Some people actually go to yoga to show off their hot yoga pants. And others wear comfy pants and lie down in Savasana…on their beds while watching Netflix.
Hey, no judgment on our part. But if you’re thinking about doing yoga and don’t really have the motivation to roll out the mat at home or go to class, this might interest you: yoga actually helps with cramps, headaches, anxiety, and other period-related symptoms.
If you practice yoga for a long time, these benefits will be even greater, but even 5 minutes of yoga can help eliminate the most persistent menstrual cramps.
Different poses have different benefits, but we’ve put together seven simple yoga poses that can save you from the horror of menstrual cramps.
1. Bound Angle Pose – Baddha Konasana
Diarrhoea and constipation are physiological in nature, thanks to the release of prostaglandins that contract the uterus. It’s not much fun, but luckily Bound Angle Pose can help. Not only does it soothe your digestive system, but it can also relieve painful dysmenorrhea. Oh, it stimulates your ovaries which makes it a reproductive health pose. If you feel tired, spend some time at a limited angle. Doing this also restores energy.
2. Reclined Bound Angle – Supta Baddha Konasana
Do you feel a little crazy because of the anxiety you feel during your periods? If yes, you need to perform this posture. A Reclined Bound Angle is similar to Bound Angle Pose, but you are required to lean back instead of forward. And for the list of PMS symptoms this pose is helpful: From fatigue and insomnia to anxiety and headaches, your period doesn’t stand a chance to compete with this relaxed position. Leaning into the pose allows your abdominal muscles to relax and relieve cramps.
3. Child’s Pose – Balasana
Yoga is not just about external flexibility. The effects of many poses also act as a kind of internal massage, beneficial to your organs. Child’s Pose does this by bending the reproductive organs and relieving back, shoulders, and neck tension. If you are one of the masses of uterus owners who experience sore muscles and joints during menstruation, you will love this simple pose. Stay there as long as you want. The calming effect is as beneficial as the relaxation felt by the body.
4. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend – Upavistha Konasana
Speaking of relaxing poses, Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (it’s a mouthful) is a potent relaxer. Stretch into this pose when the stresses of life get to you, whether it’s during your period or not. Like all other poses, the benefits are not particular. This anteflexion stimulates the abdominal organs and causes less painful cramps (both short-term and long-term).
5. Reclining Twist – Bharadvaja
One of the most popular poses to deal with menstrual cramps is the Reclining Twist. Why? It feels ample and has great health benefits. As a starting point, your back and lower back will be significantly stretched (much needed to deal with period pain and discomfort). However, your digestive system receives the same stimulation due to fresh blood flow from this pose. A typical win-win situation!
6. Inverted leg pose – Viparita Karani
This pose has many physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Like many other poses we’ve discussed, the Inverted leg pose improves circulation and digestion, lowers blood pressure, increases energy levels, and comforts the nervous system. It’s also said to improve creative thinking and problem solving (very helpful if you feel like you can’t focus during your periods!). Emotionally, the Inverted leg pose posture helps you stay calm, even during mood swings.
7. Head to Knee Forward Bend – Janu Sirsasana
Another forward bend? Yes. And there is a good reason. The stimulating effect of forwarding bending on the abdomen and reproductive muscles is unmatched. The head-to-knees forward bend is another pose that can be modified depending on your experience level. It supports the reproductive and digestive systems, helps relieve anxiety, malaise, headaches, dysmenorrhea, and relieves mild depression as well.