Severe PMS

Q: Hello Ana and Ravi!I came to this point where I would desperately need some guidance, and since your yoga has done so much for me I decided to write you. I am a 25 year old girl and my life is split between two weeks of happiness and another two weeks of depression and anxiety. When in the positive days of the month, I am this happy, passionate and hard-working girl who lives to grow and better herself every day. I find true magic in life, I feel ecstasy when engaged in my kundalini yoga workout, which lifts me up and inspires me for more good work. I feel like I can do just about anything, I have so much strength and power and am so very thankful for everything...At that time I love being myself and usually my relationships blossom, I do a lot of work and make myself very proud. However, this all stops a week before my period. I get this horrible PMS and my world becomes a chaotic mess - destructive thoughts, comparing myself to others, feeling I am not good enough for my boyfriend, looking for fights, one small problem i just wouldn't care about when in the normal state becomes a nightmare. There is no balance. Even if there is nothing wrong I find a problem that will make my mind bleed, as if I won't let myself be without worrying and anxieties. I feel like I am no one, university work suffers, I believe people are against me when in class, there is this horrible social anxiety present. What am I to do? I don't know if I can live like this. At that time I honestly consider myself half crazy. Your yoga helps, but still I cannot find my peace then. Any advice? Thanks so much,

A: We am so sorry to hear you are experiencing such a tough life challenge! Ugh PMS is no fun! Women, all experience, at some time or another, some sort of unpleasant hormonal fluctuations that can cause a whole lot of anxiety, mood swings and lack of energy but, yes, quite unfairly some of us seem to get more than our share!

It's wonderful that you are being proactive with your health, keeping up with your Kundalini Yoga practice and seeking to balance your hormones in a natural way.

You are right in thinking that a regular Kundalini Yoga practice with its direct work on the endocrine system will balance your hormones over time. This can be sped up by making a few very important lifestyle changes.

It's also very meritorious that you recognize that your down times are hormonal so you can keep them in perspective and sort of ride them out, knowing them for what they are, 'til the good times roll around again!

We suggest cutting out caffeine for now so as not to increase feelings of anxiety and to help alkalize your body.

We also suggest adding more raw foods to your diet. Starting the day with a hydrating protein smoothie made with anti-inflammatory ingredients (pineapple, ginger, lime, etc.) would be a great start (see: morning smoothie post on this archive).

A salad everyday and fresh organic fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats such as avocados, and raw oils would be great additions to your diet.

Important supplements are calcium (1000mg), magnesium, vitamin D, B6 and an essential fatty acid.

Meditation is one of your most valuable tools in curing your PMS! There are many meditations which work on the endocrine glands and at the same time will lesson stress (a huge contributor to PMS). Meditation will also give you the overview necessary to know that what you are feeling is a transitory thing. Often we will feel an emotion, a darkness maybe, when a hormonal shift occurs and instead of calling it for what it is: a temporary emotional cloud that will soon blow away on the next breeze, we search for a reason for this emotion and once we give it a reason for being it spirals us towards more negative thinking.

Even 11 minutes of meditation a day will help give you important perspective and help to lessen the severity of the highs and lows. Here is a great breath meditation you might try: Sit with a straight spine. Focus at the Third Eye. Inhale in 15 successive breaths (sniffs really) and exhale in 15, all through the nose. On the first 15 part inhale think Sa 15x. As you exhale in 15 parts think Ta. Then Na on the inhale and Ma on the exhale. Try to do this very powerful meditation for 11 min. and slowly build up to 31 min. Do it 31 min. per day for 120 days. At the end of the meditation sit in silence for at least 1 min., focusing at the brow, breath long and light.

We don't know if you've been to a doctor to get your hormone levels checked. That might be a good thing to do so someone can keep an eye on your levels and to ascertain that that is what's going on.

We wish you joy, health, and abundant blessings!