Yoga and Women’s health – Asanas for PMS, Menopause and Pregnancy

Yoga practice can help a woman prepare her mind and body through different stages of the female reproductive journey like menstruation, menopause and pregnancy. These challenging stages manifests itself into unique physical, emotional and psychological symptoms.

Yoga is a perfect way to keep a woman’s body active and healthy through this monstrous yet exciting journey.

Certain poses (Asanas) help in curing the menstrual disorders and restoring their regular patterns. We have a list of Asanas to guide you through each phase and become the better version of you.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

PMS is characterized by uncomfortable mental and physical symptoms, which usually occur 2 weeks before the onset of menstruation. Common symptoms include abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, sore breasts, acne, irregular motions, and headaches.

Here are some yoga asanas, which if done regularly help tackle the PMS problems-

  • Ushtraaasana (Camel pose)
  • Vipreet Karni (Inverted leg stretch pose)
  • Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand)
  • Matsyaasna (Fish pose)
  • Hal aasana (Plough pose)
  • Uttanasana (Hands to feet pose)
  • Suptu vajrasana (Supine warrior pose)
  • Trikon asana (Triangle pose)

Yoga also aids your mind and body in adapting with stress, anxiety and depression, thus making you feel relaxed and calm and enabling you to cope with psychological symptoms of PMS.

Menopause

Menopause is the end of woman’s menstrual cycle and fertility. If you haven’t had your periods for straight 12 months and you are not pregnant, then as a part of normal ageing process you are experiencing menopause. Common symptoms include hot flashes and vaginal dryness along with sleep disturbances. All these symptoms together with the thought of ageing generally cause anxiety and depression.

The Yoga asanas advised during menopause work to balance the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for controlling the body’s generation for hormones and thereby calming the nervous system. In the process it helps reduce stress and aggravation of hot flashes.

Yoga also consists of weight bearing exercises that strengthens the bones and prevents osteoporosis.

They help the reproductive organs relieve pelvic congestion and headache, boost the immune system, reduce fatigue, and balance out mood swings.

In addition to the above mentioned asanas for PMS, the following asanas help in menopause symptom relieving:

-       Shalabhasana (Locust pose)

-       Dhaurasana (Bow pose)

-       Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

-       Balasana (Child pose)

-       Pavanmuktasana (Wind relieving pose)

-       Vrikshasana (Balancing tree pose)

Pregnancy

It is the period from conception to childbirth, consisting of a total of 40 week or 280 days.

While pregnancy is beautiful, it is a life changing and body altering process for the mother. Yoga is one of the best, safe and complete workout to practice during pregnancy, that helps you deal with the emotional and physical changes that you are experiencing. Some of the asanas also help to prep you for labor.

Following poses are considered safe and helpful during pregnancy-

  • Badhakonasana (Butterfly pose)
  • Marjaryasana (Cat – Cow pose)
  • Bhujangasna (Cobra pose) (in the first trimester and only if you feel comfortable in this face – down pose)
  • Upavistha Konasana (Seated forward bend)
  • Konasana (Side angle pose)
  • Uttanasana (Standing forward bend) (with a chair for adaptation)
  • Trikonasna (Triangle pose) (with a chair for adaption)

Following asanas or yoga postures must be strictly avoided during pregnancy

-       Suptra Vajrasana (Backward bend)

-       Balancing pose on one leg (unless supported by a chair or wall)

  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand)
  • Urdhva dhanurasana (Upward bow pose)

Yoga Exercise – Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)

The sun salutation pose also known as salute to the sun and suryanamaskar, is a flowing series of 12 poses, which help improve strength and flexibility of the muscles and spinal column.

This pose also warms up the body and tones abdominal muscles. So take your yoga accessories and learn how to perform the yoga sun salutation poses.

This is by far a compete package of yoga postures, which are easy to perform and do not require a big space or any accessories. So if a lady does not have much time and doesn’t know much about other complicated postures, to remain fit only 12 cycles of sun salutation every day will be enough.

Get Healthy. Stay Healthy.

Dr. Neeta P. Giri
BAMS MD
C.G.O. Mumbai

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Comments

  • Harish
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