This is how yoga can help your PMS and Period Cramps
PMS affects up to 85% of women at some point in their lives. On top of the demands of everyday life: work, children, partners, friends, housework, it can make even the simplest task seem insurmountable.
Exercise can relieve the symptoms of PMS – but it’s often the last thing you feel like doing on a day when your energy levels are beaten by a snail and your stomach has turned against you. Enter yoga: this ancient exercise can be practiced at home or in the gym to a level that’s right for you. It strengthens and tones your whole body and clears your mind too. It’s important to adapt your practice to your hormonal cycle and let your body tell you how far to push yourself.
To celebrate International Yoga Day this Sunday, we’ve got the low-down on this fit fix – and the symptom busting ways it can help your PMS.
Many women will recognise the side effects of water retention during their menstrual cycle: swollen, bloated tummies and darker than normal urine are sure signs.
The bow pose is great at combating this. It targets the pelvic region, engages the stomach muscles, helping to regulate the flow of blood to and from the uterus, which helps relieve pain and bloating. Hold it for five deep breaths and then release slowly.
Relieve back pain
Exacerbated by our sedentary lifestyles – and evenings hunched over a smart phone or laptop – back pain affects many of us each month. Use cat-cow pose to open up your spine then bridge pose to open up your hip flexors and chest. This will decrease tension and stress in your back muscles.
On days when even climbing the stairs to bed seems like too much of an ask, go back to bow pose (also above). It’s great for relieving tummy pain but is also an energy booster – so it’s a must if your period has left you feeling shattered.
Janu Sirasana is good for those times when you feel like there’s a angry animal in your stomach. Bending from the groin stretches muscles that are tense from cramping and allows you to focus on your breath.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try child’s pose. It’s a relaxing, soothing post which is supposed to calm the nervous system.
Still suffering? Find out about alternate ways to deal with PMS here.