The six best stances for yoga can ease back and thigh pain as well as period cramps.

Yoga can ease swollen areas, tense muscles, cramps, and other period-related symptoms. Ideal positions for cramping encourage hip opening, pelvic relaxation, or abdominal muscular stretching. Poses like cat-cow, downward dog, joyful baby, and reclining goddess are advised by yoga instructors. Menstrual cramps that are frequent or severe can easily interfere with your everyday activities, especially if your usual pain management methods, such as heating pads or medicines, are ineffective.

Yoga, however, may be able to offer further relief, according to the evidence. One small investigation found that applying 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks could result in significant improvements in menstrual discomfort.

According to Kasia Gondek , a qualified strength and fitness specialist with training in pelvic pain management and a registered physical therapist, practicing yoga can:

Increasing circulation , which prevents uterine vein enlargement Taking more oxygen to your muscles to prevent pain and discomfort Relieving muscle tension in the inner thighs, hips, low back, and abdomen, which are common places for pain during menstruation. However, some yoga poses may be more effective at relieving your discomfort than others. These six poses are specifically advised by yoga instructors to ease and prevent menstrual cramps.

1. SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA (RECLINED GODDESS POSE)

Why it works: According to Gondek, this stance, also known as the restorative goddess pose, is one of the best for pelvic pain of any kind.

It aids in stretching out your hips, which could feel tight and constrained.
1. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet firmly planted on the ground.

2. Put a bolster pillow beneath each of your knees. Then place a second bolster beneath your spine lengthwise. On your yoga mat, your butt should be propped up.

3. As you lie back, let your props support your head, neck, and back.
4. Turn your hands forward while keeping your arms at your sides.

5. Touch the bottoms of your feet together and let a gentle sag in your knees. Keep your feet on the mat if doing so makes you uncomfortable.

6. Hold this position for a minimum of three to five minutes.
7. When finished, place your feet firmly on the ground, take the support out from under your knees, and slowly sit up straight.
CAT-COW POSE (CHAKRAVAKASANA)

Why it works: Cat-cow pose may help ease period pain because 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 0 may become rigid and tight from cramping.

According to trained yoga instructor 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 3, this pose may stimulate blood flow to the pelvic region, which may help reduce your pain. According to 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 1, inadequate circulation might 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 2.

Additionally encouraging 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 4, the cat-cow position opens up the chest. Since the uterine spasms that accompany cramps can induce stress in your body and those spasms tend to 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 5, this can aid in your overall relaxation.

WHAT TO DO: 1. Begin on your hands and knees with a neutral spine, meaning that you should not allow your back to arch or curve.

2. Place your knees precisely beneath your hips and your wrists directly beneath your shoulders. Touch the top of the mat with your fingertips.
3. Exhale as you begin to curve your spine, tuck your tailbone, and draw your pelvis forward to enter cat posture.

4. After that, inhale as you return to a neutral spine and strike cow stance. Lifting your chest as you lower your tummy toward the mat, slowly tilt your chest forward and arch your back. Without tensing up your neck, slowly lift your sight to the ceiling.

5. Synchronize your inhalations with the cow stance and your exhalations with the cat pose as you alternate these two stretches for at least five breaths.

The third is SUPINE TWIST (SUPTA MATSYENDRASANA)

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Why it’s useful: According to Gondek, this position can 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 6, the connective tissue that surrounds your abdominal muscles.

Since it’s great for stretching and 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 7, this position may also benefit those who experience lower back pain during their period.

HOW TO DO IT: 1. Begin by lying on your back with your arms extended in front of you in the shape of a ‘T,’ palms facing up.

2. Maintain an extended left leg in front of you. Bend your right knee and gently hug it to your chest while you inhale.

3. Keep your right knee bent as you exhale and cross it over to your left side of the body until your foot and shin are on the floor. For support, rest your left hand on your right knee.

4. Even if doing so prevents you from touching your right knee to the floor, keep both shoulder blades on the mat.
5. Hold this posture for five whole breaths. Turn your head toward your right hand to extend the stretch.

6. Return your right knee to the middle and extend your right leg. With your left leg, go through steps 2- 5.

4. STANDING FORWARD FOLD (UTTANASANA)

Why it’s useful: The Sanskrit roots of the word “uttanasana” are “ut,” which means intense, and “tan,” which means to stretch.

Since period pains can 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 8, the label “intense stretch” is appropriate given that Ghandour claims this pose offers a deep stretch along the full backside of your body.

A typical pose in hatha yoga, a more mild form that emphasizes matching your breath to your movements, is the standing forward fold.

According to Gondek, hatha yoga might be a particularly effective treatment for 30 minutes of yoga twice a week for 12 weeks 9. It’s less taxing on your body because it stresses slower motions and deeper stretching, which is advantageous if you don’t feel like moving at all.

HOW TO DO IT: 1. Hinge forward from your hips while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.

2. Touch your fingertips to the floor in front of you while maintaining a long spine and relaxed shoulders. Relax your neck completely and let your head hang freely. For one to two minutes, softly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

3. When you’re ready, slowly raise your upper body, starting with your head and working your way down.
Five. HAPPY BABY POSE (ANANDA BALASANA)

Why it works: According to Gondek, this pose helps release tension in your lower back muscles while also relieving discomfort by using the significant improvements 0 method. That makes it an excellent alternative if you frequently have back pain or pelvic tenderness during your period.

HOW TO DO IT: 1. Lie on your back to begin. As you raise your arms to grab the outer or inner arches of your feet, bend your knees in toward your chest.

2. Maintaining flexible feet, slowly widen your knees until they are wider than your body and then move them upward into your armpits.
3. For one to three minutes, gently rock from side to side while taking deep breaths.
6. THE DOG’S DOWNWARD POSE (ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA)

Why it’s useful: According to Ghandour, the downward dog stance simultaneously stretches and strengthens the body. Like other inverted poses that elevate the heart above the head, it also aa21 throughout the body, which may lessen period pain.

HOW TO DO IT: 1. Start on all fours with your toes curled under, knees under your hips, and wrists slightly in front of your shoulders.

2. As you exhale for 3–4 counts, push through your hands to lift your hips to the ceiling and straighten your legs without locking your knees. Inhale for 3–4 counts.

3. Press your hands firmly into the mat with your fingers spread widely. Lift your tailbone toward the ceiling while letting your head hang and your shoulder blades swing loosely away from your ears.

4. Hold the position for five to ten breaths.

INSIDER’S KEY LESSON When you have period cramps, you might not always feel like moving, but mild yoga can frequently assist by stretching and relaxing tense, sore muscles and increasing blood flow throughout the body.

Having said that, always pay attention to how your body reacts to your yoga practice and respect your physical limitations. Gondek advises altering postures if they feel too strenuous or aggravate your cramps, or trying something different, like as walking, swimming, Pilates, or simple stretches.

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