Menstrual cycles can be a painful affair for any woman. During their periods, women around the world put up with abdominal and pelvic pain which may also spread to the lower back and thighs. Vomiting, headache, dizziness, fatigue, constipation and bloating are a few other things that women may have to endure during those painful days. Extreme pain or menstrual cramps caused during a woman's period are clinically known as Dysmenorrhea.
"The first two days of my periods are the most painful. The body ache disturbs me emotionally and I feel stressed out," says Kiran, a business executive in her mid-20's. Swati, a 28 year old dentist, adds "The pain is usually restricted to the stomach and lower back. I haven't really ever had to resort to painkillers. Just a hot water bottle for the back helps reduce the pain."
Studies suggest that menstrual cramps are more common in adolescent girls and its occurrence may reduce as the age progresses. Experts believe that one of the major contributing factors to menstrual cramps can be lack of exercise. Unhealthy dietary habits have also been known to add to the woe.
Bid pain goodbye!
Popping painkillers during periods helps suppress the pain but is not a permanent solution. Also, the body gets used to such painkillers and may require you to increase the dosage with time, possibly inviting further problems. Also, it may not always be feasible to use hot-water bag every time your periods trouble you. Adoption of wholesome and nutritious food can help reduce the pain. Yoga, a time-tested natural technique is one of the rare side-effect free options available out there that can make your periods pain-free. Yoga strengthens the body physically and aids in alleviating pain caused due to menstrual cramps. It also calms the mind and empowers you to put up a stronger resistance against giving in to the pain.
These simple yoga poses for menstrual cramps work effectively to limit the pain from distracting your routine life:
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (One-legged Pigeon pose)
The Pigeon pose stretches the entire lower part of the body, stimulates the abdominal organs and relieves the body of menstrual discomfort.
The Fish pose is a back-bend that stretches and stimulates the belly muscles. It is also known to relieve the body of menstrual pain.
The One-legged Forward bend is yet another yoga pose that massages the abdominal organs, thus relieving you of pain caused by menstrual cramps.
The Bow pose strengthens the abdominal muscles and stimulates the reproductive organs. It alleviates menstrual discomfort and constipation.
The Cobra pose stretches and tones the abdomen, relieving the body of menstrual pain. It also reduces fatigue and stress.
The Camel pose stretches and opens the front of the body, relieves the body of lower back ache and helps overcome menstrual discomfort.
These asanas need to be practiced throughout the month till the periods begin. Once the periods start, do pranayamas, meditation and practice simple poses like Badhakonasana, Shishuasana, Natarajasana and Yoga Nidra. Avoid any kind of leg lifts or rigorous physical and mental activity during your periods.
Pain-free tips to beat pain!
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat healthy
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
- Exercise regularly
Don't let the menstrual cramps throw your life off track! Take control by practicing yoga regularly, eating healthy and above all, staying positive about life. Emotional stress is known to increase menstrual discomfort and thus should be done away with. Yoga helps you understand your body's capabilities and helps you unlock its potential. It also helps uplift your mood and adds charisma to your personality!
Yoga: The only alternative?
Yoga is a holistic approach towards a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle. When practiced regularly over a period of time, it can have the desired effects on the body. However, it is strongly advised that if you are on any sort of medication, please consult your doctor before giving up the prescribed medication. Yoga should be adopted to help reach your goal of a pain-free period, but should not be used as the only means to get there.
Respect your body, understand its limits and have patience in overcoming them. In the meanwhile, dress up, enjoy life and overpower your periods with a smile!
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Sri Sri Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher. Find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org