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"Yoga for Cramps and PMS: Finding Relief Through Movement and Mindfulness"


When it comes to dealing with cramps and PMS symptoms, we can all agree it is far from enjoyable. As the body prepares for menstruation, levels of both progesterone and estrogen begin to decline. This decrease in hormone levels can contribute to a range of physical and emotional symptoms commonly associated with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), such as bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and headaches.


Additionally, fluctuations in serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation, may also occur, contributing to changes in mood and emotional well-being (YEAH SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT 🫣)


I dont know about you but I for sure know when i am in the Autumn (Luteal phase) of my menstrual cycle due to the random RAGE that surges through me. This use to be the most frustrating part of my cycle due to silly arguments with my loved ones and feelings of being lost and confussed about my emotions. Thankfully following a more FLOURISHING femanine approach to yoga I am now more accepting of my changing hormones. I know how to work with them rather than battle through them. This knowledge has served me well and I am very excited to pass this onto my little girl and with anyone else that wants to listen.


HOW YOGA CAN HELP

In the UK around 75% to 85% of women experience some form of PMS symptoms, 20% of which are severely affected. Understanding how to tailor your yoga practice to support you through each phase of your cycle can be truly empowering. By incorporating specific yoga postures into your routine, you can ease the discomforts of PMS and cultivate a greater sense of well-being and balance in your monthly cycle.


For this time of the month I would suggest a yoga style that is gentle and restorative. A yoga practice that focuses on slow, mindful movements and deep relaxation, helping to alleviate symptoms such as cramps, bloating, and fatigue.


Restorative yoga, Yin yoga, and gentle Hatha yoga are excellent choices during this time, as they promote relaxation, improve circulation, and gently stretch the muscles without placing undue stress on the body. Additionally, practices that emphasise breathwork and meditation can help to calm the mind and reduce stress, further easing PMS symptoms.


Ultimately, the most important factor is to listen to your body and choose a yoga practice that feels nurturing and supportive during this phase of your menstrual cycle.


4 YOGA POSTURES FOR PMS RELIEF


  1. Child's Pose (Balasana): This gentle forward bend provides relief from bloating and cramps by gently compressing the abdomen and promoting relaxation. Begin by kneeling on the mat, then fold forward, extending your arms in front of you or resting them alongside your body. Rest your forehead on the mat and breathe deeply, allowing your body to soften and release tension.

Child Pose (Balasana)

2. Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): This dynamic combination of poses gently massages the spine and abdomen, alleviating tension and promoting circulation. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Inhale as you arch your back, lifting your chest and tailbone toward the ceiling (Cow Pose). Exhale as you round your spine, tucking your chin to your chest and drawing your belly button toward your spine (Cat Pose). Repeat this fluid movement, syncing your breath with your movements.



Cat / Cow pose



3. Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana): This soothing twist helps relieve tension in the lower back and hips while promoting digestion and detoxification. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Extend your arms out to the sides in a T shape. Exhale as you lower your knees to one side, keeping both shoulders grounded. Hold for a few breaths, then switch sides.



Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)


4. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): This gentle inversion helps alleviate bloating and fatigue by improving circulation and calming the nervous system. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place a yoga block or bolster under your sacrum and relax into the support. Allow your arms to rest by your sides with palms facing up. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, surrendering to the pose.




supported Bridge (Setu Bandhasana)


MINDSET MANTRAS FOR PMS RELEIF

Maintaining a positive mindset during PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is important for promoting emotional well-being, reducing stress, and enhancing resilience. By cultivating self-compassion and practicing mindfulness, we can navigate challenges with greater ease and promote overall well-being throughout our menstrual cycle.


  1. "I honor my body's natural rhythms and trust in its ability to heal."

  2. "I am strong, resilient, and capable of navigating this phase with grace and ease."

  3. "I embrace self-care and prioritize my well-being during this time of transition."

  4. "I release tension and discomfort, welcoming peace and balance into my mind and body."


AROMATIC YOGI TIP:

For anyone that knows me, knows how much I love using essential oils within my wellness practices and everyday life. So when it comes to PMS relief here are my go to oils that are well known for their calming, soothing, and hormone-balancing properties.


  • Lavender: Lavender essential oil is renowned for its calming and relaxing effects on the mind and body. It can help alleviate anxiety, irritability, and mood swings commonly experienced during PMS, promoting emotional balance and well-being. check out our RELAX COLLECTION


  • Clary Sage: Clary sage essential oil is known for its hormone-regulating properties, making it particularly helpful for balancing estrogen levels and relieving menstrual discomfort. It can also help reduce symptoms such as cramps, bloating, and headaches associated with PMS.


  • Geranium: Geranium essential oil is known for its hormone-balancing properties, making it useful for regulating menstrual cycles and alleviating symptoms of PMS. It can help improve mood, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being during this time. Check out our UPLIFT COLLECTION


  • Ylang Ylang: Ylang ylang essential oil is prized for its uplifting and mood-enhancing effects, making it helpful for managing mood swings, irritability, and depression associated with PMS. It can also help promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. Check out our UPLIFT COLLECTION





In conclusion, understanding the four phases of our menstrual cycle empowers us to adapt our wellness routines and practices to nurture the fluctuation of hormones and emotions throughout the month.


By tailoring our yoga routines, meditation practices, mindset, fitness activities, diet, and even skincare routines to align with our menstrual cycle, we can positively influence our overall well-being.


This mindful approach not only benefits our current menstrual health but also lays the groundwork for maintaining female fertility for years to come and navigating the menopausal years with greater ease.


Let's honor the cyclical nature of our monthly cycles, recognising that each phase offers unique opportunities for growth, self-care, and empowerment.



 

Please note that the information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice. It was written by Angela Elliott, who holds an HonBSc in Sports Science and specialises as a Fertility Teacher, Menopause Mentor and Aromatherapist. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your health or wellness routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.

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