Suffering from painful menstrual cramps every month? Worry no more! Help is at hand from yoga. Known as dysmenorrhoea, menstrual cramps include sharp, throbbing, burning, or nauseating pain in the lower abdomen and back. Yoga experts suggest a few yoga asana or poses that could really help you and ease the pain during that painful time of the month.
Yoga expert Deepak Jha, Medanta Hospital and Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at Nurture IVF Centre, have listed a few asana that might be helpful:
*Half bound squat: In this asana, if you stretch out your hips correctly, it significantly reduces the pain of cramps.
Take your right hand and bring it towards your lower back, hugging your right knee with your armpit. Take your left arm around the lower back, and try to touch the fingers of both the hands together. If you can manage, try to hold your left wrist your right hand. Remain in this position and breathe deeply five times.
* Arching pigeon: Pigeon pose also helps in opening your hips but sometimes you may feel better by just working on one side at a time. This variation also helps in stretching the lower part of the belly.
Sit on the floor on your hips and bend your right knee and stretch your left leg behind you. Placing your hands on your hips, gently arch your back. While arching your back, you can feel a nice stretch in front of the left side of your hip, however, if you feel pain, then you could lean forward and place your hands in front of you on the floor. If you feel comfortable and want to stretch a bit more, you can raise your hands in the air and remain still in this position for five deep breaths before repeating the same exercise on the other side.
* One armed camel: In this asana, your abs are stretched as well as the front side of the hips which eases the pain.
Stand on your shins so your knees are underneath your hips. Stretch your right hand backwards, stretching your right hand backwards place it on the mat just behind your right foot. Stretch your left arm in the air. Move weight forward towards your knees so that you feel a stretch in your quads, belly, and chest. Gently lower your head behind you, and hold for five deep breaths. Change sides, and hold for five breaths in the opposite position, before lifting your body.
* Wide child's pose: The pain you feel in your lower back can be greatly eased by this asana and bring relaxation.
Placing your knees on the floor, widen then them as much as you feel comfortable, bend forward, extending your arms in front of you. Lay your forehead on the mat or turned sideways remaining in the position for five deep breaths. Turn your head to the other side for another five deep breaths.
* Reclining twist: This helps to relax and increase the flexibility of the spine from side to side, which can help in reducing the pain the lower abdomen and back.
Lie down on your back. Extend your left knee over to the right side. Stretch your arms out as wide as you can, looking on the left side. Remain in this position for at least five deep breaths, feeling the stretch in your spine and side to side. With the help of your abs lift your knees back to central position and repeat for the opposite side.
* Menstrual cramps can also be relieved by a massage with essential oils, sleeping with a heating pad, taking rest and taking medication under medical advice only.
Yoga can help in alleviating the pain and avoiding the emotional and physical stress associated with menstrual cramps.