Menses and Yoga

Women experience extraordinary cycles throughout their lifetimes. Because of hormonal patterns, menses, childbirth, and menopause, a woman’s life is an intricate passage of magical cycles. Nevertheless, women don’t always ease through the cyclical galaxy without emotional or physical interruption. The first awakening of a woman’s cycle begins when she is a young girl with menstruation, often before she ever comes across the word “yoga.”

Every month, until the onset of menopause or during pregnancy, a woman ovulates, releasing eggs in preparation for pregnancy. When pregnancy does not occur, a self-cleansing process, called menstruation, occurs. Some women breeze through menses with little or no discomfort. But many experience mental and physical discomfort caused by the fluctuation of hormones or stress. This discomfort is known as premenstrual syndrome or PMS. Women experience PMS in varying degrees, but some of the more common symptoms associated with PMS are the following:

¢ Bloating

¢ Back pain

¢ Irritability

¢ Depression

¢ Breast tenderness

Food cravings

These are unpleasant passages for the women experiencing these symptoms. Having a regular yoga practice helps relieve many of these symptoms, or curtails the intensity of them

Yoga provides immediate relief for discomfort and an opportunity for inner renewal. Some of the asana help relieve physical discomfort from cramps and back pain, while others ease emotional tension. Because the body is naturally cleansing or moving matter out, avoid inverted poses during menstruation.

STREET SMARTS

Mood shifts are not a new phenomenon to Ariela Wilcox. “I’ve battled PMS forever, but when perimenopause started, I felt like Attila the Hun my friends ran for cover. I began eating differently and exercising, but it wasn’t until I added meditative practices from yoga that I really felt balanced and in control. I chant and meditate daily. It’s an integral part of my life.”

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