This month, we are focusing our blog posts on women’s health, and how living a healthy lifestyle can uplift women from all walks of life. A great source of monthly pain and frustration is menstrual cramps. Most women know that feeling of wishing we could call in sick from work once a month and lay on the couch and eat chocolate. But until that is an option (hey, you never know), we must find other ways to get around the pain and go on with our lives.
There are many ways to relieve pre-menstrual pains, including eating lots of vegetables, medication, staying hydrated, massage, and of course practicing yoga! Certain yoga poses can relieve abdominal cramping, low back pains, leg pain, and overall feelings of discomfort that come with your period. It’s important to note when doing yoga for menstrual cramps that you should honor your body and avoid any poses that bring pain or discomfort.
Next time you are feeling under the weather due to your monthly cramps, try these yoga poses and see if they help!
Try These Yoga for Menstrual Cramps Poses
Malasana (Squat Pose)
The hips can get really tight during your period, so stretching them out with a low squat can be very relieving. Sit down low with your toes and knees pointed out. If it feels okay, take a twist to each side for a few breaths in this pose as well.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold Pose)
This can release some of the tension that builds up in the lower back. Start in a seated position with your legs extended out in front of you, but keep your knees a little bit bent to avoid too much tension. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale fold gently over your legs. Don’t worry too much about where your hands are.
Utthan Pristhasana (Lounging Lizard Pose)
This pose targets the hips and quad muscles and can also be a heart opener. Start in a regular lunge, and then walk the forward foot over to the edge of the mat so that both hands are on the inside of the foot. Drop the back knee. If the hips allow, place your forearms on the ground or on blocks to get deeper into the stretch. You can also bind the back foot with the front arm if that feels nice.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
This is a pose of rest and ease, which is often just what your body needs at this time. Place your knees wide on the mat, sit your hips back towards your heels, and reach your arms forward. Let your belly just fall in between your legs and breathe ten full, deep breaths.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One Legged Pigeon Pose)
This final pose does wonders for your achy hips and thighs. Bring one shin forward and the opposite leg straight back. Be sure the front foot is flexed and the hips are squared. Make this pose even more wonderful by using props- you can place a block under your front hip and a bolster under your arms and head for maximum relaxation.
Have you tried these yoga for menstrual cramps poses before? We’d love to know if you had an instant gratification feeling or if it gradually helped. Do you have other poses you like to do when you aren’t feeling well? Let us know in the comments!