Top 5 Yoga Positions To Keep Menstrual Cramps at Bay

Top 5 Yoga Positions To Keep Menstrual Cramps at Bay

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 25 Feb 2016 - 11:10

Yoga-for-menstrualcramps

Menstrual cycles! It's one of the most painful episodes for most women. When they first heard their biology teacher explain about that "little discomfort" during periods, little did they know the kind of pain they were to undergo? Menstrual pain, commonly called period pain is a result of uterine contractions that cause acute pain in the abdominal and pelvic region, also spreading to the thighs and the lower back. Although painkillers and hot water fermentations help relieve menstrual cramps to an extent, nothing is as effective as Yoga. This natural time-tested technique has no side-effects and gets rid of menstrual cramps effectively. In addition, it also strengthens the body, enabling it to adapt to anxiety, stress, depression and various other PMS-related symptoms.

Tip to note: Never be in a hurry while practicing Yoga. Keep your abdomen relaxed and inactive so that it does not obstruct menstrual flow.

Top 5 yoga poses to fight those pesky cramps and provide relief from fatigue, anxiety, lower back pain, headaches, etc.

1.      Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana - One-legged Pigeon pose

What it does: Relieves sciatica and improves flexibility of hip muscles.

Procedure:

  • The first step is to get into Marjariasana or the Cat stretch position.
  • Exhale and get your right knee to touch the right wrist, bend it and bring your ankle towards the groin area.
  • Now until the toes touch the left wrist, slide your right foot near the left hand. Slide back the left leg till you touch the ground. Ensure the sole is facing the ceiling while the foot front touches the ground.
  • Lengthen your lower back by pressing the tailbone forward while lowering the right buttock toward the floor. Push your fingertips against the floor by strengthening your lower back. Hold this posture and inhale for some time.
  • Exhale while sliding forward your left knee with the support of your hands and get back to the Cat stretch.
  • Inhale deeply and repeat the entire procedure with your other leg.

Benefits: Your entire lower body part is stretched, the abdominal organs are stimulated, relief from Sciatica. Makes the hip region flexible and relieves body from anxiety and stress.

2.      Matsyasana – Fish Pose

What it does: When you do this position in water, your body floats easily like a fish.

Procedure:

  • Lie flat on your back. Put your feet together and relax your hands along your body.
  • With palms facing down, place your hands beneath your hips, while bringing elbows close to each other.
  • Inhale by lifting both your chest and head up. Keep the chest elevated, lower your head backwards until it touches the floor.
  • Hold this position, press your elbows hard against the floor while putting weight on your elbow and not the head. Lift the chest from amidst the shoulder blades while pressing the thighs and legs hard against the floor.
  • Hold as long as you can and inhale and exhale gently. Relax with every exhalation.
  • Lift up your head, lower the chest and head toward the floor. Bring back the hands alongside and relax.

Benefits: Stretches both neck and chest and helps relieve tension down the shoulders. Encourages deep breathing and relieves from respiratory disorders. Helps tone the parathyroid, pineal and pituitary glands.

3.      Janu Shirasasana - One-Legged Forward Bend

What it does: An excellent asana to improve the flexibility of hamstring muscles, shoulders, arms, thighs, back and hip joints.

Procedure:

  • Keep the spine straight and sit with legs stretched straight in front.
  • Place the left foot against right thigh and bend your left knee, while keeping it firm against the floor.
  • Inhale, stretch up both your arms above the head and twist your waist to the right.
  • Exhale, keep the spine straight and bend forward from hip joints as if pointing your chin to your toes.
  • Take the support of your big toes if possible and point your elbows toward the ground while moving forward by pulling on your toes.
  • Hold this position and keep inhaling.
  • Come up and exhale while bringing the arms along the sides of your body.
  • Repeat the procedure the other side.

Benefits: Stretches your lower back. Tones the shoulders and massages abdominal organs.

4.      Dhanurasana - Bow Pose

What it does: It is most helpful for those suffering from kidney related disorders. Helps beat stress and fatigue, provides excellent relief from constipation and menstrual discomfort.

Procedure:

  • Lie flat on your stomach, keep arms alongside your body and feet hip-wide apart.
  • Hold your ankles by folding your knees.
  • Inhale by lifting your chest off the floor, while pulling your legs back and up.
  • Smile while looking straight ahead. Curve your lips as if to match your body curve.
  • Hold this posture and hold your breath. Your body is now stretched out like that of a bow.
  • Without overdoing the stretch, take deep long breaths and relax in this posture for about 15 -20 seconds.
  • Exhale while bringing back your legs and chest to the floor. Release ankles and relax.

Benefits:

Stimulates reproductive organs, strengthens the abdominal muscles. Tones up the leg and arm muscles, makes the back more flexible.

5.      Bhujangasana - Cobra Pose

What is does: This resembles a raised-hood-serpent and is part of the Padma Sadhana posture/ Sun Salutation. It is a brilliant asana for people suffering from respiratory disorders such as asthma.

Procedure:

  • Lie flat on your tummy, resting forehead on the floor and toes flat on the ground.
  • Place hands underneath your shoulders and keep the elbows parallel near your torso.
  • Inhale, slowly lift head, chest and abdomen, keeping the navel flat against the floor.
  • Take the support of the hands and pull back your torso off the ground.
  • Make sure you’re applying equal pressure on both your palms.
  • Arch your back as much as possible and straighten your arms while tilting your head back. Look up.
  • Ensure your shoulders are away from your ears. Relax shoulders, even while bending your elbows.  Although this is very difficult, you can deepen the stretch by practising regularly.
  • Make sure your feet stay close together. Smile and continue breathing.
  • Ensure that your feet are still close together. Keep smiling and breathing.
  • Exhale. Bring back the abdomen, head and chest back to the ground.

Benefits: Increases flexibility of upper and middle back. Tones the abdomen, improves blood circulation. 

 

Reference: 

http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/yoga-by-benefit/menstruation/
http://www.artofliving.org/yoga/yoga-for-women/yoga-for-menstrual-cramps

 

 

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