Great news for the beautiful ladies of Shanghai! If you’re like us and you feel pain every month, here is an article about how to feel better without having to use medicine. By understanding where the pain comes from, you can avoid it with lifestyle tips and inventive yoga poses. Let’s talk about one of the more intimate and hidden issues us girls face with Jade from Free Soul Yoga!
Where does menstruation pain come from?
Difficult or painful menstruations have multiple causes. Anemia, exhaustion, chills, organic trouble or defects (inflammation of the ovaries, fallopian tubes or womb), even development of the uterus. Furthermore psychological factors can be responsible; fear, disharmony, anxiety, and neurosis are all potentially involved in painful menstruation.
Why is it important to talk about it?
As we all know, women have to pay a high price for their role in maternity; physically and psychologically. Every month we go through the same syndromes as part of the period process. Women deserve days off during menstruation to rest, to detox and to recover. However in our society days-off for this are considered lazy and unwarranted, is it fair? Why not at least talk about it?
How can yoga help menstruation?
Nowadays, the majority of women use pain killers or drugs to soothe the pain, nausea and tiredness. But thesetemporary solutions don’t deal with the root of the problem, whereas yogic practices can solve it.
Dated from approximately 2500 B.C.E. Yoga is derived from a system of psychology, medicine, and cosmic law from the Indus Valley of India. The word yoga derives from the Sanskrit dialect meaning “union”. Its fundamental purpose is to unite the mind with the body and to reintegrate individual consciousness with universal consciousness.
Yoga has a healing effect on the body, mind, and spirit. Holistic healing in the most profound sense, yoga stimulates the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Different asana (poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) invigorate the body, affecting not only muscles but also our inner and reproductive systems. It balances the subtle energies of mind and body, calms and steadies the nerves, and dramatically reduces physical tension.
Yoga instills the physical, mental, and emotional flexibility to move easily and to bend and flow with the stresses of life.
Yoga asana and pranayama correct the faults or the malfunctioning of the organs by stimulating endocrine glands to create a proper hormonal balance, and by strengthening muscles and organs such as the uterus. The yoga poses help one to relax and rest in the proper manner, which ensures a proper menstrual flow.
Should we all live in fear of these painful afternoons?
Of course not. That’s why we talk about it. Jade from Free Soul invites you to experience the powerful healing power of yoga combined with the ancient Indian medicine.
How does it work?
Yoga Poses, sequenced for the menstrual cycle consists of poses with concave action of the lower back; Supine poses, forward bends and groin opening poses.
Concave action of the lower back and extension of the front body stretches the uterus, giving relief from pain / cramps.
Supine poses, when the chest is supported on a soft platform, relaxes and the space of the abdominal cavity increases. This removes compression of the organs and relieves pain. With forward bend poses, the abdomen becomes soft when the spine is horizontal. This allows the physiological processes to continue without strain.
With the groin opening poses, the wide opening of the legs lifts the pelvis and creates space in the abdominal cavity. The reproductive organs are supported by the lift and relax maneuver in the extra space. Plus the leg positions relieve heaviness in the thighs.
What can you do today to prevent your menstruation problem?
If you have menstrual problems it can also come from your food. Keep a journal of foods you’ve consumed plus note your emotions and feelings. As you can imagine, your state of mind is also relevant. Keeping a track of your general mood and thoughts is important in a stressful and fast paced life.
Avoid junk food
Based on Ayurvedic medicine’s recommendation you need to avoid heavily processed foods, which contain harmful fats and additives. It causes inflammation and stagnation in the digestive system which affect the reproductive system.
No cold water during periods
Furthermore cold drinks affect the lungs adversely and bring on coughs, congestion, and irritation, particularly around the time of menstruation, when hormone levels are low. Traditional Chinese Medicine also advises to avoid cold food, because it hinders movement and may cause stagnation in the body.
In the five-days or so leading up to your period, avoid foods high in sodium, such as processed and pickled foods, bacon, and soy sauce, especially if you are prone to premenstrual bloating.
Many people find that when they start to practice yoga they become more aware and more respectful of the body. If you’ve never done yoga before, give it a try or find a sport that allows you to connect to your body and understand it better.
Written by Jade from Free Soul
Founder of FreeSoul Yoga Community and Yogalover Group Shanghai, Jade is a passionate yoga instructor, who began her journey with the practice 15 years ago. With natural talent and curiosity toward anatomy and body works, Jade created her own sequence of movement to stretch the body. Since 2005, she lives in Shanghai and she continues training to grow her knowledge with several different advanced yoga disciplines.