Three easy yoga poses that will help ease your cramps
For most of us many changes start to happen in our bodies before a period starts. Bloating, constipation, and mood swings (or sometimes legitimate concerns unjustly being blamed on periods) make things worse–and how about those dreaded cravings?
As a fitness coach I have trained many women during this time. We make exercise lighter, and put in place strategies for when cravings kick in and even paused the training. But then I noticed the biggest thing missing from the whole plan: Connection.
How can yoga help your period?
The biggest key: Breathe and listen. Movement is free, and for somebody like me who has Rheumatoid Arthritis movement is freedom. During PMS and periods movement can really connect you to your body. For example, when you stretch out your hands with a yawn after sitting for too long in a chair, the relief that comes with the stretch is a nice “feel-good” moment. We can throw in a lot of tactics and a game plan (which is always great), but when you are unable to really connect to your program and it doesn’t really match your internal dialogue then it can be hard to understand the objective.
This is called Bridge Pose. In the simplest terms, this pose will wake up the muscles of the booty and as a result it is also a great exercise to relieve lower back pain. My body connects to this pose because it helped heal an eight month old grade 2 adductor injury, where I injured the muscles near the groin. That is my connection to this particular movement, but I also throw this movement into my practice when my groin area is cramped up during periods. I have trust and love for the movement because it both heals me and makes me “feel good”.
The Puppy Pose
This particular stretch is called The Puppy Pose. It stretches the lower back muscles and splaying the arms out in front of the head also helps stretch the upper back. In this pose, focus on your breath, breathe in and out, spread your knees apart to make room for the belly, and let the mind think freely. Listen to your thoughts. This is your time, it is worth every second!
Thread the Needle
Boobs are aching during periods? Yes, I know, same. This pose is called Thread the Needle. It is a beautiful pose and has various progressive variations. Think pretzel here, which can also make a good low calorie snack to nibble on during periods.
And in the long run, hit that refresh button for yourself too, not just the laptops.
Let's pay attention to that message your body is sending you. Connect to your breath when your mind tells you to go for something sweet or salty. Is this really what you want? Did the snacks make pain go away previously? Or, how about the willpower we women show doing what we do bleeding for seven days (sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on our bodies).
Let’s keep that willpower in mind, which is very unique to us as people who menstruate. You are enough, your pain is a message from your body and your cravings are under your control. Talk to your physician if the pain is unbearable and you think that something is off before starting any exercise program. Give yourself two options: Potato chips and Kale chips, rice cakes and cookies, cooking oil and olive oil, you deserve more than one option when you start to make a shift in life. You got this, girl!
What are some of the ways you build connections with yourself when you receive messages from your body? What are your strategies? If you are curious to learn more about fitness and menstruation, read our article on Exercise on Your Period.
About our writer:
Who am I?!
Hi! I’m Urooba and I coach for Weight Control Management Strategies, Mindful Nutrition Goals and Positive Energy. I help people develop their fitness stories that help in inventing personalized programs that they can stick to for as long as they want!
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