If you suffer from menstrual cramps and are looking for natural relief, studies indicate that you may want to take up yoga.
Actually, several studies have shown that yoga can help relieve period cramps – studies that we have talked about extensively in previous articles.
So if yoga is good for menstrual cramps is there a particular type of yoga that is best? And what about yoga exercises and postures – are some more effective than others.
We are going to take a look at both of these subjects in this short article.
First, let’s look at the different types of yoga:
Bikram yoga (or hot yoga) – This type of yoga is done in a warm, sauna-like environment. The room temperature is usually 100 degrees. The heat loosens up your muscles and encourages sweat production and toxin removal.
Iyengar yoga – This is one of the most popular types of yoga. It involves really focusing in on what you are doing in each pose and holding that pose for longer than you would in other types of yoga.
Ashtanga yoga – In this type of yoga, you do six poses consecutively at your own pace. The poses increase in difficulty as you progress through them. This type of yoga is demanding on the body and causes you to produce a lot of internal heat.
Power Yoga – This type of yoga is for those who want their yoga to be more of a vigorous workout while still improving their flexibility.
As far as the research, no particular type of yoga has been shown to be more effective at relieving menstrual cramps than the other types.
So feel free to pick whatever type appeals to you. The key is to get started and get active.
One more thing: with Ashtanga yoga be sure that several of the six poses work your abdominal muscles or your workout may not be that effective for relieving menstrual cramps.
Now let’s move on to the best yoga postures for menstrual cramps.
The truth is the animal poses are all great stretches for relieving menstrual cramps.
Here’s how to do these yoga poses for period cramps:
One-Armed Camel – Kneel on your yoga mat. Place one hand behind your body near your toes. Extend the other arm outward in the same direction, reaching as far as you can behind your body. Your breasts become the hump of the camel. Feel the stretch in your abdomen and chest. Inhale and exhale a few breaths. Repeat on the other side. This exercise works your abdomen.
Tiger Pose – Get on all fours on your yoga mat, lining up your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Press up to a push up position and lift your head to look forward. Then inhale and lift your leg, pointing your toe toward the ceiling. Then exhale and round your back, bringing your leg down to the floor. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat entire exercise a few times. This exercise works your abdomen and lower back.
Cat Pose – Get on all fours on your yoga mat, lining up your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Take a breath and then lower your chin as close to your chest as possible.
Round your back like a cat, tucking in your pelvis during the process. Exhale the breath and then get out of the pose, arching your back and stretching it as much as possible. Repeat a few times.
Crocodile – Lie flat on the floor on your stomach with your chin on your hands. (Your elbows are raised towards your head.) Now raise your buttocks off the floor about 4 to 6 inches. Then take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Exhale and return your hips to the floor. Repeat a few times. This exercise works your abdomen.
Bonus tip: After completing your yoga workout you may want to drink a special tea called Woman’s Moon Cycle Tea to further relieve your cramps.
This tea is made by Yogi Tea and is a natural remedy for menstrual cramps.
The tea contains such beneficial ingredients dong quai, red raspberry and juniper berry, which have all been shown to help relieve period cramps.
Red raspberry has been used for centuries to normalize female hormones and alleviate cramps. Juniper berry acts on the kidneys, which may be holding onto excess water that is making you bloated.
Another suggestion would be to take a period vitamin that is rich in vitamins and minerals that help relieve menstrual cramps.