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yoga poses for cramps

6 Best Yoga Poses for Cramps to Manage Period Pain

by Gloria Louden
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Many women already know that, more often than not, menstrual pain is challenging to deal with. Luckily, experience has shown that there are several yoga poses for cramps that may finally put an end to the cycle of painkillers and warm compresses most women have to rely on.

Of course, nobody is saying that other remedies don’t work at all. Most of the time, they do, but with a very uncomfortable delay.

With the following yoga poses for cramps, though, you’re sure to experience quick relief. Plus, most of them are fantastic for alleviating bloating too. If you’re a lady who’s been feeling a bit plumper during that time of the month, you’ll definitely appreciate that!

6 Best Yoga Poses for Cramps to Try Today

1. Child’s Pose

As one of the most basic yoga poses for cramps, the Child’s Pose targets period pain most women feel in their lower back and provides relief in just a few minutes. Besides, it’s so easy to do that you won’t have any trouble becoming a master at it in no time at all!

To start off, go into a tabletop position, i.e., go down on all fours on your mat. Make sure that your back is straight and that you’re not straining your neck.

To get the most pain relief from this pose, it’s a good idea to widen your knees. Then, start bending forward, sitting into your thighs, and extending your arms. Go as far down as it feels comfortable.

Once you’re down, stay in the pose for approximately five slow breaths. You have two choices here: you can breathe from your diaphragm or your belly.

2. Forward Fold

While it’s that time of the month, most women find themselves glued to their beds, unable to get up. And really, who can blame them? Period pain can actually radiate throughout the body and cause severe aches not just in the belly but also in the back and legs too. To counteract that, it’s a good idea to practice the Forward Fold Pose.

This pose follows the Mountain Pose, during which you stand straight, spread your weight evenly, and tuck your pelvis in. Imagine there’s a straight line going through your body — that’s how the Mountain Pose should feel.

Once you’ve found your balance, start folding forward slowly, making sure you’re not bending your knees. Your hamstrings may burn a bit at this point, but once you touch your thighs with your belly, you can soften your knees as much as you need to.

The final step is to bend enough to release the pressure in the neck. Your head will drop down, which should help you feel relief in your neck.

To complete the pose, put your hands on the mat (keep them relaxed) or on your shins. You could even grab your elbows and rock your body from side to side.

3. Cat/Cow Pose

Slowly going through the movements of the Cat/Cow pose should allow you to warm up your body and muscles, which ought to help with any period pain you may be feeling. Do know, however, that this is more of an active pose that targets abdominal and back muscles. It’s best to go through some of the easier poses first before attempting this one.

For pain relief, you can do this pose about 15 to 20 times. Remember to inhale while doing the Cow and exhale at the Cat pose.

To do the Cow pose, you should go into the tabletop position, or in other words, on all fours. Make sure your knees and hands are aligned with your hips and shoulders. Then, slowly start stretching your head and neck upward and breathing in. While doing so, you should raise your tailbone, too, slowly dropping your belly.

Make sure the movement is fluid — don’t drop your belly suddenly, as that won’t help you stretch your muscles. Instead, imagine as if you’re scooping something up with your back. Among yoga teachers, you’ll often hear that they are “scooping their hearts forward.”

After taking a few breaths, it’s time to move on to the Cat pose. This time, you’ll start by curling your back slowly, letting your tailbone and head stretch downward. In a nutshell, this pose is the opposite of the previous one, as this time around, you’re arching your back and toning your abdominal muscles.

4. Supine Spinal Twist

Also known as the Reclined Twist, this is one of those yoga poses for cramps that have a multi-fold effect. Of course, the pose should relieve menstrual pain, not to mention stretch your back. At the same time, though, it’s amazing at clearing the head and calming the nerves.

You’ll be happy to know that it’s also fairly easy to do. To start off, lie on your back and relax for a few breaths. Then, bend your left knee and drop it onto the other side, twisting your torso. To complete the pose, look to your left and extend your arms beside you as much as you can.

You can also do this pose with both of your knees at the same time. A good idea would be to start by drawing your knees to your chest and hugging them for a few breaths too, rocking side to side, and massaging the back for a bit.

5. Pigeon Pose

One of the best parts about the Pigeon Pose is that it stretches your whole lower body, thus relieving you of menstrual discomfort. At the same time, this pose is able to open up the hips, which can lower anxiety and stress levels.

To do the pose, go into the tabletop position. Bring your left leg forward a bit and then extend it back, keeping your breathing nice and consistent. On the exhale, bring the leg back forward, bending it in the knee, all the way toward the end of the mat.

Once there, it’s time to extend your right leg back. However, don’t bring it up — simply slide it down the mat.

The final step is to slowly move your left foot toward the right edge of the mat. Depending on how flexible you are, you’ll be able to shift it completely. But don’t worry about it too much; in time, you’ll get better at this move!

6. Knee-to-Chest Pose

Finally, if you are looking for yoga poses for cramps that both reduce pain and relieve tension, there’s hardly anything better than the Knee-to-Chest Pose. And fortunately, it’s rather easy to do, even if you’re a complete novice.

Once again, you’ll start by lying down on your mat. Then, while exhaling, pull your knees toward your chest and hug them. If possible, wrap your arms around your knees and hold your elbows for a better stretch.

While holding the position, your back will be flat, you’ll draw your shoulder blades toward your waist, and you’ll lengthen your spine by drawing your sacrum and tailbone down too.

If you’re comfortable, you could also rock in this position from side to side. That way, you’ll massage the muscles around your spine, gently relieving the tension you may feel in your back.

Once you’ve held the position for about a minute, you can relax and extend both legs. Repeat the pose about six times.

Final Thoughts

Who says that painkillers are a must and the only real solution when dealing with period pain? As it turns out, simply breathing and twisting the body into various positions may alleviate cramping and let you relax — even when your ovaries have declared war against you!

Hopefully, these yoga poses for cramps may inspire you to take up a new hobby and join the world of flexible yoga enthusiasts. At the same time, these exercises should make that time of the month a lot more bearable and ease not only the pain but your nerves as well.