22 Jun 3 Beginner-friendly yoga poses to help with period pain
Exercise is usually one of the last things on anyone’s mind when they’re suffering through period pain, cramps and major discomfort. Despite what so many commercials suggest, physical activity while on your period is not something that’s usually met with a smile, laughter and enjoyment. However, yoga is widely known to help alleviate PMS symptoms as well as bloating and pain during menstruation!
Yoga requires mindfulness, deep intentional breathing and slow movements which make it the ideal form of physical “exercise” for those who menstruate. It can help reduce feelings of anxiety, frustration and depression which are so common during and before menstruation. It can also help you become more in tune with your body and what your body needs from you. Below we discuss three simple and beginner-friendly yoga poses to help with period pain. You can do each of these poses for as long as you like.
*Please note that this is in no way a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
Child’s pose (Balasana)
How to do it:
Begin by sitting on the floor or on a yoga mat (if you don’t have a yoga mat you can use a blanket) and make sure your knees stay bent. Spread your knees as wide as you can and lift your butt so that it touches your heels. Stretch your arms out as far as you can in front of you with your head down facing the ground. Your stomach should be placed in between your thighs and forehead on the floor.
This pose is great to alleviate back pain and stretches the hips, thighs, back and ankles.
Seated forward bend pose (Paschimottanasana)
How to do it:
Slowly stretch out both legs in front of you on the floor. Then bend your torso forward over your legs. Your entire spine should shift forward towards your feet, and be slightly curved too like in the illustration above. Also, place both arms at the side of each leg for support.
This is another great stretch for your back and shoulders. It also stimulates the ovaries, uterus and helps with digestion. It also helps with reducing anxiety, fatigue and headaches.
Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
How to do it:
Begin by laying your stomach flat on the ground. Then slowly lift your torso and spine upwards towards the sky with your arms. Make sure your arms are shoulder width apart on either side of you like in the illustration above.
This is very beneficial if you experience a lot of abdominal pain when menstruating, by stretching the abdominal organs. It’s also very useful to help with anxiety, stress and fatigue.
If at any point during these poses you feel unusual pain or heavy discomfort in your muscles, joints and anywhere else in your body it would be a good idea to take a break or stop completely. The idea with these poses is to not put more strain on your body, but instead to relax and find balance.