Happy New Year to everyone! I’d like to start off the week with a guest blog. I’ve been given the opportunity to provide my writing on other sites in the past, so I see it fit to pay it forward! This post provides great information on yoga stretches women can do to ease menstrual cramps. Thanks Ashley!
symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome according to the National
Institutes of Health.
a sick-day once a month to recover from debilitating pain, knowing how to ease
your pain naturally can be a useful, convenient, and powerful tool in your
reduce cramping, indigestion, gas, constipation, low back pain, and an
irritated mind every month. You can easily practice these poses in the comfort
of your own home before, during, and after your period.
to shed it’s lining due to the absence of a fertilized egg.
to make room for a cleaner system.
to open up the front side of the body with yoga poses that open the heart.
underneath you, palms face down. Press your forearms into the ground to lift
your chest and tilt your head back until the top of your head rests lightly on
the ground. Most of the weight will be supported in your forearms. If this is
uncomfortable on your neck, place a block or blanket underneath your head to
shorten the amount of space between your head and the ground. Take 5-10 deep
breaths here and then lower your arms and head carefully back to the ground.
hands to your low back. As you inhale, reach your chest up toward the ceiling
as if a puppeteer were pulling up on a string attached to your collarbone. Take
your gaze up and back behind you and use your hands to gently suggest your hips
forward over your knees. It’s important to feel space and length in the low
back here and that your hips stay aligned over your knees. Take 3 breaths and
then inhale back to center before sitting down on your heels and taking a few
outside of your ankles with your hands. Lift your chest on an inhale and then
press your feet into your hands on an exhale to create a crescent shape with
your body. Roll onto the soft part of your belly and continue to lift your
chest high as you press your feet back into your hands. Stay here for 3 breaths
and then release and rest for a moment on your stomach.
back pain with forward folds
reason), forward folds are your best friend.
stretches, but there is an easy modification you can make to take the leg
stretch out and focus on your back.
One-legged forward fold
One-legged forward fold with a side stretch
Seated forward fold
left foot into your right inner thigh. Turn your torso to face your right leg extended
in front of you. Inhale, reach your chest up, exhale fold forward over your
right leg. Bend you knee as much as you need to work into the low back and take
the stretch out of the hamstring. Stay for 5-10 breaths and then switch sides.
was as you would for the one-legged forward fold, but instead of turning your
torso to face your right leg, reach your right arm down and place in on the
ground or on top of your right leg. Press your tailbone into the ground and
then bend over your right leg from the side to find more length in the left
side of the body. Stay for 5-10 breaths and then switch sides.
toes flexed back toward your face, fold over your legs. The more you bend your
knees, the more you’ll feel the stretch in your low back.
constipation, and indigestion with twists
friends for a nice dinner and dealing with gas. The cocktail of chemicals and
hormones secreted during menstruation also happens to cause women to experience
symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, and digestive distress.
things along the digestive tract as you’re literally “twisting” the organs and
physically affecting your entire system.
Eagle-legged supine twist
planted on the floor and wrap your right leg around your left. Bring your arms
to a “T” and then drop your wrapped legs over to the left. Gaze over your right
shoulder. Take 5-10 breaths, then switch sides. Be extra careful twisting as
this is a deep stretch for the spine.
the floor. Reach your right arm around the front of your right leg and then
reach your left arm behind your low back, working to clasp the right fingertips
near the right hip. Press down into the feet to lift your chest high. Take 3-5
breaths and then switch sides.
your chest. Use your left hand to guide your right leg across your body and
gaze out over your right fingertips. Take 5-10 breaths and then switch sides.
and pains with hip openers
comes to PMS. If you experience general pain all over, practice gentle hip
openers to release the low back, hips, and legs.
in the hips, making hip openers great for easing mental discomfort and anger as
comfortably take them and touch your big toes together behind you. Fold forward
and rest your forehead on the ground with your arms out in front of you as you
sink your hips back toward your heels. Take 10 deep breaths here.
together to touch as you let your knees fall wide. Place one hand on your belly
and one hand on your heart and take 5-10 breaths.
left leg straight behind you as if you were going into the splits but you are
bending your front leg to the side. Your right foot will stay flexed as you work
to bring the shin parallel to your hips (in a neutral position facing forward).
The right knee will line up with the outside of the right hip. Fold over your
front right leg and breathe for 5-10 breaths. Then switch sides.
improve by relaxing more
increase the levels of pain you experience during your cycle.
especially in the second half of your cycle, and you may avoid cramping, pain,
and discomfort altogether.
Legs up the wall
the way up against a wall and your legs resting against the wall. You can
always prop your hips up by placing a bolster or a block underneath your tailbone.
Close your eyes and stay here for 5 minutes.
your eyes closed. Spread your arms and legs wide with your palms face up. Take
deep breaths and stay here for 5-10 minutes.
straight spine. Rest your hands on your thighs or in your lap. Relax your
shoulders, close your eyes, and take deep breaths for 5-10 minutes.
your cycle will not only help you reduce your pain, but may even help prevent
more pain in the future.
contribute to greater overall wellbeing!
women relax. She integrates yoga, meditation, energy practices, and self-care
exercises to empower women to redefine and rediscover balance in their work and
lives. She currently teaches in the Washington DC area and in her online
“yoga studio” at http://ashleyjosephine.com.