15 Yoga Poses You Should Do To Avoid *Period* Cramps!
By- Tanya Sagar
Menstrual cramps, pain, nausea, bloating is something that a lot of women have to deal with during or before their menses. Some girls suffer from extreme lower back and abdominal pain which is often referred to as dysmenorrhea. This is due to the uterus contractions. Many of you might even take heavy pain killers like ibuprofen to ease the pain. However, painkiller is never a permanent solution and also has a lot of side effects.
We have an easy and effective remedy for you to ease the menstrual cramps. Here are 15 yoga poses which you can do during your menses to relieve the cramps and pain. Do these asanas and make period cramp a history.
DHANURASANA (Bow pose)
Dhanurasana is an effective asana to relieve menstrual pain. The asana is named so because while practicing the body resembles like a bow. To do this pose, lie down on your belly and keep your hands by the side of your body and palms should be facing up. Bend your knees and bring them close to your hips. Keep both the legs parallel to each other and grab your ankles with your hand. Now, take a deep breath and pull your ankles with your hands so that the legs are lifted up. Also, lift up your head off the floor. Continue breathing for about 30 seconds and then release the pose slowly. Continue this 2-3 times.
JANU SHIRASASANA (One-legged forward bend)
One-legged forward bend helps in massaging the abdominal organs and stretches the lower back which helps in relieving cramps and back pain. The asana is to be done as follows:-
By keeping your spine erect, sit with your legs stretched straight and bend your left knee. Place the left foot beside the right thigh in a way that the left knee is on the floor. Now, take a deep breath in and raise both the arms above your head and twist yourself towards the right. Breathe out and bend forward from the hip by keeping your spine straight and chin directing towards your toes. Hold on for 30 seconds and breathe. Come up by breathing in and by breathing out keep your arms on the side. Repeat this procedure on the right side.
USTRASANA (Camel pose)
Ustrasana is also known as camel pose. To do this pose, kneel down on the floor with your knees apart and feet at your ankles in a way that the upper surface of the feet touches the floor. Bend backward and touch your heel with your hands. Hold the ankles tightly with your hand. Take a deep breath and lift your chest making your body arched. When you exhale, push the hips forward. The neck and head should be parallel to the ground while looking upward. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and keep breathing. Release the pose slowly and exhale. This asana stretches the entire body muscles and relieves cramps and anxiety.
SAVASANA (Corpse pose)
This is the simplest yoga pose with minimum efforts but maximum benefits. The main purpose of savasana is to relax the mind and body. You just have to relax your body and feel the support of the ground. Bring all your attention to your breath. By doing this your mind will entirely focus on the breath and drive away your mind from the pain.
BHUJANGASANA (Cobra pose)
Bhujang means snake and asana mean pose; therefore this asana is named bhujangasana. This asana tones the abdomen and relieves stress and fatigue. This asana is also a part of Surya Namaskar (sun’s salutation). The asana is very simple. Lie down upside down with your toes flat on the floor. Keep your legs close to each other and hands under your shoulders. Take a deep breath in and lift your head, abdomen, and chest and keep your navel on the floor. Keep in mind that both your palms should feel equal pressure. Keep breathing and straighten your arms by putting your head back and looking up. Breathe out and slowly bring your chest, abdomen and head back on the floor. Just remember that do not stretch too much or overstrain yourself.
MATSYASANA (Fish pose)
The mathsyasana or fish pose if tried in water allows your body to float in water like a fish, hence the name. You can do this pose easily. Lie straight on the floor with your back straight and hands relaxed beside the body. Place your hands under your buttocks and bring the elbows closer to each other. By breathing in, lift your chest up. Lower the head backward while touching the top of the head on the floor. Press your elbows on the ground. Place your weight on the elbows, not on your head. Lift your chest up and press the thighs and legs. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and exhale while releasing. This pose stretches the neck and back and also helps in relieving hormonal imbalances. People with fluctuating blood pressure, migraine should avoid this pose.
APANASANA (Knees to chest pose)
Apanasana is one of the most effective yoga poses for period cramps. It relaxes the back and abdominal muscles thus relieving pain. It also reduces anxiety and increases circulation to the abdomen. Just remember that when you are in the pose, try to move from side to side and front to back. This would give you a back massage.
BALASANA (Wide child pose)
Another effective asana for crushing those cramps is Balasana. It will surely provide relief to your lower back and abdomen. Keep your knees on the floor parallel to each other and fold forward. Now, extend your arms in front of you. Put your head on the floor and hold this pose by breathing in. Exhale and release the pose.
HASTAPADASANA (Forward fold)
The standing forward fold pose stretches the spine and hips. Our bodies are tired and we don’t feel like getting up during menses. However, it is very important to stand up and stretch your body as it will improve circulation in your body. This pose relieves the pain in legs and back by stretching them. Just remember that while doing this pose, hold the opposite elbows and release the neck muscles.
MAJARIASANA (Cat pose)
This pose warms up the body and relieves menstrual cramps. It stretches the back and abdominal muscles and tones them. Get yourself in a tabletop position and look straight. Tilt your head and look downwards while lifting up your upper back and shoulders. Stretch your hands also and do not move them from the ground. Hold the pose and slowly release and relax.
BITILASANA (Cow Pose)
There is a very slight difference between cow and cat pose. In cat pose the head is tilted downwards while in cow pose the chi is raised upwards which automatically tilts your head upwards. The stomach and navel are pushed downwards and buttocks are lifted upwards. This asana also helps in relieving menstrual cramps and also brings emotional balance which is sometimes altered due to mood swings.
PAWANMUKTASANA (Wind-relieving pose)
Girls deal with a lot of indigestion, abdominal and back pain during their menses. This asana helps in relieving all of that. To do this pose, lie down straight on the floor and keep both your legs on the ground. Keep your hands beside your body, palms facing down. Lift your leg at an angle of 90 degrees and fold it and place it on your stomach. Interlock it with your hands. Lift up your head and touch your forehead to your left knee. Keep the other leg straight, hold the pose and slowly release. Repeat this with the other leg.
VAJRASANA (Thunderbolt pose)
Vajrasana alters the flow of blood and strengthens your pelvic muscles and relieves menstrual cramps. It also boosts up digestion. Kneel down on the ground and touch your toes together. Sit back by making a V with your foot. Relax your body completely. Take deep breaths and do this for 5 minutes. For digestion problems, do this asana after meals.
SUPTA MATSYENDRASANA (Supine twist)
Reclined spinal twists detox and refresh your inner organs. During menstruation, it helps in easing the nerves and relieves abdominal pain. Just remember that while doing this pose relax your buttocks, legs, and shoulders. Put your knees on a pillow if you have the problem in twisting.
PADMASANA (Full lotus)
Padmasana or lotus pose is the most important and effective asana in yoga. Both the legs are locked firmly in this asana and back is kept straight. Regular practicing of this asana leads to less pain during menses. Though padmasana is painful but once you develop the practice of doing this asana you will feel less pain. It is of great help during menstruation. So, do practice this asana regularly.