Whether you have a regular or irregular cycle, whenever the time does come around, it often comes with uncomfortable and sometimes painful effects. There are many medicinal options to treat cramping but I have always had a preference for holistic treatment, such as yoga. Painkillers help to suppress pain but are never a permanent solution. Consuming wholesome and nutritious food will help reduce the pain as well as incorporating yoga into daily routine. Yoga will also help calm the mind, giving us stronger resistance against the pain.
Here is a short sequence to help strengthen the body and alleviate pain.
Starting in child’s pose. Allow the forehead to rest on the mat, letting go of any tension in the lower back, keeping knees apart to allow space for the belly. Focus on breathing deeply into the back and notice the rise and fall of the breath through the body.
Tip: Add a pillow or bolster under the torso to create more space and comfort.
Moving onto all fours, slowly curving the back through Cat-Cow poses, stretching through the back and abdominal muscles. Inhale as the back rises towards the ceiling into Cow pose and exhale to coil inwards into Cat pose.
Tuck the toes under and come into downward dog. This is a fantastic pose to release tension in the back and strengthen legs and arms. Press into ten fingers and allow the heels to reach towards the ground.
Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
Step your right leg forward slightly, coming into a forward fold. Reach the crown of the head forward allowing the back to lengthen. Pushing palms together behind your back, stay here for 5-10 breaths before swapping sides.
Come to the mat and bring your right knee forward to touch your right wrist. Slide the left leg back to touch the mat and keep the knee straight. Lower your buttock to the mat and press the tailbone forward to find length in your lower back. Push your fingertips firmly into the floor to strengthen the lower back further. Remain in this position for a few deep breaths. Then switch sides.
Come to a seated position in a bound angle pose. Bring the heels close to your pelvis as comfortable and grasp the big toes with your thumb and second finger. Allow the knees to drop to either side, without applying any pressure. Stay in this pose for 1-5 minutes. This pose is known for boosting happiness and releasing tension in hips.