9 Stretches To Relieve Your Period Pain
Menstruation is a regular occurrence in the lives of women. Several reasons can cause discomfort during periods. Heavy bleeding, stomach bloating, uterine cramps, emotional behavior, mood swings, brain fog, and body ache are some of these problems that women have to face every month.
During the pandemic, we have all been a victim of a sedentary lifestyle. This had led to several problems like weight gain, muscle aches, weak bones, and body pain.
Periods can make these issues even worse, and even take a toll on daily productivity. Here are some stretches to relieve period pain that can reduce the strain in your body muscles during period days and help you manage your period pain better.
Yoga poses to get rid of period cramps
1. Forward bend
The forward bend known as Uttanasana is a stretch in the series of forwarding bends in yoga that are considered the best stretches for period cramps.
To perform the forward bend stretch, follow these steps:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart parallel to each other.
- Ground yourself firmly and take your stance.
- Breathe in, now while breathing out bend down from your hips such that your chest and stomach touch your thighs.
- Hold this pose and feel the stretch in your hamstrings, calves, lower back, and back.
- Now elevate your hips and rise slowly to your normal position.
Perform this stretch 4-5 times to relieve the strain in your muscles.
2. Head to knee pose
The head to knee pose is known as the Janu Sirsasana and is one of the stretching poses in yoga.
To perform the head to knee pose, follow these steps:
- Begin by sitting on a mat with your legs outstretched in front of you.
- Now fold your right leg such that the sole of your right foot touches your left inner thigh.
- Now inhale and stretch your spine. Exhaling, stretch your right hand towards the outside of your left thigh which is your left hand behind your back.
- While exhaling bend your hips and let relieve the stress in your lower back.
- Hold this pose for 4-5 seconds, now rise while inhaling and bring your arms beside your thighs.
Repeat this on the other side and perform 4-5 reps to relieve menstrual cramps and lower back pain.
3. Cobra pose
The cobra pose is known as Bhujangasana in yoga poses.
To perform the Cobra pose, follow these steps:
- Begin by laying on your belly with your feet hip-width apart and your hands beside your ribs.
- Extend your all 10 toes to activate your quadriceps and engage your core muscles.
- Now by engaging with your inner thighs, lower back, and arms lift your torso such that it stretches your abdomen and lower back.
- Hold this pose for 4-5 seconds and repeat as per your potential.
This pose is known to be one of the best stretches to relieve menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, and bloating.
4. Wide-angle forward bend
A wide-angle forward bend is one of the best stretches to relieve menstrual cramps.
To perform the wide-angled forward bend, follow these steps.
- Start by sitting on your mat with your feet stretched in front of you.
- Now spread your feet as wide apart as you comfortably can.
- Inhale and stretch your arms up while lengthening your spine.
- Exhale and bend down while engaging your femur, quads, glutes, and lower back.
- Stretch your arms forwards such that your chest touches the floor.
- Hold this pose for 4-5 seconds and rise while inhaling with your arms outstretched.
Perform 3-4 reps as per your capacity. This pose can help with a lower backache that is persistent during periods.
5. Child's pose
This is a well-known pose in yoga also known as Balasan.
To perform the child's pose, follow these steps:
- Kneel on the floor with your feet under your thighs and rest your arms on your thighs. (vajrasana)
- Inhale while stretching your arms parallel to each other above your head.
- Now exhale and lower your torso between your knees with the palms of your hands on the floor outstretches overhead.
- Relax your shoulders towards the ground and rest in this pose to relieve the stress in your body.
Balasan is known to ease bloating and flatulence that can cause gastric discomfort during periods.
6. Cat-Cow pose
The cat-cow pose is one of the best yoga poses to get rid of period cramps.
To perform the cat-cow pose, follow these steps:
- Start by getting down on all four of your limbs in a table pose. Now while inhaling start entering the cow pose. Lift your hip bones, press your chest forwards, and allow your stomach to sink. This is the cat pose. Hold for 4-5 seconds.
- Now while exhaling, arch your spine inwards and draw in your tailbone while protruding your pelvic bone forward. This is the cat pose.
- Together this pose is called the cat-cow pose. Repeat 4-5 times or as per your capacity.
The cat-cow pose helps relieve period pain and stress in your abdominal, back, and pelvic muscles.
7. Reclining spinal twist
To perform the reclining spinal twist pose, follow these steps:
- To begin, lay down on the floor with your arms outstretched such that your body forms a T shape.
- Now bend your right knee placing your feet on the floor.
- Now inhale and place your right leg over your left leg and hold it with your left-hand such the spine feels the twist.
- Hold this pose for 3-5 minutes while breathing normally to relieve the stress in your muscles. Now repeat with the other leg.
Reclining spinal twists can help with digestive ailments and in relieving menstrual pain.
8. Inverted leg pose
The Bow pose is also known as dhanurasan in yoga.
To perform the bow pose, follow these steps:
- Lay on your stomach on a mat while breathing normally.
- Now bend your knees and bring your ankles close to your hips, hold your ankles with both your hands.
- Now inhale and lift your torso while arching your spine inwards and pushing your pelvis into the ground such that only your belly is on the ground and the rest of the body is lifted into the bow pose.
- Hold this pose for 5 breaths and slowly lower your body into its normal position while exhaling.
The bow pose can help in relieving menstrual cramps, pain, and bloating.
9. Garland pose
To perform the garland pose, follow these steps:
- Squat down with your feet as wide apart as possible.
- Now join the palms of your hands and your inner elbows in front of your torso such that your outer elbows touch your inner knees.
- You can also try to shove your elbows against your knees restraining them and touch your fingertips to each other.
- This asana creates pressure on the gut and helps in relieving gastric bloating, increasing the flow of blood to the uterus, and reducing menstrual pain.
Try out these exercises to fight period pain & weight gain , during your periods for a flexible and pain-free period. Keep moving around, remember to exercise for health and fitness ,don't forget to stretch as much as possible!
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- Yonglitthipagon P, et al. Effect of yoga on the menstrual pain, physical fitness, and quality of life of young women with primary dysmenorrhea. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2017 Oct;21(4):840-846.
- Oates J. The Effect of Yoga on Menstrual Disorders: A Systematic Review. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Jun;23(6):407-417.