Yoga is an ancient form of wellness that has been practiced in India for centuries. The unique thing about yoga is that it helps the body, mind and soul, unlike other medical practices that only deal specifically with the mind or the body. Recently, the West too has started to acknowledge the benefits of yoga asanas or postures for treating various illnesses and for maintaining overall health of both mind and body. In fact, currently, there is a lot of research that has been conducted into the effects of yoga on certain health conditions. The results of these tests prove that yoga does show substantial positive results in particular cases. Yoga specifically helps deal with various psychosomatic illnesses. Psychosomatic illnesses are illnesses that cannot be totally explained in physical terms. In most cases, the mind plays a significant part in their manifestation. Menstrual problems can be both psychosomatic as well as a result of physical conditions. Yoga is known to help in both conditions.

Yoga and Menstruation

Menstruation is a part of the process of ovulation that occurs (on average) once in 28 days. During menstruation, the lining of the uterus is shed if no pregnancy occurs, resulting in the discharge of both blood and tissue. This monthly shedding lasts for 3 to 5 days. In most cases, menstrual problems occur because of stress. Stress can be a result of various problems such as travel, change in sleep cycle, traumatic events, and mental tension. Stress can alter the pattern of ovulation, resulting in irregular periods, cramps during mensuration, mood swings, and all the other problems that a lot of women experience during the menstrual cycle.

Here is where yoga comes in. It can not only help relieve stress but also relieve tension in those areas of the body that generally give trouble during mensuration. In this article, we will take a look at some of the yoga poses that will help stimulate menstruation as well as help relieve menstrual cramps.

Yoga Exercises that Help with Menstruation: Listed below are some yoga poses to induce menstruation as well as relieve menstrual cramps.

Yoga Nidra (Sleep Yoga): This particular asana takes about 25 to 45 minutes to perform. This yoga pose is easy to do physically, but can take a long time to perfect. Steps involved in Yoga Nidra are as follows:
  • Lie flat on your back with your arms stretched out on the sides and palms facing upwards.
  • Ensure that your head is in line with your body.
  • Lie down with your feet apart, completely relaxed.
  • Completely relax your entire body and mind, while breathing normally.
In a study with 150 women, 75 were asked to practice Yoga Nidra, while 75 others acted as the control group without any yoga exercises. After 6 months, it was found that the group that practiced yoga, experienced lesser anxiety and depression, markedly reducing psychosomatic illnesses such as menstrual problems.

Sukhasana (Easy Pose): The Sukhasana is a yoga pose that increases the supply of blood to the pelvic region, and it is considered one of the most effective yoga exercises to relieve menstrual cramps. Steps involved in Sukhasana:
  • Sit cross legged on the floor, with your feet under the opposite knee of each leg.
  • Maintain an erect sitting position, with your spine held straight.
  • Close your eyes and relax completely.
Forward Bending Poses: Many seated and standing forward bending poses help stretch muscles and internal organs, providing relief from menstrual cramps. Some of the different forward bending poses that can be done to relieve menstrual cramps are Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose), Shashankasana (Hare Pose) and Mahamudra (Great Seal).

While yoga poses are great ways to both stimulate menstruation and relive cramps, if you experience a lot of problems such as bleeding in between periods, no period for over a month, excessive bleeding, allergic reaction to tampons, and severe pain, it is best to consult with a gynecologist. They will be able to provide you with the best possible treatment for your problem.