PMT or Pre Menstrual Tension is more common than you believe and affects as many as three out of four women. PMT is a word used to cover a range of symptoms experienced by some women for up to two weeks before their monthly periods.
Imbalances in the menstrual cycles are extremely common. If you find yourself reaching out for the chips, or cannot get into your favourite pair of jeans every month, don't fret; it's probably only your hormones doing their job.
● Dull ache in the abdomen and the lower back
● Swelling and tenderness in the breasts
● Abdominal pain
● Mood swings and irritability
● Weight gain and cravings
● Water retention
Some two weeks before every period, the body readies itself for fertilisation and readjusts its hormonal balance. This normally causes the problems every month. Once the body realises there is no pregnancy, the hormones revert to their normal functions and the symptoms disappear. While this is a process experienced by all women, not all suffer from PMT.
Reduce PMT through Yoga:
As an alternative to painkillers and hormonal supplements, yoga offers a natural and effective method to relieve pre-menstrual pain.
Shavasana - The dead man's pose
● Lie on your back
● Relax your shoulders and press them to the floor.
● Spread your arms a little, with the palms facing the ceiling.
● Legs should be slightly apart and free from pressure.
● Close your eyes and inhale deeply until you feel the air filling your abdomen.
● Hold your breath to 6 counts. Now release it breath through the nose and let your mind be free.
● Repeat this 5 times.
Shavasana relaxes the body and mind. The rhythmic breathing helps cleanse and relax the body. Bend your knees slightly specially if you have lower back pain during menstruation.
Pavonamuktasana - Foetal pose
● Lie on your back and bring your knees and chin towards your chest. Tighten your pelvic muscles and draw your body in as closely as you can to your spine.
● Hold your breath for 5 counts and then exhale. Return to the lying down position.
● Repeat thrice.
This pose allows the full stretching of your spine and is specially good for abdominal muscles. But don't do this if you have a stomach ulcer or hernia.
Ustrasana - Camel pose
● Kneel on the floor, knees hip distance apart.
● Inhale and place palms on the back of your pelvis.
● Slowly bend the body backwards and then place the right palm on the right heel and left palm on the left heel.
● Slowly push your head and the body towards the thighs.
● Hold this position to the count of 5.
● Slowly return to kneeling position.
This pose strengthens the spinal column and activates the nerves. It also helps clear any chest congestion and is beneficial for the liver, pancreas and kidneys. Specially recommended for menstrual disorders as it strengthens the pelvic region, ovaries and womb.
Dhanurasana - Bow pose
● Lie on your stomach, face to the floor, arms and legs extended.
● Inhale and bend your knees, stretch the arms backward and hold your feet with your hands.
● Exhale and lift the chest, arching the body away from the floor.
● Only the abdomen should rest on the floor with knees hip width apart.
● Stay in the pose, breathing gently for as long as you can and directing the attention to the lower part of the spinal column and pelvic area.
● Relax the body and return to the original position.
● Repeat thrice.
This pose loosens up the spinal column and invigorates the spinal nerves making the back, neck and shoulders flexible. It also opens up the chest to facilitate deep breathing, stimulates the endocrine glands and is excellent for women suffering from irregular menstruation. It also tones the muscles of the abdomen, thighs and buttock.