Yoga Poses To Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Before, during and after having your period, many women suffer from severe pain in the lower abdomen.
This situation could be improved with medications, however, it would be like putting a patch on something greater. The idea is not to have to suffer several days a month.
To accomplish this you should practice yoga and it will relieve your menstrual cramps.
Discomfort doesn’t only occur in the abdomen, but also result in nausea, cramps in legs, headaches, moodiness, a lot of sleep, lack of concentration, etc.
Anti-inflammatory drugs can prevent this, but do not address the root of the problem. That is why we must seek natural alternatives such as yoga or meditation.
What are the best yoga poses to treat menstrual cramps?
Yoga poses help improve all kinds of ailments.
Some people advise women against practicing certain yoga techniques when they are a few days into their period, such as inverted or pranayama breathing, known as “fire”.
If you feel discomfort or pain in the pelvis and lower back, stay sitting, lying down or stop until it passes.
It is best to listen to your body, because it will tell you what you can and what you can not do at that time.
The best yoga poses for menstrual cramps
The Fish pose also known as Supta posture Matsayana is the most recommended pose for menstrual cramps.
To do the Matsayana pose, you have to lie down on the mat on your back with your legs straight.
- Slightly lift the chest up from the floor and put your hands over your chest in a praying position.
- Tilt the head back and form a arc with your back
Other postures that can help you are:
Balasana (child pose)
- Sit with your knees on the mat and butt on top of your ankles
- Place your arms at your sides.
- Slowly lean forward until your forehead touches the mat and keep that position for a few minutes, close your eyes and concentrate on breathing.
- It will help relieve cramps in the lower back.
Supta Virasana (reclined hero pose)
It begins like the previous position but instead of leaning forward, you lean back. Many people use a cushion on the waist or neck to make it easier. This position stretches the abdomen and relieves menstrual pain.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
This pose helps to stimulate the abdominal organs, ovaries, bladder, kidneys and pelvis. Alleviates symptoms of menstruation, and relieves the stress.
- Begin seated with your legs extended in front of you on the mat.
- Bend your knees and draw your heels in toward your pelvis. Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop open to both sides.
- Lean backward and bring your elbows to the floor. Then, lower your back all the way to the floor.
- Gently shift your buttocks from side to side, adjusting your position so your spine lengthens along the floor while maintaining the natural curve of the lower back.
- Draw your shoulder blades gently inward and let your arms relax with your palms facing up.
- Relax your buttocks and lengthen your tailbone toward your heels.
- Close your eyes. Let your awareness become fully internal.
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)
- Sit with your legs extended in front of you, toes flexed, quadriceps contracted. Place your hands next to your buttocks on the floor and lift the bottom of your belly and the sides of your waist.
- Bend your right knee, placing your right foot against your inner left thigh and your right heel close to your perineum, just below your pubic bone. Gently swing the right knee away from the left foot so that the thighs form an angle greater than 90 degrees—preferably an angle of 135 degrees.
- Fold forward over your left leg from the left hip crease. Reach with your right arm first and hold your left foot from the inside. Contracting your left quadriceps powerfully, use your left hand to grasp the center of the hamstring muscles and—tipping the body to the right—pull toward your left sitting bone to release tension in the tendon that connects your hamstring muscles to your pelvis. Then press your left hand into the floor near your left hip and push, lengthening the left waist. Keep twisting your body toward the left, working to bring your bellybutton over the center of your left thigh.
- Hold your left foot with your left hand from the outside. Move deeper into the fold by holding your right wrist with your left hand. Make a fist with your right hand. Bending your elbows away from each other, pull your left foot with your arms, lengthening the sides of your waist. Rest your forehead on your shin. Breathe deeply for 9 or more breaths. Inhaling, lift your head and chest, then release your hands to push the floor away and come out of the pose. Change sides
Upavistha Konasana (Wide Angle Seated Foward Pose)
- Sit then lean your torso back slightly on your hands and lift and open your legs to an angle of about 90 degrees (the legs should form an approximate right angle, with the pubis at the apex). Press your hands against the floor and slide your buttocks forward, widening the legs another 10 to 20 degrees.
- Rotate your thighs outwardly, pinning the outer thighs against the floor, so that the knee caps point straight up toward the ceiling. Reach out through your heels and stretch your soles, pressing though the balls of the feet.
- With your thigh bones pressed heavily into the floor and your knee caps pointing up at the ceiling, walk your hands forward between your legs. Keep your arms long. As with all forward bends, the emphasis is on moving from the hip joints and maintaining the length of the front torso. As soon as you find yourself bending from the waist, stop, re-establish the length from the pubis to the navel, and continue forward if possible.
- Increase the forward bend on each exhalation until you feel a comfortable stretch in the backs of your legs. Stay in the pose 1 minute or longer. Then come up on an inhalation with a long front torso.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)
- Sit on the floor with your buttocks supported on a folded blanket and your legs straight in front of you. Press actively through your heels. Rock slightly onto your left buttock, and pull your right sitting bone away from the heel with your right hand. Repeat on the other side. Turn the top thighs in slightly and press them down into the floor. Press through your palms or finger tips on the floor beside your hips and lift the top of the sternum toward the ceiling as the top thighs descend.
- Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis. If possible take the sides of the feet with your hands, thumbs on the soles, elbows fully extended; if this isn’t possible, loop a strap around the foot soles, and hold the strap firmly. Be sure your elbows are straight, not bent.
- When you are ready to go further, don’t forcefully pull yourself into the forward bend, whether your hands are on the feet or holding the strap. Always lengthen the front torso into the pose, keeping your head raised. If you are holding the feet, bend the elbows out to the sides and lift them away from the floor; if holding the strap, lighten your grip and walk the hands forward, keeping the arms long. The lower belly should touch the thighs first, then the upper belly, then the ribs, and the head last.
- With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates and lengthens almost imperceptibly with the breath. Eventually you may be able to stretch the arms out beyond the feet on the floor.
- Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. To come up, first lift the torso away from the thighs and straighten the elbows again if they are bent. Then inhale and lift the torso up by pulling the tailbone down and into the pelvis.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose)
- Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
- Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
- Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
- Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
- Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
Pavanamuktasana ( Wind-Relieving Pose)
- Begin by lying on your back, with your legs and arms extended.
- As you exhale, draw both of your knees to your chest. Clasp your hands around them.
- While holding only your right knee, release your left leg and extend it along the floor. Hold this pose for up to one minute.
- Draw your left knee back in towards your chest and clasp your hands around both knees again.
- While holding only your left knee, release your right leg and extend it along the floor. Hold this pose for the same amount of time.
- Finally, draw both knees to your chest.
- With an exhalation, release and extend both legs