To cope with PMS, your first instinct might be to curl up in bed and hibernate for days. While rest is important, movement and stimulation could be much more effective for fast relief.
Sometimes the best cures are also the simplest (and the oldest!). Yoga is splendid way to get active whether you’re at home, outdoors or in a studio.
Yoga has been shown to be effective in both easing cramps and shortening how long cramps last (1, 2).
Yoga may help to ease your cramps in a few different ways. First, certain poses help to stretch the areas where you feel premenstrual pain. Research shows that stretching your abdomen, pelvis and groin can lessen the intensity of cramps (3).
Practicing yoga increases blood flow in your body (4), which may also help to ease cramps. Some people who experience cramps have less uterine blood flow on the first day of their cycles (5). This may make their cramps more intense. The warming effect of yoga may also lessen cramp intensity - just like a heating pad…without the pad (6, 7).
Yoga might also ease painful cramps by helping you de-stress.
Why? Turns out when you’re less stressed, your uterus may actually contract less intensely (3). The soothing combination of movement and breath has been shown to ease the feelings of stress and anxiety that some people experience as premenstrual symptoms (8, 9).
Yoga can lower the amount of certain stress hormones produced in your body (10, 11) One of these hormones is cortisol.
Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” and is intimately connected to the pain some people experience before their period (12).
Yoga may also help in regulating reproductive hormones that contribute to premenstrual symptoms (13). Research shows that levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and prolactin may all be affected by a consistent yoga practice (13). Balancing these, and other hormones might help to lessen cycles irregularities, and ease painful cramping (13, 14).
Lastly, exercise and movement simply distract you from your cramps. Yoga brings focus to other parts of the body and gives the mind something else to pay attention to (15).
Here are a few suggestions for poses you can try next time you’re feeling the pinch of premenstrual cramps:
Bow pose: Stretches and stimulates the abdomen; also applies abdominal pressure, which may be soothing to some people
Camel pose: Stretches and stimulates the abdomen
Legs-up-the-wall: Helps in moving blood from the legs to the abdomen
Child’s pose: Stretches the back, which may help relieve cramps in the back of the lower lumbar
At 8 a.m. sharp, just hours after Donald J.Trump was declared president-elect, the hallways at Harrisburg High’s Sci-Tech Campus were buzzing. There were tears, but also a few subtle nods in approval of the results. But mostly the students expressed their deep desire for Americans here in Pennsylvania and around the country to come together.
So we asked students — What would that take? Did they see Trump as their president? Will he be able to heal a divided nation. Here’s what they said:
“When he gave his first speech after he became President[-elect] … how humbling he became. It was like a switch turned on. He won’t be as mean and nasty as he was before. He actually just wants to help our country. And he will be the president that we need him to be.” - Ahmya Woodyard, 16
“Everyone is really afraid of what Donald Trump could do as president. Just being divided, that’s the biggest problem right now.” - Ahmir Cy Edmonds, 16
“I am still shaken up by the results. It still hasn’t hit me yet. But, last night I had so much anxiety, you know, from the poll numbers rising up and down. Hillary is in the lead and then Trump is in the lead. But now, it’s clear that Trump has won.” - Faridatou Issiako, 18
“In my opinion, I don’t think Trump can do anything to unite the country or the people as a whole, because his campaign … He literally split people more and more apart. He’s not what I would want in a president at all.” - Destiny Perez, 17