Yoga for Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps – the blight of many a woman's monthly cycle – come in many different types. Gentle yoga can benefit women with this problem.

Yoga teaches balance – balance of the body with relation to gravity; balance of the mind between action and observation and balance of the neuro-endocrinal system between stress and relaxation. Through regular Yoga practice you learn which poses help re-establish balance in every aspect of your existence.

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Yoga Poses During Menstruation
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In this ancient discipline, there are asanas that are particularly useful during the menstrual period. These asanas ease menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, pelvic discomfort and the low back pain associated with menses. They also help smoothen out the emotional rough edges some women encounter at this time of their cycle.

Yoga poses during menstrual period :

1. Forward Bends

  • Janu Sirshasana
  • Paschimottanasana

These are calming poses. Lower abdominal and pelvic compression further aids cramps and heavy bleeding.

2. Standing Poses

  • Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
  • Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) This is best done with the support of a wall or a chair.

3. Twists

  • Knee to Chest Twist – Lying
  • Chair Twist – Seated
  • Child Twist Pose

4. Supported Sethu Bandha (Supported Bridge Pose)

5. Supported Viparita Dandasana (Upward Turned Staff Pose)

Yoga poses to avoid during menstrual period:

Inversions:

Poses like Sirshasana, Viparita Karani and Sarvangasana are not recommended during the menstrual period. This is for both philosophic as well as physiologic reasons.

However, the most important thing to do to minimize menstrual problems is to take good care of yourself, to honor your body, all month long.

If you know, for instance, that coffee or Coke brings on premenstrual headaches, find a non-caffeinated substitute. Those tasty ic cream sodas offer a little more sinful treat without doing much harm. In general, if you avoid greasy foods and sugary desserts, if you cut down on alcohol and caffeinated beverages, and substitute home-cooked meals for processed foods, you could alleviate much of your physical and emotional discomfort.

Suggestions for Women :

  1. Get lots of rest. Even if you don’t do anything else for yourself, at least rest, during the first day or two, of your periods. You will be amazed at how much better you feel the rest of the month.
  2. Beware food cravings. If you crave sweet or junk food don't turn to chips and salsa. Instead, cook something seasoned with salt. That should satisfy you longer. If you still crave sugar, we recommend a cup of lukewarm water sweetened with honey.
  3. Eat only pacifying foods
  4. Try to modify your routine. Treat yourself to a warm oil massage or a facial to balance the nervous system and soothe your mind. Or, rub warm sesame oil into your hair, leave it in for a few hours (or overnight), and shampoo it out.
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