The menstrual cycle, while a natural occurrence for women, can develop many problems. The list is endless, from diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome to the crippling agony of endometriosis and polyps.
Perhaps the most common issue people face with their reproductive system is an irregular period. Every period for every woman is completely different. You might deviate from your expected date by a couple of days, which is quite natural. However, irregular periods are more of a problem than a missed period.
Irregular periods bring with them a variety of other issues. So how do we combat them?
Many women who suffer from irregular periods say that yoga is a great reliever in these circumstances. Likewise, yoga for periods is a soothing source of help during these stressful times. So let us take a look at some of the best yoga positions for periods to help bring your cycle back to regularity:
How Does Yoga Help In Period?
The most common issue women face while being on their period is period cramps. Medically, dysmenorrhea is known as a period cramp. It is due to the contraction of the uterus. It occurs with the release of prostaglandin or a hormone-like chemical and certain uterine conditions like fibroids or endometriosis.
There are different intensities and variations of cramps, which differ from person to person. Someone's cramp ends in 1- day, while someone has to deal with it for 5-7 days.
Consequently, reproductive age and stage also play a vital role in heightening and lowering cramps. Uterine contraction even elevates the pain around the lower back, hips, thighs, and vaginal areas. Experts suggest exercises for aches and back pain related to PMS. Doing yoga during periods serves as a low-intensity exercise that helps reduce cortisol and prostaglandin levels. If you face period irregularities, trying different yoga for irregular periods would surely help you out.
However, different yoga poses help alleviate abdominal, back, and hip pain. For instance, a proper amalgamation of yoga poses with the breath helps ensure better circulation of oxygen into the muscles. Lack of oxygen shoots up the menstrual cramp, and oxygen flow into the uterine muscles helps soothe the cramping pain.
- Balasana or Child pose helps boost internal stability. It helps stretch the lower back muscles and provides a bit of internal massage. It is a comfortable pose that helps benefit the reproductive organs as well.
- Upavistha Konasana contains a forward bend that helps stimulate the abdominal organs. It further lessens the menstrual cramp in the short and long term.
Are Yoga Inversions Ok to Do on Your Period?
Yoga inversion is posing or shapes wherein the pelvis part of the body is above the heart. Some yoga inversions include forearm balance, headstand, handstand, and shoulder stand. However, the poses wherein the feet leave the ground also falls in the inversion yoga for periods category.
Generally, the first three days of the period come with mild to heavy flow. Ashtanga tradition also prevents women from doing some specific 'shalas' during the first three days of the period. Although they do this to manage their energy, many believe that women should avoid this as they are unclean while menstruating.
However, modern teachers and experts are debunking these old beliefs and have introduced different yoga for periods. Generally, in the initial three days of menstruation, it is hard to lie on the floor and do yoga inversions in the first three days of the period. However, if the cramps are negligible, doing inversion poses like a handstand is alright. It is crucial to listen to one's body instead of putting pressure on it.
Yoga for Periods
1. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler)
Sit straight and draw your feet together so the undersides touch. Hold your feet together with your hands. This will help alleviate cramps.
2. Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee)
Sit and draw your right leg in a straight line. Your left foot should touch your inner thigh. Hold for a couple of minutes, and alternate.
3. Dhanurasana (Bow)
Lie on your stomach and stretch your legs. Raise your legs and your arms to hold your feet. Keep this position for 20 seconds and repeat them 4 to 5 times.
4. Ustrasana (Camel)
Kneel, align your knees with your shoulders. Extend your body backwards and hold your feet. Thrust your hips forward and hold for 25 seconds.
5. Paschimottanasana (Forward Leaning)
Stretch your legs and lean your body forward slowly. Draw your hands forward and hold your feet. Hold the position for 20 seconds.
Yoga Poses for Irregular Periods
Those who suffer from irregular periods often skip their periods for months. Their periods can be absent for more than a month without being pregnant. Irregular periods also mean that your period can start suddenly after months of no-show. Irregular periods can also start within 21 days of the last cycle. This can cause many uncomfortable situations when you are not at your home, not to mention various health issues. This is why many people resort to yoga for irregular periods.
You should keep in mind that irregular periods can happen for various reasons. For example, stress and illnesses can delay or hasten your period to act irregularly. However, if you face irregularities frequently, you must contact your gynaecologist. This is because it could be symptomatic of something worse.
Therefore, here is some yoga for periods that you can try out:
The ‘fish’ pose helps alleviate the body’s pressure on the spine and uterus.
The ‘bow’ pose relieves the lower abdomen of pain and stretches the lower part of your body.
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana
This pose is known as the downward-facing dog. It helps alleviate menstrual pain and massages your pelvic bones.
The garland pose works your whole body to stretch and release tension. This pressure often causes blockages that can affect your uterus.
Yoga During Periods
If you are wondering what to do during periods or how to reduce cramps, have no worries. Apart from the best medicines, medical fields prescribe exercises like yoga for periods. Yoga is a sure-fire way for most women to bring irregular periods into a disciplined routine.
Some of the many benefits of practising yoga are:
1. Helps Deal With PMS
The endorphins your brain releases help you alleviate the effects of the dreaded premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
2. Keeps Body in Shape
Light exercises help keep your body in shape. A healthy body begins to regulate the menstrual cycle on its own.
3. Regulates Your Menstrual Cycle
Yoga positions help relax your pelvic bones and spine. The removal of the tension in your body helps naturally regularise your cycle.
4. Reduces Cramps During Periods
Irregular periods often bring with them extremely heavy cramping. Yoga is an excellent way to reduce cramps and period brain fog.
