When we surveyed hundreds of women about symptoms they had during their periods, 72% reported experiencing cramps, 68% said bloating, and 56% told us hormonal acne.
With cramps topping the list, Food Period has compiled our five favorite yoga poses to help you instantly relieve your monthly cramps. These poses are more gentle and have been recommended by yoga teachers to help with period pain.
So before your resort to painkillers this month, try these poses first!
Janu Shirasana (One-Legged Forward Bend)
Massages the abdominal organs and lower back.
Step 1: Sit on the floor with legs stretched out in front.
Step 2: Bend the left knee and place left foot on right inner thigh. Keep left knee on the floor.
Step 3: Breathe in, raise both arms above head, stretch up, and twist to the right from the waist.
Step 4: Breathe out and bend forwards. Keep spine straight and direct chin to foot.
Step 5: Hold on to big toe and keep your elbows pointed towards the ground.
Step 6: Keep breathing.
Step 7: Breathe in and come up.
Step 8: Breathe out and put arms down by sides.
Step 9: Repeat on the other side.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Stretches the abdomen, helps relieve stress and fatigue, opens the heart and lungs.
Step 1: Lie flat on stomach with toes and forehead on the ground.
Step 2: Keep legs close and have feet lightly touching each other.
Step 3: Place palms downwards under shoulders.
Step 4: Take a deep breath in and slowly lift head, chest, and abdomen.
Step 5: Pull body back with the support of your hands, straighten arms by gently arching your back.
Step 6: Take a few breaths.
Step 7: Tilt head back and look up.
Step 8: Breathe out and gently bring your body back to the ground.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Relieves lower backache and stretches and opens the body.
Step 1: Kneel on the ground and place hands on hips, make sure knees are in line with shoulders and soles of feet are facing the ceiling.
Step 2: Arch back and place palms over feet, keeping arms straight.
Step 3: Keep neck in a neutral position, do not tilt it back.
Step 4: Stay for a couple of breaths.
Step 5: Breathe out and come back to starting pose, placing hands on hips.
Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
Energizing and rejuvenating. This pose improves digestion and reduces backache.
Step 1: Lie flat on back.
Step 2: Bend both knees and place heels as close to tailbone as possible, keeping thighs and inner feet parallel.
Step 3: Clasp hands below pelvis.
Step 4: Lift buttocks until thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep knees directly over heels, but push them forward, away from the hips.
Step 5: Keep breathing.
Step 6: Exhale and release, rolling spine slowly down to the ground, one vertebra at a time.
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (One-Legged Pigeon Pose)
Stretches the lower body and stimulates the abdominal organs.
Step 1: Begin on all fours.
Step 2: Breathe out and bring right knee forward and over, in front of left knee (the outside of your right shin should touch the ground).
Step 3: Slowly slide the left leg back and straighten the leg. Top of left foot should touch the ground.
Step 4: Lower right side of buttocks and fold forward over bent knee to rest in pose.
Step 5: Lengthen lower back more by pushing up on fingertips.
Step 6: Take a few deep breaths.
Step 7: Exhale. Slide left knee forward and get back to all fours.
Step 8: Repeat on the other side.
We love incorporating yoga as part of our holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. Choosing poses more meaningfully to deal with challenges like cramps can have great effects on your body and wellbeing. Drinking plenty of water and eating whole foods has also been shown to affect and improve that time of the month.
If you are pregnant or on any medication, please consult your doctor before making any changes.