Best yoga poses for coping with menstrual problems

For any female, getting menstruation is not just a sign of fertility but also of her health and overall fitness. Therefore, irregularities or problems with the menstrual cycle is not just a condition, but rather a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Menstrual problems such as PMS- premenstrual syndrome, amenorrhea- missed period, oligomenorrhea-having a period every now and then and dysmenorrhea- extremely painful periods may be indicators of different physical problems, including psychological stress, tumors, hormonal issues and uterine fibroid or poly cystic ovary syndrome. So, every female must practice some yoga poses and make yoga a part of her daily regime to cope with menstrual disorders, irregular periods and to reduce the chances of infertility. These yoga poses need just a few minutes from your routine and they can help you not just deal with menstrual disorders, but will also make you fitter, flexible and healthier.

Cat pose

The cat pose or ‘bidalasana’ is a major yoga pose that every woman must perform even if she doesn’t have menstrual problems. This pose helps a female to initiate movement from the center of the body, thereby helping you concentrate on your ‘chakras’ and enabling inner well bring. This pose is responsible for the alignment of you center by positioning your pelvis. Also, it helps the spine to straighten itself up, increases the blood flow and removes toxins from your body. This easy to perform yoga asana requires you to first place the hands directly beneath and shoulders. The knees must be positioned directly beneath the hips. The back shall be horizontal and flat. Keep your eyes gazing on the floor. Now, extend you spine and keep the front and back strong. Don’t sag the shoulders. Press each arm downward and lift the shoulder as high as possible. Practice the movement several times to get the correct action. Now, take a deep breath, exhale and turn your hips into a tilt. Pull the abdominal muscles backward and tuck the tailbone. Press the middle of your back towards the ceiling and round the spine. Curl the head inward. This pose will make your abdominal muscles contract and helps to manage stress. It also helps in dealing with Premenstrual syndrome, irritability and manage strong behavior because of hormonal changes.

Bow pose

Bow yoga pose or Dhanurasana is an effective yoga pose for women who have menstrual problems particularly irregular periods or extremely painful periods. This pose strengthens abdominal muscles and spine thereby reducing menstrual pain and dealing with irregularities in menstrual cycle. It is also beneficial for women with PCOS or poly cystic ovary syndrome and helps in toning up the body. To do this pose, firstly, you should lie on your stomach, keep you arms on side and the palms must face upwards. Now, bend the knees and bring the heels close to the hips. Take your arms back and grasp the ankle. Your body weight must be concentrated on stomach and not pelvis. Raise your knees further by pulling the ankles with hands. Make sure that you breath regular and your legs should not go back. Initially, this exercise will require some extra strength from your side, so you must practice it more often. Make sure you have a yoga mat. Alternate this exercise with cat pose.

Cobra pose

Cobra pose is an excellent asana for any woman facing menstrual irregularities or struggling with any sort of menstrual problems. This pose is also beneficial for females who have low back pain before or during periods. The pose is easy to perform, relaxes your body, strengthens shoulders and arms. To perform cobra pose or ‘bhajungasana,’ you must start by lying on your belly and resting your head on lower arms. Now, raise the forehead while looking upwards and stretch your hands backwards. At this moment, the weight must rest on your chest. Tilt the head backwards and start to move your belly further backwards while pulling it with your arms. The weight should slowly shift from chest to belly. Once you can’t raise your chest any further, put your hands on the mat. Stretch your arms to create a 90 degree angle with the floor. Remember, while doing this exercise, your buttocks must be relaxed. Inhale while you move upwards, hold the position for 10-20 seconds and then exhale. Initially, women may feel pain and uncomfortableness in the lower back, but this will go after a few days. Practice the pose at least 8 times along with the first two poses.

Seating pose

‘Dandasana’ or sitting pose is the basic yoga pose for all sitting poses. The asana increases flexibility, balances hormones in the body and can be performed by a beginner. It is a natural treatment for cysts in the ovaries that cause missed periods or late periods. To do this staff pose, you must sit with the legs outstretched on a yoga mat. The legs should be in the front. Now engage the thigh muscles and feet. The heels can come a few centimeters above the floor. Remember to keep you spine long and erect. The hands must rest on the side with palms facing. During the advanced stages, women can work harder and move the feet above the ground. The exercise works on thighs, abdomen and helps in dealing with painful periods. Practice this along with other poses like cobbler pose, lying cobbler pose and breathing techniques like kaphalbhati.

Cobbler pose

This pose is specifically for women who have dysmenorrhea or painful periods. To do this pose, first sit in dandasana. Now, bring the soles of your feet together, keeping your knees bent. Hold the toes with your hands and pull them closer to your pelvis. Make sure that you maintain the pose and keep your back erect. Breathe deeply and slowly. Maintain the pose for at least one minute. Return to the original position. This pose must be repeated 2-3 times and must be practiced five days a week. During this pose, any female must remember to keep her spine erect otherwise the pose will not help in curing painful periods. Practice this asana along with breathing technique calling ‘kalapbhati’ that involves deep inhalation and sudden exhalation while contracting the abdominal muscles.

Cobbler pose in lying position

This pose is great for females who have problems with blood pressure that can cause menstrual irregularities. It is also beneficial for teenage girls who still haven’t developed a regular menstrual cycle pattern. To do this asana, you must first sit in badhha konasana or the cobbler pose. Now, slowly lie on the back with your back, shoulders and head touching the floor. Use your hands to hold the ankles and pull them up. This might be quite difficult initially, so you pull them only to the position where it is comfortable. After some practice, you will be able to pull them up to the anal region. Now, put the hands below thighs and the palms must face upwards. Try to touch the knees to the floor. This can be done with regular practice. Maintain the pose for about a minute and repeat 2 to 3 times.

Hero’s pose

Most of the women may have menstrual disorders because of stressful lifestyles. This can make them more stressed out and worried. Therefore, this pose must be a part of any woman’s exercise region as it helps in eliminating stress and tension, improves digestion and minimizes the effects of PMS. To do this pose, firstly take a yoga mat and kneel on the mat while keeping your spine erect. Now, make sure that the hips rest between the feet and the toes must point backward. Keep your hands on the knees. Maintain this pose while breathing normally. You can also perform this pose after eating food as it can improve digestion and help in dealing with cysts or fibroid. Sit in this position once a day for at least 5 minutes.

Hero’s pose in lying position

This pose is particularly recommended for women who have low back problems due to menses or those who have irregular periods. A teenager can do this asana to deal with hormonal changes associated with puberty. To perform this asana, firstly sit in hero’s pose. Now, recline your back. Make sure that your elbows rest on the floor. Straighten the arms over the head and the palms shall face upwards. Inhale and exhale. Maintain the position for a few seconds and then return back to original pose while exhaling slowly. Remember, this asana is a little difficult for the beginners so you must take special precaution of the neck and head and perform the asana slowly.

Head to knee pose

This pose is the best pose for any kind of menstrual disorder and can help in coping with stress, menstrual irregularities and underlying conditions behind menstrual problems. To perform this asana, sit in dandasana or staff position. Bend the right knee horizontally and place the right foot against the left thigh. Twist your torso towards the left while making sure that your back is straight. Exhale and bend the trunk and arm forward. Hold the toes of your extended leg. Allow the head to touch the left knee or any other part of the left leg. You will be able to contact your head and knee after practicing of this asana makes you flexible. Maintain the pose and breath normally. Maintain the pose for 20 seconds. Repeat the next side.

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