If you suffer from menstrual cramps and other symptoms caused by PMS, like headaches, back pain, mood swings, and fatigue, yoga can offer natural relief. By gently stretching the muscles as well as focusing on deep breathing exercises that calm the mind, you can reduce or even get rid of pain and feel more peaceful during your period. Even just five to ten minutes can make a difference in how you feel, so to help you get relief, we’re sharing some simple yoga exercises for menstrual cramps and PMS.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This is a restful, restorative pose that eases backaches, fatigue, and cramping by stretching the back muscles minimizes tightness throughout the body.
Getting Into Child’s Pose
- Kneel on the floor with your knees around hip-width apart, keeping your feet together and resting on your heels.
- Take a slow, deep breath in, and as you exhale, bend forward with your torso resting on the ground between your thighs. Curve your spine so your tailbone is away from the back of the pelvis and curve your neck forward slightly so your forehead is touching the floor. Envision your form following a gentle curve from your tailbone to the top of your head
- Extend your arms with your palms in front of you taking slow, deep breaths from your belly.
Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana)
The Bound Angle pose opens your hips and gently stretches and relaxes the muscles in the lower abdomen, groin, and thighs, which can reduce menstrual cramping.
Getting Into Bound Angle
- Sit on the floor with your spine in a straight, but natural position, legs out in front of you. You may find sitting a folded blanket under the base of your spine will tilt your pelvis forward slightly and offer more comfort. As you exhale, bend your knees and pull your heels inward so they are pressed together and your knees are out to the sides.
- Grasp your big toes or ankles and lengthen your spine upward so your front hips and tailbone are both an equal distance away from the floor.
- Don’t force your knees down. If necessary, place a pillow or folded blanket under them for support.
- Stay in the pose for one to five minutes, depending on your comfort level. As you inhale, pull your knees up from the floor and extend your legs in front of you.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
When you feel bloated, are experiencing cramps, and feel run down, the Bow Pose can open you up emotionally and physically, and provide deep, intensive stretching through your abdomen and thighs.
Getting Into Bow Pose
- Lie on your belly with your arms against your torso and your palms facing upward. As you exhale, bend your knees so your heels are close to your buttocks.
- Reach behind you and grasp your ankles (not your feet), taking care to keep your knees no wider than hip-width apart.
- Inhale from your abdomen and lift your heels up, away from your buttocks while lifting your thighs up from the floor. This will pull your upper torso and head upwards from the floor.
- Pull your heels and thighs upward, curving your spine evenly and drawing your shoulders down, away from your ears.
- Continue slow, even breaths, staying in this pose for 20 to 30 seconds, taking care to release the pose on the exhale.
Head to Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)
This forward bend is easy to modify depending on your comfort and experience levels, while still offering the calming, grounding energy to reduce anxiety and fatigue as well as the physical relief of menstrual cramps.
Getting Into Head to Knee Forward Bend
- Sit in your straight sitting position. Bending your left knee so the knee is pointed outward and your left foot is tucked against your right thigh up toward your groin. Take care to keep your right leg out on the floor with your knee flat on the ground or supported with a folded blanket.
- Press your right hand against the top of the thigh where it meets the hip while keeping your left hand on the floor.
- Exhale slowly and turn your torso to the left, raising your torso to open your chest while grounding your inner thigh. Avoid over extending by lining up your navel with the center of your left thigh.
- Reach out with your right hand to grasp the left foot with your thumb on the bottom and press your left hand into the floor to increase your twist. Then, reach your left hand to the outside of the foot.
- Extend forward from your groin, not your hips, taking care to move with cautious intention, rather than forcing your body into a forward bend. The lower part of your belly should touch your thigh then your head should touch the knee or lower thigh. Stay in this pose for one to three minutes.
Schedule a Yoga Class at Our Smithfield Yoga Studio
If you would like more personalized instruction in yoga so you can confidently engage in yoga for menstrual cramps, sign up for a yoga class today or watch our free online yoga classes. We have a wide variety of classes available for all skillsets and would love to work with you. If you have any questions, give us a call at 919-971-1431 or fill out our contact form.