Your Complete Guide, According to the Pros
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Yogi and nutritionist Le’Nise Brothers shares the yoga flow you need to know.
If, every month, the thought of your menstrual cycle fills you with dread—abdominal cramps, back pain, and fatigue—then welcome to the club. According to YouGov Research91% women across the country are suffering from period pain. While it can be comforting to know that you’re not alone, women shouldn’t live with debilitating symptoms—that’s where yoga for menstrual pain comes in.
You’ve probably heard of yoga – an ancient practice that combines physical movement, breathing, and meditation. But did you know that yoga promises to be able to help your hormones, too?
New Women’s Health Strategy survey finds that most women’s symptoms were immediately dismissed by doctors, despite NHS The website explains that menstrual pain is a normal part of your menstrual cycle. But think about it: Two or three days of pain around your period is a pain for 24 to 36 days a year. he is a very.
For too long, women’s pain has been ignored or simply defined as “hysterical”. So it’s time to change our “normal” period expectations and try to eliminate pain from the narrative.
Yoga during your period can seem like the last thing you want to do — often, you just want to curl up in a ball, right? But yoga for better periods is all about caring for the cycle and preparing your body for a pain-free period at every stage of your cycle.
Interested in hearing more? We have spoken to nutritionists and yoga teachers, Le’Nice Brothersauthor of you can have a better period, to explain how yoga works for menstrual pain. Whether you’re looking to try yoga for beginners or use yoga poses when you feel pain and stiffness, we’ve got a flow you’ll wish you knew about sooner.
Yoga for Period: All you need to know
- The combination of movement, breathing, and meditation used in yoga can help ease menstrual pain.
- It also supports blood flow, which is believed to help reduce cramps and pain.
- This can be done anytime throughout the month.
- Yoga has been found to reduce chronic inflammation and work on the autonomic nervous system.
- He said – it’s not all right. It’s important to understand your cycle
How does yoga work for period pain?
If you are one of the many women who frequently experience menstrual pain, yoga may sound good. very Solving all your period related problems is easy, isn’t it?
But Le’Nise is here to clear all those doubts and explain the science behind yoga for menstrual pain. “As a whole-body exercise, yoga is a powerful way to reduce chronic inflammation that increases prostaglandinsHormone-like compounds that can exacerbate pain at high doses,” she explains.
In addition, research has found that another benefit of yoga is that it improves your autonomic nervous system, enhances the body’s natural painkillers and reduces pain responses. Clear, isn’t it?
Let’s break it down further. “First of all, the physical practice of yoga is, Posture:, Moving our body through a gentle series of poses can help stretch tight muscles, support blood flow around the pelvis and open areas that can become stiff from lack of movement,” he Tells.
And it matters because? “Many of us with painful periods can remain immobile in one place, resulting in a muscle-protecting thing where the muscles are tightened as a means of easing the pain,” she shares. . “This creates a cycle of stiffness and tightness that an asana practice can help break.”
Getting started with yoga can seem daunting, especially if you haven’t done it before. But know this: You don’t need to be an overly flexible or yogi expert because practice is everything. you, and make yourself feel good. (Read our guide to yoga poses for beginners here).
Another aspect of yoga for period pain? breathing control, otherwise known as Pranayama,
“Research shows that deep, yogic breathing can calm our nervous system, bringing us into a more relaxed state,” the expert explains. “This is helpful when our periods are painful because a deep breath can protect the muscles and reduce pain, especially in the pelvis, lower back, and hips.”
Never understood why “inhale, exhale” is so important in yoga flow? “Deep yogic breathing helps us relax tight muscles and lowers cortisol (our primary stress hormone) levels, inflammation and prostaglandin levels,” she continues.
If you’ve read our guide to breathing training, you’ll know that breathing exercises can do wonders on your nervous system—such as meditation (dharana) or mindfulness. Le’Nise explains that these can help the mind feel pain instead of diverting attention from the physical body and focusing on the breath. Struggling to sleep? Meditation for sleep may be the answer.
It may not be for everyone – after all, every body is unique, and will react differently – but it may be worth a try if menstrual pain is seriously affecting your quality of daily life. .
Yoga for Menstrual Pain: 4 Flows to Try for Each Phase
In the book of Le’Nise you can have a better period, she explains that our periods should be seen as the fifth important sign of our health and that pain and discomfort are a sign that something is happening. There are many different reasons why a period can be painful, from polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids or endometriosis (see a doctor if you’re concerned you may be affected).
