Today there are far too many variations of yoga that exist out there. Some of the really popular ones namely being, Hatha yoga, Vinyasa or Flow Yoga, Power Yoga, Ashtanga, Hot Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga among others. While some people love dipping their toes in different yoga asanas, for others yoga is the only reason why they force themselves to get into sweatpants especially amid the pandemic, when most of us are comfortably sitting at home in our PJs.
The International Day of yoga is celebrated annually on 21 June since the year 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. As we celebrate it this year, here’s another important reason why yoga can come in handy during your period days. There are a handful of asanas that are known to actually help with cramps and ease the pain, anxiety, headaches and other period-related symptoms to make your periods smooth and bearable.
So, if you’ve been thinking about where to find the motivation to roll out that yoga mat, here are some tempting asanas that might change your mind. Moreover, you might find yourself experiencing zero cramps in no time.
1. Head to Knee Forward Bend, otherwise known as Janu Sirsasana
A variation of a forward bend asana, this position has a stimulating effect on your body. The plus points from this asana are the good stretches that your abdominal and reproductive muscles get, these stretches are great for your body.
How to do it: Sit on the floor with your legs laid straight in front of you. Inhale and bend your right knee, and draw the heel back towards you. Meanwhile, rest your right foot sole lightly against your inner left thigh and bend forward to feel the stretch.
There are multiple variations of this pose, it is known to support your reproductive and digestive systems, relieve anxiety, fatigue, headaches, menstrual cramps, and can even help soothe mild depression if done regularly.
2. Bound Angle Pose, otherwise known as Baddha Konasana
Baddha Konasana also known as the Butterfly Pose or Throne Pose, is a seated asana that is a part of hatha yoga. If the knees rest on the floor while doing it, it is also suitable as a meditative pose.
How to do it: Sit on the floor with your legs straight and bend your right knee and the left knee, and draw the heel back toward your perineum. Rest them and lift them up while holding both your toes with your hands in a synchronised fashion.
This pose is also known to help with diarrhoea and constipation as well as period cramps, all courtesy of the prostaglandins (a hormone which is released while doing this position) that cause your uterus to contract. It also soothes your digestive system and stimulates your ovaries making it a reproductive health power pose. It can also help with everyday fatigue.
3. Reclined Bound Angle, otherwise known as Supta Baddha Konasana
Also known as the Cobbler’s Pose in Lying Position, supta refers to a “supine” or “reclining” position.
How to do it: Once you lie down on your yoga mat, you place your buttocks and feet against a wall, feet together and knees falling to the sides.
This pose is supremely effective during pregnancy to relieve pain and tension in the muscles. It is also great for relieving period-induced anxiety. Moreover, the long list of PMS symptoms that this pose helps is extensive—fatigue, insomnia, general anxiety, headaches, and relaxing your abdominal muscles to ease cramps.
4. Child’s Pose, otherwise known as Balasana
Bālāsana or Child’s Resting Pose is a kneeling position in modern yoga. Balasana is a counter asana for various asanas and is usually done before and after Sirsasana. Balasana, like many other poses, has multiple undeniable benefits of inner wellbeing.
How to do it: Kneel down on the floor and sit by taking support from your buttocks. While keeping your big toes touching each other, place your knees hip-width apart and inhale. Next, bend forward and exhale as you lay your torso down for about 2-3 minutes.
The child’s pose releases all the tension in your back, shoulders, and neck. It is an extremely calming asana and can relieve your painful period cramps in no time.
5. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend, otherwise known as Upavistha Konasana
Speaking of mind-calming poses, Upaviṣṭa Koṇāsana or the “wide-angle seated forward bend” is a very handy yoga asana.
How to do it: It is a modern yoga asana wherein one sits upright with the legs as wide apart as possible, grasping the toes while leaning forward for as long as possible and then reclines in a resting position.
Whether you’re on your period or not, stretch into this asana when there is too much stress in your life. Practising this asana helps to stimulate your abdominal organs, leading to less painful cramps.
Usually, heavy cramps are also followed by a period with a heavy flow. If you’re someone who experiences these symptoms together, you should perhaps consider getting a sanitary napkin that takes care of all your period needs. The Hi Life organic period pad is not just super absorbent and ultra-light to wear but also soft on the skin. Made from GOTS certified cotton sourced from Texas, the Hi Life organic pads are a result of intensive research in labs from Japan that have created a unique honeycomb structure that makes these pads ultra-absorbent.
Moreover, each pad is made with two air-laid sheets that prevent back-flow, stains and side leakage during your monthly period. These are certainly the best sanitary pads for heavy flow. Lastly, the Hi Life organic period pads are biodegradable and come with an eco-friendly disposal bag marked with a Red Dot for easy and safe disposal.