Yoga for Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps is a common ailment among women. These are caused when the uterus lining contracts to shed the endometrium. You are bound to feel tired and inactive during this time. Yoga during menstruation is recommended to help ease the pain.
You can practice yoga during periods through these five asanas.
Balasana or Child Pose
The child pose requires you to sit on your knees with your body resting above your thighs, and arms stretched outwards. You may want to keep your knees outstretched to aid pain relief. Extend your arms as far as possible, taking in slow and deep breaths. Try using your diaphragm to breathe, using your belly rather than the chest.
This pose relaxes your hips and stretches out your lower back muscles. Through this method, it aligns and relieves pain in the lower back region. This is a well-known asana of yoga during periods.
Sapta Matsendrayasana or Reclining twist pose
This pose begins with lying flat on your back. Slowly bend your left knee and lower it to the right side. Turn your upper body towards the left side and fix your palms to the ground. After holding for 5-10 breaths, shift both your legs and body, moving your upper body to the other side. Make sure to bend your knee only slightly to prevent any muscle tension.
The reclining twist pose relaxes you hips, shoulders and back, and relieves any tightness in the waist. It massages the back, hips, and glutes, and hydrates the spinal disks. Most importantly, it stimulates the movement of fresh blood towards your posterior organs, thus enabling digestive health. This encourages healthy period flow and eliminates toxins from the body.
Ustrasana or Camel Pose
This is a slightly challenging pose to practice during your periods, yet is nevertheless beneficial. You begin by standing on your knees, keeping your back and thighs perpendicular to the ground. Next, you bend backwards with your arms outstretched to form an inverted U-shape. Try to reach for your heels with your hands.
This pose is helpful in expanding the abdomen. This action signals the uterus to temporarily cease contractions, thus relaxing your cramps. It also directs waste towards the posterior portion of the body., thus aiding digestion and toxin elimination. It additionally opens up the hips, stretches hip flexors, and strengthens the shoulder and back.
Bidalasana or Cat-Cow Pose
The cat-cow pose is a simple and often underrated one to aid menstrual cramps. You get on the floor with your hands and knees, with back perpendicular to the ground. Align your knees to your hips. The cow pose involves gently breathing inwards, moving your neck up, raising your tailbone towards the sky and dropping your belly to the ground.
Release slowly. Proceeding to the cat pose, you exhale, shifting your neck downwards. Your head and tailbone should move towards the ground. Your abdomen should push inwards. Exhale, coming to a neutral tabletop position.
This exercise is ideal to relieve lower back pain, which especially worsens with periods. It is a gentle pose that soothes cramps by easing blood flow towards your posterior organs. The transitions from cow to cat pose also equally stretch out your forward and backward muscles, which may tense up during menstrual cramps.
Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
This exercise resembles a bow, after which it has been named. You start with lying down flat on your stomach and arms forward. As you fold in your knees, extend your hands backwards to grasp your ankles. Pulling your legs upwards, lift your upper body off the ground. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, and then release your legs and chest to the ground.
The Dhanurasana is a commonly practiced posture in yoga for period pain. It strengthens the spinal cord, ankles, and thigh muscles. By stimulating blood flow down to your abdominal organs, and the uterus in particular. It also eases symptoms of periods during your next menses.
You don’t have to suffer through your menstrual pain in silence. Try to incorporate these simple and effective asanas in yoga for periods. Practice these at a pace and time when convenient to you, to regulate your menstrual cycles.
Are you a beginner to yoga? Mekosha has partnered with Suchbliss, an initiative by yoga practitioner Suchitra Srinivastava, to bring you optimal health and wellbeing. Take a look at some simple Ayurveda poses for beginners that Suchitra recommends here.
You can also refer to other yoga poses recommended by Ayurveda here.
Lastly, click here to learn more about the benefits of Ayurveda in women’s health.