Eight Yoga Poses for PMS

Most women get premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to some degree. Research has shown that performing certain yoga postures can help many woman by alleviating the symptoms of PMS, and as one who suffers with PMS, I appreciate the fact that yoga can help relieve the symptoms.

Child's Pose helps to relieve anxiety.
Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Case

The following can contribute to PMS:

* Stress

* Poor eating habits

* Traveling

* Burn out

* Troublesome relationships

* Not enough physical fitness

The symptoms of PMS include:

* Emotional lability

* Anxiety

* Irritability

* Depressed mood

* Headaches

* Food cravings

* Weight gain (usually temporary water gain)

* Sore breasts

Dr. Guy Abraham's PMS classification system

Guy Abraham is an obstetrician and gynecologist at UCLA who divided PMS into the following four types:

- Type A (anxiety): Other symptoms include irritability and mood lability.

- Type C (cravings; mostly for sugar): Tiredness and headaches may also be present.

- Type D (depression): Loss of memory and confusion often go along with type D PMS.

- Type H (water retention): Gaining weight and having sore breasts is not uncommon in those with type H premenstrual syndrome.

Yoga poses to ease the symptoms for every type of PMS

Dr. Susan Lark created a treatment plan based on the four types of PMS.

Type A yoga poses (asanas)

- Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The corpse pose helps relieve anxiety and mild depression; furthermore, it decreases the severity of headaches, fatigue and insomnia.

- Crocodile Pose ( Makarasana )

The crocodile pose helps to relax both the mind and body. It is also very beneficial to women who get extreme cramping.

- Child's Pose (Balasana)

Child's pose relaxes the muscles of the back, which in turn helps fight off lower back pain; in addition, it is great for relieving anxiety.

Type C asanas

- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

The bow pose helps control the metabolism of sugars by provoking blood flow to the areas of the abdomen and pelvic. It is also beneficial for those who are lethargic, anxious and experience menstrual pain.

- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge pose also helps control the metabolism as sugars; in addition, it eases the symptoms associated with menopause while decreasing anxiety and tiredness. It also helps reduce headaches and restlessness. When done supported, the bridge pose also has the ability to reduce the severity of pain associated with the menstrual cycle.

Type D asanas

- Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

The upward-facing dog pose helps to decrease the symptoms of mild depression and fatigue.

- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

The bridge pose is beneficial for those with type C and type D PMS. It has the ability to elevate the mood and revitalize both the mind and body.

Type H poses

- Wide-Angle Pose (Prasarita Padottanasana)

The wide-angle pose helps reduce swelling by opening and stimulating the pelvic area.

- Half Plow

Rather than going into a full plow pose by having your feet touch the ground, lay on your back and raise your legs until they are pointed straight up to the heavens.

When you are trying to relax during yoga, closing your eyes helps. Aromatherapy and soft music can also help you to ease into a deeper state of relaxation.

More from Rebecca Bardelli:

Three Ways Yoga Can Balance Women's Hormones

Antigravity Yoga for Fun Flying Fitness

Couples Yoga Enhances Intimacy

Top Five Energizing Yoga Poses

Fertility Yoga Can Help Couples Trying to Conceive

Rebecca completed courses in Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Coding and Billing. She is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). In addition, Rebecca is a former gymnast and is avid about yoga, swimming and other athletic activities.

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Updated Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011