Period pain can be excruciating and when bad cramps strike, they can leave you feeling exhausted, doubled over in pain and reaching for your hot water bottle.
Period pain is caused by cells produced by your body called Prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help regulate your menstrual cycle and ovulation. They are released at the time of your period and help to break down the uterine lining by muscular contraction. Over production of these cells can cause painful periods, cramping, headaches and more.
Rather than taking pain medication, get your body moving. Yoga can help alleviate symptoms associated with period. The slow and steady holding of poses is perfect for that time of month. Yoga focuses on pulling your energy inward. These yoga poses will help alleviate pain, release endorphins and get you back in flow.
JANU SIRSASANA (Head of the knee pose)
This seated forward bend is highly recommended for practice during menstruation. When pelvic congestion inflames the nerve endings in the lower back forward bends can relieve the pain. If your periods are painful or scanty, regular practice of this pose will help bring your cycle back to normal. Hooray! Not only does it ease menstrual headaches and reduces food cravings. No more binging out on that block of chocolate. Instead practice your head of the knee pose!
UPAVISTHA KONASANA (seated wide angle pose)
This relaxing pose is particularly beneficial for us ladies! Seated wide angle pose will help relieve lower back pain, period pain and cramps. It helps increase circulation to lower abdomen, allows the blood to circulate properly around the pelvic area, widens and relaxes the pelvic floor and reduces any obstruction to the menstrual flow. In addition, those with pelvic inflammation, endometriosis or any other menstrual disorder will benefit from practicing this pose. We can all do with a little extra seated wide angle pose.
This pose stretches out the inner thighs, groin and hips. It’s an intense posture that encourages deep breathing to open and release the groin. When the hips begin to release, there is increased and enhanced blood flow to the reproductive system. In yoga, the second chakra (svadhisthana) translates to ‘one’s own place’ and relates to the water element. In frog pose you can begin to visualise energy flowing freely and smoothly. When energy flows through this chakra you can reduce clotting and painful periods, creating a healthy menstrual flow.
ARDHA MATSYASANA (half lord of fish)
Twists have long described as squeeze and soak. Seated twists like Half lord can provide relief from low back pain, menstrual cramps, migraines and headaches. This pose compresses your reproductive organs, lower belly and abdomen. When the twist is released, fresh oxygenated blood flows in to oxygenate and nourish your tissues, relieving menstrual cramps and pain. Great to practice when menstruating and for those who suffer from endometriosis.
BALASANA (child’s pose)
Balasana enables the body to seek balance and release tension. It relaxes and calms the mind and body while lengthening the entire spine. Initiating the relaxation response in this pose releases lower back tension, menstrual cramps, PMS and helps to normalise blood flow throughout the entire body.
KNEES TO CHEST (Apansana)
Apanasana comes from two Sanskrit words: “Apana” (meaning, “downward-flowing life force”) and “asana” (meaning, “pose”). Apana means vital force moving outward. This feel-good posture relaxes the lower back and abdominal muscles, relieving tension and reducing pain. Apana helps the body expel toxins and waste, aids the internal organs, softens the mind, and reduces anxiety.
Author: Dr Amanda Waaldyk from Angea Acupuncture & Yoga
Amanda is the founder of Angea Acupuncture & Yoga. A Dr of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and Fertility, her passion is to help clients create their inner goddess and fertility. Amanda assists women to get in touch with their bodies and prepare for the journey into motherhood – she loves seeing her clients with beautiful growing bellies!