8 Ways to Overcome PMS (And Other Womanly Woes) With
Yoga & More  
by Sara Avant Stover
for them.  So, today, I'll tackle one aspect of women's health: Pre-Menstrual
Syndrome, also known as PMS. The reason why I'm choosing to talk is that I feel
that it is the first domino that goes down before the rest of them tumble. Another
way that you can think of PMS is as a warning bell. What I mean by that is if you
experience PMS symptoms, that's a clear message from your body that your
hormones are out of balance.

PMS is the first signal. And you better listen to it! During an ideal month-when you're
exercising, resting, eating well, being creative, and expressing your emotions-you
won't have any PMS. That's right: zero. Zilch. Now, I don't mean that your life needs
to be perfect. Ups and downs are inevitable. But how you relate to the tragedies and
the triumphs does matter. When you DO have PMS (think cramps, bloating,
migraines, lower back pain, food cravings, breast tenderness, irritability, and
moodiness) your periods will be off -and, down the road, so will your whole
hormonal system at large. One day this could exacerbate menopause or lead to
more serious problems.

So what to do? Well, I'm a big fan of simplicity. My own journey to healing (I'm only
teaching this stuff from experience friends), I've found that LESS is MORE. So, if you
want to take your health into your own hands, here are 8 easy ways to get started
right now:

1. Breathe Deeply.

When you're under stress or rushing around, most likely you're also holding your
breath. Get into the habit of pausing throughout the day to check in with your
breath. Take deep, full breaths. Let your belly be soft and full.

2. Get Moving.

How often do we hear that we need to exercise? It's true! You have to get in
motion, get circulation and energy flowing. Stagnant energy creates illness. If it's hard
for you to get motivated by yourself, get together with a friend, hire a trainer, take a
class, get an exercise CD or video. But do it!

3. Step into the Light.

Get outside into the sun-preferably during non-peak hours (before10am or after
2pm). It's been proven that sunlight helps to harmonize your hormones and relieve
PMS. Enjoy time in Nature. She has a lot to teach us about being simple.

4. Supplement.

If your hormones need more support, take "Vitex" (also known as "Chaste Berry").
It's an herb to gently harmonize the female hormonal system. I take it and swear by
it. Try ¼ tsp. of the liquid extract first thing in the morning for 1-3 months to get
back on track.

5. Eat Clean & Green.

You are what you eat, ladies! Load up your diet with dark, green leafy vegetables (I
try to eat something green with EVERY meal), whole grains, fresh fruits, legumes,
and healthy fats and oils. Cut out all the "white stuff"-white sugar, white flour, and, in
my opinion, dairy (at least most of it). Not to mention lots and lots of water. Invest
in yourself and buy organic. It costs more, but remember, food is your medicine. If
you want your body to be healthy, you can't be putting poisons (pesticides) in it

6. Remember Cycles.

This is a big one-and an important part of what I teach. You have to let your body
and moods move through their natural cycles. Rest at night and be active during the
day. Rest during menstruation and be active at other times of the month. Being the
energizer bunny is the direct route to burn out. Take time to notice the moon and
look at the stars.

7. Express Yourself.

Your reproductive organs, at whatever age you're at, are your "Creative Organs."
Write in your journal. Let yourself create! Write, paint, dance, sing, collage, sew,
speak your mind and your feelings. Remember what you loved to do as a child and
do it! Keeping it inside only puts a lid on your femininity. It gets trapped and
stifled-and then no wonder problems arise.

8. Turn Yourself Upside Down.

Yoga does amazing things for your hormones-and your overall health-as a woman. I
swear by it. Yoga poses remind your body how it was designed to move and
flow-and getting upside down every now and again is one of the very best to
regulate your hormone.

I hope these help!

Questions? Comments?
. For a Free
Yoga for PMS CD (a complete 60 minute audio practice where I guide you through a
soothing & therapeutic sequence to eradicate PMS and future womanly woes) please
About The Author

Sara Avant Stover, founder and director of The Way of the Happy Woman, helps
modern women balance their femininity with their busy lives to unlock true and
lasting personal happiness--beyond body size, relationships, and careers--but
connecting to their inner radiance through yoga, meditation, and balanced living. She
leads workshops, trainings, and retreats around the world and currently lives in
Boulder, CO.
Pesticides in your food, working long
hours, stifling your emotions, air
pollution: what do all of these things
have in common? They all contribute
to you health (or, I should say,
ill-health) as a woman. Infertility
rates, the early onset of menopause,
irregular menstruation, and cancers
of the breasts and reproductive
system are consistently on the rise.
Never before in history has the
collective fate of women's health
been so precarious.

But there's hope. The answers dangle
all around us. We just need to reach
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