Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and yoga (part II)

article by Suzana Panasian Certified Yoga Teacher

Here are some of useful hints in regards to the yogic and Ayurvedic approach that could help relieve the PM syndrome :

  • A pure diet rich in vegetables and grains is very helpful to reduce the pre-menstrual and in general any of the menstrual problems.
  • Reducing the processed food, especially the junk food and the sugar in general or at least during the pre-menstrual period helps a lot diminish the syndrome.
  • Around period time women can eat more of fresh oranges, lemon juice and ripe bananas (which compensate the low level of potassium which causes the disturbances of the nervous system.)
  • Any of the high stimulants such as alcohol, tea, coffee, cigarettes and drugs should be completely avoided especially around the period time, for they only aggravate the emotional imbalance. Hot spices and heavy, oily, fried or heavy foods should be strictly avoided.
  • The sesame oil massage is considered to be one of the best toners of the reproductive system. A daily foot massage as well as the application of warm sesame oil on the lower abdomen can reduce in time the effects of the syndrome.
  • In general, most of the yogic posture could be preformed even during the periods avoiding any strain. However certain practices such as the Sun Salutation, inversed poses such as the headstand or the Shoulderstand as well as poses that imply an intense pressure on the lower abdomen (such as the bow pose) should be avoided during the onset of menstruation.

One of the most beneficent Yoga practice for women of all ages and at all stages is the Sun Salutation. It is one of the most important exercises that stimulates and benefits all the systems of the body. Its effects are innumerable and it is extremely beneficial especially for women. It influences each and every gland of the body bringing this way harmony and balance to the nervous system.

The inversed poses such as Sarvangasana (the shoulder stand) are very important for they balance the circulatory, digestive, reproductive nervous and endocrine systems. The shoulder stand helps tranquillize the mind and relieve emotional and mental stress and helps clear psychological disturbances. Matsyasana (the fish pose) is also an important posture to be preformed for the relief of the menstrual problems.

Helping in the diffusion of anxious states, Paschimottanasana or the forward bending is also used in the Yoga Therapy for the management of the menstrual disorders. This posture helps the mind become stable and calm.

In general all backward bendings are useful for this purpose. Poses such as Bhujangasana (the cobra), Shalabasana, (the locust), Banarasana (the monkey pose), Dhanurasana (the Bow pose) should be part of the regular practice of all women. The spinal twist (ardha Matsyendrasana) is also an important Yoga Therapy practice used to manage the menstrual disorders.

Most of all, I think it is important to adopt all those changes and the Yoga practice with a happy and confident attitude. Even though the diet changes may look hard to apply at the beginning, in time we can perceive that our body and our tastes have changed and that our life is more harmonious.

Yoga is meant to reduce ignorance and any type of suffering. Our body is a master piece that is able to function harmoniously without a direct interference from our selves. By learning to listen to it, to respect it and to trust it, we can slowly bring our beings into a higher level of consciousness and awareness, in tune with the rhythm of the universe ...