Lunar Yoga, PMS, & PMDD
Female hormonal fluctuations can make us a little under the weather. At best, many women feel fatigued, sore, irritable, and moody. At worst, PMDD can cause a normally functioning lady to become extremely ill, angry, despondent, depressed, even suicidal for a few days preceding her menstrual cycle. Usually, once menstruation begins the symptoms subside. Although many women suffering from this phenomenon understand its causes and that it’s temporary, while it is happening it can be very difficult to see that. We must find ways of controlling PMS and PMDD for our own wellbeing and to ensure our behavior doesn’t negatively affect our relationships. Yoga can help.
The premenstrual time is generally a time to slow down, relax, and take good care of ourselves. Everyone is different, but it is usually a good idea to avoid intense exercise, get lots of rest, and be mindful of our diet. It can be tempting to give in to cravings for salty food or fattening, sugary sweets, but avoiding these foods and opting for healthier choices, as well as avoiding alcohol and caffeine, can reduce symptoms. It’s nice to spoil ourselves a little sometimes, by doing what we need to do to feel beautiful (like wearing comfortable, pretty clothes or getting a pedicure) and relaxed (like taking a nice, long bath or going for a peaceful walk in the woods or at the beach). It is also a good time to focus on restorative yoga and meditation. Even when we feel utterly fatigued, gentle movement can enliven our bodies and minds. Meditation can bring clarity and calm to a distressed and overactive brain. Following are some suggestions for yogic practices during “that time of the month.”