When your period isn't like a frolicking-in-the-field tampon commercial When you're in pain, holding your breath or taking short, shallow breaths is a natural reaction, but it actually triggers more tension and pain. Focusing on a specific breathing pattern can help the body relax and release some tension around the pain.
For debilitating cramps, try a yoga breathing technique like Viloma Pranayama. Start by inhaling and exhaling naturally through your nose. After your next exhale, pause for two seconds before inhaling. Repeat up to five times. This can be performed while seated or while lying down --- just as long as your head is positioned slightly higher than your chest. Although blood is probably the thing you want to think about when you're in PMS pain, this yoga technique improves blood circulation, which eases the pain.
You breathe all the time. You're (hopefully) breathing right now. You've been doing it since birth, which kinda makes you a pro, right? Sadly, most of us aren't good at it because we aren't diaphragmatic breathing, aka belly breathing. Most of us go for the chest variety, which is too shallow and can throw off the body's oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanges, which can create a whole host of problems, including pain, stress and digestive issues. Simply training yourself to breathe more deeply and focus on your breathing patterns makes a world of difference. Ready to stop OD-ing on coffee, popping painkillers or staying up past your bedtime? Learn how to breathe.
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