Expert SaysLifestyle

Yoga for Cramps and PMS

3 Mins read

A woman’s period can put a huge strain on her physical and mental self, making exercise a key activity during this trying time. However, picking the right exercise is important – pick something soothing and not vigorous on your body, which is why yoga is your best bet!

Doing a light yoga session will help improve your mood, reduce fatigue and possibly give you some relief from that wretched menstrual pain. A light yoga stretch with no inversions and no asana that stresses the stomach or uterus is great to relieve pain caused by menstrual cramps.

Whether it’s mental discomfort, strain on your lower back, nausea, upper leg tightness or stomach cramps, a 10 minute yoga stretch can sort you out. Getting relaxed movement into the body during your period is always a great idea.

These 5 asanas can be practiced when you are on your period. Do them anywhere – all you need is your body!

Baddha Konasana a.k.a the cobbler pose
This pose has a calming effect on the body and in turn helps your body relax during such a stressful time. It also helps open the pelvic region.

Alignment:

  1. Allow the souls of your feet to touch and let the knees drop out
  2. Sit on your perineum and not entirely your buttocks (so your lower back straightens up)
  3. Open your chest, relax your shoulders and close your eyes, and take 5 breaths
  4. For a more restorative and deeper stretch, you can come into a forward fold

Setubandhasana a.k.a the bridge pose
This challenging asana can help relieve lower back pain that annoyingly pops up during menstruation. It also stretches the pelvic region.

Alignment: 

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent
  2. Push your lower back into the earth and you will feel a slight lift in your pelvic region
  3. Squeeze your buttocks, push the soles of the feet into the earth and lift off. Take 5 breaths. You can place a yoga brick under your tailbone and rest on it.
  4. For a deeper stretch, you can roll your shoulders in like I have so that your chest opens up.

Adho Mukha Virasana a.k.a downward facing hero pose
This asana enables the body to seek balance and release tension. It relaxes and calms the mind and body while lengthening the entire spine. Initiating the relaxation response in this pose releases lower back tension, menstrual cramps, PMS and helps to normalise blood flow throughout the entire body.

Alignment: 

  1. Get onto your fours or into the tabletop position
  2. Let your big toes touch each other and knees separate moving away from each other
  3. Sit back resting your bums on your heels (if possible). If not possible, simply sit back as much as is comfortable.
  4. Fold forward and stretch your arms out in front of you
  5. Rest your forehead on the earth. If your forehead cannot reach, place a rolled up towel or yoga brick under your forehead.
  6. For a deeper stretch, let your chin rest on the earth

Adho Mukha Shvanasana a.k.a Downward Dog
Inversions are generally discouraged during menstruation, but since this pose keeps your feet flat on the floor, you can enjoy many of the benefits of being upside down just by sliding into Downward Dog. You will notice that most of the yoga poses for periods are done on the floor. Downward Dog gives you a chance to move around a bit and work with your upper body first. It stretches out your hamstrings that sometimes feel tender during our period.

Alignment:

  1. Get onto your fours or into the tabletop position
  2. Lift your knees off and push your heels towards the earth
  3. You can choose to keep your knees slightly bent or straighten the legs
  4. Elongate your arms and push your chest towards your thighs

Supta Baddha Konasana a.k.a lying down cobbler pose
The lying down version of this asana helps the hips and pelvic region to open up further. While lying down, you can be more relaxed and allow your body to soften into the earth. Try to end your practice with this restorative asana.

Alignment:

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent
  2. Slowly moves the soles of your feet together
  3. Allow your knees to drop out on either side. Let gravity take them towards the ground.

Hope this helps all you ladies during that dreaded time of the month! 

Note: A healthy body helps us maintain a healthy balance in our lives. We talk to several experts regarding the importance of fitness and collated their advices in a set of articles. You can read them here. You can also relax yourself with the help of a pain relieving heat patch. Cramp Comfort makes sure that it warmly hugs your body as you calm your mind with Yoga. You can find your pack of Cramp Comfort right here

Marina Kotwal
2 posts

About author
Marina is a yoga teacher by profession and a certified Le Cordon Bleu trained chef. When she isn't cooking, you'll find her meditating or stretching herself like a rubber band in the outdoors. She also sells a homemade hot sauce made from local ingredients.
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