighs and again fold forward over cushions. You can take the legs a few inches wider and wrap your arms underneath the cushions for a slightly different variation.
12. Place cushions or pillows on the ground and lay down on your right side with the cushions underneath the right side of your belly. Turn your gaze to the right, arms out by the sides so you’re in a twist, with your right knee bent forward and left knee bent backwards. Remain in resting twist, using as much cushioning as feels comfortable. Repeat left side.
13. Take some cushions behind your back as you lay down, with feet together and knees wide. Lie on top of the cushions (have cushions all the way from the lower back to the back of the head), arms out to sides (or hands to belly), close your eyes and take a minute or two to relax completely. Let the belly completely soften. Come back to your intention to feel good and remind yourself this time of the month is temporary!