8 yoga poses for your period to help relieve cramps

There’s a definite line between enduring period cramps and finding ways to alleviate them.

That line?

It’s all about choice.

You can either choose to curl up and ride the wave of pain, or you can take control and find ways to lessen the discomfort.

One such method of taking control is through yoga.

It’s not just about flexibility and mindfulness, but also about soothing physical discomfort, like period cramps.

In this article, I’ll share 8 yoga poses that could help ease your monthly ordeal.

1) Child’s pose

It isn’t just yoga enthusiasts who swear by the Child’s pose.

This asana, known in the yoga world as Balasana, is a go-to for many women during their period.

It’s not just about stretching your back and hips – it’s also about comfort and relief.

Consider it the yoga equivalent of curling up with a hot water bottle when cramps hit.

Child’s pose is a gentle, restorative pose that allows you to focus on your breathing, which can naturally help reduce pain.

It also gently stretches the lower back muscles, which can often tighten during menstruation, adding to your discomfort.

By including Child’s pose in your menstrual yoga routine, you’re not just following the crowd – you’re following a tried and tested method of pain relief.

2) Supine Twist

Now, let me share a personal favorite of mine – the Supine Twist.

I was somewhat skeptical when I first heard about this pose.

A twist, during my period?

But I decided to give it a go and, to my surprise, it was a game-changer.

The Supine Twist, or Supta Matsyendrasana as it’s traditionally called, involves lying on your back and gently twisting your lower body from side to side.

This twist works wonders for the lower back and abdominal muscles, often providing immediate relief from cramps.

I remember one particularly painful cycle.

I was curled up on my couch, hot water bottle clutched to my stomach, but nothing seemed to help.

Out of desperation, I decided to try the Supine twist. Slowly but surely, as I twisted from side to side, the pain started to ebb away.

And that’s when I realized the true power of yoga for menstrual cramp relief.

The Supine Twist has been part of my monthly routine ever since.

Give it a try – you might find it as transformative as I did.

3) Cat-Cow Pose

The Cat-Cow pose is a dynamic combination of two yoga asanas – Marjaryasana (Cat pose) and Bitilasana (Cow pose).

It’s a simple flow that involves arching your back like a stretching cat and then dipping it down like a grazing cow.

This pose is particularly beneficial for menstrual cramps because it massages the spine and belly, promoting relaxation and relief from discomfort.

But here’s something you might not know.

In addition to easing cramps, the Cat-Cow pose also stimulates the reproductive organs.

This can help regulate your menstrual cycle over time, ensuring a smoother and less painful period.

So by including the Cat-Cow pose in your yoga routine, you’re not just addressing the immediate discomfort of period cramps – you’re also taking steps to improve your overall menstrual health.

Talk about a win-win!

4) Butterfly Pose

The Butterfly pose, or Baddha Konasana, is another highly recommended yoga pose for easing period cramps.

It’s a seated pose where you bring the soles of your feet together, creating a shape that resembles a butterfly flapping its wings.

I know, it sounds whimsical, but stay with me.

This pose is about more than just aesthetics – it’s a powerful tool in your menstrual wellness toolkit.

The Butterfly pose opens up the hips and stretches the inner thighs, providing relief from lower abdominal and lower back pain often associated with menstruation.

The best part about this pose?

You can do it anywhere, anytime!

Whether you’re watching TV or reading a book, simply get into the Butterfly pose and give your body some much-needed relief from period cramps.

5) Corpse Pose

The Corpse pose, or Savasana, might seem like the simplest of all yoga poses.

After all, it involves merely lying flat on your back and relaxing.

But don’t be fooled – this pose holds a lot of power.

During your period, your body is going through a lot.

It’s shedding, renewing, and preparing for another cycle of life.

It can be exhausting and draining.

That’s where the Corpse pose comes in.

By allowing yourself to completely relax in Savasana, you’re giving your body the rest it needs to heal and rejuvenate.

The pose also calms the mind, which can help reduce stress levels often heightened during menstruation.

In those moments when the cramps are overwhelming, when you feel drained by the cyclical journey your body is on, remember the Corpse pose.

Give yourself permission to rest, to heal, to simply be.

6) Forward Bend

The Forward Bend, or Uttanasana, is a pose that took some time for me to appreciate.

It requires you to stand straight, then bend from your hip joints, extending your torso over your legs.

At first, I struggled with this pose.

My hamstrings felt tight, and I could barely touch my toes.

But with time and practice, I began to see its benefits.

One late-night cycle, I was hit with cramps that kept me awake.

In search of relief, I found myself standing on my mat, slowly bending forward into Uttanasana.

As I let my head hang and breathed deeply into the pose, I felt a sense of release in my lower abdomen.

The pain didn’t disappear completely but it morphed into something more bearable.

This experience taught me the power of patience and perseverance in yoga.

Just like life, some poses take time to master and reveal their benefits.

So don’t dismiss the Forward Bend, it might just become your late-night savior during painful cycles.

7) Camel Pose

The Camel pose, or Ustrasana, is a backbend that may seem intimidating at first glance.

But when practiced correctly, it can offer much-needed relief during your period.

This pose involves kneeling and bending backward to touch your heels, opening up your chest and abdominal area.

This stretch can alleviate tension in the lower back and abdomen, both areas that can be problematic during menstruation.

The Camel pose also promotes better circulation in the pelvic area, which can help ease period cramps.

Plus, the pose aids in reducing anxiety and stress – two things women often struggle with during their period.

So don’t shy away from the Camel pose.

With some practice and patience, it could become a crucial part of your yoga routine for menstrual cramp relief.

8) Reclining Bound Angle Pose

The Reclining Bound Angle Pose, or Supta Baddha Konasana, is the epitome of restorative yoga poses, and it’s particularly beneficial for period cramps.

This pose involves lying on your back with the soles of your feet together and your knees spread wide open.

It opens up the hips, stretches the inner thighs, and promotes relaxation – exactly what you need during your period.

But here’s the most important thing: While all these poses can help alleviate menstrual cramps, remember that every body is different.

What works wonders for one person might not work for another. The key is to listen to your body and respect its limits.

Yoga is not a competition but a journey of self-discovery and healing.

So, whether you’re in the middle of a painful period or preparing for your next cycle, remember to be patient with yourself.

Healing takes time, but with each yoga pose, you’re taking a step in the right direction.

In essence: It’s all about connection

The beauty of yoga isn’t just in its physical benefits, but in the profound connection it fosters between our bodies and minds.

And during your period, this connection becomes even more essential.

It’s not just about fighting the cramps or enduring the discomfort.

It’s about understanding your body, listening to its needs, and responding with care and compassion.

Every pose we’ve discussed here – from the Child’s Pose to the Reclining Bound Angle Pose – is a tool to build this connection.

They’re not magic remedies or quick fixes.

They’re pathways to understanding and responding to your body’s unique rhythms during menstruation.

Whether it’s bending forward in Uttanasana or finding stillness in Savasana, each pose holds the potential for relief, comfort, and perhaps most importantly, self-understanding.

Bree Lennon

Bree Lennon

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