Yoga Poses for Your Menstrual Cycle (With Pictures)
Many women experience their menstrual cycle each month, and with it can come painful cramping, PMS, back pain, fatigue, headaches, and other unpleasant symptoms. Gentle exercise such as yoga can help with some of the uncomfortable symptoms. Try some of the following yoga poses to get some relief. Most of these poses are suitable for beginners and can be done whether you have experience in yoga or not.
Of course, if you are having severe periods that disrupt your life, please also see a medical professional. There could be underlying issues contributing to your pain and discomfort! Don't rely on solely yoga or natural methods - options like birth control, medication, and even surgery can be helpful if you are consistently fighting with menstrual problems.
1) Bound Angle Pose - Baddha Konasana
Bound Angle Pose is very common, and a good beginner level asana. This pose helps to encourage the menstrual flow to move downward and out of the body. It opens the pelvis and pelvic floor and can help reduce pain caused by menstruation by increasing the circulation in this area. If you are struggling with pain, try just sitting in this pose whenever possible to keep things loose and moving!
2) Child's Pose - Balasana
Child's Pose is a beginner post most everyone is familiar with! This pose is a restful pose that can help to relieve painful cramping. Relax in this pose until the cramping has lessened or ceased. This pose is especially helpful for women who suffer from back cramps, as the pose stretches this area out and tends to help relieve the pain.
3) Bow Pose - Dhanurasana
This pose is more the more advanced practitioners dealing with their menstrual cycle. Bow Pose puts pressure on your lower abdomen and stretches it, helping to relieve uterine cramping. You can even rock gently back and forth in this pose. Remember - this is not a beginner's pose. Please do not try to force yourself into Bow Pose - take your time and work up to it!
4) Cobra Pose - Bhujangasana
Here's another pose that is appropriate for beginners and up. This pose helps to increase blood flow to the pelvic area, helping to regulate the menstrual cycle and keep things flowing. It also can help ease lower back pain, which is great for those with back cramps. Remember to be gentle in this pose, and only go as far as feels comfortable for your body at that moment in time.
5) Seated Forward Bend - Paschimottanasana
This pose is said to help regulate menstruation by stimulating the ovaries and the uterus. It can help with uncomfortable symptoms. Overall, it's a really great stretch! This pose can be done by beginners, but everyone should remember not to force themselves into any position. Go only as far as your body allows, or as far as feels currently comfortable. On your period, this may mean not bending forward much at all!
6) Wind Relieving Pose - Pavanamuktasana
This pose puts pressure on the abdomen and it can help to clench and release the muscles, reducing cramping. It can also help release excess gas that may be built up in the abdomen due to a women's menstrual cycle. This pose is great for practitioners of any level, and can be done as often as you like. Be sure to do both sides for the same amount of time to keep balanced!
7) Cat/Cow Pose - Marjaryasana/Bitilasana
Cat and Cow is a great beginner movement that helps with painful periods. This combination of poses flows together to help loosen up the spine, and the movement of the abdomen also helps to lessen cramps. This gentle movement is also a great way to relax the body for sleep or rest.
8) Corpse Pose - Savasana
This pose should be done at the end of your practice to completely relax. Allow both your body and your mind to come into stillness and recover. Take time in this pose for yourself. Try different positions, such as knees bent, legs spread, or even a bolster under the legs to see which feels best for the current symptoms bothering you. Relax in this pose for as long as you need!