Alright guys, as you may have guessed, this article does not pertain to you. If you have reached this article trying to research how to help your girlfriend with her mood swings, feel free to read on, but remember to tread carefully.
Ladies, it's the end of the month and Aunt Flo is in town! Not really, but hypothetically we all know what time it is. Motrin and the ol' heating pad are a few quick-fix remedies that we can't live without, either. But to truly free yourself of this mind-hostaging time of the month, opt for a natural remedy that will unite the body and the mind, strengthening the spirit and making you feel better physically and emotionally. We are talking about PMS and yoga.
PMS is marked by the following symptoms:
- Pain. Especially cramps in the lower abdominal region and lower back
- Swollen breasts
- Depression, bouts of crying, and mood swings
Yoga can eliminate these symptoms systematically. Here's how:
- Pain: Yoga gently massages and exercises the muscles that may be affected by PMS, and Ujjayi or deep breathing sends increased oxygen to the muscles will decrease muscle discomfort. Hip opening poses like high lunge, wide-angle forward bend, seated forward bend, spinal twists, and backbends will target these areas.
- Swollen breasts: This might seem a little far-fetched, but regular yoga practice leads the practitioner to make better food choices: less sugar, more veggies, and substitution of fats for lean meats and complex carbohydrates. Lowering fat intake has been linked to help breast tenderness.
- Depression, irritability: Yoga can temporarily take your mind off of whatever angry thoughts may be afloat as well as providing long-term mood improvement because you are doing something that makes your body happy! Savasana, corpse pose, is particularly useful when you are PMS'ing, so don't skip it! Instead, make it count: pop a damp washcloth inside of a plastic bag and place in the freezer. Spritz with peppermint essential oil and when you are ready to rock, take it out of the bag, rinse in cold water, and squeeze excess water. Fold and place over the eyes. Place a round bolster under the knees for ultimate relaxation.
- Fatigue: Studies have proven (and if you practice often, this by-product of yoga is undeniable) that yoga boosts energy levels. Yoga stimulates and re-invigorates the circulatory system and nervous system. Try attending an early-morning class for all-day energy, or run through a few sun salutations on your own.
- Bloating: Yoga stimulates and improves circulation which can gently rid the body of fluid buildup. Try inversion poses like plough and backbends.