Therapy Tip Thursday: Yoga for PMS+

Yoga for PMS

Yoga for Women with PMS and the People Who Love Them

 

I got a request to post a sequence for PMS, menstrual pain, and cramps.  Well, here it is.

(Men, you can also use these poses as a supported, restorative sequence for fatigue, pain, anxiety, and stress.)

Share this sequence with your woman, friend, or family member if you think she could benefit from it.  Time the discussion right though; tell her at the wrong time and she might punch you.  (Bad joke, I know.  I’m a woman, I should know better.  If you can’t laugh about it..)

Thanks to @alexa7379 for the request. Have a request, too? Share it on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and I’ll cover it in a future series.  Tag your request with #yogatheory and @kimmcneilyoga so I can find it.

 

Supported Corpse Pose

Savasana II, Supported Corpse Pose

How to: The placement and size of the bolster is important to avoid low back and shoulder pain.  If the setup feels uncomfortable adjust where the bolster sits under your spine; if it’s too low and jammed into your lower back this will cause pain.  If the support is too high, you’ll feel back or shoulder pain; in this case, lay over a rolled mat or pool middle instead.

Supported Bridge Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, or Supported Bridge Pose

Set-up: Measure the distance from the wall so your legs are straight and so that when you arch over the bolster the lower tips of your shoulder blades clip the edge. Optional: Use a blanket under the head and shoulders to add padding and to bring the floor up if you’re less mobile in the spine.  Don’t put up with low back pain!  The use of a block under the heels prevents back pain.

Reclined Bound Angle

Supta Baddha Konasana, or Supported Bound Angle Pose

Set-up: Lay along a bolster so the edge hits just below your low ribs.  Bend your knees and take the soles of the feet together.  Use two rolled blankets, blocks, and other props to support under the thighs near where the hip bones meet the pelvis. Use another blanket under the head and neck.

Bound Angle Pose

Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle Pose

Here’s the seated version of the previous pose in the series.

How to: 1. Sit up on props, either a bolster or several folded blankets, so that when you take the soles of the feet together your knees are at the same level as the hips, no heigher, and your spine is straight, 2. Hold your ankles if you have monkey arms like me or use a strap to bind. You want the hip muscles to feel relaxed.

Tip: Sit up against a wall so the spine stays straight and so you can still sit comfortably.

Supported Legs Up The Wall/Upward Extended Foot Pose

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana, or Upward Extended Foot Pose

Here’s the last pose in the series. Some might call it Viparita Karani, or Legs Up The Wall, without the wall; either name works. In fact you can use a wall here instead if you’d like. The benefit of not using support for the legs is that it lets them float and asks them to work a little, but not too much. You still get the benefits of inverting the legs, too. If you’re especially tired of sore, opt for the wall version.

How to: 1. Lay with a bolster underneath the sacrum, or bony plate at the base of your spine, 2. Position yourself so the bolster cradles your pelvis instead of tilting it so your hips lift; your bum should feel like it’s near or just starting to hang over the edge; your low back should be happy here, and 3. Bring your legs together, flex your ankles, and let your legs float.

 

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Beautiful bolster and props by Halfmoon Yoga.

 

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