The moon cycle is considered as ‘a natural cleansing of the womb’ in Ayurveda and Yoga.
This special time of the month can carry great potential if a woman can take the opportunity to fully connect to herself while menstruating.
I have put together 5 of my personal favorite Yoga poses for period days, and the best is, that all of them are also suitable for beginners. If you feel less energetic while on your period, I suggest reducing your regular practice time and intensity.
Maybe you can integrate some of following poses and create your own period sequence.
#1 MARJARI-ASANA = Cat – Cow pose:
- Stand on your fours in table top position. Make sure your hands are under your shoulders and press firmly into the ground while keeping your elbows straight. Your knees are hip – with apart and stand evenly under your hips. Your back of your feet are touching the ground.
- INHALE – Look to the front while arching your back gently.
- EXHALE – Bend your back and round your spine as much as you can toward the ceiling side.
- Repeat step 2. & 3. five to eight times.
BENEFITS: This short flowing sequence is excellent to relieve any pains in the lower back and spine area. It also relaxes the neck and releases any built up tensions. This gentle practice is great and absolutely safe while menstruating, but also during the week ahead, when many women tend to experience some form of PMS symptoms.
#2 SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA = Reclining bound angle pose
- Have a Yoga pillow or 2-4 small sized cushions prepared. Put the pillow(s) lengthways on one side of your Yoga mat and sit down on in front of it with your sacrum touching the end of the pillow.
- Bend your legs and join both soles of the feet together while your knees fall gently to the sides.
- Now slowly lean back and rest your back, neck and head on top of the pillow(s). Place your hands on top of your lower abdominal – alternatively if you experience cramps, you can also put a hot bottle on your womb here.
- Stay in this pose for a couple of minutes and while inhaling deep and long through your nose, imagine to direct your breath to your sacred womb area and send healing and light energy to support the natural cleansing process. Exhale slowly through your mouth and release.
- Gently bring your both knees together and stretch your legs. Release your hands or place your hot bottle to the side. With the help of your hands lift your upper body off the pillow(s) and remove them. Lie down on your back again, bend your knees and draw your thighs towards your upper body and gently hug your bended legs. Release after a few breaths.
BENEFITS: Stimulates the womb, ovaries, bladder and kidney. This passive hip opener gently stretches the inner thighs, groins and knees. Mentally it helps to relieve stress and mild depressive moods. Women with knee problems should place a pillow under each knee.
#3 BHUJANGASANA = Cobra pose
- Lie down on your belly with your hands under your shoulders.
- INHALE: Gently press into your hands into your hands and lift your head, neck, shoulders and chest off the floor. Look either front or up towards the ceiling side and let your breath flow naturally.
- EXHALE while bending your elbows and lowering your torso and head back to the ground. Repeat.
- INHALE lift your head and look to the front and EXHALE while coming back to sit on your heels with your arms and forehead still on the floor in BALASANA = CHILDPOSE.
BENEFITS: Bhujangasana is great for the reproductive organs, it gently tones ovaries and uterus removing discomfort while menstruation. It also is wonderful for a healthy spine and tension free lower back. Benefits for digestive tract: Increases digestive power, relieves constipation, and strengthens liver and kidneys.
#4 SETU BANDHASANA = Bridge pose
- Lie down on your back and band your legs, your feet are hip-width apart and close to your buttocks. Your arms are placed close to your body, palms facing to the ground.
- INHALE: Slowly raise your buttocks, lower back, middle back, upper back – vertebra by vertebra- off the floor and push your hips towards the ceiling side.
- EXHALE: Slowly with full awareness lower your back and bottom again to the ground. Repreat 4x
- In the Last round keep your hips lifted and interlock your hands under your back OR try to grab your heels with your hands. Pull your sternum towards your chin and breathe naturally while holding.
- EXHALE come down back to the floor and INHALE bring your bended legs towards your torso and hug your legs.
BENEFITS: This pose has great benefits for women, as it also gently tones and stimulates the energy flow towards the uterus. It helps in relieving from menstrual discomfort.
#5 MALASANA – Garland pose or Deep Squat
- Place your feet around hip width apart and turn your toes to the outsides. INHALE.
- EXHALE: completely sit down into a low squat with your knees turned to the outsides same as your feet. If your heels can’t touch the mat here, you may use a folded blanket underneath them to support.
- INHALE: Stretch your arms to the front and adjust your outer upper arms to the inside of your inner thighs close to your knees.
- EXHALE: Join both of your palms together firmly in front of your heart. Let your breath flow while holding the pose.
- To come out of the pose release your palms first and place them on the floor in front of you. From proceed with another sequence eg. Uttanasana or Ardho Muka Shvanasana.
BENEFITS: Draws energy and blood circulation towards the uterus and tones pelvic floor gently. Can relieve constipation symptoms. Stimulates Apana Vayu – The downward movement energy of our system.
Enjoy your practice!
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This article is not meant as a medical treatment, if you experience any difficulties with your menstruation, please contact an experienced Ayurveda Doctor or holistic gynaecologist.
Author: Carolin Dutt
Yoga Teacher (Hatha Vinyasa & Prenatal), Ayurveda Practitioner.