If you are a woman turning and tossing on your bed each month “around the same date” squeezing your lower abdomen…you are not alone. For some women, the discomfort is merely annoying. For others, menstrual cramps can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities for a few days every month. Today I have a special yoga to ease menstrual discomfort. Whether you experience back pain, cramps, bloating, or mood swings during your period, these gentle yoga postures and breathing techniques will help you find relief and restore balance to your body and mind. But before we roll out the yoga mat and get started, let’s see why even menstrual pain happens.
Main Reasons Of Menstrual Discomfort In Women
Menstrual discomfort, also known as dysmenorrhea, refers to the pain and discomfort experienced by many women during their menstrual cycle. While the severity and specific symptoms can vary, there are several common reasons for menstrual discomfort:
Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that play a role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles. During menstruation, the lining of the uterus releases prostaglandins, which trigger uterine contractions to help shed the lining. Higher levels of prostaglandins can cause stronger and more painful contractions, leading to menstrual cramps.
Hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle can contribute to menstrual discomfort. In particular, an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels may affect the severity of symptoms. When there is an excess of estrogen relative to progesterone, it can lead to increased uterine contractions and inflammation, resulting in more intense pain.
There can also be other factors contributing to menstrual discomfort, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, and certain medical conditions.
How Yoga And Breathing Helps In Alleviating Menstrual Pain
Yoga and breathing techniques can be beneficial in easing menstrual discomfort by promoting relaxation, reducing muscle tension, improving blood circulation, and calming the mind. Here’s how they can help:
Relaxation And Stress Reduction
Yoga practices incorporate various relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, gentle stretching, and mindfulness. These practices help activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing stress and tension. Stress can exacerbate menstrual discomfort, so managing stress levels can lead to a decrease in symptoms.
Increased Blood Flow:
Certain yoga poses, such as forward bends, twists, and inversions, can help improve blood circulation in the pelvic region. By increasing blood flow, these poses can alleviate congestion and reduce pain associated with menstrual cramps.
Stretching and gentle movement:
Gentle stretching and yoga poses can help relieve muscle tension and stiffness in the lower back, abdomen, and pelvic area, which are common areas of discomfort during menstruation. Stretching can also help relax the uterine muscles and ease menstrual cramps.
Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing and alternate nostril breathing, can have a calming effect on the body and mind. These techniques help regulate the autonomic nervous system and promote relaxation, which can help alleviate menstrual discomfort.
Practicing yoga to ease menstrual pain allows you to connect with your body and develop a deeper awareness of your physical sensations. This mindful connection can help you better understand and respond to your body’s needs, leading to improved self-care and management of menstrual discomfort.
Gentle Yoga To Ease Menstrual Pain
Instead of reading, do you want to unroll your yoga mat now and start practicing with me?Watch the video below: Yoga To Ease Menstrual Pain
Wide-Legged Seated Forward Fold
The first pose is the seated Wide-Legged Forward Fold.
- Begin by sitting at the back of your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Open your legs white at least 2 to 3 feet apart depending upon your flexibility.
- Inhale, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale, hinge forward from your hips. You can Keep your spine long or allow your upper body to round up for more relaxation.
- Relax your neck and shoulders, and breathe deeply here.
This pose helps to relieve lower back pain, stretches the inner thighs, and improves circulation in the pelvic area, reducing cramps.
The next pose is Butterfly Pose, also known as Baddha Konasana.
- Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to drop open.
- Lengthen your spine and engage your core.
- Hold your toes and start flapping your knees up and down like a butterfly.
This pose helps to stimulate the ovaries, improve circulation in the pelvic area, and relieve menstrual cramps. Take slow, deep breaths as you hold the pose.
Cow Face Yoga Pose
The next posture is Cow Face Yoga Pose, or Gomukhasana.
- Start by sitting on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your right knee and cross your right leg over your left leg, stacking your knees on top of each other. Flex both feet to protect your knees.
- If this is enough stretch for you, stay in this position. Otherwise, raise your right arm overhead, bend your elbow, and reach your left hand down between your shoulder blades, and try to clasp your fingers together.
- If your hands don’t touch, you can use a strap or hold onto a towel.
Cow Face Pose stretches the hips, shoulders, and chest, and helps to relieve menstrual discomfort. Remember to breathe deeply and switch sides after holding the pose for a few breaths.
Our next pose is Bow Pose, or Dhanurasana.
- Lie flat on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms alongside your body.
- Bend your knees and reach back to grab hold of your ankles. If you can’t reach, you can use a strap looped around your ankles.
- Inhale, lift your chest off the ground, and simultaneously kick your feet into your hands, lifting your thighs and shins.
- Keep your gaze forward and breathe deeply as you hold the pose. Feel the stretch in your abdomen, hips, and thighs.
Bow Pose is an intermediate level yoga pose to ease menstrual pain and also helps to stimulate the reproductive organs, improve digestion, and relieve menstrual discomfort. Remember to listen to your body and come out of the pose if you feel any pain or strain.
You may like to watch: 3 Hasta Mudras To Alleviate Menstrual Pain
Anulom Vilom Pranayama
- Our final practice to alleviate menstrual discomfort is Anulom Vilom Pranayama, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing. Find a comfortable seated position on your mat.
- With your right hand, bring your index and middle fingers touching your third eye chakra. Use your thumb to gently close your right nostril.
- Inhale deeply through your left nostril, then close it with your ring finger. Release your right nostril and exhale through it.
- Inhale through your right nostril, close it with your thumb, and release your left nostril to exhale through it. This completes one round.
- Continue this pattern, alternating between inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other. Focus on the flow of breath and keep it smooth and controlled.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama helps balance the energy in your body, reduces stress, and calms the mind. Practice for a few minutes, gradually increasing the duration as you feel comfortable.
Wrapping Up- Yoga To Ease Menstrual Discomfort
Congratulations! You’ve completed a yoga practice specifically designed to alleviate menstrual discomfort.
I hope this practice brings you relief and helps you find balance during your menstrual cycle.
It’s important to listen to your body and modify yoga poses and intensity according to your comfort level during menstruation. If you’re new to yoga, it’s recommended to seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor who can provide appropriate modifications and guidance tailored to your specific needs.
If you want to make yoga your lifestyle, you can practise customised yoga sequence, Pranayama and hand gestures through our live and recorded yoga sessions. It has got multiple courses, free resources, ebooks, PDF downloads and more. You can download our app from the link given below:
Thank you for joining me today. Until next time, keep practising, stay mindful, and take care of yourself. Namaste.