Yoga Poses for Period Cramps: Gentle Relief for Menstrual Discomfort

Ease your menstrual discomfort with gentle and effective yoga poses for period cramps. You can achieve holistic pain relief and balance with our soothing guide.

Written by Sanchari Bhattacharya , Health & Fitness Expert
Updated on Jan 29, 2024 | 05:21 PM IST | 148.6K
Yoga Poses for Period Cramps
Yoga Poses for Period Cramps

Period cramps are bad. Those mood swings, hormonal imbalances, and pain in your body become unbearable. However, soothing yoga poses for period cramps offer a tender embrace for your body during the trials of menstrual discomfort. The gentle unfolding of a yoga mat can be the first step toward mitigating the sharp-shooting period cramps that often dictate the rhythm of your life once a month.

Period cramps, a common discomfort for many, arise from the natural contraction of the uterus as it sheds its lining. While the intensity of these cramps varies from person to person, the quest for comfort is universal. Looking deeper into yoga offers an oasis of relief, where the focus on mindful movements and breathwork can lead to a soothing balm for the ache. By fostering an intimate connection with our breath and body through yoga, we invite a serene conversation that can quiet the cramps and soothe the mind (1).

The wisdom of yoga teaches us to be gentle with ourselves, especially during the ebb and flow of our menstrual cycle. Whether your preference is a restful pose that cradles your form or a dynamic sequence that redirects the pain, certain yoga postures hold the potential to alleviate the tight grip of cramps. 

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Here are seven yoga poses to help with cramps and make your life easier.

7 Yoga Poses for Period Cramps to Get Relief 

Yoga is a multifaceted practice that not only enhances flexibility and strength but also offers relief for common ailments. The following yoga poses are specifically chosen for their effectiveness in reducing period pain with their gentle stretches and relaxation to the areas often affected during the menstrual cycle (2).

1. Utkata Konasana Or Goddess Pose

Utkata Konasana Or Goddess Pose

Utkata Konasana, or Goddess Pose, is counted among the effectual stretches for cramps. It encourages a deep stretch in the hips and groin, helping to release the tension that often accompanies menstrual cramps.

Steps:

1. Begin standing with feet about 3 feet apart, heels turned outwards.

2. Bend your knees over your toes and squat down, lowering your hips. Raise your arms to shoulder height and face your palms toward each other.

3. Maintain this position, keeping your back straight and chest lifted for 3-6 breaths before straightening your legs and lowering your arms.

Benefits: This is the best position to open the pelvic region, relieve stress, and alleviate the discomfort of menstruation.

2. Baddha Konasana Or Cobbler's Pose

 Baddha Konasana Or Cobbler's Pose

Baddha Konasana is among the best yoga poses for cramps, offering a gentle opening of the pelvic region. It may also help ease the heavy sensation often felt during menstruation.

Steps:

1. Sit with your legs stretched out and your spine straight.

2. Fold one leg and pull your heels toward your pelvis.

3. Now, drop your knees and press the soles of your feet together.

4. Grab your feet or ankles, inhale, and on an exhale, hinge forward from your hips. Stay here for a few breaths before returning upright.

Benefits: This pose can help improve circulation in the pelvic region and offer a sense of relief from cramps.

3. Supta Baddha Konasana Or Reclined Bound Angle

Supta Baddha Konasana Or Reclined Bound Angle

A passive hip opener, Supta Baddha Konasana relaxes the mind and body, making it a perfect position to help with period cramps.

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Steps:

1. Lie on your back and bend your knees, placing the soles of your feet together.

2. Let your knees fall open to each side. Rest your arms in a comfortable position.

3. Remain in this pose for 1-2 minutes, allowing gravity to deepen the stretch gently.

Benefits: The reclined position and gravity aid in opening up the hips and soothing the abdominal muscles without exertion, promoting relaxation and pain relief.

4. Upavistha Konasana Or Seated Straddle

Upavistha Konasana Or Seated Straddle

The Seated Straddle is one of the best period cramp relief positions, as it stretches the inner thighs and spine, which can be beneficial for those experiencing cramps.

