You’ve tried tea, hot water bottles, medication, napping, chocolate, yelling, crying, more medication, more tea, and more chocolate, and then capped it all off with a glass or two of wine. If you suffer from period pain, you’ll know you’ll try just about anything – and everything – to alleviate the pain.
So how about giving yoga a try? Many women swear by the pain-relieving power of these soothing poses (also known as asanas). That doesn’t mean you have to put down the chocolate – you can do both!
Try to hold each asana for three to five minutes for maximum pain-relieving benefits, and you’ll enjoy the added relief of relaxing your mind and soul, too.
6 yoga moves that can help ease period pain (and how to do them)
1. Child’s pose
This pose gently stretches the lower back muscles, an area that’s often affected by acute menstrual achiness. If this is where discomfort hits you hardest, ease into the child’s pose and hold it for five minutes.
2. Legs against the wall
This pose feels great even when you’re not on your period. It’s also an effective way to help relieve mental and physical stress.
3. The locust
Despite its name, this is an intensely soothing move, particularly for the uterus and abdomen. It’s also easier to do than it may sound.
4. Reclined goddess
You may feel more dismal than divine when you’re on your period, but don’t fear: this move will help to restore balance and centre you, even when you’re feeling decidedly ungoddess-like!
5. Forward fold
Do this standing or seated to bring immense relief to your abdominal area. Bonus: in a standing position, you can do it anywhere, like in a bathroom cubicle at work should you need to.
This may sound more like exercise than relaxation, and it’s true that it’s a little more of an advanced move. However, if you’re able to get it right, you may experience significant pain relief in your lower back back. Give it a try without pushing yourself too hard.
This great article at Shape.com has easy instructions for all these moves.
Have questions or concerns about your period pain?
Around 80% of women will experience some form of period pain in their lives, so you’re far from alone. However, if your pain leaves you unable to complete day-to-day tasks, or if your menstrual flow is overly heavy or long, you should visit your gynae or clinic for a check up – there may be something wrong.