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Yoga Can Help with Menstrual Cramps
by Benjamin Norris



Editor´s Note from Lexi Yoga: Benjamin Norris shares with us how the practice of yoga and meditation can help with menstrual cramps. Hatha yoga has a positive effect on massaging the reproductive organs which helps to relax tense muscles and organs that are affected by the cramps. Find out which two yoga poses are the most helpful.


There are several ways that the practice of yoga can help relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. Physical (Hatha) yoga has the effect of stretching our muscles and getting our blood flowing, but it also has the effect of essentially massaging our organs. As a lower back massage is so comforting when one has cramps, there are a number of yogic poses that can be practiced at these times that can do much the same as a lower back massage. They also promote overall bodily health.

At the outset, I must say, any and all work with yoga postures should be learned and practiced with a teacher. There are things that you can do while practicing these that can hurt you, and even do permanent damage. However, I think that this brief overview can show the ways that yoga can help during this sometimes very difficult time.

Paschimothanasana – the Sitting Forward Bend

In this asana, one sits on the floor, and, sitting up straight, inhale while raising your arms straight above your head. Then, bend at the hips and go down until your elbows touch the floor (or as far as you can go comfortably) with your hands resting on the fronts of your ankles. Hold for about thirty seconds, then slowly come back up again, with your hands straight above your head. It is important to inhale when initially raising your arms up, exhale when you bend forward, and then inhale as you come back up. This is a very brief description and again, should be learned from a licensed teacher. This asana stretches and relaxes the muscles that are tense, as well as massages the uterus and other organs that are affected by the cramps.

Pada Hasthasana – the Standing Forward Bend

This asana is very similar to the one above, but it begins from a standing position. Stand with your feet about an inch apart, and, while inhaling, slowly raise your arms straight up over your head, hands touching, just as in the sitting forward bend. Hold that posture for several seconds, feeling all over your lower, mid, and upper back muscles stretch. Then, while exhaling, slowly bend at the waits down towards the ground. It does not matter how far you can go. Keep your knees slightly bend, not locked. That is very important. It is also crucial to be breathing deep, consistent breaths during this whole process, and always while meditating and doing yoga. Hold that pose for thirty seconds or so, then inhale slowly and deeply while coming back up straight, finishing with your hands up above your head, hands still touching. Let your hands down slowly and exhale out all of that negative energy you just released.

These are only two simple asanas, but they have been shown to help with the pain of menstrual cramps, and with overall health in general. Also, yoga and meditation can help with anxiety sometimes experienced with the menstrual cycle. Again, find a teacher you feel comfortable with, and try these ancient, time-tested, wonderful methods of self-care.



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About the Author

Benjamin Norris is a journalist from Bristol, UK, who spends his days lecturing Indian Cultural History at one of Europe's leading Architecture Universities. He is particularly fascinated by global spiritual cultures and practices, and by many subjects of an esoteric nature. His writing often reflects these interests, and he enjoys little more than delving deeply into unknown worlds of research.
Read more of Benjamin’s work at ChakraHealing.com.




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