If you're reading this you're probably like the rest of us - exhausted from trying every remedy under the sun to help combat period pain. From essential oils, herbal teas, dietary changes and heat pads - we’ve tried and tested them all, albeit some actually did work.
According to many sources, yoga has been proven to help alleviate period pain at different times of the menstrual cycle. When period cramps begin, the thought of exercise can often be the last thing on our minds, however, doing gentle movements and stretches is said to make a huge difference to those crampy, achy pains most of us experience that stems from the belly, pelvis, hips, and lower back. In addition to this, yoga can also help with the emotional symptoms of PMS through breathing techniques and allowing you to relax.
We’ve listed some effective yoga exercises below to do on whilst on your period. Nonetheless, remember, during your menstrual cycle it is important to be patient with your body, so if you are feeling uncomfortable, take things slowly.
There are also plenty of other yoga exercises to try to suit all different abilities so feel free to experiment and find the ones that work best for you.
1. Child’s Pose
The Child’s Pose is a forward bend pose that relaxes the body and allows you to focus on your breathing. It also helps to stretch the back, neck, shoulders and ankles and is especially effective for lower back period cramps. Try to focus on relaxing the hips and stretching the lower back whilst taking slow diaphragmatic breaths. Widening your knees further apart in the pose can also be beneficial to target your pain relief.
2. The Supine Twist Pose
This pose consists of laying flat on your back, slowly bending one knee and using the opposing hand to let this knee fall toward the opposite side. This creates a twist in your lower back and belly and allows for the muscles to release any tension.
3. The Bow Pose
This pose is slightly more advanced so don’t worry too much if you find difficulty with it. Note: Those who suffer from excessive problems of spinal cord and disc should not perform this pose.
This pose involves lying on your stomach with your legs at a hip distance apart. Next, bend your knees and take hold of your ankles by your hands. Press your pubic bone down and lift your head and chest up and looking straight. Keep this for a few breaths and then release, allowing yourself to gently lie back down before repeating this stretch again.
Top tip! Place a folded blanket under your pelvis to avoid your hip bones pressing into the floor.
4. The Downward Facing Dog Pose
This is a very popular yoga pose that not only stretches the body but also calms the mind. It involves coming to all fours on your hands and knees and lifting your knees on an exhale. You should make sure to lift your hip towards the sky and stretch your heels and shoulders whilst keeping this pose for a few breaths.
We hope some of these yoga poses may help to relax you and relieve any period pain that you may be experiencing so that you can feel a bit more comfortable during your time of the month. Also don’t forget that practice makes perfect when it comes to yoga!
Please note that you should talk to your doctor about period cramps if your pain is interfering with your day to day life and is unmanageable. Reasons for extreme period pain can be underlying symptoms of conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis and others and therefore, it is important to look at getting a diagnosis but also to speak to a professional for more options for controlling your period pain.