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Are Yoga Really Effective for Easing Menstrual Cramps ?

Menstrual Cramps

One of the many reasons why menstrual cycles are such a hot topic is menstrual cramps. The bleeding isn’t the worst part. Instead, the feeling of being repeatedly punched in the stomach makes the period suck.

You may have seen the viral Instagram reel that tells how doctors have discovered that menstrual cramps are as painful as a heart attack. Well, that’s true. Dysmenorrhea, a medical condition where you experience severe pain in your lower abdomen, is pretty difficult to deal with.

For a long time, women have thought of period pain as something they are supposed to bear. But you don’t have to. It’s important that you listen to your body and do what it needs.

Menstrual cramps are tolerable to some extent. If you are experiencing problems at work or cannot execute your daily chores because of the unbearable pain, it’s time to consider medical intervention.

Fortunately, there are other alternatives for people looking for chemical-free remedies to cope with the pain. Yoga for menstrual cramps can be effective when done correctly.

It doesn’t just help you with period pain, but yoga has proven to be a powerful way to manage anxiety, stress, headaches, and other symptoms your body experiences during the menstrual cycle.

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Is Yoga Effective for Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual cramps target your lower abdomen, pelvis, lower back, and thighs. Sadly, some women experience mental symptoms, such as stress and bad mood, during their periods.

Certain yoga poses that target these areas can help relieve physical pain while helping you overcome stress and other mental health symptoms. The best part is you don’t have to practice yoga for hours. Just 5-10 minutes of this practice daily will suffice.

Yoga Asanas That Can Help in Menstrual Cramps

In this post, we will walk you through some effective yoga poses that can help with menstrual cramps. Let’s get started.

Child’s Pose

This is the most common yoga pose among novices and experienced Yogis. It’s also one of the easiest to execute. Child’s pose targets your lower back, making it perfect for women who experience unbearable pain in their lower back during the menstrual cycle.

The pose has an as good calming effect on your mind as on your body. It relaxes your joints and reduces pain in your lower back and lower abdomen, giving you a sense of calmness and relief from the constant pain.

Here’s how to do a child’s pose.

  • Get your knees on the floor and make sure they are wide apart.
  • Push your body down on the floor with your arms extended.
  • Go as down as possible and let your forehead rest on the floor.
  • You can extend your arms or lay them backward (whatever feels more comfortable at this point).
  • Take deep breaths (from your belly).
  • Turn your heads to each side and count to five before turning it to another side.
  • Relax your body, hips, back, and entire body. Stay in this pose for as long as you want, and get up.

Video: How to do the Child’s Pose Yoga 

A child’s pose, or Balasana, is the most relaxing asana for menstrual cramps. It’s also quite great for people looking to de-stress their minds.

Supine Twist Yoga Pose

The pressure around your abdominal fascia can cause abdominal pain. To release that, the Supine Twist pose also known as Supta Matsyendrasana can be very effective.

The pose is also quite effective for people experiencing lower back pain during their periods. This lower-back stretching and strengthening exercise can offer great relief to your back and abdomen, helping you cope with extreme menstrual cramps.

Here’s the right way to practice Supine Twist.

  • Lay on your back with your arms stretched on your sides and the palms facing the ceiling. Your body should make a T as you lay on your back.
  • Take your right knee and curl it outside your left knee and keep your left leg straight.
  • Use your arm to turn your lower body to the left side and try to touch the right knee to the floor. At first, getting your knees touching the ground might be difficult, which is totally okay. Your focus must be on the twist.
  • Get comfortable in the position and breathe in and out a couple of times. Your shoulders must touch the floor, and they must be relaxed.
  • Bring your right knee back to the normal position and repeat the same process on the other leg.

Video: How to do Supine Twist Yoga

If the stretch puts too much pressure on your body, keep a pillow or some soft object under your bent knee.

Cat-Cow Pose for Menstrual Cramps

Cat-Cow (also known as Bitilasana Marjaryasana) is a two-step yoga pose that targets your lower abdomen and back. Perfect yoga for period cramps, this simple yet effective yoga pose is for beginners who are having trouble with period pain.

Try this asana 10-20 times to relieve pain caused by the stretched abdominal muscles. Women experience cramps because of poor blood circulation to their uterus.

