Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not only an activity suitable for flexible people. Everyone should actually try out yoga as this activity provides several health benefits such as building muscle strength and perfecting your posture, as well as prevents cartilage and joint breakdown. Practicing yoga is also a great way to protect your spine, improve your bone health, and increase your blood flow.
Yoga is known for its multiple benefits, one of these is to relieve premenstrual period pains and cramps. More than 60% of women suffer from PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and symptoms associated with PMS can take a toll on a woman’s productivity. Premenstrual period pains and cramps can be unbearable to the point where women can no longer stand up from their beds and report to work during the day. Over time, these symptoms can become the reason why women will have to miss out important days of their lives and stay at home to endure the pain.
Practicing yoga along with correct breathing techniques however, is a natural method that improves not only the PMS but also helps to relax and release the tension. Read on for some of the best yoga moves to practice during these often uncomfortable days of the month in PMS: 5 Effective Yoga Poses to Relieve Pain & Cramps!
1. Reclined Bound Angle Pose
Tip: First off, if you’re a yoga beginner or your body isn’t used to stretching, use a cushion to help reduce strain.
Let’s start with this classic restorative posture. Begin seated with your legs extended in front of you, bend your knees and move your heels in toward your pelvis then press the soles of your feet together and open your knees.
Lean backward and extend your arms at your sides. Adjust your body and hold the position. This pose is helpful because it stimulates the abdominal organs and the heart, improves general circulation and stretches the groin area.
If this is your first time trying the pose, make sure to lean back slowly and don’t force yourself to hold the position for more than a minute. Forcing your body to do more just for the sake of taking good yoga selfies/photos will only lead to injuries, and may well aggravate symptoms associated with PMS!
2. Seated Angle Stretch Pose
Begin seated with your legs extended in front of you. Open legs as wide as comfortable and keep them straight. Inhale with the arms up towards the ceiling, and exhale bringing the arms forward lowering the palms flat to the floor, then try gently to stretch.
Keep a cushion between your legs to avoid spinal strain.
3. Happy Baby Pose
Lie on your back, inhale, bringing your knees to your chest. Put your arms inside of the knees and hold on to the outside edge of each foot with each hand, rest the head on the floor. Hold this position keeping your tailbone pressed to the ground. For a deeper stretch allow the legs to naturally open wider.
4. Fish Pose Variation
Start in full (or half) lotus pose crossing your legs in front of you and bring your left foot on your right inner thigh and your right foot on your left inner thigh. Hold your toes with your hands and then slowly lay down until your head touches the floor and your body finds its own natural balance. Press your elbows downwards.
This pose helps open the chest cavity while stretching the hip and groin area.
5. Sleeping Vishnu Pose
Lie down on your right side, and stabilize the position, press through your right heel and flex the ankle.
Bend your right elbow and support your head in your palm then rotate your left leg so the toes point toward the ceiling and bend the knee toward your torso. Reach for your left toes (or, if you are a beginner, grab your ankle or the inside of the knee) with your left hand. Find your natural balance and hold the position.
Practicing this routine regularly will improve upon the problems related to PMS and period cramps. It’s important to be mindful not to force the body beyond its limits especially at the beginning. Deeper reach and maximum flexion will come over time.
Keys to a Successful Yoga Practice
Using yoga to ward off the symptoms of PMS can be very challenging at first. Some women find it hard to stand up or lie down on the floor to practice yoga because the pain associated with PMS can be unbearable. However, if you tried many things to relieve these symptoms but none work, then trying out yoga might just do the trick.
Along with the yoga poses presented in this article, take note of the following tips for you to successfully practice yoga to relieve pain and cramps:
- Set a time to practice during the day. The duration doesn’t have to be long; it just needs to be regular. Regularity and consistency is key for a newbie.
- Listen to your body. If it tells you to stop, stop. Regardless of how simple you think a yoga pose is, if your body is already hurting, pause and rest. Never go overboard as this will defeat your purpose of trying out yoga to help yourself.
- Practice in a quiet environment. Yoga is also about focusing on your breathing, and it’ll be challenging for you to be fully aware of your breathing if you’re practicing yoga in an overly noisy environment full of endless external distractions.