Yoga for period cramps

Many women experience a lot of pain during their menstrual cycle. This kind of pain can leave you extremely uncomfortable and desperate for a solution. Moving your body may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re experiencing menstrual cramps, however, there are a lot of poses that can help alleviate the pain. Yoga and any kind of movement on your period should be gentle and fairly slow as the body is typically lower in energy and needs time to restore. Here are some of the best yoga poses for period cramps. 

 

Child’s pose variation 

Bring your knees together to touch. Extend the arms and chest forward as you plant the forehead down to the mat, coming into child’s pose. Allow your spine to round and be soft. You can keep your arms extended out in front of you, or bring them back by your sides and let them be soft and heavy. Let your body relax fully as you take deep belly breaths in and out. Hold for around a minute. 

 

Cat Cow 

Come into a tabletop position, placing your hands underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. On an inhale arch the spine, tilting the pelvis back and gaze up at the ceiling. On an exhale press the mat away and create a c curve with the spine, gazing at your navel. Continue to move like this at your own pace, breathing deeply for 10-20 rounds. 

 

Bound angle 

Come to a seated position, bringing the souls of your feet together, and let your knees fall out wide. On an inhale, elongate the spine and then on an exhale, hinge from your hips and fold over your legs. Breathe into the hips and hold for up to 20 breaths before slowly coming up. 

 

Pigeon

Extend your left leg long behind you, planted on the mat as you bring your right shin parallel to the front of your mat, hips squared to the ground. Flex your right foot and walk your hands back on either side of your hips to open up the heart and elongate the spine. Take a deep breath in, and on an exhale fold over your right leg, surrendering your chest and forehead down to the mat. Hold for up to 20 breaths, before slowly coming up and transitioning through a downward-facing dog to switch to the other side. 

 

Supine twist 

Come to lie down on your back. Scoot your hips a few inches to the right and drop both knees at hip height over to the left. Extend your arms out to either side at shoulder height and gaze over the right shoulder for a twist. Hold for up to 20 breaths before bringing the knees through the center and switching sides. 

 

Waterfall 

Keep your sacrum firmly planted on the mat or a block, and extend your legs up toward the sky, relaxing the feet and ankles fully. Let your knees be soft and fully relax the weight of your body into the mat beneath you. Hold and breathe deeply until you are ready to come out. 

 

Savasana 

Extend your arms and legs out wide on the mat and close down the eyes. Release any breath control and let your body be soft and heavy. Cultivate long, deep inhales and exhales and allow yourself to relax deeply and fully let go. Stay here for up to 7 minutes, then slowly roll over to one side and make your way up to a seated position when you are finished. 

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