Cat-cow can help relieve the discomfort by regulating proper blood flow to your pelvic area. Another benefit of the cat-cow pose is that it releases the tension in your body by encouraging slow breathing.

Note that uterine cramps get worse when you are stressed.

Here’s how to relieve the constant cramps and muscle tension with the cat and cow pose.

  • Sit in a cow pose with your knees parallel to your hips and the arms on the floor parallel to your shoulders.
  • Inhale and look up with your tailbone slightly raised and the belly forward. Stay in this position for a few seconds before getting into the cow’s pose.
  • Exhale and get back to your normal position.
  • Curl your spine slowly and look down.
  • Breathe in when you get into the cow pose, and breathe out in the cat’s pose.

Video: How to do Cat-Cow Pose

Alternate these two poses with steady breath and a relaxed spine. Practicing a cat-cow pose for a few minutes can relax your mind and body, treating menstrual cramps.

Standing Forward Fold

Uttanasana, or the Standing Forward Fold, is another way to relieve menstrual pain. The Sanskrit word Uttanasana refers to the intense stretch that puts the right amount of pressure on your lower back and the hamstring muscles.

Like other yoga poses for period cramps, this one is done with your breaths synced to your movements. If you are not in a state to move your body much, this simple asana is your best bet.

It involves comparatively fewer movements than regular yoga poses and is less strenuous on your body.

Here’s how to do Standing Forward Fold

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms straight on the sides. Your shoulders must be relaxed and your knees straight.
  • You need to touch your fingertips to the floor slowly with your neck and back relaxed.
  • Breathe in through your nose and exhale through the mouth.
  • Drop your upper body toward the ground, so your fingertips touch the floor, but don’t bend your knees.

Video: How to do Standing Forward Fold Yoga

You can bend your knees slightly if you have difficulty touching the floor. Then, rise your body slowly and go down again. Repeat it a few times.

Downward Dog Pose

The Adho Mukha Shvanasana or downward dog pose stretches your body and regulates the blood flow, easing the pain and pressure in your lower abdomen. This inverted pose is fairly easy but requires a little practice to master.

If you are a regular yoga student, you won’t face any problems practicing the downward dog pose.

Here are the steps to do the downward dog pose correctly.

  • Start with a standing position. Move your arms toward the floor with your upper body pushed downwards.
  • Your wrists must be stretched toward the floor, with the hips raised and the toes curled backward.
  • Your hips must face the ceiling with your knees straight. Let your head hang and keep your shoulders relaxed. Your back should be straight.
  • Breathe in and out, maintaining this pose. Count five inhales and exhales before you rise your body to the normal position.

Video: How to do Downward Dog Pose

If you can put in additional effort, consider an extra step of bending and straightening one leg at a time. But that’s optional.

Corpse Pose

Once you have practiced the above poses, end your yoga with Savasana, “the corpse pose.” It is every yogi’s favorite, as the corpse pose puts your body in a relaxing state.

Try a corpse pose if you can’t perform the above stretching asanas because of extreme pain. It’s simple and distracts your mind from the pain while promoting a feeling of relaxation.

The corpse pose is super simple. You must lay on your back with your shoulders, arms, and lower body aligned properly. Close your eyes and practice slow and deep breathing.

Video: How to do Savasana Yoga

As you lay on the floor with your head facing up, you will notice the tension releasing from your body. Your mind will be calm and de-stressed. This will drive your attention away from the muscle cramps.

Conclusion

These were some effective yoga poses for menstrual cramps. You don’t have to be an experienced yogi to try these poses effectively.

Just read how they are done and watch a yoga video tutorial to get in the right position, and that’s all. Hope these poses will relieve your menstrual cramps and help you deal with periods.

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4 Comments

  1. Menstrual pain is really annoying and that too every month. We as women have to tolerate it every month with so many difficulties. I used to take various medications to relieve pain from it. But these yoga poses for menstrual pain are an eye-opener. I will definitely try them and let’s see if they can help with the stress and pain during periods. Thanks for sharing such good information.

  2. Thanks for recommending these yoga poses for menstrual cramps. Just want to add for readers that you not only have to do it during your periods but on daily basis which will really help you during your phase. Doing it only during your menstrual days will not help you that much in some cases it might not help at all. So make these poses a daily habit and it will surely help during your periods.
    Thanks Have a great day

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