Still not sure if yoga for period pain is for you? We all make time for ourselves every day for our mental well-being – why not give back to our physical bodies in the same way?
See the Le’Nise exercises for each phase of the cycle or read below. While you’re here don’t miss our guide to types of yoga and yoga classes.
Badha Konasana / Cobbler’s Pose
“This pose helps to open up the pelvis to support healthy blood flow around the uterus, supports the hips and creates lightness. Baddha Konasana can be really helpful for painful periods, especially endometriosis and For people with adenomyosis, where the instinct may be to roll into a ball and stand still as a way to reduce pain.
Malasana / Yogi’s Squat
This is another pelvic and hip opener that can relieve the heaviness that many of us may feel on the first or second day of our periods. When performing the pose, it is important to lift and squeeze the pelvic floor to engage with the abdominal muscles. This will help lift the chest and head and open the hips even further.
Vrikshasana / Tree Pose
This pose combines strength, balance and focus, asking both of you to lift from the crown of the head while descending with your standing leg. To increase your focus, open your arms to the side and move from right to left while observing the gentle movements of a tree in your mind’s eye.
Virabhadrasana II / Warrior II
Warrior 2 pose tells us to tap into our inner and outer strength to hold the bend in our front knee and lower down on the side of our back leg. Our outstretched arms enhance the power of this mudra. Open your chest and roll your shoulders back, imagining that you are holding a pencil between your shoulder blades.
Utkata Konasana / Goddess Pose
This is one of my favorite poses to practice and teach. Devi Mudra tells us to step into our power, opening the pelvis and hips, with our knees bent and the four corners of our feet on the ground. Once you feel stable, you can move your arms overhead, clasping your hands and releasing your index fingers. This is called Kali Mudra, which is known to help us channelize energy from our pelvis to the top of our head and create strength and courage.
Virabhadrasana III / Warrior 3
This pose combines balance and strength, asking us to land in our standing leg and lift our raised leg backwards as far as it feels good. You can start by keeping the raised toe on the ground, slowly lifting it to the space that is available to you. There are several options for the arms: prayer hands in front of the chest, airplane arms at the back or sides, or outstretched front. To increase your stability, focus your gaze on a point that isn’t moving and embrace everything at its center. Maintain this posture on the right and left sides for ten breaths.
Shavasana can be one of the most challenging poses because it asks us to embrace calmness and focus on our breath. In Shavasana, close your eyes, take space, extend your arms and legs and bring your attention to the space between your eyes to help focus the mind. If you find yourself wandering, know that this is normal. Accept the thoughts that come and let them go away, bringing your attention back to your breath. If possible, stay in shavasana for a few minutes or more, allow yourself to be just for this time.
Uttana Shishusana / Puppy Pose
Puppy pose is a lovely alternative to baby pose that helps open up the shoulders and chest. With your arms extended out in front of you, you have the option of keeping your head raised to deepen the stretch in your chest or you can keep your forehead on the ground. Slow down and connect with your breath. You can stay in this pose for a minute or more and then come back to child’s pose.
“I Tried Yoga for Menstrual Pain—Here’s What I Thought”
I am Dion, 24, and I am a trainee writer at Marie Claire UK. I’ve experienced menstrual pain for as long as I can remember, so turned to yoga to see if it would help. Here’s how I got on.
“Without exaggerating too much, reading Le’Nise’s book and flow, I felt life changing for me. As a PCOS sufferer, I’ve had painful periods for as long as I can remember. happened. “
“For me, I believe that understanding more of my cycle and what I need to do at each stage really helped me. I found myself wondering why they didn’t teach us that much in school? An A* in science but no real understanding of how hormones affect all of us.”
“Honestly, I’m not a big gym-goer and don’t practice yoga as much as I should (practice what you preach, I know). But I’ll preach that forever, because le’ I had the first painless period in my life *screaming*, since reading Nise’s book and trying a yoga flow period.
“Disclaimer here, I read the book and tried yoga at the same time I tried acupuncture, to help my cramps as well.”
“Knowing that I have a device to take away any pain if it comes back is meaningful to me. Even if it doesn’t completely take away the pain, So I feel relaxed, strong, and like I’ve even taken something off my self-care list.”