The following sequence of yoga poses if done regularly and over time will help to reduce anxious and racing minds, reduce cramping and lower back pain. It will also help to reduce moodiness and mood swings.
What you eat and drink is also hugely important, eat more fruit and vegetables to restore immunity and alleviate anxiety. Avoid certain food like excess sugar or salt, alcohol, caffeine and fats. Some foods like drinking coke or coffee could trigger premenstrual headaches.
1. Child’s Pose – reduces anxiety by sending a message to the parasympathetic nervous system calming the entire body – come onto all 4s spreading the knees out wide, allow the bum to come down towards your heels and rest your trunk forward. Hold the pose for 10 long deep breaths. If the posture does not feel comfortable, try popping a cushion under your bum and/or under your forehead.
2. Cat/Cow pose – tones and relaxes the spine and abdominal – coming onto all 4s, inhale lengthen the spine looking straight ahead, exhale round the spine, repeating for 10 breaths
3. Bow Pose – highly beneficial to relieve menstruation pain and fatigue – lying on your belly with your arms alongside your body palms facing up, exhale bend your knees and take a hold of your ankles (not your feet). Lift your chest and lift your knees, ensuring your knees stay no wider than hip width apart. Hold here for 5 – 10 breaths breathing deeply.
4. Shoulder Stand – regulates your endocrine system, reducing moodiness and mood swings – (not to be practiced during the first 2 days of your period fantastic prior to it and throughout the month) – Lying on your back with your knees bent, bend your elbows and bring them close to your trunk so that when you come up into shoulder stand your elbows are only shoulder distance apart. On the next inhalation swing your legs up placing your hands on your lower back. Straighten your legs and your back as much as you can. Holding here for 10 breaths, longer if you feel comfortable, eventually working up to 5 minutes.
5. Plough Pose – reduces cramping, stomach ache, constipation and aids digestion – from shoulder stand swing your legs behind your head, if you feet reach the ground behind you can release your hands interlocking them behind you or placing them palms down on the ground, if your feet don’t reach the ground keep your hands on your back to support your lower back. Breathe deeply holding the pose for 10 breathes or as long as you feel comfortable.
6. AVOID certain yoga poses – all inversions should be avoided during the first 2 days of your period as these reverse the flow of blood and cause cramps – e.g. Headstand, shoulder stand, handstand, forearm stand, little bridge.
7. Listen to your body – If you are feeling fatigued slow your yoga practice down.
8. Relaxation/Meditation – Calm anxiety and a racing mind – you will find a 15 minute Yoga Nidra/deep relaxation recorded on The Yoga Tree website- http://theyogatree.ie/uncategorized/yoga-nidra-the-power-of-yoga-sleep/