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YogaBy Cindy Kuzma for Prevention.com

Prevention

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you know how good a few minutes of relaxing in Shavasana feels at the end. Now, a new study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine finds that a longer and deeper form of yogic meditation—a practice called yoga nidra—could help balance hormone levels in women with menstrual difficulties.

Yoga nidra is “a deep meditative state where the mind is conscious of its surroundings, but yet the body appears to be in sleep-like state,” says Judi Bar, the lead yoga therapist at Cleveland Clinic. While you lie still in corpse pose, an instructor guides you through series of mental exercises and visualizations, such as being aware of your breath, setting an intention, and relaxing your body one part at a time. “These are all different ways to quiet the mind and bring us down slower and slower and slower to that ultimate place of peace,” Bar says.

Researchers in India studied the practice in 150 women who had a range of period problems, including cramps, irregular or heavy bleeding, and spotting. All of the women received medication, including synthetic hormones and other commonly used therapies. Half also practiced yoga nidra for 35 to 40 minutes, five times per week.

Keep reading for more information on yoga nidra…

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