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Yoga for PMS

Most women experience PMS symptoms at different points of their lives. PMS (premenstrual symptom) is usually characterized by anxiety, irritability, depression, craving sugary foods and feeling bloated. There are many homeopathic and nutritional solutions for relieving the PMS, but a regular yoga asana practice can be tremendously beneficial as well.

Many women experience chocolate and sugar cravings before periods. Chocolate contains magnesium, a mineral that decreases menstrual cramping and helps normalize glucose metabolism. Magnesium is also found in bananas, dried apricots and almonds, so keep that in mind when the next PMS hits.

Poses for sugar cravings:

Bow Pose ? Dhanurasana

The bow stretches and tones the ovaries, uterus, and abdominal organs. It increases the overall energy and improves the mood.

Lay face down on the floor. Bend your knees, grab a hold of the outsides of your ankles and on the inhale come up, arching your back and trying to reach the top of your head and your feet up towards the sky and towards each other. Keep drawing your feet towards each other, eventually drawing your knees together. Hold for five to ten breaths.

Modified Bridge Pose

Modified bridge pose rejuvenates and tones the reproductive organs as well as the abdominal organs, relieving carbohydrate cravings.

Lay down on your back, with the knees bent, soles of the feet hip width apart on the floor, as close as possible to your body. Arms are extended next to your body. On the inhale, raise your seat, your lower back and your middle back upwards, raising up on your toe tips. Take a yoga block and place it on its highest level under your sacrum (a flat bone that's located right under your lower spine.) Place the soles of your feet back on the floor and interlace your fingers on the floor behind the block. Breathe for as long as you need to. You should feel a wonderful sense of release from this pose.

Poses for anxiety and irritability:

Child's Pose

The child's pose focuses the breath on the organ systems in the abdomen and pelvis, which helps massage and tone them. The gentle inversion of head, neck, and torso relaxes the back muscles and eases the lower back pain.

Kneel with your buttocks resting on your heels. Bend at the hips and let your torso relax on your thighs and your forehead rest on the floor. Relax your arms and hands on the floor beside you with the palms up and the fingers pointing toward your feet. Stay for ten breaths.

Upward Facing Dog ? Urdva Mukha Svanasana

This pose is a backbend; it tones the abdominal organs. By raising the energy up, it also has a tendency to improve the mood.

Begin with arms bent at the elbows next to your chest, fingers pointing forward, elbows in. On an inhalation, rise up from the forehead, nose, and chin, continuing the stretch through your neck, upper torso, and lower torso until your entire pelvic basin is tilting upward and your thighs are poff the floor. Straighten the arms, broadening your shoulders down and away from the ears, stretching and curving your spine. Your weight is supported on the tops of your feet and your hands.

Poses for Bloating

Modified Wide Angle - boddhakonasana

The modified wide-angle pose reverses the effects of bloating and fluid retention in the legs and feet.

Lie on your back with your pelvis against a wall, your legs extended up the wall, and your arms resting at your sides. Open your legs into a V on the wall. Breathe easily, holding the position for 20 deep breaths.

Shoulderstand, headstand and handstand and plough pose tend to improve the mood as well. However, you should avoid practicing these inverted poses when menstruating.

Now give yourself an extra long Savasana (final relaxation pose.)

Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing up, and your feet a comfortable distance apart. Close your eyes and relax. Allow the floor to support you.

After the relaxation, meditate for a few minutes. Maybe you saved yourself a trip to GoDiva.

Anastasia Dorohova is a certified yoga teacher and a holistic health counselor,regisitered with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Anastasia teaches private and group yoga classes and helps her clients with their nutriion and overall sense of well-beling. http://www.steadybliss.com

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