Every woman has a unique menstrual cycle. Though some would agree that it isn’t the most pleasurable time of the month, there are ways to alleviate cramping and discomfort.
The poses below are meant to be used as a restorative home practice and may help relieve menstrual cramps.
Yoga may or may not feel good to you at different points in your menstrual cycle. Always listen to your body and only practice when it feels right for you.
This article discusses various yoga poses for period cramps. It will also go over how to modify the poses so that you are as comfortable as possible.
Cobbler’s Pose (Baddha Konasana)
Baddha Konasana, also known as Cobbler’s Pose (after the typical sitting position of Indian cobblers while working), and historically known as Bhadrasana, Throne Pose, is a seated asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. It is suitable as a meditation seat if the knees rest on the floor.
Because the lower half of the body may feel heavy during menstruation, seated poses can be especially beneficial. You can hold each pose for several minutes.
The Cobbler’s Pose, Baddha Konasana, opens the pelvic region. Come into a forward bend using a bolster or several folded blankets to support your torso for a gentler version.
Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)
Janu Sirsasana is a full forward fold that stretches from your ankle to your hips, the entire length of your back, and the side-body. This pose is very relaxing.
How to do this yoga pose:
Extend your right leg and place the bottom of your left foot inside your right thigh.
Fold forward and place your torso on top of your right leg.
To prepare for the other side, return to the Cobbler’s Pose.
It’s a simple stretch that allows you to focus on one leg at a time. It also helps to gently lengthen your hips and groin. The hamstrings are stretched in Janu Sirsasana, also known as Head to Knee Pose.
Seated Straddle (Upavistha Konasana)
The name Seated Straddle Pose (Upavistha Konasana) comes from the Sanskrit language, where upavistha means “sitting/seated,” Kona means “angle,” and asana means “posture.” This is a difficult intermediate pose in which the sit bones are grounded while the torso and hips gently bend forward.
Open your legs wide into Upavistha Konasana, also known as the Seated Straddle. You can do a more supported forward fold by using a bolster or blankets. This pose lengthens the spine while stretching the hamstrings and inner thighs.
You can go as deep as you want here or sit up straight. It may not be comfortable to deeply bend forward during menstruation. Know that this is perfectly normal and that it is critical to listen to your body.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) is a basic yoga pose that many practitioners skip over. However, stretching the top half of your body over the seated lower half helps stretch the entire back of your body and improves physical flexibility. Folding inward brings mental peace as well.
To perform the pose:
Forward bend with both legs outstretched.
In a seated position, lengthen the spine before moving forward. Consider the pelvis to be a bowl that is tipping forward as you descend.
Paschimottanasana, or Seated Forward Bend, opens the hamstrings and calves more deeply. It also stretches your back nicely.
As you ease into this bend, remember to follow your breath. You may want to round your spine slightly due to your period.
Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
To begin this yoga pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Extend your arms on the floor, pointing your fingers toward your heels. Your fingertips should also be able to touch the backs of your heels. Keep your feet parallel.
To perform the pose:
Lie on your stomach.
Lift your hips slightly by pressing into your feet and sliding a yoga block under them for support.
To exit, press into the feet again to lift the hips and slide the block out.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, or back bend, is a similar pose.
This gentle backbend can help relieve back pain caused by menstruation.
1 If you’re in a lot of pain from period cramps, you might want to stick with the shorter option on your yoga block.
Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
To do this yoga, lie on your back and bend your knees while keeping the soles of your feet on the floor. Bring your foot soles together and open your knees to either side. The legs will be in the same position as they were in Cobbler’s Pose (Baddha Konasana).
To perform the pose:
Maintain a supine position with your knees bent.
Extend your knees to the sides and down to the mat.
Bring your foot bottoms together. Placing a bolster under the length of your spine can be very relaxing in this position.
This is a reclining version of Cobbler’s Pose, as you can see. Supta Baddha Konasana, or Goddess Pose, is all about relaxing while opening your groin and hips.
It’s a great way to end your session if you can hold this pose for several minutes. Five to ten minutes in Goddess Pose in a meditative state can help you relax.