The arrival of our period often means a decrease in motivation to exercise. But can exercise help relieve symptoms of PMS?
We’ve been chatting with Kelly Maslen, co-founder of Kin, a nutrition and yoga focused community, all about yoga moves for different stages of the cycle.
Yoga and periods:
“A lot of my clients ask me if they can still practice yoga whilst on their period. Yes, you absolutely can! A lot of asanas can help relieve symptoms of PMS such as tension and pain. They can also increase endorphin levels when you are feeling run down.
There are of course some reasons why we should honour our bodies and avoid advanced versions of asanas if we are feeling run down or have cramps. As it could make them worse. It’s like when you have a headache and go to a Bikram class, the intense concentration and dehydration could make it worse.
Inversions can have the most effect on the body whilst bleeding because they cause the blood to flow the other way and put pressure on your abdomen. But there is no medical reason to say it will cause any long-term problems and let’s face it, we only hold asanas for a few breaths.
A quick guide to PMS yoga:
Below is my quick guide to which types of yoga are good to relieve symptoms of PMS, so add them to your yoga diary!
There are four stages of the cycle.
The body can feel tired and serotonin levels are low at this stage. Gentle flow and asanas are good for this stage. Stretches are also good to tackle cramps and backache. Core strength routines give you an endorphin boost. Deep long yoga breathing will help to relax any additional tension.
Meditation or restorative yoga
Half Lord of the fish pose and reclining hero pose
High oestrogen and an increase in serotonin levels. This is a feel-good week!
Try to push yourself a little further with some you find most challenging. You can do it!
Increased progesterone and oestrogen levels
This can make the base temperature of the body increase slightly, so maybe a week to avoid hot yoga.
Yin yoga to release physical tension
Half frog and lizard
Serotonin levels drop and your body can feel heavy. This can be the toughest week out of the four. Close your eyes and smile during flow, it works wonders for your inner warrior!
Warrior 2 and child’s pose
Thank you to Kelly for this yoga guide! You can follow Kelly on Instagram here