At that time of the month, many women suffer from menstrual pain. This pain can be a dull throbbing or cramping in the lower abdomen that occurs just before and during your periods. But you don’t have to keep the pain and suffer through menstrual cycling.
Pain relief yoga can relieve the pain of cramps as a more natural solution. Contrary to the general period myth, yoga stretches are actually recommended during your period as it helps to release endorphins. This means that with light stretches you can reduce period cramps and pains.
Try these six yoga techniques to relieve your cramps:
1. Child’s Pose
Image Credits: Child’s Pose
Begin in a kneeling position;
Lower your buttocks towards your heels;
Sit up straight, then exhale and stretch your body down and forward, so that your stomach rests on top of your thighs;
Extend your arms above your head, and rest them on the floor;
Rest your forehead on the mat;
Keep your gaze drawn inward with your eyes closed;
Lightly stretch in your shoulders and buttocks, and down the length of your spine and arms;
Hold for up to a minute or longer, breathing softly;
To release, use your hands to gently walk your body upright and sit back on your heels.
2. Bow Pose
Image Credits: Bow Pose
Begin by lying on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your side;
While exhaling, bend your knees and stretch out your hands to hold your outer ankles;
Breathe in and lift your heels up towards the ceiling, raising your thighs up and off the mat;
Your head and chest will also lift up off the mat;
Draw your heels and thighs up higher and bring your shoulder blades into your upper back;
Look forward while breathing softly;
Hold the pose for fifteen to twenty seconds;
To release, exhale and slowly lower your thighs before letting go of your ankles and lowering your legs and feet to the floor;
Return to your starting position and relax.
3. Camel Pose
Image Credits: Camel Pose
Kneel on the mat, with your knees hip-width apart;
Place your hands on your hips;
The tops of your feet should be resting on the mat;
Lengthen your spine and lean backwards, placing your hands on your heels;
If it is difficult for you to touch your hands to your feet, tuck your toes in to elevate your heels;
Elongate your neck and let your head curl backwards;
For a deeper stretch, raise one arm alongside your ear while holding your heel with the other;
Hold for 2 breaths, and then change arms;
Hold this pose for around 5 breaths.
4. Arching Pigeon
Image Credits: Arching Pigeon
Sit on the floor with your right knee bent;
Keep your left leg extended behind you;
Place your hands on your hips;
Gently tilt your back;
Hold for five or more breaths, and then repeat on the other side.
5. Tiger Pose
Image Credits: Tiger Pose
Start by placing your hands and knees on the floor;
Now, lift one leg up towards the ceiling;
Hold this tiger pose for three deep breaths;
Come back to starting position and swap sides with the opposite leg;
Lift your head to look forward to keep the spine in proper alignment.
6. Reclining Twist
Image Credits: Reclining Twist
Lie on your back, and cross your left knee over to your right side;
Extend your arms out wide, looking to the left;
Hold for at least five breaths;
Use your abs to lift your knees back to the centre and repeat on the other side.