Are you in pain during your periods? Many of us suffer from menstrual cramps, but the good news is that we don’t have to. Here’s how you can manage your pain without using drugs and by employing simple physical postures and breathing techniques.

This easy but powerful group of asanas (physical postures) has a direct effect on your genito-urinary system which regulates the sexual energy in your body. It is beneficial for your reproductive and digestive systems.

Before you start, take note of the following:

  • You do not need any prior yoga experience
  • You may do each pose on its own or in sequence
  • You may do them anytime you feel like or when you experience cramps, for as long as you like
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing
  • Sit on a yoga mat or a blanket or on something warm

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

Vajrasana

 Instructions

  1. Kneel on the mat.
  2. Touch your toes together and separate the heels.
  3. Sit back into the bowl made by your heels keeping your knees together. Place your hands on your thighs.
  4. Keep your spine and head relaxed, but remain upright.
  5. Close your eyes, and relax your body completely.
  6. Breathe normally and focus your awareness on your breath.

Do this for 2-5 minutes. If you have digestion problems, do this after meals for at least 5 minutes.

Note: If your knees hurt, separate them a little. If your ankles hurt, place a small cushion or a towel under them.

 What it does

 Vajrasana alters the flow of blood and nervous impulses in your pelvic region and strengthens your pelvic muscles, alleviating menstrual disorders. It also fires up your digestive system and reduces stomach troubles.

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Shashankasana (Moon/ Hare Pose)

Contraindication
Do not do this if you have very high blood pressure, slipped discs, increased eye pressure, or vertigo.

Instructions
1. Sit in Vajrasana.
2. Keep your spine and head relaxed, but upright.
3. Close your eyes and relax your body completely.
4. Inhaling, lift your arms overhead, keeping them straight and shoulder-width apart.
5. Exhaling, bend forward from the hips, keeping the buttocks on your heels, bringing your arms and forehead to the floor.
6. Breathe normally and become aware of your natural breathing.

This is one round. Do 3-5 rounds of the same.

What it does

Shashankasana stretches your back, realigns your vertebrae correctly, releasing the pressure on them and on the surrounding nerves. It regulates the function of your adrenal glands. It tones and strengthens your pelvic muscles and sciatic nerves, alleviating disorders. It also relieves constipation. It reduces anger and cools the brain.

Marjariasana (Cat Pose)

Instructions
From Vajrasana, move onto your hands and knees.
1. Place your knees hip-width apart and directly under your hips. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and directly under your shoulders. Keep your thighs and arms straight.
2. Close your eyes and relax your body completely, especially your abdomen.
3. Inhaling, arch your spine and raise your head. Hold your breath in for 3 seconds.

4. Exhaling, curve your spine and lower your head. Contract your abdomen towards your spine. Hold your breath out for 3 seconds.

This is one round. Do 5-10 rounds of the same.

What it does

Marjariasana improves the flexibility of your spine, neck, and shoulders. Gently toning the reproductive system, it alleviates menstrual disorders and leucorrhea.

Bonus! Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Instructions
1. Lie flat on your back with your head and spine in a straight line.
2. Place your feet slightly apart. Place your arms a little away from your body, palms facing upwards.
3. Close your eyes and relax your body completely.
4. Breathe normally and become aware of your natural breathing.

Do this for at least 5 minutes – the longer the better.

Note: Use a small cushion or a towel under your head if you need it.

What it does
Shavasana is one of the best poses to relax the whole psycho-physiological system. It improves your whole body’s awareness and gives you the rest you need.

May you all be healthy and happy!

[Source: Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust, 2006]


Author: Kanya Kanchana
Kanya learns, practises, and shares yoga. Her expression is inclusive, healing, and transformational. She is the founder of the non-profit Mind’s Eye that uses yoga to create positive personal and social change. She is also a certified firewalk instructor. Connected to the Bihar School of Yoga lineage, Kanya continues to study with her teachers and guides, and teaches internationally.
Learn more about Kanya and her work at Alarmel Yoga. Read her articles here 

Editor: Divya Rosaline
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