YOGA FOR PMS + ENDOMETRIOSIS

March is Endometriosis awareness month, so today’s yoga practice is right on time! 

Endometriosis is a chronic medical condition where the tissue that lines the uterus begins growing outside of the uterus. This can cause a tremendous amount of pain and can create dysfunction of other internal organs like the ovaries, bladder, and rectum. For some women, it causes menstrual problems like prolonged bleeding and intense cramping.

86DE20F8-9C20-456E-82A1-DB503DAD14A0.png

Even if you’re not living with endometriosis, I think it’s safe to say that most women experience PMS symptoms to some degree, and those of us who have other chronic illnesses or pain conditions may experience significant distress during our periods. I personally have a condition called POTS, and my symptoms always flare during my period. Although this can feel incredibly frustrating, it’s important that we use this time as an opportunity to slow down and give ourselves extra love and care. I think sometimes we forget that our bodies are literally BLEEDING for days, and this process is an incredibly big deal for our bodies. It’s okay to need extra rest.

Practicing gentle yoga and meditation is one way we can care for ourselves during this time. In today’s video, I’ll show you some restorative yoga poses that help to relieve period pain, cramps and other symptoms related to menstruation or endometriosis. We do this by gently creating space in the lower back and hips.

I’ll also walk you through a healing visualization meditation and deep belly breathing to bring you additional comfort. This practice is ideal for when you are menstruating but can be practiced any time of the month you may be feeling pain in the pelvic area and low back.

In my personal practice, I have found these poses to be incredibly supportive, and I use them every time I have my period. The meditation practice I share in this video is one that I have used myself to help heal the sense of body betrayal I felt for so long during my periods. It helped me to realize that the fact that my body is still capable of menstruating is incredible. Even though this time of the month can feel painful and stressful, I know that my body is doing the best that it can to maintain equilibrium. I hope that you find this practice equally supportive.

I recommend that you use the following props to support your body during this practice:

HANDS FREE YOGA FOR WEAK HANDS AND WRISTS

One of the things I love about yoga is that literally anything can become a yogic practice so long as you are being mindful of how you feel in the present moment.  This means that even when my body is not feeling up to a full yoga practice, even when I am stuck in bed, even when my body is too sore to move, I can tap into that mindfulness and bring my yoga practice off the mat and into my daily life.

This hands free practice focuses on stretching and strengthening the hands and wrists without bearing any weight on them. These exercises aren’t exactly yoga poses, but we will be infusing them with mindfulness, making this a yogic practice after all. This practice is great for chronic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and hypermobility syndromes such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. 

HOW TO DETOX WITH YOGA

In our modern world, we are constantly bombarded with toxins. They’re everywhere: in the air, in our food, in the clothes we wear. As a Spoonie, we may be exposed to even more than most people because of medications we may need to survive. It’s not always within our control.

Detoxification has become a buzzword in our culture that is used to promote expensive products, but the truth is that there are easier and less expensive methods we can use to aid the body’s natural detoxification process. Your body was designed to detoxify itself, but sometimes it does need a little bit of help if the system gets overwhelmed by toxic buildup. 

SIGNS YOU MAY NEED A DETOX

The human body is inherenly wise. It knows exactly what it needs to do to restore and maintain balance, and it has ways of communicating with us so that we can know what to do to help. Here are some signs you may be in need of a detox:

  • Sluggish digestion, constipation
  • Bloating
  • Foul-smelling stool
  • Feeling of “heaviness” in the abdomen 
  • Foul body odor
  • Bad breath
  • Acne
  • Other skin eruptions
  • Headaches
  • Sinus congestion

We all experience this from time to time, so don’t be hard on yourself. There are simple things you can do to find equilibrium again.

1DEC3F1C-F9F9-4EBA-9EAD-1B733BCF1C6A.png

HOW TO DETOX

Because our digestive tract plays such a huge role in the detoxification process, it is important to make sure you are experiencing healthy digestion. This means at least one bowel movement per day and minimal gas. Some supplements I like to use to keep my digestive tract running smoothly include:

  • Triphala - works like a stool softener but is non-addictive
  • Milk Thistle - supports the liver
  • Slippery Elm - lubricates and heals damage in the digestive tract
  • Probiotics - populates the colon with healthy bacteria which aids complete digestion 

It would also be beneficial to eat a simple diet composed of mainly fruits and vegetables for at least a week to reset your system. Some detox meal plans that I have personally tried with success are from Reboot with Joe and Medical Medium

Make sure to take it slow and listen to your body. It is normal to experience some detox symptoms, but you shouldn’t feel miserable. If it’s your first time doing a detox, a sixty day juice fast may not be the best idea right off the bat. Talk to your medical team or consult a nutritionist to find a plan that will be safe and effective for your unique situation. 

Beyond dietary changes, we can also support detoxification with dry skin brushing, salt baths, and our yoga practice.

58CCEB53-1BB7-4781-8400-541973250395.png

USING YOGA TO SUPPORT DETOXIFICATION 

Many yoga classes for detox will be energetic practices that promote vigorous movements in order to encourage sweating. This allows you to eliminate toxins through the skin. It’s very effective, but for those of us with chronic pain, chronic illness and/or limited mobility, this type of practice might not be accessible or appropriate. Fortunately, there are other kinds of yoga moves that aid detoxification. Today I shared a video on my YouTube channel that shows you a gentle seated yoga practice that promotes detoxification. Click the video below to get started 👇🏼

This post contains affiliate links.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician or nutritionist. Everything I share is from personal experience. Please consult with your doctor before trying any supplements, exercise or detox program.