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Yoga For Menstrual Cramps and Disorders

Updated on December 27, 2015

How Yoga Can Help Menstrual Problems

For several centuries, yoga has been enriching lives due to its immense health benefits. It has also been widely accepted as an alternative form of medicine that replaces dangerous drugs or medication. The same benefits can be derived for women who have had to deal with menstrual disorders and cramps.

Menstrual cramping or any other premenstrual discomfort is caused by the uterine contractions inside the stomach and any other activities involved with the hormonal changes that a woman has to undergo during this period of the month. Yoga positions help to reduce the amount of contraction by targeting this part of the body, which provides a natural and effective pain management for most women.


Dealing with PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)

Pre-menstrual syndrome, more commonly referred to as PMS, is a condition that provides a certain level of discomfort to a woman prior to the actual onset of her menstrual period. This results from intense hormonal activity that the body undergoes in preparation of releasing her unfertilized egg to produce monthly vaginal discharge in the form of blood.

There are several positions that are recommended for PMS, as with other menstrual conditions, and the choice of position varies according to the severity of the pain or discomfort.

Dealing with Dysmenorrhea

This is the most common menstrual problem experienced by women during menstruation. This is characterized by cramping of the abdominal muscles that typically lasts between 1-3 days since the first sign of menstruation. The intensity of the pain often wears down after a few days but most linger on after a few days.

The combination of yoga exercises and breathing techniques are very useful in reducing the amount of pain experienced or totally eliminate it.

Yoga and Menstruation

Performing Breathing Exercises

Yoga pranayama or proper breathing is a crucial component of this discipline. This very same aspect of the yoga concept also plays an important role for women wanting to find effective relief against painful menstrual cramps and other related conditions.

The best type of breathing exercise to perform if you have menstrual cramps is one that is shallow and deep. This will help soothe your nerves and keep your mind calm as soon as the pain sets in. Breathing exercises help in creating a bridge between your mind and the physical body. Hence, as soon as your mind takes over and it is made calm by executing breathing exercises, it should be easy for your body to stay relaxed as well. This is very useful in an effective pain management system that allows your body to cope with any sensation of pain. Once your mind is properly relaxed, you are able to reduce the amount of uterine contractions that is causing that throbbing sensation known as menstrual cramps.

Basic Yoga Poses : Yoga: Child Pose

Recommended Poses for Relief on Menstrual Cramps

Painkillers and other OTC medications are available to provide relief for women having menstrual disorders. But too much dependence on them can eventually develop immunity on these medications, which require you to increase the amount of dosage just to allow pain relief to happen. Hence, they are not an ideal form of coping with pain associated with menstruation.

Instead, health experts recommend the execution of some yoga poses that effectively targets the affected area of the body to provide long-lasting and immediate relief. Take note of the following yoga poses and how you can perform them such that you can have a pain-free menstrual period.

Child’s Pose

This is one of the most effective yoga positions recommended in relieving women suffering from menstrual cramps. To perform the Child’s Pose, do the following procedures:

  • Start in a Downward Facing Dog pose. Eventually move into position wherein your knee is touching the ground.
  • Your belly must then be situated in between both thighs while your forehead slowly descends until it meets with your knees on the floor.
  • You have two options with where to place your arm while on this position. First, you can stretch it up in front of you with palm facing upwards. Second, you can let it rest on either sides of your body, still with your palms facing upwards. Choose whatever arm position you are more comfortable with.
  • Hold this position for as long as you want or until the pain has subsided.


Wind Releasing Pose

Aside from menstrual cramps, the Wind Releasing Pose is also ideal for relieving any form of stomach pain. To perform the Wind Releasing Pose, do the following procedures:

  • Begin on a supine position with your back lying against the floor.
  • Bend your left knee and bring it near your chest.
  • After that, do the same with your head, allowing both your left knee and forehead to meet.
  • Repeat the entire process all over again, this time out switching onto your right knee.
  • As you perform this pose, always work according to your comfortable zone. Avoid exerting too much effort on your stomach muscles.

How To Do the Bow Pose

Bow Pose

The Bow Pose effectively works out your abdominal muscles, which makes it really effective in treating or relieving menstrual cramps. To perform the Bow Pose, do the following procedures:

  • Start on a prone position, wherein you are lying on your chest and stomach. Both arms are placed on their respective sides of the body, with palms turned upwards.
  • Bend your knees upwards, allowing your heels to touch your tailbones. Meanwhile, work your upper body such that your arms are trying to meet with your heels. When they do meet, lock yourself into position by holding by the ankle.
  • The entire weight of the body must be placed on your stomach, instead of your pelvis.
  • While on position, attempt to lift your legs upwardly. This will basically force you into a backward bend while at the same time stretching out your chest muscles to the fullest. Take note of proper breathing method as you perform this pose.

Exercises To Avoid

Here are a few reminders on what yoga poses you must try to avoid in an effort to deal with menstrual cramping or other similar conditions. Notably, twisting or inverted poses must be highly avoided for the following reasons:

  • Doing inverted or twisting poses could arrest the normal flow of blood during menstruation.
  • Execution of this pose could result to various conditions such as formation of cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, and certain kind of cancer.
  • Performing of inversions also counter the natural flow of energy, which results in blockages that disable the body from eliminating harmful toxins.

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Submit a Comment

  • lindaadams37 profile image

    lindaadams37 7 years ago

    Thank you for posting this, I will link you to my Yoga for PMS hub, if that's okay.

  • dynamag profile image

    dynamag 7 years ago

    Yoga is a great way to relieve any form of stress, be it physical or mental.

    Great Hub.

    Thank you

  • profile image

    yoga business 7 years ago

    Really does help. Great hub.

  • sofyne profile image

    sofyne 7 years ago from London

    Yoga is the only way to go!! interesting read, usually I avoid excerise during that time of the month, I may give yoga try.. Thanks!

  • ceholmes profile image

    ceholmes 8 years ago from Chicago

    yoga really does help menstrual cramps. I found that performing stretching poses 2-3 days before your period reduces pelvic pain by A LOT. excellent hub!

  • SeasonsFit profile image

    SeasonsFit 8 years ago from Denver, CO

    I always enjoy reading different uses of yoga as therapy. Thanks.