Everyone’s period experience is different. While some will agree that it’s not the most enjoyable time of the month, there are ways to help relieve menstrual cramps and discomfort.
The following poses are intended to be used as restorative home exercises that may help relieve menstrual cramps. At different points in your menstrual cycle, choosing to do yoga may or may not make you feel good. Be sure to listen to your body and only choose to practice when it feels best for you.
This article explores different yoga poses for menstrual cramps. It will also cover how to change your posture so that you are as comfortable as possible.
Shoemaker’s Pose (Baddha Konasana)
Since the lower body can feel heavy during menstruation, a sitting position can be especially helpful. You can stay in each pose for a few minutes.
Baddha Konasana, shoemaker’s pose, opening the pelvic area. For a gentler version, use a mat or a few folded blankets to support your torso for forward bends. This can help you relax more.
Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)
Do this pose:
- Extend your right leg and place the bottom of your left foot on the inside of your right thigh.
- Center your torso over your right leg and fold forward.
- Come back through the shoemaker’s pose to get ready for the other side.
head-to-knee pose, Janu Sisasana, Stretch your hamstrings. This is a simple stretch that allows you to focus on one leg at a time. It also helps you gently lengthen your hips and groin.
Mount (Upavistha Konasana)
open legs Upavistha Konasana, mounts. If you prefer, you can make a more supported forward fold by adding a pillow or blanket. This pose stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs while also lengthening the spine.
You can go as deep as you can here or stay upright. Bending deeply forward can be uncomfortable during menstruation. Knowing this is totally fine and listening to your body is important.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Do this pose:
- Bend your legs straight and forward.
- Lengthen the spine in a seated position before moving forward. Think of your pelvis as a bowl that leans forward as you come down.
Sitting forward bend, pasta, Open the hamstrings and calves more deeply. It also gives your back a nice stretch.
Be sure to follow your breath as you ease into this bend. Because of your period, you may want to bend your spine slightly. However, your yoga instructor may advise against this.
Support Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Do this pose:
- Lie down on your back.
- Press into your feet to lift your hips slightly, then slide the block under your hips for support.
- To come out, press in the feet to lift the hips again and slide the block out.
this pose, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Similar to a backbend.
This very gentle backbend can help relieve menstrual-related back pain. If you’re very uncomfortable with menstrual cramps, it’s best to stick to the shorter option on a yoga block.
Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Do this pose:
- Maintain a reclined position with your knees bent.
- Release your knees to the sides and place on the mat.
- Put the soles of your feet together. Putting a cushion down the length of your spine feels great here.
You might notice this is a reclining version of Cobbler’s Pose. Supta Baddha Konasana, Goddess pose, which opens up your groin and buttocks while relaxing.
If you can hold this pose for a few minutes, it’s a great way to end your workout. 5 to 10 minutes in a goddess-like meditative state can help you relax.
Doing yoga may help relieve the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps. Some yoga poses you might consider trying include:
- shoemaker pose
- head to knee
- seated forward bend
- support bridge
- goddess pose
As you practice these poses, be sure to check yourself frequently to make sure you’re comfortable. Even if you don’t usually use a pillow or blanket when doing yoga, you may want to use them for a more gentle practice during your period.