“Practising the right kind of restorative yoga is wonderfully therapeutic for this time of the month, helping to alleviate fatigue, calm the nervous system and provide an opportunity to breathe and relax into any cramping pain,” says Ana Davis, founder of Bliss Baby (blissbabyyoga.com) who specialises in yoga for women and pre- and postnatal yoga. She is currently writing a whole book about yoga for the menstrual cycle.
“Particularly beneficial for soothing menstrual pain is Reclining Bound Angle Pose on a bolster,” Davis says. “This creates space and relieves congestion in the abdominal and pelvic area.
“Combine this with restorative forward bends like Supported Child Pose on a bolster to gently massage the abdominal region and release tightness and achiness in the lower back.”
Davis also recommends you keep up a balanced yoga practice throughout the whole month, with a focus on inversions only when you’re not bleeding. “This can help balance and regulate the hormonal system and may result in the reduction of menstrual cramps,” she says.
Poses for period pain
Calming poses that help ease cramps by providing gentle lower abdominal and pelvic compression.
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
Opens your hips and stretches out the lower belly.
Stretches out your abs and the front of the hips to relieve cramps.
Increases spinal flexibility, which can help relieve lower belly and back pain.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Opens up the groin and allows the back to rest.
Half Frog Pose
Improves the blood circulation and opens up the hips and groins.
Lengthens the lower spine to release tension.
Wide Child’s Pose
Provides relief from lower back cramps.