Fitness

Yoga on the move: take the monthly pain away

In the mystic tradition of tantric yoga, a woman’s menstrual cycle was considered sacred as it holds the promise of life. Ancient cultures and civilisations revered a woman’s 28-day cycle, and the rituals that were built around them are said to have paved the way for modern calendars and agricultural traditions. This focused reverence seems to be in sharp contrast with the modern day condition where women feel anything but sacred and special. Because of the pain, discomfort, weight gain and disorders that accompany the monthly cycle, many women do not look forward to the experience. The body secretes hormones called prostaglandins that command the uterine muscles to contract, thereby aiding the elimination of blood.

 Stress disrupts the endocrine system and increases the flow of prostaglandins. This induces nausea, indigestion and headaches, and increases pain in the pelvis, legs and lower back. While recovery is a multi-layered approach involving nutrition, exercise and even meditation, managing pain needs to become an everyday routine. The following routine can be done whenever you feel the onset of your cycle because it tones the back muscles and improves blood circulation in the pelvis and lower back. When muscles are stretched, the body releases “happy” hormones which bring about relaxation.

 

Ardh Shalabasana (Half Locust Pose)

 

Lie on your belly on a yoga mat and bring your feet 4-5 inches apart.

Place your hands underneath your shoulders with your fingers spread apart.

Point your elbows towards the ceiling and keep your arms snug against your torso.

Point your heels to the ceiling and toes towards the wall.

Inhale and raise your left leg a few inches off the ground, while making sure your hip doesn’t lift as well.

Breathe normally and hold the posture for three deep breaths.

Gently lower the leg and raise the other.

Repeat each side thrice.

 

Ardh Pavanmuktasana (Half Wind-Relieving Pose)

 

Lie on your back with your feet 4-5 inches apart.

Exhale, bend your right knee and hug it to your chest.

Lift the entire left leg two inches off the ground and bring your chin up to meet your knee.

Breathe normally and stay here for threecounts.

Now repeat the sequence for the left leg.

Do the entire routine twice.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 4:07:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/yoga-on-the-move-take-the-monthly-pain-away/article6686289.ece

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