PMS is no joke, but I actually think we live in a society that deems it at such sometimes. Not only can we feel amazingly overwhelmed with existence on a fundamental level, but we’re bloated, probably in some sort of pain, and there isn’t enough chocolate in the solar system to make us feel better.
If you’re someone who has menstrual cycles, it’s time for more of an allowance of these times; the friction we add into the mix of being frustrated with PMS and the associated symptoms actually just makes everything worse. But yoga can help. Not only can a good—and probably gentle—yoga class (like The Yoga Revolution’s new PMS bundle) support you in shifting your mindset to soften and allow, but the poses themselves can ease cramping and discomfort by massaging internal organs.
The best yoga poses for PMS and cramps
1. Reclined Twist
How to do it: lie on your back with your knees into your chest. You might want to hang out here for a while, as this pose itself can be a real benefit for cramps. Then, when you’re ready, allow your knees to fall to one side, keeping both your shoulders fixed to the mat (or your bed).
Bring your knees closer towards your chest for more intensity; further away for less. You might want to experiment with using a pillow between the knees, maybe one under the bottom knee (or both), and using an eye pillow to allow yourself to soften even more in this pose.
Do this pose on both sides for around two minutes or for as long as you feel comfortable, focusing on your breath.
2. Low Lunge
How to do it: from a table top position, bring your left foot to your outer left hand. If you feel a little compromised in this position, use blocks or pillows under your hands to give you a bit more space. I like to ‘knead the dough’ in this pose; moving the hips in any direction that the body’s calling for.
You can also take it a little deeper and, with the back knee still down, lift your arms up toward the sky. From here, you can play with side bends and twists. In general, though, hip openers are a great option when you’re on your period.
3. Reclined Butterfly
How to do it: start in butterfly pose – seated with the soles of your feet together and your knees apart. Place a bolster directly behind you as a spinal support, and slowly lower yourself back onto your prop, allowing your arms to fall open to the sides. You can also place pillows underneath your knees to give you a little more support here. This is one of my favourite restorative poses, and it’s perfect to do while you’re on your period.