Before spending my time to Yoga everyday, I was suffered a lot under lower back , stomach, groin und upper thighs pain during my period days. And not only me, but over half of women who menstruate experience period pain (dysmenorrhea) for one to two days every month. Even though period pain can mean headaches or general discomfort, the pain is typically caused by menstrual cramps. It occurs when your uterus contracts to shed the uterine lining and creat pains.
After practising daily Yoga, my period days come and go much easier with less pain. On these days, I also give myself a better treat with special self-love, self-care like warm bathing after period days, or longer meditation and rest more.
There is one interesting study: Brazilian researchers randomly divided 40 women with the condition into two groups: those practicing hatha yoga and those going about their regular lives. For two months, the yoga group attended two 90-minute classes each week.
At the end of the study when the two groups were compared, the women doing the yoga reported significantly less daily pain, as well as an improved sense of well-being, according to results published in January 2017 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
That's why today I want to write this blog to share my own practice to relieve pain during the menstruation:
Which type of Yoga should you do during period days?
I would suggest slower, more mindful styles include hatha, yin yoga, restorative yoga, or prenatal or postnatal yoga for women in this stage. Power styles often vigorously work the core, and the heat and energy this brings into the abdomen and pelvis might trigger a flare, so no power yoga or ashtanga yoga on these days.
Which Yoga poses should you do to help releasing pain?
Pain-Relieving Pose No. 1: Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
You might think this pose is hard on your exhausted period days, but it isn't if you just do it gently and playfully. You can do it just an easy leg stretching pose during playing time with your kids, for example.
How to do it properly:
Sit on the floor with your legs extended, and open them to approximately 90 degrees. Your knees and toes should point directly toward the ceiling, your feet should be flexed.
Bring your awareness to your pelvis and notice any tendency for it to tilt backward. If that’s the case for you, try to shift your weight forward toward your pubic bone.
Without allowing your spine to round, start to walk your hands forward along the floor between your legs, hinging at your hip joints rather than your waist.
Walk your hands forward as far as you can, and hold for 5-10 long and smooth cycles of breath, keeping your quad muscles engaged
Pain-Relieving Pose No. 2: Butterfly Pose
How it helps The butterfly stretch also opens the hips, which can become tight from sitting for long periods and hurt from pelvic pain. This hip-opening stretch is easy and effective way to reduce pelvic region tension.
1) Come to a seated position and bring the soles of your feet together. Keep your spine tall and abs pulled in tight.
2) Grab hold of each foot with your hands and place elbows against your inner thighs.
3) Keeping your spine long, inhale to prepare, and as you exhale, slowing lower your torso forward pausing when you feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds or more.
Pain-Relieving Pose No. 3: Reclining Supported Butterfly Pose
How it helps: This pose deeply relaxes muscles in your pelvic region and inner thighs and helps to loosen the ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues that surround the hip joints. It also opens the chest, which may be constricted in people with chronic pain.
Lie on your bed or on a mat on the floor. Place pillows or bolsters under your back and head, to open your chest. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. You can take several breaths here, to begin the process of relaxation.
Bring the bottoms of your feet together. Inhale, then exhale and let your knees gently fall apart, keeping the soles of your feet connected. Position blocks, pillows, or folded blankets under your knees to fully support them.
With each inhalation, feel your pelvic region and lower abdomen fill up; with each exhalation, envision this area softening and opening. Remain in this pose for 10 minutes. To exit, remove the support from beneath your knees, return your feet to the floor, slowly roll to your side, and press up to a seated position.
Pain-Relieving Pose No. 4: Legs Up Wall
How it helps: Restores and calms the nervous system and allows the pelvic floor to soften.
Lie on your back on a mat on the floor next to the wall. Scoot your buttocks as close to the wall as you can.
Gently swing your legs up the wall, until the backs of your legs rest against it. Shimmy slightly closer to the wall if needed. If you’d like, place a pillow, folded blanket, or low block under your sacrum. Your knees may be bent if this feels better.
Relax your arms by your side. Close your eyes and breathe gently, paying attention to the sensation of softening your lower back into the ground. Remain in this pose for a few minutes. To exit, bend your knees and gently roll onto your side, then sit up.
Pain-Relieving Pose No. 5: Supported Child’s Pose or normal Child's Pose
How it helps : Softens the fascia and other connective tissue around the hips, pelvic floor, and abdomen. This pose is especially beneficial for painful period cramps.
Place a high bolster or several folded blankets vertically on your mat to support your torso. You can also fold small blankets under your arms and your buttocks. Spread your knees a bit wider than your hips, then relax your torso forward over the bolster/blankets.
Rest your cheek, chest, and abdomen on the bolster/blankets. Relax your arms next to your body. (You may need to reposition until you get comfortable.)
Breathe into the back of your body. Remain in this pose for up to 10 minutes, turning your face to the other side halfway. To exit, gently press on your hands and sit up.
If you find it is hepful to release your pains during period days, don't hesitate to leave comment here or on our FB group .