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The Best Yoga For Menstruation

Yoga for menstruation can work wonders in balancing a woman’s cycle. By targeting the lower abdominal region and bringing the body’s energies into balance, yoga helps to regulate cycles which are irregular, painful, excessively heavy or light, or accompanied with PMS.

Yoga for menstruation is actually not meant to be practiced during a woman’s cycle.

Instead, it’s meant for the time before and after. This recommendation comes from ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life. It explains that this time of purification is eased and benefited by relaxation. Rather than pushing through one’s normal workout routine or even yoga while menstruating, it’s better to scale back. Avoiding exercise altogether is ideal, opting for a brisk walk at most. This can prevent cramps, anxiety, and fatigue.

The two yoga poses here specifically target the lower abdominal region: the site of a woman’s reproductive system. They can be layered into one’s usual yoga practice, or done after warming up with a few rounds of sun salutations. The breathwork practice, ujjayi pranayama, is excellent for calming the mind and helping the body’s energies to move and work as they should, preventing uncomfortable or imbalanced menstruation.

yoga for menstruation, before and after

Low Cobra Pose — Bhujangasana


Benefits

Low cobra puts pressure on the lower abdomen and female reproductive organs. While it’s beneficial for menstruation, it also stimulates digestion by applying pressure to the digestive organs. Imbalanced menstruation is often accompanied by an impaired digestive fire, making this pose excellent for both.

How to do it

Lie on your belly with your feet hip width apart and arms by your sides. Turn your head to one side, cheek resting on your mat. Take a few natural breaths.

Place your forehead on your mat. Place your palms next to your chest, thumbs in line with the nipples. Spread your fingers wide and check that your middle fingers are facing forward.

Inhale and peel your head and chest from the floor without putting any pressure on your hands. Use the strength of your back to keep your body lifted.

Stay here for 20-30 seconds, breathing deeply. Exhale and lower. Repeat three times.

Bow Pose — Dhanurasana


Benefits

Bow pose applies pressure to the uterus and stimulates healthier uterine function, as the body is supported on the lower abdomen. In this regard it’s similar to low cobra, but with an amplified effect.

How to do it

Lie on your belly with your feet hip width apart and arms by your sides. Turn your head to one side, cheek resting on your mat. Take a few natural breaths.

Place your forehead on your mat. Bend your knees and reach your arms behind you, grasping your ankles.

On your next inhalation, push your feet away from you. Lift your forehead and chest from the floor. Try to bring the majority of your bodyweight to your abdomen.

Stay here for 20-30 seconds, breathing deeply. Exhale and lower. Repeat three times.

Victorious Breath — Ujjayi Pranayama


Benefits

Yoga’s breathwork practices, called pranayama, can bring great relief in irregular or painful menstruation. They calm the vata energy which is primarily responsible for cramps and irregularity.

Even those completely new to pranayama can practice this technique on their own. Victorious breath is sometimes called “Darth Vader breath” for its audible hushing sound. It mimics deep sleep, so when practiced during waking hours it brings a similar deep calm to the mind and corrects the flow of prana.

How to do it

Come into a comfortable seated posture, whether it’s easy cross legged pose, thunderbolt pose, or even sitting in a chair with the legs uncrossed. Lift your crown of your head toward the sky to lengthen your spine. Rest your hands on your thighs, palms facing down. Close your eyes and take a few natural breaths.

To get accustomed to this breathing technique, open your mouth and exhale as if you’re fogging up a mirror. Your breath should be audible. The sound comes through a slight constriction of the throat. Do this a couple times.

Now, close your mouth but continue to make this sound with each exhalation. Do the same as you inhale, slightly constricting your throat so that you hear a “SHHHH” sound as you inhale. Make the breaths long and smooth, and all audible. Focus your attention on this sound.

Practice this breath for 2-5 minutes. Then sit quietly for a minute or so before getting up.

Looking for a bit more benefits mindful breathing can bring? Check out this wonderful video by Cecilia Sardeo, Co-Founder and Host of Zenward:

Slip these three yoga for menstruation practices into your regular routine to support a more balanced menstrual cycle.

Have you ever used yoga for menstruation? How did it work out for you? Please share with us in the comment section below!

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Mindvalley

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