Yoga to Get Periods Immediately
Naturally, many people become dissatisfied with the irregularities their menstrual cycle presents. Did you know that certain yoga poses can help prepone your menstrual cycle dates? Yes, your body will start menstruating almost immediately with the right exercises! However, if you tend to have frequent late cycles, you can try some yoga for periods.
Do you want to know what these exercises are? Take a look at the list below:
- Dhanurasana, also known as the bow pose
- Ustrasana, called the camel pose
- Bhujangasana, known as the cobra pose
- Malasana, or the garland pose
- Baddha konasana, also called the butterfly pose
Practice these yoga to get periods immediately. You should also ensure you take your doctor’s advice and partake of adequate nutrients.
Period Pain Relief Exercises
You may have come across the term period pain relief exercise. These exercises help reduce period pain. In addition, yoga for periods is a natural cure that helps reduce stress, irregularities, heavy bleeding, and more. Here are some yoga exercises you can work on:
● Supta Baddha Konasana, reclined bound angle
● Upavistha Konasana, or forward bend on a seated wide-angle position
● Bharadvaja, or the reclining twist
Tips and Considerations
One can do different period pain relief exercises and yoga during periods. Specific yoga poses help provide relief from PMS symptoms. However, it depends on how well you do the yoga without exerting pressure on the body. Here are the tips to follow:
1. Avoid Specific Poses
If some yoga poses worry you, including inverted poses and asanas having a connection with one's fertility, it is safe to avoid them when you are menstruating. Some yoga poses, like wheel pose and shoulder stand, might be discomforting. Hence, it is better to avoid them during the heavy flow days.
2. Pick the Right Yoga for Periods
There are several yoga forms, and switching the ones you do regularly is not mandatory. What matters the most is one's body and how you feel doing a particular asana during your periods. If you feel physically uncomfortable, practising breathing exercises would be beneficial. It helps calm the mind and reduce cortisol hormones, helping you get rid of stress and anxiety.
3. Change Your Clothes and Hygiene Products
One of the worst parts of periods is leaks. Tight yoga clothes, frequent leaks, and bending exercises turn into a nightmare. One can switch to menstrual cups or tampons. These products are comfortable and allow for flawless yoga poses, making your yoga for periods a session leak-free.
PCOS often worsens period cramps which often inhibit one from physical movement. Hence, consider the underlying issues and speak to the medical practitioner about doing yoga during periods.
Summing Up on Yoga for Periods
Yoga for periods might sound like a drag for people who have extremely heavy cramping. However, not all yoga exercises are painful when you are menstruating. You can perform small and easy movements right from your bed. These movements are enough to get the blood flowing and offer relief.
However, there are certain things you must keep in mind while performing yoga for periods. Firstly, a balanced diet is crucial to your health. Never skip meals and include all nutrients in your diet.
Secondly, never overexert yourself. An irregular period is a trying period for anyone experiencing it. Remember, balance is vital.
Does Yoga Help With Periods?
Yes, yoga helps with periods as it improves one's hormonal health and alleviates the symptoms of PMS fatigue, nausea, cramps, etc. One can try different yoga for irregular periods if one frequently faces missed period iss
What to Do During Periods?
Periods are extremely hard on many women. We completely understand your problem. Period pain is absolutely no joke. We are here for you on these impossible days. Yoga for periods is a good way to reduce your symptoms.
Start out with easy movements. Listen to your body and give it what it wants. Do not strain yourself.
Can We Do Yoga in Periods?
If you suffer from distressing cramps, yoga for periods is a great cure. So yes, you can do some light stretching and yoga when you are menstruating.
While doctors often prescribe yoga for periods, you must remember not to tire yourself out. Some exercises do more harm than good. Speak to your doctor before getting into your gear.
How to Relieve Period Cramps in Bed?
If you are looking for easy yoga to perform when you are on your period, we have your back. Yoga during periods should be simple movements we can perform during this difficult time.
Take a look at these exercises that help your cramps in bed during this time:
- Child’s pose: Sit on your haunches and kneel forward till you touch the floor with your hands. Keep your head down and hands straight in front.
- Foetal pose: The foetal pose is a reliable way of reducing cramping and avoiding leakages while sleeping.
- Resting knees: Keep a rolled pillow under your knees and sleep on your back.
What Are Some Sitting Positions for Period Cramps?
Yoga is your best friend, with various poses suitable for even the heaviest bleeders. These exercises will get the blood in your muscles flowing.
Take a look at the following sitting positions for period cramps:
- Child’s pose
- Feet against the wall
- The bow pose
- The cat/cow pose
- Bending the body while sitting with legs splayed widely
Can We Do Surya Namaskar During Periods?
Yoga for periods is an excellent remedy. However, you should avoid straining your body too much. Certain yoga positions like the Surya Namaskar would be a big no-no during this time. Doctors advise against inverting the body for women who undergo heavy flow.
The exercise can disrupt the flow of blood cells and mucus from the uterine lining. If you suffer from heavy bleeding during menstruation, avoid performing the Surya Namaskar. Your period might worsen instead of lightening your burden. You might face light-headedness and even pass out.
- October 2017, Ponlapat Yonglitthipagonl; Effect of yoga on the menstrual pain, physical fitness, and quality of life of young women with primary dysmenorrhea - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29037637/
- Nirav Vaghela, October 2019; To compare the effects of aerobic exercise and yoga on Premenstrual syndrome - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6852652/
- Khushbu Rani, Impact of Yoga Nidra on psychological general wellbeing in patients with menstrual irregularities: A randomized controlled trial - https://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2011;volume=4;issue=1;spage=20;epage=25;aulast=Rani