Yoga Moves That Help Relieve Cramps March 23, 2017 12:53
Blast your worst PMS symptom with these go-to moves.
That time of the month, Aunt Flo's visit, the menses, or even Shark Week. Whatever you call your period, you know that when it arrives, it's usually accompanied by some lovely PMS symptoms and buckling cramps. We get it. We've all been there. But good news for all the ladies out there: A new study notes that yoga may ease PMS symptoms, so excuse us while we Shavasana our way to a less-angry uterus.
"The overall benefits of yoga are countless from a physical and mental level, and can even go deeper to a spiritual and emotional level," says Caroline Klohs, a yoga instructor at Pure Yoga. It can help improve your flexibility and balance, build muscular strength and bone health, boost your immunity and blood flow, decrease your blood pressure, release your tension, and promote relaxation. They all go in our "pro" column.
"Essentially, yoga is about linking breath and movement," Klohs adds. "Breath is the one thing we can always control. It's about discovering balance in your body and life, and how it's OK when you fall. Yoga allows us to find inner peace in the most challenging moments. Our practice allows us to fix things from the inside to allow for clarity on the outside."
And as ladies, we face some of our most challenging moments every 28 days, on average. Though luckily, yoga can help, and these moves from Klohs are perfect to get you out of that PMS battle:
Child's Pose -- Balasana
Get on all fours on your mat (shoulders over your wrists, hip bones over your knees). Slowly lower your butt towards the ankles, bringing your forehead all the way down to the floor. Bring your knees as wide as the mat and lengthen the arms forward. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly for 6 to 10 counts each.
Why it's great: Child's pose is mainly focused on the thighs, but it also helps relieve pain in the back, shoulders, neck, and hips.
Standing Forward Bend -- Padahastasana
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart at the front of your mat. On an inhale, raise the arms up over your head and on a deep exhale fold over your legs. Rest your hands on the floor or grab your big toes with your peace fingers (index and middle). Hold this position for 5 to 10 breath cycles (inhaling for 6 to 10 counts and exhaling for 6 to 10 counts) and come back to the standing position while inhaling slowly. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Why it's great: The standing forward bend helps in stretching and relaxing the body as whole.
Bridge Pose -- Setu Bandasana
Lie face up on your mat with knees bent. While lifting up through the hips, press down on all four corners of your feet and make sure your fingertips can touch the back of your ankles. Clasp your hands together under your torso for a more stabilized approach. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breath cycles (inhaling for 6 to 10 counts and exhaling for 6 to 10 counts). Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Why it's great: Bridge Pose relaxes the central nervous system and improves blood circulation.
Fish Pose -- Matsyasana
Start in Savasana (corpse pose). While lying flat on your back, place your arms under your body. Lace your palms underneath your thighs while they are facing the floor. On an inhale, slowly lift up through your heart center and sternum, and stabilize by holding yourself with your forearms. Squeeze your legs together and drape the head back through nice long breaths. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breath cycles (inhaling for 6 to 10 counts and exhaling for 6 to 10 counts) and lie back into Savasana. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Why it's great: Fish pose massages the abdominal organs and muscles, stretches the hip muscles, and relieves tension in the neck and shoulders.