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November 04, 2021 5 min read

Yoga is always a good idea. Practicing this ancient exercise can gently improve posture, increase strength, ease arthritis, manage weight, and so much more. But did you know that even period symptoms can be alleviated by yoga? 

So unroll your yoga mats, don your most comfortable workout attire, and put on your leakproof period undies – because today, we’re discussing period yoga, a type of exercise that’s perfect for you during your red days. We’ll also cover a few of the fundamental poses that you need to know in order to fully take advantage of its effects. 

Let’s get started! 

A woman who is about to start period yoga

Yoga vs. Period Yoga

The classic definition of yoga is that it is a spiritual discipline that aims to bring harmony to the mind and body. Some may also define yoga as a type of exercise involving a set of positions that help increase strength, improve flexibility, and stabilize one’s breathing. 

Now that we have a grasp of what yoga is, what exactly is period yoga? Essentially, period yoga is the collection of poses that are most beneficial for people who are menstruating. Conversely, there are also a number of yoga poses that are not recommended if you are on your period. 

How Does Period Yoga Alleviate Cramps and Other Period Symptoms? 

Many experts agree that exercising during one’s period is healthy because proper physical activity has the ability to do the following: 

  • Improve blood circulation;
  • Reduce pain and cramping;
  • Help stabilize the mood;
  • Boost energy; and
  • Improve the quality of sleep.

Yoga can give all of the above benefits and more. However, exercising during one’s period can be tough because of mood swings, aches, and fatigue – we get it. The best part about period yoga is that it’s gentle and relaxing and can help anyone to get over the aforementioned hurdles easily. 

Furthermore, the positions (or asanas) in period yoga helps to soothe the body in a more targeted manner.  

Yoga Poses to Avoid During Your Period 

Grand Master Akshar, through TimesNowNews.com, lists the following as poses (or asanas) to avoid during your period:   

  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose)
  • Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
  • Halasana (Plow Pose)
  • Shirshasana (Head Stand)
  • Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Most of these yoga poses are relatively strenuous and/or cause the body to be inverted. Therefore, they must be avoided during one’s period. Although many yoga practitioners abide by this guideline, others opt to listen to their bodies instead. Ultimately, the choice is yours – but as we always say: when in doubt about health concerns, ask your doctor.  

Period Yoga: The Most Beneficial Poses or Asanas 

1. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler's Pose or Butterfly Pose) 

This asana opens the hips and pelvic region, stretching the knees, thighs, and groin muscles in the process. 

  • First, sit on the floor, bend your knees, and bring the soles of the feet together. 
  • Next, pull your feet as close to you as possible. 
  • Sit up straight and keep your shoulders back. 
a woman doing the cobbler’s pose

 

2. Dandasana (Staff Pose) 

The Dandasana pose helps to stretch and relieve your chest, shoulders, and back muscles. 

  • First, sit on the floor and make sure that your back is straight. 
  • Then gently stretch out your legs together in front of you and make sure that your toes are pointed upwards. 
  • Keep the muscles on your calves, thighs, and pelvis tight, and your body pulled up as you maintain your gaze forward. 
  • Place your hands beside your hips for support as you hold this asana. 

3. Balasana (Child’s Pose) 

Try out the child’s pose to relieve fatigue, give a good stretch for the spine, and stimulate digestion.  

  • Kneel down on the floor and spread your knees a hip-width apart.
  • Keep the top of your feet planted on the floor with the big toes touching. 
  • Inhale as you bring your arms up over the head.
  • Then, exhale as you bend forward, resting your torso between your thighs. 
  • Slowly rest your forehead on the floor. 
  • Keep your pelvis square on your heels while ensuring your back is straight as you hold this asana. 
A woman doing the child’s pose

 

4. Santolanasana (Plank Pose) 

This asana helps to keep the core strong. It is also said to ease anxiety, reduce constipation, and regulate the menstrual cycle. 

  • Lie flat on your stomach and make sure your body is straight. 
  • Place your hands right under your shoulders and gently lift up your torso, pelvis, and knees as you straighten your arms. 
  • Use your toes to grip the floor. 
  • Remember to keep your back and legs straight; your spine should be aligned with your pelvis and knees. 
  • Make sure that your palms are square under your shoulders as you hold this asana.

5. Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) 

The Marjaryasana provides a good stretch for the spine, alleviating back pain and keeping the core strong. 

  • Start with your hands and knees on the floor in what is called a “tabletop position.” 
  • Place your hands square under your shoulders and keep them straight. Your knees should be hip-width apart. Keep your neck straight as you gaze towards the floor. 
  • INHALE – raise your chin, put your head back, arch your back, and raise your tailbone. 
  • Hold this pose for a few seconds. 
  • EXHALE – pull your chin towards your chest and round your back, bringing the tailbone down. 
  • Inhale as you go back to the tabletop position and then exhale. 
  • Repeat the cycle a few times. 
Woman doing the cat pose

 

6. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) 

The cobra pose helps strengthen back muscles and open up the chest. Thus, it helps to relieve back pain further. 

  • Lie down on your stomach and keep your body straight. 
  • Place your palms on the floor right next to your chest and keep your elbows close to your body. 
  • INHALE – straighten your arms and lift your head and chest. 
  • Breathe calmly as you hold this asana and then return to the neutral position as you exhale.
  • Repeat.  

7. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

If you’re looking to stretch the upper back and neck while opening up the chest and shoulders, then try out the fish pose.

  • Lie down on your back, keep your legs straight, and pull your feet together. 
  • Place your hands under your thighs with the palm facing the floor. 
  • INHALE – lift your chest and bring your head back so that the top of your head is touching the floor. The weight should rest on your elbows. 
  • Hold this asana and breathe in calmly. Then come out of the position as you exhale. 
  • Repeat. 

A woman doing the fish pose 

8. Savasana (Resting Pose) 

Use this asana to relax at the end of your period yoga session. 

  • Lie down on your back with your arms to the side, palm facing up.  
  • Allow your feet to assume a natural and comfortable position of rest. 
  • Close your eyes and breathe as you allow your body to relax. 

Don’t forget to officially end your period yoga by saying “namaste”! It’s the perfect way to salute yourself for a wonderful session of period yoga. 

Upgrade Your Period Experience With Illum

And that wraps up our deep dive into the world of period yoga! These helpful pointers that we covered regarding period yoga will surely empower you to ease cramps and other period-related symptoms. 

As a brand that is passionate about self-care and feminine hygiene, illum also offers a wide range of products that will help you create an uplifting lifestyle. Say goodbye to harsh chemicals and plastic-laden period products and say hello to top-quality bamboo reusable padsleakproof period undiesorganic feminine wash, and so much more for your upgraded period experience.  

Explore our store today!


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