If you experience severe PMS symptoms like menstrual cramps, bloating, tiredness, headaches, anxiety, back pains, every month, a regular yoga practice can not only help ease the symptoms but also reduce and banish its occurrence drastically. Yoga helps improve blood circulation, revitalizes every cell with oxygen and thereby helps to reduce fatigue & stress, and build immunity. Also, when you practice yoga, the body releases endorphins, which helps to lift your spirits and make you feel positive.
Incorporate Surya Namaskar and inversions like Sarvangasana in your regular yoga practice for overall good health. However, during your periods, keep the practice easy and soft, and avoid inversions. We have listed some yoga postures that will help to ease PMS symptoms and can easily be practised during your period days. Always warm-up before you practice these postures and end with deep relaxation, i.e., Savasana for 5-10 minutes.
Cat-Cow is a simple stretch to alleviate stress from menstrual cramps and back pain.
Come to a tabletop position with hands and knees on the floor and toes pointing back. Align your wrists and shoulder in line and hips and knees in line, perpendicular to the floor. The spine is straight. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, round your the spine up. Pull the belly in and draw the chin close to the chest. Firmly press the palms into the floor and stretch the spine upwards toward the ceiling. This is the cat pose, hold this position and stay here for 5 breaths. With the next inhalation rotate the sit bones, arch your lower back and lift the head to look forward in cow position. Hold this pose for 5 breaths.
This gentle twist is excellent for the abdominal and reproductive organs. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front. Now bend the legs and slide the left foot towards the right hip. Cross the right foot across the left knee. Place your right hand behind and twist to your right side. Make sure you are not rounding the spine, keep it straight. Breath into the posture for 8-10 breaths. Gently twist back to the starting position. Change the legs and repeat the twist to your left side.
This posture provides a great stretch to the spine, especially lower back. Begin with your legs stretched in front. Lift the arms up, palms facing one another in a straight line with your spine. Lengthen up with your spine as you breathe in and exhaling bend forward. Rest your hands on the feet or ankles, where ever you reach easily and round the spine into a forward fold. To make paschimottanasana a restorative pose during your periods days you can even place a bolster on the legs and rest your head on it. Enjoy the posture and hold it here for 8-10 breaths, or even longer.
Supta Baddha Konasana
Adding props to Supported Bound Angle Pose makes it extraordinarily comfortable and tranquilizing. This restorative pose releases tension from the back, inner thighs and pelvis, and it also opens the heart.
Begin in a comfortable position. Place a bolster or couple of blankets stacked one on top of others just behind you such that your lower back is touching the edge of the bolster. Bring the soles of your feet together in front, so your knees drop out to the sides. Now start moving the spine back, taking the support of the forearms on the sides. Gently and with control release the spine on the bolster. Close your eyes and breathe easy into the posture. Enjoy it for 5 minutes. To come out, take the support of the forearms and gently roll the spine up.
You will find this one deeply relaxing.
Come on the knees. Bring the big toes together and spread the knees slightly apart. Move the hip back, sitting on the heels. Stretch the arms forward and rest the forehead down. If the forehead doesn’t reach the floor, place a cushion and rest the forehead on it. Relax in the posture for 8-10 breaths.
Another cooling and calming posture to release tension & stiffness and bring ease and softness to the body.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend the arms out the sides. Keep the feet close to one another and release the knees to your left, one on top of the other. You can even support the knees by placing a pillow beneath. Now lift the head slightly and turn it to look towards your right. Rest the head down. Stay here for 10 breaths. To come out first lift the head, turn the face-up and rest the head down. Now bring the knees up. Repeat to the other side, knees on to right and head to the left.
Enjoy this relaxing and rejuvenating practice. Don’t forget to end the workout with 5-10 minutes in Savasana. You can even play guided savasana on Youtube to help you unwind. This smooth and gentle practice will help to alleviate menstrual pains and other PMS symptoms, leaving you feeling joyful and uplifted.