While the basics of menstruation are shared in common, each person experiences their period differently. Though most would agree that it’s not the most enjoyable time of each month, responses vary from feeling appreciative of one’s fertility to getting annoyed, to being curled up in pain, to not really caring. Here’s some yoga asanas to try out during this time.
Cobbler’s Pose (Baddha Konasana Yoga Asana)
Since the lower half of the body often feels heavy during menstruation, seated poses will be our focus. You may stay in each pose for up to several minutes, as is common in restorative classes. Baddha Konasana—the Cobbler’s Pose—opens the pelvic region. For a more restorative version, come into a forward bend using a bolster or several folded blankets to support your torso so you can relax more.
Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana Yoga Asana)
To do the pose: Extend your right leg and place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh. Center your torso over the right leg and fold forward. Come back through Baddha Konasana to set up for the other side. Continuing to take it nice and easy, Janu Sirsasana—Head to Knee Pose—stretches the hamstrings in a simple forward bend. It’s an easy stretch that allows you to focus on one leg at a time and gently extend and lengthen your hips and groin.
Seated Straddle (Upavistha Konasana Yoga Asana)
Open both your legs wide into Upavistha Konasana—Seated Straddle. Again, a supported forward fold with a bolster or blankets is a great option. We’re concentrating on those hamstrings again, but are also stretching the inner thighs and lengthening the spine. You can go as deep as you like here or remain sitting upright. While you’re menstruating, you might not reach your optimum depth in the bend and that’s perfectly fine.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana Yoga Asana)
To do the pose: Bring both legs outstretched for a forward bend. Lengthen the spine in a seated position before coming forward. Imagine the pelvis as a bowl that is tipping forward as you come down. The Seated Forward Bend—Paschimottanasana—goes deeper still in opening the hamstrings and calves. It also gives your back a nice stretch. Be sure to follow your breath as you ease into this bend. Your period may be a good excuse to round your spine a little because it gives you a place to relax. Just remember that your teacher may have an opinion against this.
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