Ah, it's that very special time of the month again—your period has arrived, and with a grand entrance at that! You likely have a very strong love-hate relationship with your period, and you're certainly not alone. From the painful menstrual cramps, bloating, and fatigue, to the hormonal breakouts, tender breasts, headaches, and potential moodiness, we'd like to take a hard pass on these dreaded period symptoms altogether. Luckily, there are some tools you can have at the ready—like the best yoga moves for period cramps—that will provide relief.
We spoke with Thara Prashad, certified yoga teacher and health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition about the best yoga moves for period cramps. "Everyone experiences things differently, but if you're feeling that tightness and tension in the low back and hips, as well as cramping in the abdominal area, these poses can help," Prashad says.
You'll want to think of these moves the next time your period rolls around so you can kiss the cramping goodbye. Read on to learn more, and next up, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
If you're a yogi, or even if you're pretty new to the practice, you're likely familiar with child's pose. Prashad walks us through exactly how to master the move—it will give your lower back and hips a great stretch, as these body parts typically feel super tight during your period.
"Try to keep the knees as close together as you come down into your child's pose, sandwiching the belly over the thighs. This will help to stimulate the abdominal organs bringing fresh flood blow," Prashad says.
Wind Relieving Pose
Don't get too hung up on the name of this pose, because Prashad says it's a favorite for good reason. And get excited, because this pose should deliver immediate relief.
Prashad instructs, "Using your breath and your arm strength, you can decide how deep you will go. You will also massage all parts of the colon through this posture. Start with the right side, pulling the knee in and then out and around the rib cage. When you find the space where you can't go any deeper, hold it there for a few breaths. When you release, fresh blood and oxygen will flood the hip joint and abdomen. Repeat on the left side. Then, pull both knees into your chest, and give yourself a tight hug. Try your best to keep your head, neck, and low back pressed into the floor. Hold for a few breathes and release."
Reclined Bound Angle Pose
Last but certainly not least, this yoga move will relax your hips and abdominal muscles, which in turn should help provide some cramping relief. For this move, Prashad instructs, "Bring one hand to the heart and one hand to the belly, and take this time to connect with your breath and your beating heart. Let that be your focus as you go into this deep state of relaxation. You could even place pillows underneath each knee to make this even more supportive and nourishing. Hold for at least 5 to 8 breaths."
For more Mind + Body news, check out The Best Restorative Yoga Poses To Do On A Stressful Day, Says Certified Yoga Teacher and Surprising Effects of Doing Yoga, Says Science next.