Dysmenorrhea or pain and cramps are extremely common symptoms experienced by women during their menstrual cycle. During this time the women experience cramping in their abdominal muscles; this discomforts usually persists for 1 to 3 days starting from the time when the initial signs of menstruation arise.
In normal cases intensity of menstrual cramps gets controlled automatically after the first 3 days of the menstruation; however, in some women the discomfort lingers for longer duration. Performing yoga asanas (exercises) and pranayamas (breathing exercises) can offer significant pains relief to women experiencing severe pains during their periods.
Pranayamas of Breathing Exercises for Periods Pain Relief
Pranayamas are performed to eliminate a number of health disorders since the ancient time; these breathing exercises have been used for treating several maladies especially in the Indian subcontinent for ages.
If you are looking to get rid of menstrual cramps by performing pranayamas, the best breathing technique for you would be the one involving shallow and deep breathing. Performing this pranayama will help you in relaxing the nerves and calming down the mind of the woman suffering from pains during periods. The pranayamas work by developing a connection between your body and mind. When the mind becomes calm on executing pranayamas, it starts regulating our body and helps it in staying relaxed. In other words its can be said that pranayamas teach our body ways of coping with the pain. This feature of pranayamas makes it a great remedy not only for menstrual cramps but also for other pain types.
When the mind gets relaxed, the intensity of uterine contraction experienced by women reduces; uterine contraction is the primary factor leading to the throbbing sensation associated with menstrual cramps. With the reduction in uterine construction, menstrual cramps start to fade gradually.
Yoga Poses for Periods Pain Relief
There are several painkillers that are used for alleviating pains during menstruation, but majority of them impose harmful side effects. To experience pains relief without any side effect, you can perform the following yoga asanas:
Ardhakurmasana or Child’s Pose:
This asana must be a part of exercise routine, if you are looking to eradicate menstrual cramps. The asana includes the following steps:
Position your body like a dog facing the floor; you must be in a position, in which the knees will touch the floor.
The belly should be located between the thighs while the forehead will be descending gradually and meet the knees.
There are two options for positioning the arms while performing Ardhakurmasana. The first option is: stretching the arms up towards your front while keeping the palms facing upwards; the other option is: allowing the arms to rest on your body’s either side (here also the palms should be placed facing upwards). You must choose the arm position, which is comfortable for you.
Stay in this position till the pain subsides.
Pavanamuktasana or wind releasing exercise:
This yoga asana not only offers periods pain relief, but is also the ideal asana for relieving any pain type. Pavanamuktasana has the following steps:
You will have to start from the supine position; your back must lie against the ground.
Bend the left knee.
Bring it up towards the chest.
Now lift your head and move it forward so that it meets the left knee; if you are not fit enough to be able to take your head to the extent of meeting the knee, move it as much as you can without hurting the stomach muscles.
Repeat the process described above using your right knee.
Dhanurasana or bow pose:
Dhanurasana is an exercise in which our abdominal muscles get sufficient work out. This makes this asana an excellent remedy for pains during period. Dhanurasana includes the steps mentioned below:
You must first position yourself in the prone position. In the prone position, a person needs to lay on the stomach and chest. Both your arms must be placed on your body’s sides. The palms must face the ceiling.
Now, bend the knees in the upward direction in a way so that the heels can touch the tailbones. You will also need to lift the upper body and stretch your arms backwards so that they reach the heels. Once you become an expert with this asana, your arms will be able to reach the heels quite comfortably. If your arms succeed in reaching the heels, hold the ankle.
In this asana, the weight of your entire body must be on the stomach and not on the pelvis.
Exercises to Be Avoided
It’s true that yoga will never make you suffer from any side effect, but only if done as directed by the expert. You must avoid doing certain yoga asanas during menstruation. Any exercise that requires you to be in a twisting or inverted position must be avoided when you are menstruating as they may disrupt normal flow of blood. Doing such exercise during menstruation might result in formation of fibroids, cysts, endometriosis etc.