Menstrual cramps are a common period-related complaint for many women, and can range from mild to severe. If you routinely deal with cramps while menstruating, gynecologists recommend numerous relief possibilities, including yoga poses that gently stretch uterine muscles and encourage relaxation. Review some of the best yoga postures for cramps here.
What Yoga Poses Provide Menstrual Cramp Relief? 1. Cat-Cow
To stretch your uterine and lower back muscles, try cat-cow, or marjaryasana/bitilasana. Position yourself on all fours and ensure your hands are directly below your shoulders. Roll your back towards the ceiling to create a rounded “cat” position, then stretch in the opposite direction. Your head and tailbone should face upward while your stomach is relatively low to the floor. Keep your abdominal and pelvic muscles engaged during this pose to avoid straining your back and enjoy more relief.
2. Western Stretch/Forward Fold
Also known as paschimottanasana, this pose requires using a folded blanket, yoga block, and bolster to stretch the uterus and lower back. Begin by sitting on the blanket with your legs fully stretched out in front of you. Place the bolster in a perpendicular direction on your thighs, then put the block on top.
Next, allow your body to “fold over” these items, with your head gently resting on the block and your arms relaxed at your sides. You might need to use an extra block to avoid straining your neck. Hold this position for several minutes, then lie back and repeat the exercise as often as you want for optimal relief.
3. Knee-to-Chest Pose
The knee-to-chest post, or apanasana, allows you to gently work your uterine muscles to relieve moderate to intense discomfort. Simply lie on your back, bring your knees up to your chest, and hold the position. For extra stretching and relaxation, try to make small circles with your knees. Remember to breathe deeply when doing this or any other yoga pose. Short, shallow breathing is common during cramping, because you’re focused on the pain. Deep breathing helps your mind and body relax.
Discuss these and other yoga poses for menstrual relief with the gynecologists at Greece OB-GYN, LLP. Since 1963, this gynecology and obstetrics center has served Rochester, NY and the surrounding areas, and treats every patient like family. Evening hours are available and new gynecologist Zoila Velastequi is taking patients. Call (585) 225-6680 today to make an appointment with a gynecologist or visit the website for service details.