These Are The Best Yoga Poses To Relieve Cramps

Bloating, cramping, shooting pain, nausea — if you’re a woman, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The severity of menstrual cramps can range from slightly uncomfortable to debilitating, but either way, they aren’t fun.

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If you suffer from cramps every month, you may turn to medication for relief from your symptoms. Pain medication may ease your discomfort temporarily, but you can get to the root of the issue and ease the muscle contractions themselves with yoga.

An active lifestyle is one of the best treatment for cramps, but hitting the gym is often the last thing we feel like doing during that time of the month. Not only is yoga a low-intensity compromise, it can also help to relax the nervous system, relieve lower back pain, soothe leg and abdominal aches, and calm your mind.

Try the following 10 yoga poses to relieve menstrual cramps next time Aunt Flow comes to town.

1. Head-To-Knee Pose

  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended and back straight.
  • Bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot to the inside of your left thigh. Drop your right knee down to the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight, rotate your torso toward your left leg and bend forward at the waist. Continue to bring your forehead toward your knee until you feel resistance in the left hamstring.
  • Hold, then switch legs.

2. Noose Pose

  • Come into a full squat position with you feet together. Your buttocks should be close or resting on your heels. If your heels won’t stay on the floor, place a folded towel underneath them.
  • Inhale and bring your knees to your left as you turn your torso toward the right.
  • Exhale, wrapping your upper left arm around the outside of your right leg and extend the arm, reaching the left forearm around the front of the legs.
  • Now, move the right arm behind your lower back and clasp your hands. Your chest should be open and your gaze is over the right shoulder.
  • Hold 30 seconds, breathing deeply, and release. Repeat on the other side.

3. Camel Pose

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees hips-width apart. Your shins should parallel to each other with your shins and feet pressing firmly into the mat.
  • Place your hands on the backs of your hips with your fingers pointing downward.
  • Inhale, lifting your chest and pulling your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Exhale, pushing the hips forward as you lengthen the front of the body and arch backward, letting the head fall back. You can keep your hands on your hips, or walk them backwards and rest them on your heels. Use your hands to keep you stable, constantly pushing the hips forward, and lifting the chest.
  • Hold 30-seconds, breathing deeply, and release.

4. Reclining Big Toe Pose

  • Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and legs extended. Rest your head on the floor, chin slightly down so the back of the neck rests along the mat.
  • Inhale, bending the right knee in to your chest. Clasp the right big toe with your right peace fingers.
  • Exhale, straightening the right leg toward the ceiling until your hamstring resists. If you cannot reach your toes, wrap a towel around your foot instead.
  • Inhale, lifting your head from the mat and towards the right leg, keeping the left leg on the mat.
  • Hold 30-seconds, breathing deeply, and release. Repeat on the other side.

5. Arching Pigeon

  • Sit on the floor with your right knee bent and externally rotated, so it is lying flat on the floor in front of you, with your left leg extended straight behind you. This is Pigeon.
  • Place your hands on your hips if you can, on the floor on either of side of you if not, and gently arch your back. Send your gaze backward as far as you can until the hips resist. If you need more of a stretch, raise your arms in the air.
  • Hold 30-seconds, breathing deeply, and release. Repeat on the other side.

6. Wide Child’s Pose

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees out wide so your sit bones can rest comfortably on the floor in between your legs.
  • Inhale, folding forward, extending your arms in front of you. Place your palms flat on the mat, reaching forward with your finger tips throughout.
  • Relax your forehead to the mat.
  • Hold 30-seconds, breathing deeply, and release.

7. Spinal Twist

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended perpendicular to your body.
  • Bring your left knee into your chest and then drop it over your body to the right side. Be sure to keep both shoulders on the ground at all times.
  • Turn your head and gaze at your left hand. Relax and settle into this pose- don’t resist it. Your back may pop a few times.
  • Hold 30-seconds, breathing deeply, and release. Repeat on the other side.

8. Legs Up The Wall

  • Start with a pillow, rolled blanket or yoga pillow about 6 inches away from the wall.
  • Sit sideways on right end of the support, with your right side facing the wall.
  • Exhale, lay back, so your head and shoulders are resting on the ground. Place both legs, fully extended, up the wall. Your sit bones don’t need to be against the wall, but they should be close. Keep your legs straight and active, but knees not locked.
  • Hold 30-seconds, breathing deeply, and release.

9. Bridge Pose

  • Lie on the floor face up. Bend both of your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Your arms should be straight, palms flat by your sides.
  • Exhale, pressing through your feet to lift your hips toward the ceiling. Keep your thighs and feet parallel to each other.
  • Clasp the hands behind your lower back and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
  • Lift your buttocks and extend through the hips as high as you can.
  • Hold 30-seconds, breathing deeply, and release.

10. Downward Dog

  • Start on your hands and knees. Your knees should be directly under your hips, hands slightly in front of your shoulders with your toes turned under.
  • Lift your knees away from the floor and straighten your legs, lifting your hips toward the ceiling.
  • Press through your hands to shift your weight into your heels.
  • Lower your heels until your hamstrings resist. Keep your back flat and your head between your elbows.
  • Hold 30-seconds, breathing deeply, and release.