Kasia Gondek, PT, DPT, CSCS
What Are the Best Yoga Poses to Relieve Period Cramps?
Cramping during "that time of the month" is something nearly every woman has had to deal with at one time or another. The causes are not always easy to pin down, though certain types of tampons have been linked as one possible cause for some women. But whatever the root cause, it's good to know that there are some yoga poses that can help ease the pain. The article at Insider begins with three main points:
- Practicing yoga may help relieve swelling, muscle tension, cramping, and other period-related pain.
- Ideal poses for cramps help stretch your abdominal muscles, open your hips, or relax your pelvis.
- Yoga instructors recommend poses like cat-cow, downward dog, happy baby, and reclined goddess.
Persistent or intense menstrual cramps can easily disrupt your daily life — especially when your go-to strategies for relief, like heating pads or painkillers, don't do much to relieve your pain.
Evidence suggests that yoga can provide relief. According to one small study, practicing 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks may lead to significant improvements in menstrual pain.
As I mention in the article, yoga can help reduce discomfort from period cramps by:
- Increasing circulation, which prevents swelling in the uterine veins
- Delivering more oxygen to your muscles to ward off aches and pains
- Relieving muscle tension in the hips, low back, inner thighs, and abdominal areas — common sites of pain during menstruation
Certain yoga poses may do more to ease your pain than others, however. Yoga instructors specifically recommend these six poses to help relieve and prevent period cramps.
- Reclined goddess pose (Supta baddha konasana)
- Cat-Cow pose (Chakravakasana)
- Supine twist (Supta matsyendrasana)
- Standing forward fold (Uttanasana)
- Happy baby pose (Ananda balasana)
- Downward dog pose (Adho mukha svanasana)
For the full lowdown on all of these poses, continue to the full article at Insider here.
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