Women globally suffer silently, battling menstrual complications every day. Medical interventions helps some, but it’s vital to explore other avenues of well-being to improve the quality of life. Yoga has been an age old solution for physical and mental issues and it is being rediscovered and redefined globally.
In a brief interview with Health Capsule Arundathi Yasok, an accountant turned yoga instructor (HATHA YOGA 300 RYT - University of SVYASA, Bangalore, India) explained concisely about the benefits of yoga and women’s health.
Yasok, 33, maintains a vegan lifestyle and is an advocate on breaking existing taboos on Endometriosis, a painful menstrual condition. Being a survivor of this condition herself, she bears witness to the benefits of yoga in combating menstrual pain, first hand. She is also the author of the book, “Confessions of an Endo Girl” available on Amazon.
ON YOGA AND WOMEN’S HEALTH
Principles of yoga enables practitioners to physically enhance their bodies as well as deal with stress in the most effective manner. In Hatha Yoga each pose has its therapeutic benefits. It increases strength, balance, joint mobility, flexibility and mental health.
Irregular periods, period pains, weight gain, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and other conditions specific to the female reproductive system, like Endometriosis, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Adenomyosis etc. are some of the most common issues women suffer from. There are yoga poses that specifically target the lower extremities and the pelvic organs, which can benefit these conditions greatly.
Yasok mentioned some of the poses below, and these poses are suitable for any level. However, warming up the body before attempting these poses and cooling down afterwards are vital. Some poses have counter poses, which are not to be ignored to achieve desired outcomes. The best way to practice these poses, is on an empty stomach, in the morning. If not a gap of 3-4 hours after meals is advised.
- Cobra pose - 10 sec x 3 (counter- locust pose)
- Half wheel pose -10 sec x 3 (counter - forward fold pose)
- Swaying palm tree pose -10sec x3 (repeat both sides)
- Butterfly pose - 2 minutes
“These poses specifically target the pelvis, gluteal muscles, and the hip joint. For example, back pain during periods can mean tightened glutes.The “half wheel pose” relaxes that area, and thus, the body is relieved of back pain. It also stimulates the reproductive organs, and restores any irregularities in that region” she explained. The half wheel pose is also beneficial in reducing anxiety as well as stabilising mood swings. The Cobra pose is well-known for regulating periods and reducing period cramps,” she added.
“Try the above mentioned poses before your periods daily. Consistency is KEY”, said Yasok, as she herself has been pain-free for a few years now, even with Endometriosis; these benefits endorsed by many of her students.
LESSER KNOWN FACTS
“It is NOT safe to practise regular yoga during your periods. As some poses can cause the backward flow of menstrual blood, and cause other complications. However simple stretches stimulate a good blood flow are encouraged, ” said Yasok who has demonstrated some of these stretches in her YouTube channel.
“Yoga is for EVERYBODY and can be practised by anyone belonging to any age and gender and regardless of the physical level. Yoga is NOT a religion. It is a way of life. As for beginners, You don’t have to be flexible, be amazing at balancing when starting our in yoga. It is a journey. There is no judgment in yoga. However, the majority of the yoga poses have counter poses, so it shouldn’t merely be done studying pictures on the internet. The basic background knowledge and some guidance would help you fall on the right track, so it is best to try a few classes with a professional.