Yoga teaches me that PMS is real! For a long time I denied this reality. There is this time of the month when I move a bit slower, am more sensitive, and get irritated more easily. These are the symptoms of PMS which differ from person to person for longer or shorter periods of time preceding their monthly cycle.
I was in denial for a long time that the symptoms I felt were indeed a precursor to my cycle. I didn’t want to believe that all the cliched jokes were true - that my feelings and sensations could be boiled down to a simple, “don’t mess with her - it’s that time of the month.” But when I accepted the truth of what I was feeling, I was actually able DO something about it.
Once I admitted to myself that I was feeling bad, I was able to do something about it!
So I went to ayurvedic practitioner Ivy Ingram. Ayurveda is a system of Hindu traditional medicine. I told her about my symptoms and she offered these simple suggestions to follow before my monthly cycle:
I followed the prescription and had a much more positive experience of my cycle. There was little discomfort and a symbiotic understanding with my body that this is what we do every month. I feel like I can be an ally to myself during the process instead of fighting myself and tolerating this monthly event.
But sometimes there isn’t the time or space to slow down. Maybe you have an exam that week, or your child requires more attention, or you’re working a bunch.
There is also some guilt for women associated with slowing down, like we are less powerful when we admit to our sensitivity associated with....okay, I’m gonna say it....our period. It’s okay to be sensitive and emotional, especially during a time each month when our bodies are saying, “well, we tried to generate life, but it didn’t happen this time. Do-over!” That’s a BIG DEAL! Part of realizing the power of the feminine, is in embracing what we’ve been told is weakness as strength.
But here’s the rub: the sooner we get real about it, the sooner we can start supporting each other. I remember I tried to get a sub for my yoga class because I started my period that day and needed to rest. I got a-talkin’ to from my boss because being on my period didn’t seem like an urgent excuse, not big enough to sub out my class.
Someone else happily stepped in and taught, yet the whole ordeal was insightful. Most of us have been taught to push through the to-do list and most things in life, no matter what. This is a quality coveted in our culture. There are other times when I’ve expressed sensitivity and my female bosses were more understanding. This made me feel so supported. There is strength in admitting that you need rest, especially during this time. I hope that we can support each other, male and female, during our more delicate times.
The remedy for me now is more rest and honesty with the people around me that PMS is real, and I’m goin’ through it! Be nicer to me, or accept the consequences! I kid, I kid.
But, PMS is now a reminder to slow down as much as I can and try to be easier and nicer to myself.
Hi! I'm Robin - Teacher, Singer, & Author. I love creativity & sharing what I love!