For women practicing Yoga at home or in a class, it is important to follow certain Asanas during menstruation. Practice of inverted postures can upset the natural flow of blood within the body and so should not be completed during menstruation. If you attend a Yoga class and it’s that time of the month, it may be more beneficial for you to skip the class if you feel you may be asked to do inverted postures. You don’t need to skip your Yoga altogether on that day though, you can still go to your classes if you feel comfortable with them, just ensure you take a time out whenever an inverted posture comes up. If you want to skip your lessons at this time, you can practice Yoga at home concentrating on some of the Yoga postures you already know that are suitable during menstruation.
The following Yoga for menstrual cramps take into account the changes your body undergoes during this time and are a combination of relaxing postures and those that are designed to ease the pain and discomfort menstruation can cause. Generally speaking you should avoid all inverted poses and standing postures that can be strenuous. When Asanas for menstruation are practiced regularly they can help to relieve cramps, backache and tension as well as promote regularity and consistency. Before you begin, make sure you are familiar with the posture Dandasana and Savasana found in “Yoga Poses For Beginners”.
Baddhakonasana – Cobbler Pose
First sit in Dandasana against a wall with one or two folded blankets underneath you. Bend your knees to the sides bringing your feet together so that the soles touch. Bring in your heels as close as you can to your pubis holding your toes together and keeping the soles of your feet flat and touching each other. If you cannot reach your toes hold onto your ankles instead. Stretch the thighs outwards and bring your knees down so that they are level to the ground. Stretch your body upwards and open up your chest keeping your head level and your neck relaxed. Hold this posture for 3-5 minutes.
Savasana – Corpse Pose
Complete Savasana as per our guide with one or two folded blankets underneath your head for support.
Hold this posture for 5-10 minutes.
Upavistakonasana – Wide Angled Seated Pose
First sit in Dandasana with one or two folded blankets underneath you and with your back to a wall. Spread your legs apart as far as you can without causing discomfort. Keep your legs straight and with the front of your legs facing the ceiling. Ensure your toes are pointed upwards and pull your thigh muscles back towards your body. Draw your body upwards and open your chest breathing steadily and evenly. Hold this posture for 2-3 minutes.
Janusirsasana – Head to Knee Pose
This posture requires you top first sit in Dandasana to prepare. You can find further details on the Janusirsasana posture in “Three Simple Yoga Asana Variations to Expand Your Skills”. It may be beneficial to complete the bolster variation of this pose especially if you are a beginner. To do this, simply place a bolster on your left leg and rest your head upon it, rather than practice the full posture (This is similar to the Triang Mukhaikapada Pascimottanasana head on bolster variation). If you experience cramping, stick to the concave variation where the back is arched inwards but the head is looking upwards. For full information on all the Janusirsasana and the Triang Mukhaikapada Pascimottanasana variations see “Expanding your Knowledge of Yoga Postures”.