Steps:

1. Sit with your legs opened wide apart.

2. Keep your spine long and start to walk your hands forward, hinging at the hips.

3. Go as far as is comfortable, hold for a few breaths, and then walk your hands back to return to an upright seated position.

Benefits: This pose targets the hamstrings and inner thighs, providing relief to the areas that can tighten during menstruation.

5. Janu Sirsasana Or Head to Knee Pose

Janu Sirsasana Or Head to Knee Pose

Janu Sirsasana is perfect for stretching one leg at a time. Head to Knee is among the best positions to relieve period cramps, allowing for a focused lengthening of the hamstrings and a gentle stretch in the lower back.

Steps:

1. Extend one leg and bend the other, placing the sole against the inner thigh of the extended leg.

2. Inhale deeply to straighten your spine, and exhale as you fold over the extended leg.

3. Stay in this posture for 30 seconds before you repeat the process with the other leg.

Benefits: This asana calms the mind and stretches the spine and hamstrings, which may alleviate some of the tension associated with cramps. It also helps aid in digestion and provides relief from headaches. 

6. Ardha Matsyendrasana Or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Ardha Matsyendrasana Or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

This seated twist, an effective yoga pose for menstrual cramps, encourages gentle compression in the abdominal region, which can stimulate and soothe the organs affected by menstrual discomfort.

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Steps:

1. Sit with both legs extended. Bend one knee over the other leg, placing the foot flat on the floor.

2. Take a deep breath and twist towards the bent knee, placing the opposite elbow on its outside, or hug the knee to your chest.

3. Hold for a few breaths, then gently release and switch sides.

Benefits: Twisting poses like Ardha Matsyendrasana can aid in digestive health and relieve tension in the back and hips.

7. Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend

Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend

When talking about the popular poses to relieve cramps, Paschimottanasana stretches the entire backside of the body and can help in calming the mind and reducing stress (3). 

Steps:

1. Sit up with your legs stretched out in front of you.

2. Inhale to find length in the spine, and then exhale as you reach forward towards your toes.

3. Keep your spine long and avoid rounding your back. Hold for a few breaths, then release.

Benefits: This forward bend is a simple pose and is regarded as one of the best yoga positions for menstrual cramps and can improve the function of your nervous system along with better digestion.

Yoga practice, when performed gently and with awareness, can provide a soothing effect on menstrual cramps. Always listen to your body and move within a range that feels comfortable for you.

Conclusion

The practice of yoga poses for period cramps stands out as more than just an exercise; it's a gentle companion through the waves of discomfort. Cobbler's Pose, Head to Knee, Seated Straddle, and Seated Forward Bend offer a retreat for the body, weaving relief through every stretch and bend. In the comforting embrace of Goddess Pose, the pain ebbs away, leaving a soothing calm in its wake. Allow yourself to use bolsters and blankets for that added tenderness your body yearns for during this time. Regularly turning to these asanas could help you find solace and strength, transforming how you move through these monthly tides.

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ALSO READ: Yoga Asanas for Glowing Skin to Naturally Awaken Its Radiance

FAQ's

Can we do yoga during periods?
Doing yoga during your period can be beneficial. It can help in easing cramps and promoting relaxation. Just ensure to listen to your body and adjust as needed.

Can we do Vajrasana during menses?
Yes, Vajrasana can be done during periods. This pose is known for aiding digestion and can be comfortable, but if it causes any discomfort, it's best to avoid it.

Can you do skipping during periods?
Skipping can be okay if you feel good. Still, during heavier days, it might be better to opt for low-impact activities.

Does yoga help alleviate period cramps?
Yoga can help alleviate period cramps for many individuals. It promotes relaxation, improves circulation, and can help reduce muscle tension.

How often should you practice yoga for period cramps?
Practicing yoga a few times a week can help manage period cramps.

Should we seek guidance from a yoga expert before attempting these poses?
In case you're new to yoga or have specific health concerns, consult a yoga instructor for safe practice.

Is it safe to do inversions or more advanced poses during menses?
Inversions and advanced poses during menstruation are generally not recommended, especially if you're not experienced or comfortable with them.

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About The Author
Sanchari Bhattacharya
Sanchari Bhattacharya
Health & Fitness Expert

Sanchari, a certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach

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