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Best Yoga Poses to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
By Christine Lacanaria | June 02, 2022
One of the main struggles women face is having to deal with painful menstrual cramps every month. Not only does it impede a woman’s productivity, it also greatly affects their emotional state, which often results in constant mood swings and irritability.
Doing strenuous physical activities is the last thing we want to do when we’re on our period. What we want is to lie down or eat everything we crave in hopes that it will help ease the pain. But contrary to popular belief that moving around won’t help with menstrual cramps, doing physical activities and getting a move on is one of the most effective ways to relieve period pains.
Yoga, the ancient practice of Ohm, is one of the most recommended activities to manage menstrual pain. This practice not only relieves the pain, but as an activity that helps clear the mind and cleanse the spirit, practicing yoga can also help in managing the emotional stress brought about by menstruation.
There are several yoga poses you could try as a beginner. Being new to this practice is quite challenging and overwhelming, but we’re going to break this down as simply as possible so you can keep up. So bring out your favorite scented candle for relaxation, play some music for concentration, and grab a mat or find any comfortable surface at home and let’s start hearing an “Ohmmm” instead of an “Ouch”.
Pose # 1: Adapted Child’s Pose
How to do it:
1. Start your knees on the floor.
2. Fold forward, extending your arms.
3. Bend down as far as you can go.
4. Lean head on the mat for 5 slow seconds.
5. Turn head one side to another after 5 slow seconds.
This type of yoga pose is one of the most familiar, even if you’re a beginner in the ancient practice. This type of pose targets the menstrual pain that occurs in the back.
You start with your knees on the floor, extend your arms upward and lean forward as far as you can go. Adapted in this pose refers to a modification you could do while performing this pose. You can widen your knees farther apart than you normally would in order to release the tension in your back, shoulders, and neck. You can also lean your head on the mat for 5 slow seconds and turn your head from one side to another slowly, counting another 5 slow seconds before turning to the other side.
Hold the pose as long as you want because not only does it bring relief to your back pains, but it also brings calming effects to your mind that are just as beneficial as the relaxation your body will feel.
Pose # 2: Cat-Cow Pose
How to do it:
1. Start with Cow pose.
- Start with your hands and knees on the floor (make sure your hands are aligned under your shoulders and knees are aligned under your hips).
- Gently stretch your head upwards.
- Raise your tailbone to the sky and drop your belly to the ground.
2. Move to the Cat pose
- After a deep inhalation during the cow pose, breathe out slowly and curl your back
- Head and tailbone should stretch towards the ground, creating a gentle arc with your spine.
4. Do the cow pose when inhaling and the cat pose when exhaling.
5. Repeat 5 to 20 times to relieve pain.
This exercise is ideal to relieve lower-back pain, which especially worsens with periods. It is a gentle pose that soothes cramps by easing blood flow towards your posterior organs. The transitions from cow to cat pose also equally stretch out your forward and backward muscles, which may tense up during menstrual cramps.
Pose # 3: Reclining Twist
How to do it:
1. Lie on your back.
2. Draw your right leg towards the chest and hold your right knee with both hands.
3. Keep your left leg stretched out on the ground.
4. Breathe for 5 seconds while holding this pose.
5. Stretch your right hand and lay it down to the ground.
6. Using your left hand, guide your right knee towards the other side
7. Hold pose for 30 seconds or for as long as you deem necessary.
8. Repeat steps on the opposite side.
The reclining twist pose relaxes your hips, shoulder, and back and relieves any tightness in the waist. It massages the back, hips, and glutes and hydrates the spinal disks. Most importantly, it stimulates the movement of fresh blood towards your posterior organs, thus enabling digestive health. This encourages healthy period flow and eliminates toxins from the body.
Pose # 4: Inverted Leg Pose
How to do it:
1. Find a wall and lie on your back on the ground.
2. Move your legs up against the wall.
3. Make a 90-degree angle with your upper body on the ground and legs raised up against the wall.
4. Close your eyes and relax.
This pose is not only fantastic for menstrual pains, but it also regenerates your circulation, lowers blood pressure levels, and improves digestion. It takes pressure off your abdominal organs and lets it relax.
It essentially also gives your brain a refresh and a break and is said to be helpful in improving creative thinking and problem solving. That is super helpful when you’re in the stage of menstruation where you feel like you can’t focus.
Emotionally, inverted leg pose can help you keep your chill, even in the midst of angsty mood swings.
Pose # 5: Camel Pose
How to do it:
1. Start with your knees on the ground.
2. Keep your back and thighs perpendicular to the ground.
3. Bend backwards with arms outstretched forming an inverted U-shape.
4. Reach your heels with your hands.
This is a slightly challenging pose to practice during your period. But the camel pose has been proven to be also one of the most effective ways to relieve menstrual cramps as it helps expand your abdomen while performing it. This action signals the uterus to temporarily cease contracting, consequently relaxing your cramps.
It additionally opens up the hips, stretches hip flexors, and strengthens the shoulder and back. It is also a fun and exciting pose where you can improve your flexibility while relieving yourself of the abdominal pains while having your period.
The yoga poses listed above are just some of the basic yoga poses you could try out to relieve painful menstrual cramps and take off some of the emotional stress you’ve been dealing with.
There are tons of yoga poses you could do, and through the course of time, you can of course level up your practice by mixing it up and doing more challenging poses to bring a burst of vitality to your practice.
But yoga is not the only way to relieve or better yet prevent these menstrual cramps from happening. Together with your practice, you can also add these simple solutions to your daily routine in order to overcome the pain and enjoy life more.
Drinking water and keeping yourself hydrated as always is also a simple solution to your abdominal pains. Regular intake of water reduces bloating and alleviates the severity of the pain you experience when you’re on your period. Drinking herbal teas that contain anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce muscle spasms and menstrual cramps. In addition, these teas are also beneficial in reducing stress and keeping you calm in times of distress.
Heating pads are also a woman’s best friend when dealing with period cramps. The heat from these pads helps improve blood flow and relieves tension. It helps your muscles relax and gives you the warm feeling of relief and relaxation.
But besides the above-mentioned tips for dealing with period cramps, a good monitoring of when your menstrual cycle is going to happen is also important in order for you to be aware of the things going on inside your body.
Garmin’s Vivomove Sport offers this latest feature. This chic-looking smartwatch combines a classy look and smart features that enable its users to track health on a daily basis. Not only does it offer a feature that keeps your wellness in check, but it also gives you a casual and everyday look that matches every outfit.
With the women’s health tracking feature, you can now input data such as your menstrual cycle and keep tabs on it. Knowing these data about your body can help you deal and be prepared enough to take on this monthly challenge.
Being health conscious starts with gathering scientific data each second, and this smart wearable offers a comprehensive health-monitoring function to track your heart rate, stress level, blood oxygen, calories, and even sleep quality and hydration so you can take control of your health all day.
So strap on the Vivomove Sport and face a better tomorrow with better health and wellness. Push forward confidently in every second, and together with Garmin, watch how a simple smartwatch can transform your life for the better. Beat yesterday and face the challenges of tomorrow head on with Garmin!
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