Yoga for Menstrual Cramps!
A couple of you have asked me what kind of yoga poses you should do during shark week to ease the cramps and discomfort. Given that I normally have a really difficult time during shark week as well, I thought that this yoga guide will be very useful for myself and you ladies out there!
1. Seated Side Stretch
Start off by sitting nice and easy on your mat, and slowly tilt your body from side to side, feeling a nice and gentle stretch on your side. As you inhale, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale, melt your torso towards the side.
2 & 3. Cat & Cow Pose
After you feel more warmed up, slowly come into all fours, and start warming up your spine with cat and cow pose. As you inhale, come into cat pose (pic 2), and as you exhale, slowly open up your chest and melt your chest towards the ground (pic 3). Remember to keep your elbows soft, and make sure that you are not hyperextending your arms.
4. Reclining Eagle Twist
Normally we have really stiff and sore back during shark week, so this is a great pose to relieve the tension and loosen up your lower back a little. Come into eagle legs, and place your legs to the side. Make sure that your shoulder blades are still touching the ground, and you should feel a nice stretch along your back.
5. Wind Relieving Pose
This is a great pose to massage your intestines, relieve tension in your hip joints and your back and enhances blood circulation in these areas. Gently hug your knees and press your knees towards your torso. You should feel a slight pinching sensation in your hips. Shift your gaze down, as if looking the prints of your t-shirt. Gently rock from side to side if that feels good for you.
6. Thread the Needle Pose
This is also another pose that helps to stretch your hips and lower back as well. Remember to keep your top foot flexed to protect your knee, and push your top knee away from your torso to feel a nice stretch in your hips and glutes as well.
7. Pigeon Pose
For this hip opener, you can choose to come into a standing pigeon, resting pigeon, or even a mermaid pose if that feels good for you. If your hips are really tight, you can use a pillow or a yoga block to prop yourself. Remember, this is a restorative sequence to help ease the pain and tension, so don’t push yourself too hard!
8. Fish Pose
You can either opt to come into bound angle with your legs (as shown in the pic), or straighten out your legs. Open up your chest and you should feel a nice stretch at your upper back. Keep breathing, and you can stay here for as long as you want.
9. Seated Forward Fold
Gently stretch your hamstrings with seated forward fold to loosen up your legs as well. Remember not to push yourself too much in this pose, and just let your torso melt gently onto your legs. Do not round your back too much. Place your gaze on your shins or toes, and aim your forehead towards your shins so that you won’t round your back too much. Inhale to lengthen the spine, exhale to deepen your stretch. Keep breathing.
10. Wide Legged Child’s Pose
You can either come into a regular child’s pose or a wide legged child’s pose here. Melt your chest towards the ground and place your forehead and nose on the mat. Keep breathing and you may stay here for as long as you want. <:
Take good care of yourself during shark week, drink lots of water, don’t push yourself too hard if you don’t feel well. Listen to your body and honour your body’s needs! Namaste <3