Yoga Poses to ease menstrual Cramps
Due to the modern lifestyle, physical activities have decreased the mobility of their bodies. Improper nutrition, hectic working hours, and unwanted stress, depression or anger make the menstrual periods more painful and discomfort.
Yoga poses that can help to ease menstrual cramps:
1. Bow pose (Dhanurasana)
The bow pose stretches and strengthens your back. It stimulates your reproductive organs and reduces menstrual pain.
Lie down on a yoga mat on your stomach. Breathe deeply and slowly bend your legs backward. Lift your arms backside to hold your ankles such that the weight of your body falls on your torso. Hold this pose for about 20 seconds before returning to the starting position and repeat this pose 4–5 times.
2. Camel pose (Ustrasana)
The camel pose can be uncomfortable to perform during your periods, but it is worthwhile. It stretches your abdomen, aligns your uterine muscles, and prevents them from contracting. These muscle contractions are the reason for excessive pain during menstruation.
It stretches your spine and relieves mild lower back pain.
Kneel on the floor, and align your shoulders and knees. Bend backward to hold your heels, push your hips forward and tilt your head back. Hold this position for about 25 seconds before returning to the starting position and repeat this.
3. Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
The cobra pose eases headaches that occur before or during menstrual periods. This pose stimulates blood circulation and strengthens and loosens the stiff muscles in your back and hips.
Lie down on the yoga mat on your stomach. Join your legs together and place your palms on the floor. Lift your upper body with the support of your arms while inhaling. Stretch your neck as much as possible to hold this pose for a few minutes to repeat this pose at least five times.
4. Garland pose (Malasana)
The garland pose helps to reduce congestion, back pain, and cramping by widening the pelvic opening. It builds a balance in emotions that might cause irritability, mood swings, depression, anxiety, or anger.
Squat down deep, and keep your feet hip-width apart. Spread your knees wider than your torso and join your palms in a namaste position. Place your elbows on the inner thighs and stretch them to hold this position for a few minutes before returning to the starting point.
5. Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana)
The butterfly pose is a bound angle pose that stimulates the downward flow of energy and blood to the groin. It reduces menstrual cramps and fatigue. It is an energy booster and stretches your hips to ease menstrual discomfort.
Sit down on your yoga mat to keep your spine straight. Bend your knees to join the soles of your feet to hold your feet tightly. Start shaking your thighs up and down.
6. Reclining twist pose (Jathara Parivartanasana)
For beginners, your back and hips will get a good stretch and reduce aches and pains from your period. Your digestive organs get stimulated due to the fresh blood flow from this pose.
Lie on the yoga mat on your back with your hands stretched out and your palms on the ground. Bend your left knee upward and tilt it over the right knee. Turn your head to the left, and bring your right arm to hold the left knee. Stay in this position for a few breaths and keep your left leg back to the ground. Repeat the pose with your right knee and repeat this pose 5–10 times on each side.
7. Wide-leg forward fold (Upavistha Konasana)
This pose brings energy to the pelvic bowl and uterus. It opens the hips to ease blood flow.
Start with mountain pose and stand with your spine erect and your feet 3–4 feet apart so that your body weight falls evenly on both legs. Breathe deeply to lift your arms over your head to join your hands, interlocking your fingers, and then turn your palms upside. Lift your shoulders toward your ears, and roll them back and down while releasing your breath. It opens your chest and erects your spine. Relax your facial muscles and eyes to keep a steady gaze forward and return to the initial position.
For wide-leg forward fold:
Spread your feet wide apart and ground them on the floor. Keep your spine straight, exhale forward, and place your palms on the ground in straight alignment with your shoulders. Bend your elbows toward the back to move your hands toward the hip. Keep your forearms at a right angle to the floor, while your upper arms should be parallel.
With the support of your arms, bring your forehead down to touch down. Push your weight into the feet to stretch your legs and hold this position for 5–10 breaths. Raise your head and bring your hands through your waist while pressing down on your feet.
8. Child’s pose (Balasana)
The child’s pose helps to align the spine to take the pressure off it and relieve back pain. It has a calming effect on your mind that helps in stress management and mood improvement.
Kneel with your toes touching each other to keep your knees spread wide apart. Place your palms on your thighs. While exhaling, lower your belly between your knees and touch your forehead on the floor. Stretch out your arms in front with your palms resting on the floor. Relax your shoulders, jaw, and eyes. Stay in this position for as long as you need to feel relaxed.
9. Corpse pose (Savasana)
This pose relaxes your body and mind. It regulates breathing, and your mind gets distracted from the menstrual pain, thus alleviating the menstrual cramps.
Lie on your back with your legs comfortably apart and your toes facing sideward. Place your arms beside your body but at a little distance, with your palms open and facing upward. Gradually move to the different parts of your body as you try to relax them one by one through gentle but deep breathing.
10. Inverted leg pose (Viparita Karani)
This pose makes you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally during menstrual periods. It increases blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, improves energy levels, strengthens digestion, and relaxes the nervous system.
Menstrual discomfort makes it difficult for you to concentrate. It enhances your creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. It reduces mood swings that are very common during menstrual periods.
Lie down flat on your back with your feet on a wall. Support your legs against the wall to keep them vertically above the hips. Breathe deeply by closing your eyes. Move your focus from one part of the body to another to help them relax and stay in this pose for 10–15 minutes. Bend your knees and gently push your body away from the wall.
11. Head to knee-forward bend (Janu Sirsasana)
This pose stimulates the abdominal and reproductive muscles is unparalleled. No matter how you modify it, head-to-knee forward bends support your digestive and reproductive systems and relieve menstrual cramps.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front. Place the left foot against the inner side of your right thigh. Lower your erect torso over your right leg by angling your pelvis forward without rounding your lower back. Keep your right foot stretched while pushing down the back of your right thigh on the ground.
Bend forward to keep your spine straight. While bending forward, hold your knees to provide extra support. Stretch out your spine while inhaling, release your breath and maintain this pose for 5–10 breaths. Keep your legs straight, shake them, and repeat the pose on the other side.
12. Reclining bound angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
The reclining bound angle pose relaxes your abdominal muscles to lean back and eases cramping.
Lie flat on your back with your legs stretched out and hands by your sides. Bend both your knees and join the soles of both feet at the center. Dig your feet into the ground to extend your hand outward while inhaling and exhaling. Stay in this pose for a few seconds before returning to the initial position.