Going to yoga class and forcing your body into ridiculous positions may seem like a horrible idea during your period. And may be it is. But a specific type of this Eastern practice called Yoga Nidra appears to have a positive effect on relieving many menstrual issues. Is it worth the try?
What Is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra is an ancient system that’s been tweaked and modified to suit the needs of modern individuals. Comprised of a set of deep relaxation techniques, it aims to induce a deep meditative state and full body relaxation. Yoga Nidra sessions will vary from teacher to teacher.
A different variety of techniques will be used to achieve the desired state, including some basic stretches (to help participants loosen up), body scanning (identifying various sensations throughout the body), and guided imagery. Unlike short meditations towards the end of many yoga classes, Yoga Nidra lets you really sink into the feeling, with sessions typically going between 20 to 45 minutes.
How Yoga Nidra Helps Relieve Menstrual Irritation
A recent study recruited 150 women who had abnormal periods. These were women whose periods were extremes in various spectrum, including women who had very infrequent periods, women who went through high amounts of menstrual pain, women who had super heavy flow and other problems. All participants in the study were given a variety of medications for their menstrual problems.
Half were monitored based solely on that. The other half, however, were required to start a regular practice of Yoga Nidra for 40 minutes a day, five days a week. After six months, they reviewed the results. The half of participants who practiced Yoga Nidra reported far greater relief compared to the half that didn’t, making a strong case for its beneficial effects on menstrual problems.
How can lying down and submerging in a deep meditative state provide that kind of remedy?
Basically, the deep relaxation techniques of Yoga Nidra induce a specific bodily response, one where your breathing slows, you suck in less oxygen and your brain creates more delta waves. This state, apparently, is associated with a significant drop in Luteinizing hormones, along with those that stimulate the thyroid glands and irritate the follicles, which are among the culprits that can wreak havoc on a woman’s menstruation.
What To Do
If you have uncomfortable periods, the first recourse should be to ask your doctor. Follow their advice and take any medicines they recommend. And, if you’re interested in Yoga Nidra, ask for their opinion on it. You never know your doctor might have more experience on that end than you’d expect, too.
Once you’ve made up your mind to try the practice, there are two ways to go. You can join a local yoga studio and try a few sessions. Or, you can purchase online Yoga Nidra meditations. Because all it requires is lying down in a relatively quiet place and paying attention to the teacher’s guidance. Yoga Nidra is actually very conducive to being practiced at home. With no requirement for weird poses or specialized props, it’s completely safe to do on your own, as well.